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Choosing a Dwarf Hamster Cage

January 15, 2021

Have you decided to adopt a tiny hamster? There are many kinds of hamsters, but some of the littlest ones—the dwarf and Chinese hamsters—are particularly adorable. Hammie will spend a lot of time in his cage, so it’s important to choose a good one. A Salisbury, NC vet offers some tips on this below.

Ease of Access

Another thing to consider is ease of cleaning. The easiest option here really is a wire cage with a plastic tray. A fancier cage may look nice, but you aren’t doing yourself or your hamster any favors by getting one that’s hard to clean.


Make sure that there aren’t any soft parts that your pet can nibble on. Hammie may be small, but those little teeth can do some damage. Your pet can also hurt himself if he chews on plastic parts. And while your furry little friend probably won’t be able to escape a wire cage, he may get obsessed with trying.


If you choose a wire cage, make sure that the bars are less than a quarter inch apart. Otherwise, Hammie could possibly squeeze through … or hurt himself trying.

Cage Size

Even small pets need room to run and play. For dwarf hamsters, we recommend getting a cage that is at least 24″ x 12″. However, bigger is always better! One way to give Hammie more room without sacrificing more of your own living space is to get him a multi-level cage. Just choose one with an enclosed tunnel instead of an open ramp. You don’t want to risk your pint-sized pal falling and getting hurt!

Air Flow

Ventilation can be a big issue in many cages. This is particularly a problem with aquarium-type setups. If you get a cage with glass or plastic sides, be sure to get a screened or mesh cover.

Running Wheels

Hammie will need a way to get some activity in. Exercise wheels are the gold standard here. Just choose one with a solid surface. Wire wheels can be dangerous!


No matter what kind of cage you end up picking, you’ll need to add suitable substrate. Keep this in mind, especially when looking at wire cages. Wires won’t hold bedding in, so you’ll want to pick one with a tray.

Our Advice on Choosing a Dwarf Hamster Cage in 2024

Why should the cage be easy to access?

A cage that’s easy to access simplifies cleaning and ensures a healthy environment for your dwarf hamster. Wire cages with plastic trays are recommended for their ease of maintenance. Regular cleaning prevents the buildup of harmful bacteria and odors, contributing to your pet’s well-being. An accessible cage also facilitates interaction with your hamster, making it easier to handle and socialize them safely. Prioritizing ease of access in cage design enhances the overall care and quality of life for your furry friend.

What’s the minimum size cage for a dwarf hamster?

The minimum cage size recommended for a dwarf hamster is 24 inches by 12 inches. This size provides adequate space for exercise and play, crucial for their physical and mental health. However, opting for a larger cage is always better, as it offers more room for exploration, additional toys, and exercise equipment like wheels and tunnels. For those with limited space, a multi-level cage with enclosed tunnels can maximize the area, allowing your dwarf hamster more room to roam and stay active.

Where is the best place to keep a dwarf hamster cage in the home?

The best place to keep a dwarf hamster cage in the home is in a quiet area that maintains a stable temperature and is away from direct sunlight, drafts, and loud noises. This ensures a stress-free environment conducive to their well-being. The location should also be easily accessible for cleaning and interaction but away from the hustle and bustle of high-traffic areas. Avoid placing the cage near the kitchen or in areas where fumes and odors could accumulate to safeguard your hamster’s sensitive respiratory system.

What are the specific pros and cons of wire cages vs. aquariums or plastic habitats?

Wire cages offer excellent ventilation and ease of access, making them conducive to a healthy living environment for dwarf hamsters. They allow for easy attachment of accessories like water bottles and exercise wheels. However, their open design may not retain bedding as well as other types, leading to a potential mess. Aquariums or plastic habitats provide good visibility and contain bedding effectively, reducing spillage. However, they can have ventilation issues, increasing the risk of respiratory problems if not properly managed. Each type has its benefits and drawbacks, necessitating a choice based on specific care priorities and hamster needs.

Does a dwarf hamster need a designated hiding spot or house within the cage?

Yes, a dwarf hamster requires a designated hiding spot or house within its cage. This is essential for their sense of security and well-being, as it mimics their natural behavior of seeking refuge and solitude in tunnels and burrows. A hideaway provides a private retreat for rest and reduces stress, contributing to their overall health. It’s essential to choose a material safe for chewing, like untreated wood or sturdy, non-toxic plastic, to accommodate their natural instinct to gnaw. Providing a hiding spot is crucial for a comfortable and enriching habitat.

Do you have questions or concerns about dwarf hamsters? Contact us, your Salisbury, NC veterinary clinic, today!

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