Dwarf hamsters are a type of rodent often kept as a pet. Unlike their larger, 6-inch cousins, dwarf hamsters only reach up to 4 inches in length. These hamsters live up to 3 years if provided with proper food, exercise and housing. Dwarf hamsters need a cage with plenty of room for running and moving, but due to their tiny size they often escape from traditional hamster cages. An inexpensive, safe alternative may be made using hamster supplies and a few items found at home.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Plastic storage tub
- Water bottle
- Hamster wheel
- Drill (optional)
- Wood shavings
- Food dish
- Wire mesh
Wash your plastic storage bin with soap and water. Dry it thoroughly. This ensures the bin is sanitary and clean for your pets.
Attach a strip of Velcro to the water bottle. Attach the other side of the Velcro to the bin at a level that places the bottle at a level comfortable for your hamsters to reach.
Attach the hamster wheel to the bin using strong Velcro or by drilling a small enough hole into the bin for the wheel's clamp to fit through. Drilling only works for wheels that clamp or lock onto cages. It also creates a means of escape for gregarious hamsters that choose to find the hole and chew through it.
Fill the bottom of the bin with wood shavings from your pet supply store. Choose shavings that are not too fine, as these cause eye irritations. Also, some dwarf hamsters have allergic reactions to pine so it should also be avoided.
Fill the food dish with hamster food, and place the dish on the bottom of the bin into the wood chips.
Create a lid for the cage by replacing the plastic bin's lid with wire mesh. Make sure the lid attaches securely to the plastic bin to prevent your hamsters from escaping.
Tips and warnings
- Choose the largest storage bin you can afford and have space to house multiple hamsters. One hamster requires at least 15-inch by 10-inch bin, so the larger the cage for three hamsters the better.
- Check the plastic cage and wire mesh lid daily for signs of chewing and wear. If it appears that your hamsters have chewed away enough of the cage or lid to escape, replace the worn piece.
- Never place your hamster's cage in direct sunlight or too near a heat source. It may cause the cage to overheat and harm or kill your hamsters.
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