Pet Cages in general.
I have a dog and two cats and I have never owned a cage until recently. It always seems wrong to me to put animals in cages excepting cats in cat carriers to the vets. However I was having a new kitchen fitted, my dog went to my dad's for the week, returning in the evenings but I was worried that the cats would come in whilst the builders were in the house and either get hurt or cause the builders to trip and get hurt...neither seemed an appealing option. So after weighing up my options I decided that getting a dog cage was the most preferable option. I opted for a large one so they had a fair amount of space and also I considered using it for my dog when I have other workmen in as sometimes the garden isn't always appropriate.
Well my cage is approximately 4ftx3ft. It seemed ideal costing around £89.99 from pets at home. The cage has two doors one on the end and one on the side so if you're putting it in a smaller space you have a choice of entries. It collapses flat for storage which is perfect for when not in use (which is often in my case). I still find using a cage very uncomfortable and I only use it when it's for my animal's safety (i.e., builders or work being done).
This is an ideal purchase but not for permanent use. I do have a friend who uses their cage for a bed for their dog, which is a pretty good idea as it makes the animal less afraid of the cage. I thought about using it for this purpose but decided against it because of the cages sheer size and impracticality in my home. The cage is made of thin metal bars approximately 2mm in diameter and about an inch apart, it has a plastic base which can be slide out of a gap in the bottom for easy cleaning. I usually use Dettol and a hose pipe after each use to keep it fresh.
I have also purchased a thin mat for the cage which I obtained from my local market for about £3.00. I keep this stored with the cage. My cats seemed happy enough in the cage and there was room for food, water and litter tray in there for them. The door is a simple piece of bar that slides across and both bottom and top of each door and there is also a hook suitable for a lock. Not what I would recommend though. I have since used it once for my dog; he was not happy and cried for a while but soon settled in with his toys and blanket. He seemed secure and fine, but I was still not happy about using a cage and am reluctant to use it but unfortunately sometimes they need to be placed in one for safety.
~ Pet Cages in General ~
Over the years I have had a few different pets, at one point I had a hamster, gerbil and cockatiel at the same time, this meant I needed three different cages in which to house my pets, I had Harry the hamster first and when I bought him I bought a basic metal cage at the same time, the bottom of the cage consisted of a simple red high sided tray onto which the white box wire cage top fitted, it came supplied with a wheel and water bottle. I didn't really want a basic cage but as buying Harry was a spur of the moment decision and money was tight I thought it would do the job just fine and it did.
After a few weeks I decided to upgrade Harry's cage to a more fancy affair and decided on a blue wire cage, this cage had two floors and plastic tubes for Harry to run around in. This cage also came equipped with a blue plastic wheel, a little blue plastic house and a little wire ramp that allowed Harry to scamper between the two floors.
At three points on the cage were holes into which you could put plastic tubes, so this cage ended up taking up a lot of space as I had the tubes travelling around the cage which Harry really loved to run around.
This cage had two doors, one at the side and another on the top, this makes it easy to get to your pet.
As I had bought a new cage and now had a spare one I decided upon buying a gerbil for my son, Gerry then took up residence in the more basic cage but he would often be allowed to come out for a run around, and my son made him up a toilet/kitchen roll tube run. This cage suited Gerry fine but still it was very basic.
The door of the basic cage was located on the top and simply requires you to pop it open.
A short while later I decided I really wanted a bird and whilst looking in the local pet shop I saw a beautiful cockatiel, I knew she was the right bird for me so I bought her, at the same time I knew I needed somewhere to keep her, so I bought a large white dome shaped cage, it had some pretty intricate wire patterns over it, and it looked a lot more expensive than it was. This cage was pretty much like the hamster cages except it was round and larger, it consisted of a white base and the white wire dome topped clipped onto the base, it came with two feeding/water trays and little bars for the bird to stand on.
There was a door on the cage which opened/closed in the same way as the ones on the hamster cages, it's just a wire grip that clips into the frame, very easy to open and quite secure when closed.
Ellie Jelly Belly as my cockatiel was named very rarely sat in her cage, she was more likely to be found sat on top of my curtain pole, on my head or bouncing on the back of my sons bouncy chair! She did go in the cage every night however and I felt safe knowing that she was secure.
I had Ellie coming up a year when the following happened -
My cousin was moving house and asked me to take in her cat for a few days whilst she got everything sorted so I thought it wouldn't be a problem. As a precaution I decided to hang Ellie's cage from the ceiling and moved the hamster and gerbil onto a large unit in the living room. I thought the living room was the best place as this was the more secure room, my dining room door was easily opened as it did not have a proper door handle as such, it was more of a push and pull door that popped closed (It's hard to explain!) But my living room door closed securely so that I could keep the cat out of the living room during the night when I was in bed. My cousin didn't know what the cat was like with other animals as it had never been around them so I thought it better to be safe than sorry.
On the second night of having the cat I put the cat out of the living room and onto her bed in the dining room, I closed the living room door and I clearly remember pushing against it to be sure it was closed, and then I went to bed as usual, it was about 11.30pm. I was woken in the night at 3am by what I can only describe as the feeling of someone licking my forehead!!! I instantly knew something had happened to Ellie but I don't know how!
I opened my closed bedroom door and ran down the stairs to find the living room door wide open, Harry's tubes of his cage were eveywhere and my poor bird had died. She was stiff in the bottom of the cage, I just couldn't understand what had happened, I was devastated. She had only gone back into her cage at 11pm, the door was closed and she didn't have a mark on her, Harry was in the drawer of the unit his cage was sat on, and Gerry was fine.
It was all down to the cat, I don't know how she managed to get in the living room but sadly she did and she was swiftly taken back to my cousin the next day even though she said she wasn't ready yet.
I also still do not know what it was that licked my forehead. It was very strange.
Anyway, that isn't about the cages but that is how I lost my beautiful bird.
The basic cage and the bird cage were still in tact but the cage with the tubes had not managed to stay whole as the cat had managed to hit the tubes off, so the cage was then open and Harry was able to get out!
As the cat was back with my cousin, we did carry on using the cage with no further problems for the next three years until poor Harry passed away. He was four years old (or atleast I had him for four years) so I think it was an age thing with him, but he had many hours of fun in that cage!
Gerry passed away the year before, again it was a strange thing, as I walked past his cage he was running around, jumping on his wheel etc. as usual, I went for a quick wee, and when I came back he was stiff in the bottom of the cage, it was like he had been dead for ages! I think there was something evil in that house that disliked animals!
Two years ago my son asked for another hamster and I agreed on the basis he looked after it and took full responsibility for it, he was fine with this idea, in fact he loved it so I went and bought a Rotastak cage. There is such a massive variety available with these, I opted for a basic triangle shaped plastic and wire cage to which other Rotastak cages can be joined on. I loved this idea as I thought it would be a good way for my son to spend him pocket money rather than it being wasted on comics and sweets! However this is still in it's box as at the time we just couldn't find any hamsters for sale anywhere!
They have some in the local pet shop now so I think he may be getting one soon!
At the beginning of the summer holidays we got a puppy, she is a cross breed of Whippet and Jack Russel and is such a naughty little thing!
So far she has ripped up the vinyl tiles in my utility room, chewed/scratched the paint of a corner of my kitchen wall, chewed my new dress *sob sob*, chewed and pinched endless socks and also managed to knock over my kitchen bin and pull the rubbish over the kitchen ... Good she is not!
So I decided the best option for Mookie was to attempt to crate train her, she only does naughty things in the night when we are all fast asleep in bed and whenever we go out without her, I thought with a crate at least she would be secure in the night and when she cannot come out with us, and so far I am very impressed. We got her at 8 weeks old and didn't get a crate until about a month ago and we have had her for 3 months. My hubby was loosing the will to get up in the morning as he dreaded what she had done again and it would cause arguments as she is 'my' dog (especially when she is naughty!) so I got out the big bad book which is the Argos catalogue and decided on a crate from there. Argos have a choice of four different dog cages, small, medium, large and extra large and the prices start at £29.99. We decided on a medium sized cage as we have limited space and if a medium was big enough for her then I would be happy, had it turned out to be too small I would have gone for a larger cage but as it happens the medium sized cage is plenty big enough for her, I think even when she is fully grown it will still have plenty of room for her as we seen her mum and she was quite small and she is fully grown!
The cage we bought came flat packed in a rather slim cardboard box, I had read reviews on the Argos website that complained about the assembly instructions being inside the cage, which they were, however I have put something so basic together. There really isn't any reason for instructions as the cage simply unfolds from it's flat packed position to a cage position. You simply need to put the cage upwards and unfold it, it then clips together easily and is very sturdy. Inside is a removable black plastic tray which is handy as it can be wiped down very easily if the dog has a toilet accident during the night, as Mookie has done! It also comes with a padded 'mattress', one side is a shiny black material and the other is fleecy, it's a decent mattress but at the moment I am using two fleecy blankets as I have a funny feeling Mookie would just chew the bed apart in the night, as she has done with two previous beds!
The mattress is machine washable so that's a good thing.
The cage has two doors, one of the side and one on the front, it is black in colour.
So back to the topic!
I have found the cage to be brilliant for Mookie, since having it she obviously doesn't do anything wrong when we are not around. As it is now her bed, during the day (unless we are out) the door stays open and she can come and go as she wishes, but at night I just say to her ' In your bed girly ' and she hops in and goes to sleep, I then close the door, slide the locks and she's safe and secure for the night, and since having it she seems to have calmed down loads, it's worked wonders for Mookie and I would recommend a cage for any puppy owner.
So in general cages and crates are perfect for keeping your pets safe and secure. They are a must with small furries and there is a massive range of cages available, you can get your basic cheap cages which come in at around £15 or there's fancy one's that look like castles or whatever but they do come with a much higher price tag.
The cages I have owned have been very easy to keep clean and I would recommend these to anyone.
With the smaller animals I have needed to buy sawdust to line the cages and bedding etc. But I think people are aware of this anyway. My first cage came with a small bag of sawdust and a pack of bedding.
Sometimes you may find your small furry animal can escape the cage even though you can see no openings at all. One hamster really had me stumped as it would just escape it's cage all the time, I was given a large three tired cage by a neighbour (I am just remembering this!) and my friend gave me a hamster and it would escape the cage all the time, one minute it would be there happily running around and the next minute it would be gone!
I don't know how it managed it but it did, all the time, the hamster, aptly named - Houdini, got out one day and we never saw him again, it happened when I was having work done in the kitchen and I fear that he may have gone out of the front door, no amount of searching for him helped and I was quite sad when he didn't just turn up again after a few days, I laid out food but it was never touched.
So keep this in mind that some furries cannot even be held by their cage, little escape artists as what they are!
I hope this review has not put you off getting small furry animals, they make lovely pets, and I hope you have gained some knowledge on cages and crates.
Thanks for reading :o) x
Right from a young age I can always remember having various types of hamsters, we had Marmaduke my very first long haired hamster, Butterscotch, another long haired hamster, Millington a short haired Syrian hamster, Binky and Bitsy, brothers and Russian hamster and TJ my last hamster who was a short haired and only had 3 feet. We had various different cages for our hamsters, although there was not such as large choice compared to the elaborate cages you can buy now it is always important to choose the correct cage for your hamster.
The Wire Cage
This was the very first type of cage we bought for Marmaduke, we also used a wire cage with all of our other hamsters apart from Binky and Bitsy. A wire cage basically consists of a plastic tray with a wire top. You simply place all of your hamsters bedding, toys food etc in the tray and the wire top sits on top, usually clipping into place with a metal clip on each side. The wire cages we had had 2 levels to them, there was the tray which formed the bottom of the cage, and then there was a small wire ladder which led up to a second level (the floor of the second level was made from the same wire as the cage) Personally I preferred to get a wire cage with more than one level as it made things a little more interesting for the hamsters, I would tend to swing from the roof of the cage or generally run up and down the ladder, it just meant they had something else to investigate other than the tray at the bottom of the cage. Wire cages tend to have a small square door in one side which fastens with a clip, this is just big enough for you to put your hand in and get the hamster out, however you can always remove the wire top if you are unable to reach the hamster through the door.
Advantages of a wire cage
The wire cages are very easy to keep clean, all you need to do is simply remove the wire top by unfastening the clips at the sides, remove any food bowls etc and tip the rest of the contents (old bedding and sawdust) into the bin, then wash and thoroughly dry the tray. The wire part of the cage can also be easily washed once detached from the tray part of the cage, it is very light and easy to move around.
Disadvantages of a wire cage
They are quite drafty, obviously as there is no protection around the majority of the cage (wire part) this can be a problem with some smaller breeds of hamsters which can be more sensitive to the cold. A wire cage may also not be suitable for dwarf hamsters or even some Russian hamsters as they may be able to squeeze between the bars and escape, its surprising the small gaps hamsters can get through they seem to be able to make their little bodies go almost flat!!!! If you do have a wire cage or want a wire cage with smaller breeds of hamsters it is a good idea not to have the bars more than ¼ of an inch apart.
As I said we had several of these cages and never had a major problem with them, I found them so convenient for cleaning out. You can get some quite small wire cages however the bigger the cage the better really as it gives your hamster more exercise space, it is also a good idea to try and get a tray that is about 2 to 3 inches deep, this helps to prevent the hamsters kicking sawdust everywhere when they are digging.
I would definitely recommend wire cages, especially the larger ones with extra levels to them. However one thing I would say is that the doors do fasten with a clip but make sure the door is securely fastened and even reinforce it with a clothes peg. We had a hamster that somehow managed to get the door open, the first night he escaped he chewed the kitchen wall paper, stole a kiwi from the fruit bowl and somehow knocked over a glass of drink, all before plopping of the work surface where his cage was and walking across the lounge floor infront of the cat, my mum met him half way across the lounge. He managed to escape 2 or 3 nights running and ended up with a clothes peg on the door of his cage. So it is important to check the door does fasten securely, lucky for us (and the hamster) the cat was not too bothered by him trotting across the carpet.
The rotastak cages are made up of various cages and plastic style boxes all connected by clear plastic tubes. The main cage areas are usually a plastic coloured tray with a clear plastic top which has venting around the top of it. The rotastak cages are usually predominately enclosed in unlike the wire cages and have vents around the tops of them to allow air to circulate in the cage. With the rotastak cages you can have as many different interlinking cambers as you like giving your hamster a huge area to run around in aswell as various different places to make a nest for sleeping in. The rotastak cages come in a variety of colours and shapes so are quite bright and colourful. These cages are quite good for more than one hamster as you can create a large area for them to live in together without crowding. Also as the rotastak cages are not made from wire they are ideal for both small hamsters aswell as those sensitive to the cold, the all plastic sides (apart from vents at the top) mean that they are no where near as drafty as the all wire cages.
Advantages of Rotastak cages
They are less drafty for your hamster and have no small bars that they can squeeze through as with the wire cages. Also as mentioned before you can make the rotastak system as large as you like with different interconnecting chambers .
Disadvantages of Rotastak cages
There are 2 main disadvantages for me with these cages, one is they can be difficult to get the hamster out of the cage, there is no actual door meaning you have to find the area the hamster is in and remove the whole top of that part of the cage, they are in no way heavy but it does make things a little difficult having to dismantle one part of the cage to get to the hamster. The main problem I found when we had one of these cages is that they can get rather smelly. Personally I think this is due to the main parts of the cages being all enclosed also they tubes and parts to connect the chambers can be quite difficult to properly wash. It didn't matter how often we cleaned out the rotastak cage within 1 day or 2 the cage was starting to smell a little due to the air not being able to circulate around it as much as with the wire cages. However we did have to have this cage due to having very small Russian hamsters at the time, however this cage is not suitable for larger breeds of hamsters such as Syrian hamsters.
Was an excellent size cage for our Russian hamsters and they all plastic sides meant they could not escape however I think if I was to have another hamster that was of a small breed I would look for a different style of cage due to the difficulties in cleaning and the poor air circulation resulting in a smelly cage.
Now I have never had this style of cage before so I cannot really comment on how good they are but they basically consist of a solid glass or plastic base and sides with a mesh top to prevent the hamster from escaping, some of these cages have part plastic and part wire sides. They are very good for hamsters that like to burrow and dig as you can put a very thick layer of sawdust at the bottom for them to dig in and do not have to worry about them flicking it over the sides. They are also very good for smaller breeds of hamsters as the all or partly plastic/ glass sides means they cannot escape through the bars. However as with the rotastak cages they are also know for poor ventilation meaning that whilst they are easy to clean they can get rather smelly.
The price of a hamster cage really does vary considerably from anything from about £15 upwards, obviously the more elaborate the cage the more expensive it will be. The wire cages we had were basic square ones however now you can get some that are massive with 3 or 4 levels and in various shapes.
Overall personally I would recommend the wire cages out of all the style cages you can buy, purely because they are so easy to keep clean and they do no smell. However I would not risk this style of cage with smaller breeds of hamsters. The style cage you have really does depend on the hamster breed, I just personally like the wire cages better they are much more hygienic, and I cannot be nice for the hamster living in a smelly cage.
As you may already know I am the pround owner of a little hamster called 'the hatter'. Now the hatter inherited his cage from my late hamster Larry.
The cage in question is a pets at home hamster cage. Both of my hamsters have been dwarf hamsters and so I have naturally had to buy a dwarf hamster cage not escapes in the middle night for my hamster.
The cage I have now has a blue base which is plasic it then has a metal ledge with a slope which fits into the plastic base it has small gaps between the metal bars so my hamster can run across without falling through. Once he is at the top of the ledge he can find his food which is in a little bowl which slots easily onto the metal slats. I have found this style of bowl the best for my hamsters because they can't fill them with saw dust as they are above saw dust level. At the top of the ledge my hamster also has a wheel to run in although he does have an extra one which is attached the other side of the cage which I purchased seperately which he tends to prefer. His water bottle also pokes through the top for him to access when he gets thirsty. On the bottom of the cage I lay saw dust and there is room for a little house for my hamster to slleep in and unlike Larry The Hatter actually tends to sleep in there most of teh time. Teh cage has a clip fasting opening at the top which should allow you to reach you pet however you can't get your hand in properly to get to every part of the cage so this is just used for putting food into the cage.
Both of my hamsters have been able to climb the bars of the cage but neither have ever escaped so I would say that the pets at home dwarf hamster cage does the job it should. It has enough room for my dwarf hamster to run around and play in I can reach in and feed him and it's a safe place for him to live.
The cage being plastic is also really easy to clean the saw dust just slides out of there and into a bin bag no messing around.
I think the cage cost me £30 but that was with food, saw dust, cleaning fluid, bedding, food bowl, wheel, water bottle and hamster care leaflet and it has lasted me.
5 stars to my pets at home starter hamster cage.
When I was younger I kept hamsters. I only ever owned one hamster at a time, because I was told that hamsters often fights, particularly when there are two males together. My first hamster was called Hamish and he was, in fact, my first proper pet. Since my best friend at the time also owned a hamster I had a list of equipment and accoutrements that I knew I would have to purchase before I brought my new friend home from the pet shop. A suitable cage was one of them.
In general I am against keeping animals confined, and these days would not keep a pet such as a rodent that would have to be kept within a cage. However. There are many good cages available for small rodents that offer a good deal of space and stimulating activity so that the animals do not become bored. Rotostak is one of the best know brands in terms of rodent cages, and it was a Rotostak I had for Hamish and the hamsters that came after him. The cage was a three tier one, with a large bottom tier, a slightly smaller middle tier and a much smaller top tier. This stack was joined by a long, bending tunnel to a large, square, single-storey cage. The larger cage was not a Rotostak, and in fact I cannot remember now what brand it was, but it was fairly generic in design. It was comprised of a long plastic tray with a lid made from metal bars. It was the Rotostak cage that looked the most appealing, and the different size tiers gave my hamsters the option of customizing the levels to suit their needs.
All my hamsters used the large bottom tier as their bathroom, as the fact that it did not have a tunnel in the floor meant it could be covered with a layer of sawdust. I also covered the bottom of the large cage with a layer of sawdust, and they used the corners of this one as a second bathroom. The middle layer of the Rotostak was where I placed a handful of bedding, and so this became the bedroom. The top tier, the smallest, became a kind of lookout tower, with its transparent lid. The larger cage was where I placed various toys, including a toilet roll tube as a tunnel. There was plenty of space for the hamsters to play, and I also fixed a wheel to the side of the cage for them to revolve in and exercise.
I loved watching my hamsters play and generally go about their lives in the cage. There were one or two instances in which a couple of them managed to escape, but hamsters are so small and cunning they will occasionally happen upon an escape route. As long as you find a cage that is large enough and stimulating enough for your rodent there is little harm in owning one.
I have had alot of experience in buying animal cages over the last year with having so many animals coming into my home! So I will try and review them all!
I know I'll probably be shot for this by the hamster police, but I find the plain cages (around 50 by 30 cm) without all the hundreds of tubes! In my experience, all your hammy needs is enough space to fourage and wander, and a good quality wheel (I saw good quality for your own sake...the cheap variety squeak and bang and never stop!!! Lol).
You can get cages which look weird and wonderful, and although you probably think WOW my hammy will love that, the chances are your new hammy will be scared, and will hide away in the tunnels, and you'll never see him, never be able to get him out, meaning he'll never become tame, whereas with the plain cages, the hamsters get to know you alot more, especially if you get them out (Yes hamsters do LOVE human contact...anyone who says they don't have obviously never actually handled their own enough to tame them!) and so it means you have a proper relationship and friendship with your hammy!
Also when it comes to cleaning out of the cages....if you have the kind with the hundreds of tubes, it will take you probably upwards of an hour to do so, as you need to take each tube out, wash it, dry it, and so on and so forth. If your like me and you have 4 hammys to clean out once a week, then you will soon find that it is taking up all your time.
Many people will say that the hamsters have to have these tubes to run around in otherwise they won't be happy, well in my own experience this isn't the case, give them a tube in their cage, whether its a cardboard tube which you can buy from Pets at Home for around £1.50, which they can chew away on, or a plastic tube, a wheel and a nice bedding, and they'll be more than happy! And so will you!
The normal variety of cage are available from all pet shops and some supermarkets, they vary in price from around £11 to £30. You do need to ensure your cage is big enough for your hammy, if your buying a small variety of hamster (Roberovski or Chinese) make sure you get a mouse cage as the hamster cages have caging which is spaced too far apart, and the hamster can get through the holes and escape!!! Lol.
If you do decide to take the route of the more "messy" cages, these are priced between £30 and £50 normally, and again vary in price, and you can normally buy "add ons" to make the cages bigger with time.
Well this is the same as a hamster cage, but you MUST ensure you get a mouse cage, these are only slightly different. As I said before, the cage wires are closer together which means that the mice which are alot smaller than hamsters, especially as babies, cannot escape!!!! Other than that, the same things apply to these cages as to hammy cages! :-)
DEGU AND CHINCHILLA CAGES:
I have never owned a Chinchilla, but their cages tend to be the same size as Degu cages, if you don't know what a Degu is, it is a small mammal which looks like a big gerbil, with the face and colouring of a squirrel, although not related to either species.
Degu's and chinchillas need a very big cage. Even though when you see your degus you will think they don't look much bigger than a gerbil, they can grow to double that, and they need alot of room to run around! NEVER buy your degu a plastic cage with any kind of tubing...they will chew away through it!!!
You can buy special degu and chinchilla cages from Pets at Home, or other pet shops, what you MUST be careful of it that the cages do not have wiring on the floor of the cage, if it does, remove this, or get a cage without this.
This wiring can cause an illness called bumblefoot in the degus, and this could result in amputation of the feet, and ultimately death of the animal!
The cage should have at least 2 layers to it so that they can climb, the more layers the better, with a degu cage its more about height than width, as they love to climb.
Always put chew toys in their cage as well, I bought mine parrot toys (the wooden type, with bells...they love bells!!!) which they loved chewing through!!!
I recommend the Gerbilarium to anyone who has Gerbils, they come in three sizes from Pets at Home, varying from £50 to £100, the smallest can house from 1-4 gerbils, the larger house can hold around 10 gerbils.
The gerbilarium is great as on the bottom is a tank, which you can fill right to the top, this allows the gerbils to use their digging and fouraging skills, which they love to do, there is also a tunnel which goes into the bottom of the sawdust so they can run through the bottom of the tank! On the top is a cage, with levels which encourage climbing in the gerbils.
Although they are a little more expensive than other cages, they are well worth the price and my gerbils love theirs!!!
In conclusion, the best thing to do when buying yourself a cage for your animals, is to take into account not the size they are at present but how big they will get, as you don't want to be buying another cage in a years time.
You also need to think of yourself...you have to remember you have to clean this cage out weekly, so you don't want to have to spend hours doing it especially if you already have a busy schedule!!
after leaving college with a national diploma in small animal care i decided to offer my help to a local dog rescue centre and while there learnt a lot about the damage these dog crates can cause if they fall into the wrong hands. Although lots of us true animal lovers wouldnt believe in leaving are animals in a small crate for long periods of time you would be surprised at how many other people do. I actually witnessed one of the worst cases i have ever seen whilst working in dog rescue and the damaged was caused by a dog crate. The dog was 18 months old when he arrived a german shepherd with a very loving nature definately more a barker than a biter. Unfortunately being an adolescent at the time the dog had been confined to a crate supposedly for short periods where no one was at home so that the house was not found to be destroyed when they arrived home. If this had been the case then fine i can understand, but when the dog has muscle wasting in his back legs and cannot walk in a straight line because he has been confined to that space probably for the majority of his short life you start to realise that maybe these dog crates arent as good as they seem on first impressions. The dog actually walked everywhere in circles spinning around and around because that is all he had ever known.He never knew how to be a dog he wouldnt get involved in any form of play he never knew the meaning of any command you asked of him and all because he had been shut in a crate and forgotten about. Lots of people out there i am sure are true animal lovers and use their dog crates as they are meant to be used but please be aware that this new cage is for short stay purposes and shouldnt be used as i permenant home that a dog is realised from to go to the toilet. Please use them with care and i am sure you will find them very useful but dont forget that a dog needs human companionship as well as sufficient time out and you could do more harm than good just locking him away>
Ok, so this opinion isn’t going to be the most exciting op you’ll have read today. Pet cages just don’t excite many people after all! The reason why I’ve suddenly decided to write an opinion about pet cages all of a sudden is that I’m sick of seeing pets in tiny cages. Just the other day I visited a pet shop in which I saw 4 dwarf hamsters in a mouse cage. Yes, I know dwarf hamsters are small but this cage was about 30cm x 20cm x 15cm. Hamsters, no matter what size, are active creatures. In the wild they walk across huge distances (many, many miles per night in fact). It is said that your average Syrian (golden) hamster can cover 5 or more miles per night on an exercise wheel. 5+ miles for those tiny little legs is a LOT of exercise. Yeah sure, many pet cages have exercise wheels attached but when the cage only measures 30cm x 20cm x 15cm how can the hamster find variation? Wouldn’t you find it boring walking 5+ miles on a plastic wheel. You’re little legs are going as fast as they possibly can yet you don’t seem to be getting anywhere. Is it humane? Is it fair? Yeah sure they’re cheaper than the big cages but life shouldn’t bring a price with it. You are providing the sole care for a creature, if you were a hamster (or other small critter) which would you prefer: (a) A mouse cage, measuring about 30cm x 20cm x 15cm, one plastic wheel, a water bottle and a food bowl. Or (b) A large, multi-layered cage, measuring about 50cm x 35cm x 70cm, 3 layers (with ladders to the two higher shelves), more than one food bowl (one on each layer), a wheel, a bottle, a little plastic house in which you sleep and a few stones/wooden toys to climb on/through. Imagine yourself spending your whole life in there. Go on, choose one. I rest my case. I realise large cages are expensive but they’re not going to break the bank. If you can’t afford a big cage then you si
mply shouldn’t buy the pet in the first place. Sure, hamsters/gerbils/mice are cheap to buy and care for but you should always provide them with the best possible life a pet can have. I also realise that no matter how big the cage is a pet cannot possibly have as much of a varied life as that of a wild animal. Even if you let your hamster have the free range of the whole house (NB. this is not recommended!) you’d still not be providing him/her with the ideal conditions. Ideally there would be no pets, animals would remain free and wild. (Although I absolutely adore animals so I’d be really lonely if that was the case!). I don’t disagree with the pet trade (after all, I’d be hypocritical if I did because like I said, I love having pets) but I do feel people should always provide the best possibly care for their pet(s). I’ve had numerous pets myself (budgies, tropical and coldwater fish, hamsters, gerbils, a cat, numerous insects, (mainly snails) and mice (used to breed the latter)). I’m not completely innocent in all of this either. I used to succumb to price over quality. When I first bought my mice I was advised by an ill-informed pet shop owner that two mice would happily live in a traditional mouse cage (measuring about 30cm x 20cm x 15cm). It cost me just £15 in total (that included the cage, sawdust, bedding, food, a water bottle, food bowl and two mice). The cage had a plastic wheel attached to the sides so I thought it was perfect. I just couldn’t really afford a big cage, of course I’d have liked a big cage but I was only 10 so I didn’t have that much money lying around. At one time I even housed three mice in that cage (when one died I went to the pet shop to buy another one as a friend for the remaining mouse, when I got there they were on special offer, it was a BOGOF offer so I just had to have two extra mice!). Plus they bred so at some points I’d have 18 or so ba
by mice in their two (not all from the same litter might I add, the two ‘female’ mice I bought in the BOGOF offer turned out to be one male and one female and the remaining female so I had two females, both of whom gave birth at the same time sometimes). So that’s 18 baby mice and three adults all in a cage measuring 30cm x 20cm x 15cm. That’s cruel. I understand that now and would never house one animal, never mind 21 animals in a cage of that size again ever. The annoying thing is that I was a naïve 10 year old. I’d read plenty of pet books (that’s all I ever used to read) and I knew a big cage was much better but I was informed such a cage was fine by the pet shop owner. She should have known better. What makes it even more annoying, looking back on it, is that the pet shop I went to didn’t actually stock large cages. Sure it was only a small shop in a small town but it should have had a variety of cages available. A cage/hutch/tank is by far the most important purchase you are going to make in respect of a pet. It will live in it for 1.5+ years. Therefore bigger is definitely better! Over the past few years there does seem to have been a reduction in price of large cages, especially in large pet stores (e.g. Pets at Home). What I really like about these stores is that they stock what’s known as ‘Starter Kits’. They include the cage/hutch/tank and everything else that will be needed (e.g. sawdust, food, a water bottle, food bowls, a treat of some sort and a care guide for that specific animal). These are a great idea. Many of these starter kits include a small cage though so do still be vigilant when shopping around for a pet. I got my latest cage from Pets Mart (now known as Pets at Home), it was one of these starter kits. It measures 50cm x 35cm x 70cm and has three layers (in other words it has two shelves), both with ladders attached, there are two food bowls (both fitted in
to the shelves, one on each shelf), it came with a water bottle, a bag of food, a treat (in the form of a mineral block) and a care guide for hamsters (it was a hamster starter kit by the way!) It cost me about £35. Now, compare that to the £15 I spent on the torture cell many years ago. Sure, its £20 more expensive but £20 isn’t going to break the bank is it? Proportionally speaking you get a heck of a lot more for your money will the big cage than you do with the small cage. If you are still against the idea of buying a big cage then quite simply you shouldn’t buy a pet full stop. I know this category is about pet cages but I also consider other pet homes to be ‘cages’ too, e.g. hutches and tanks. All of the above applies to both of these too. A tank generally will not have any shelves attached (you can get a few designed specifically for gerbils but these are rare) and a hutch will also generally not have any upper levels to it. Floor space is therefore important. You can get some real bargains if you are prepared to shop around. For example, take this website: http://www.pets-pyjamas.co.uk For cages go to: http://www.pets-pyjamas.co.uk/pets_direct.htm then “SMALL ANIMALS” then “AT HOME” then “CAGES”. If you look on the pet cage page you will see that they don’t even sell small, torture cells. The smallest they do measures 53cm x 38cm x 25.5cm. Even this one has an extra level, a ladder and a plastic wheel attached and a plastic house for a bed though. This would be fine for mice, a hamster or gerbils. The nearest I can find to my sort of cage is that of the “CRICETO MIX 3 MULTI COLOUR - WHITE BAR” which is selling for £29.99. Just before Christmas I was approached (well emailed!) by a guy who wanted advice on buying a hamster for his girlfriend for Christmas. He’d found me on dooyoo and read my opinion on ha
msters. I was pleased he taken the time to read my opinion and then email me for further advice. I replied and asked him to make sure his girlfriend actually wanted a hamster (after all, a pets for life, not just for Christmas). I told him to buy the biggest cage he could afford (minimum dimensions of about 40cm x 30cm x 40cm), I also told him that a multi-layered cage should be bought. I also specified he only bought one hamster unless he wanted to buy a dwarf hamster. He then emailed back a few days later telling me he’d bought a cage, it was only a small one though because he couldn’t afford a bigger one. Not only had he ignored my advice on the size of the cage he’d also completely ignored my advice on buying just one hamster. He’d bought two hamsters. Not dwarf hamsters though, oh no, he’d bought two Syrian hamsters. These (as I told him) are solitary animals, they don’t like living together (in fact many will fight until one drops dead through blood loss). Occasionally (it is very, very rare though) two hamsters from the same litter will live together ok, even then they tend to sleep separately. Pet shops don’t help much as they often house them together. One local shop houses them in a tank together, usually about 3 per tank. This is ludicrous. Its common knowledge amongst the pet world than hamsters are solitary animals. They pet shop owners will know this too but they STILL put them together. Yes I know they’d need a lot more room if they were to house them individually, plus they’d use more sawdust and bedding but if this is what is required to provide suitable care for an animal this is what should be done. Seeing two hamsters in one tank only makes many people feel sorry for leaving one hamster behind so they buy two because they looked like they were friends. So, after my rant I’ve done. I’ll leave you some useful bits of information though in case anyone else s
trolls across this opinion and just wants basic facts rather than reading my moaning session above! ~ HAMSTERS ~ Syrian (otherwise known as Golden or simply common hamsters): MUST be house individually. They are solitary animals (no matter what the pet shop assistant tells you, also no matter how friendly those in the same tank/cages look). Please don’t feel guilty about buying just one. The hamster will appreciate it, honestly. They are active (no matter how lazy people lead you to believe they are). Sure they look like couch potatoes but they’re more like little furry athletes so don’t let their appearance lead you to believe otherwise. A cage with at least 2 layers should be provided (i.e. the cage floor and a shelf). Buy the biggest possible with minimum dimensions of 40cm x 30cm x 40cm. You’ll need sawdust, hamster food, a food bowl (unless they’re already attached to the cage), a water bottle, a wheel (either metal or plastic) and some form of entertainment (no, not a TV!), something like a pebble and a wooden toy that it can climb on and through (and chew on to wear down its teeth). If you don’t provide something wooden to chew on make sure you provide it with something else (e.g. twigs, but make sure these haven’t been sprayed with any pesticides, etc) or ideally a mineral block, these will be healthy and help keep its teeth down. Dwarf hamsters (either Chinese or Russian): These can be housed in pairs or groups, just make sure the cage is big enough, especially for groups. The same applies as with Syrian hamsters above for the rest of it though. ~ GERBILS ~ Should be housed in pairs or groups as they are sociable animals. They generally get on well with one another, especially if they’re related and are introduced when they’re young. (NB. if one dies and you want to replace it, it isn’t really recommended to introduce a n
ew one to an established group as they might fight with the newbie). Make sure you get two of the same sex though unless you plan to breed. Don’t rely on pet shop assistants knowing what sex they are though. Sure, there are some very knowledgeable pet shop assistants out there who know how to sex an animal properly but the vast majority don’t (as I learned the hard way with my mice!) Ideally these should be housed in a tank (known as a gerbilarium surprisingly!). I’ve currently got two gerbils, they used to live in the tank I bought for hamster (50cm x 35cm x 70cm), I then bought them a plastic tank. They weren’t in there over a week though. Why? Well this is the biggest tip I can give you when it comes to housing rodents in tanks…. don’t buy plastic ones! Of course they’re cheaper than glass ones but in the long run it’ll work out a lot cheaper just buying a glass on to start with. Why? Well because they have mighty sharp claws AND they know how to use them! Within a week the tank had been scratched quite badly. I’ve now bought a glass tank for them, they can’t scratch that one (or rather they can but it doesn’t damage it!) You can get a glass tank from Pets at Home measuring 24in x 12in x 12in for £17.99 (or you could last weekend when I was there anyway!). My tank measures 18in x 12in x 12in and cost my £15 (from another shop). Its obviously not got any shelves as its designed for fish but then it really isn’t essential for gerbils in a tank. Why’s this when I’ve been moaning about small, boring cages? Well because gerbils aren’t bothered about going up, they like going down. They love burrowing in the sawdust, they’re quite content in a normal tank with plenty of sawdust provided to burrow in. Having said that though you really shouldn’t buy a tank much smaller than 18in x 12in x 10in. If you’re housing a colony (say more than
3 gerbils) then your tank should increase in size appropriately. You’ll need plenty of sawdust, some food, a heavy food bowl and a water bottle (NB. another tip, make sure you buy a bottle that has a little hole through some plastic at the top so its designed for hanging over the edge of a tank because obviously the normal bottles are designed for fastening to the outside of a cage with just the dripper part protruding through the bars). You should also provide entertainment in the form of a rock or two, wooden toys for climbing on/through and chewing. Mineral blocks help too, just as with hamsters. If you’re going to use a wheel make sure its plastic and is of the solid type (in other words the bars aren’t individual bars), as gerbils have long tails the metal types aren’t safe. There is just one problem associated with housing a gerbil in a glass tank. Silicone. Fish are ok, they don’t chew or scratch. Gerbils on the other hand do (and any other rodents for that matter!) It worked out ok because my dads handy with metal (he’s an engineer so it comes naturally!) He devised a stainless steel plate for the floor of the tank with nuts and bolts so it stood off the floor about 0.5cm so they couldn’t reach the silicone at the bottom. He then attached stainless steel tubes to this in each corner so that they couldn’t get to the silicone up the sides. The average lid you get with an aquarium isn’t suitable either, after all fish aren’t escape artists! My dad therefore devised another piece of stainless steel with a door in it (fastened with nuts and bolts) with enough space for air but not bit enough for them to get out of for the roof. It works brilliantly. No sawdust flicked out of the cage all over the carpet, scratched sides so it can be used to more gerbils, other rodents, fish or reptiles in future and best of all, it allows them to burrow which they love. ~ M
ICE ~ Cage requirements and equipment stands as with hamsters above. Mice should be housed in pairs or groups though as they are sociable. Make sure they’re the same sex as with gerbils above. Mice breed rapidly and have many babies in each litter (generally about 7 or 8 is average). ~ RATS ~ As with mice as regards their breeding patterns. Make sure you get same sexed animals unless you actual intend on breeding. As for housing requirements, if you’re planning on buying a cage make sure its 50cm x 30cm x 40cm minimum (as with hamsters, preferably with at least 2 layers). Make sure it is designed for rats though as most hamster, gerbil and mouse cages have smaller holes cut through the plastic where the ladder joins on the shelves. These small holes generally aren’t big enough for rats. ~ OTHER SMALL FURRIES ~ Degus (look a bit like big gerbils): These are a bit bigger than rats so generally a cage designed for larger rodents is preferably. Minimum size of 50cm x 30cm x 40cm with a few shelves. These should be housed in pairs or groups. Rabbits: Obviously the traditional hutch is the most widely available housing arrangement for rabbits. Most tend to be far too small though. The rabbit should be able to stand on its hind legs and not hit its head on the roof (obviously dwarf rabbits (particularly thought with lop ears!) can stand less height in their hutches). A hutch should be 1.5m – 2.0m long and 50cm deep minimum really (including the sleeping compartment). Ideally there’d be a shelf for them to get on to but this isn’t absolutely necessary. Most large hutches like this would cost a fortune really so you could consider building one yourself. It would work out far cheaper. You should preferably keep two rabbits (again, the same sex!) Guinea pigs: As with rabbits as regards housing arrangements. Rabbits and guinea pigs do
n’t really mix too well (despite the fact that many people keep a rabbit and a guinea pig together). Many will get on but quite a few fight ferociously. Rabbits generally bully the guinea pigs but this isn’t always the case, there are some nasty guinea pigs out there too! Rabbits and guinea pigs are quite often kept indoors these days. You can buy large cages for this purpose. Make sure they’re designed for your chosen animal though. I’ve yet to see one of these cages tall enough to house a large rabbit though. Ferrets: You can get specific cages for ferrets, these tend to be made of wire and have quite a few shelves. They tend to be pretty big (about 70cm x 60cm x 80cm minimum). These are expensive (those on the pets-pyjamas website mentioned earlier cost between £79.99 to £167.95 (the latter measuring 81x51x147cm and having 9 adjustable shelves, FerretTrail funnel, Ferret Hammock and stand)). You don’t need to house ferrets together but they do have specific needs of which you should read up on thoroughly BEFORE you buy. For example, female ferrets (known as jills) HAVE to be mated regularly so their hormone levels don’t rise beyond what is considered safe. You can either have them spayed or you’ll have to buy a male ferret too. Obviously you’ll have to have him neutered unless you plan to breed. Chinchillas: Again, you can buy specific cages for chinchillas, these tend to be wire like the ferret cages. In fact many are classed as ferret/chinchilla cages. Same applies as with the housing as ferrets. You should house at least two chinchillas together because they are sociable creatures. As with ferrets though these have specific requirements so you should read up thoroughly about them before you buy. For example, did you know that they are naturally a bit diabetic and so sweet foods shouldn’t be fed to them? Chipmonks: You’
;ll need a BIG cage for these. These are highly active (as with most rodents) but there’s a big difference why they need an extra large cage. Even though they’re only small in size they rarely become tame enough to handle a lot, they therefore will spend the majority of their lives in the cage. (Other rodents will, I’d hope, get handled and let out of their cages regularly). An aviary-sized enclosure is ideal for chipmonks but obviously you’ll need a large house and/or garden for this arrangement. As with ALL other animals (not just ferrets and chinchillas) you should read up thoroughly BEFORE buying a chipmonk. ~ BIRDS ~ As there are many different species of bird I really can’t go into great detail. It certainly isn’t fair keeping a bird in a small cage. All birds should be let out to fly around at least every other day, preferably every day. Make sure it is safe though (e.g. check doors, windows and other pets) Budgies: Budgie cages tend to be small but these are acceptable IF you let them out at least once a day. Even if you buy a large cage you should let them out to fly around the room regularly. Cockatiels: As with budgies really except the cage should be a bit bigger again. They should be let out regularly as well. Parrots: Small parrots can be housed in large cages as long as they’re let out regularly. Large parrots: It really isn’t fair housing a large parrot (e.g. African grey or Macaw) in a cage at all. You can get very large parrot cages, these are ok if they’re just temporary set-ups. Ideally a parrot should be let out everyday and should be provided with a parrot stand. This way he/she will perch on the stand but can still fly around as and when he/she wishes to do so. Make sure it is secure though (e.g. doors windows closed and cats and dogs aren’t left in the room!) Large cages are very expensive thou
gh (generally £300 minimum. One is £429.99 on the pets-pyjama’s website). And that’s just about it folks, I can’t thing that you’d want to keep any other furry animals. Or certainly not in a cage, tank or hutch! Seen as tanks have been covered in this opinion I’d better cover other animals likely to live in a tank. ~ FISH ~ This really depends on what sort and size of fish you wish to keep. I couldn’t possibly go into detail about every type of fish so you should read up about the type you want as to how many to keep in relation to the surface area of the tank. Please don’t buy those decorative corner tanks, not the normal shaped ones but the tall ones that go to about 6 or 7 foot high. Although these look nice and they do have plenty of water you really can’t house more than a few fish in them. It may look like its huge so you could have loads of fish but it’s the surface area that matters, after all, fish breath oxygen just like we do. Normal tanks are far more practical. ~ REPTILES ~ Like fish really, I can’t go into each type or else this opinion would be well over 10000 words long! Snakes: A tank should be approximately ¾ the length of the snake. (So, for example, if the snake measured 1m the tank should be a minimum of 75cm long). Height requirements vary depending on the type of snake you want. Some like to climb, in which case you’ll need a tall tank while others are ground snakes so height really isn’t important. You should take into account how active the snakes’ breed is when considering the size of the tank. Lizards: As with snakes, some lizards are climbers while others aren’t. Some lizards are very active whilst others aren’t. This will change your tank size requirements. Reptiles are crafty, they grow a lot. For example, you can
pick up a baby Iguana in your hand but within 5 years you’ll need a tank at least 2.5m x 1m x 1m for it. Snakes also grow rather larger than many would expect. Large snakes (e.g. pythons and boas) don’t need tanks as big as the ¾ length rule mentioned above. If they did most people would need to move house first! Many can and do grow to well in excess of 15 feet. ~ ARACHNIDS ~ I don’t really know much about arachnids to be honest so I can’t really comment on their housing requirements. I do know that you really don’t need large enclosures for them though. You’ll have to read up about these yourself though I’m afraid. ~ SCORPIONS ~ As with arachnids I’m afraid, I’ve never had anything to do with the upkeep of scorpions. Unusual pets like reptiles, arachnids and scorpions need extra special care. It isn’t just common knowledge. You have to get the right sort of lighting, heating and humidity for them. Not all snakes and lizards are the same. Different species require different things. It all depends where in the world they originate (e.g. is your snake/lizard from desert regions or rain forest regions? The lighting, heating and humidity all vary accordingly). Whatever pet you are getting though, make sure you read up thoroughly about the animal, even if it all seems like common sense as with what you’d expect rodents to be. And just to repeat what I’ve said before, buy the best that money can buy. P.S. I’ve given this 5 stars because although most cages bought for pets are far too small if you stick to the guidelines in books, websites and what I’ve said above they’ll be worthy of 5/5.
When buying a rabbit hutch, please don't but the first hutch you come across. Most hutches are far too small for a rabbit. When buying a hutch, the following points are worth remembering 1) How big will your rabbit grow. They need to be able to lie down comfortably in their hutch. 2) Is it for indoor or outdoor use. Obviously, the outdoor hutch needs to be treated wood to prevent rain soaking in. Also Outdoor hutches should be raised. 3) How long will the rabbit be in the hutch each day. We have a relatively small hutch but the rabbits have a shed of their own. The door is always open on the hutch so they are not stuck in there for hours at a time (except by choice!) Ideally, an outdoor rabbit should have a hutch and run so they can exercise. An indoor rabbit should be allowed to roam free as mucha s possible. Remember rabbits need about 5 hours exercise a day (actually it is mainly at night!!!!)
Hamsters in the wild live in an underground maze of tunnels and burrows in the dessert so they are protected from the heat during the day and the cold at night and also hungry predators looking for a meal. The Rotastak system provides your pet with a natural habitat with units for burrows and tubes that connect to rooms made out of clear plastic to enable you to watch your pet explore and exercise. Some animals may gnaw at the ends of the tubes and you can purchase metal anti-gnaw rings to protect the tubes, these units are also suitable for mice and gerbils although mice and dwarf hamsters will need ladders to enable them to ascend the tubes. You can add new units on and such additions include Space stations: to join two cages together Carry case: to take your pet away or to the vet in Roundabout: where the bottom rotate to exercise your pet Dinning room: with a pull our feeding draw Maze Unit: another exercise addition Burrow Basement:to satisfy our pets natural burrowing instincts You can of course purchase various room extensions and attic bedrooms, connecting tubes, blockers. It is worth remembering these are not cheap I brought a deluxe Unit consisting of one large room and two attic bedrooms and some tubes, for about £36.00. Each additional item ranges from 10.00 upwards, so can be costly, you can find loads of these cages advertise second hand in shops, papers, and at boot sales and I brought a load for £15.00 and added it on. It’s also worth remembering that it all has to be cleaned out as well. I must also say we have had both new and second hand cages for about 8 years and nothing has broke, the plastic can get scratched if your pet has that kind of habit. I have had to ring the rotastak helpline once or twice mainly because the water bottles can have a tendency to leak, (and apart from anything else, hamsters hate to be wet, and you don’t
want them without water, ever) but they were very helpful and sent me some more feeder heads for the water bottles. You need to cover all the floors with sawdust about £2 a bag probably last a month, depending on how many cages. For bedding I suggest you use straw or shreaded paper, your pet will decide where it wants to sleep, believe me, just because those lovley little rooms with the tinted plastic covers are called attic bedrooms, don’t mean nothing, one of my hamsters thinks they are only suitable for craping in perhaps rotastak will reconsider calling them toilets. By the way if you get two tubes stuck together, plunge into boiling hot water for a couple of mins and they will come apart easily, hope that helps.
For many a year we have kept pet rats... not a popular idea among ourpeers, but thats just us. We have converted a few people to the joys of rat keeping, and in doing so we always tell a little white lie "they're so clean". In general rats aren't all that bad, but if you have rats that live in a cage (and lets face it they can do some damage if given the run of your home), then you want the ultimate in cages: - lots of space - lots to do - safe and secure - easy to move - lots of access - easy to clean Over the years we I have tried many cages, from hamster to parrot. Then one day last year a pet catalogue fell through our door. In it the Super Pet Multi Floor Ferret Home. - 15 square feet of floor space - levels and tubes galore - on a stand with wheels - lots of doors We ordered one, and it arrived within a week flat packed and wrapped in the Valentines day issue of the Chicago Tribune. It took us two hours to put it together, and it was very impressive. For years we had been saying we wanted a cage with an opening top, with plastic levels, and a mobility factor. The cage was made up of a number of wire panels which clipped together with small plastic clips, and here in lies the problem. Rats need to be cleaned out, for us with a rather large colony we have to do this every week. We take the cage outside and scrub and hose and dry it. This cage was great, all plastic levels and, plastic coated wire, it came up sparkling everytime. But the clips that held it together started to snap. Now 6 months later we have a very expensive cage which is held togther with wire twists, and collapses in on itself when moved. Another problem we have encountered is the wire panels have over time become mishappen and bowed outwards, this leads to problems reassembling the cage after cleaning. It becomes difficult to attach the plastic
levels. We like this cage the idea of it is great, it offers the modern small animal keeper a great deal. But it strikes me that the design wasn't quite finished. The concept is great all we need now is for someone to expand on it and devlope it further, get rid of the plastic clips and produce a way of securing the cage so that it holds together for longer. I personnaly think that 6 months is a short shelf life for something that forms the structure of such a large cage. On closing though if you are looking for an environment for your pets which is interactive, adaptable and allows them space. this cage is very good. Its positives outweigh its negatives. But its not as robust as its appearance, and needs to handelled with care when moving or cleaning it because of some design faults.
I would like to comment on the collapsible metal pet cages that seem to be widely available and would like to draw on a very recent experience for my poor cat! Firstly I would like to ascertain what the word PET actually means as I believe this to be a Cat or a Dog?? Plus various other small animals that have been classed as pets. I obtained one of these cages from a well known store and decided to use this for the recently arrived kittens and their mother. I quite happily let them take up residence in the kitchen and did not foresee any problems! That was until Monday night! I had gone upstairs to tidy up and heard such a commotion downstairs that I sent my nine year old son to investigate, to be greeted with screams of "Mummy the cat has got her paw stuck" After dashing downstairs I was horrified to see that the cat had a left paw jammed in no less than a 1 cm gap and she was getting very distressed. I tried to bend the bars apart to no avail. I rang neighbours to bring hack saws but this did not work as the vibrations only moved the paw further down the already small gap. I had to call the fire brigade to have my cat cut out! Please bear in mind the word "Pet" when considering buying one of these cages so that the same does not happen to your beloved animal!