* Prices may differ from that shown
When it comes to hamster cages, over the past year I have spent an absolute fortune on them! I had 7 hamsters I have owned (4 I do now) and bred a litter of 11 of them, yep I'm a hamster mad lady that's for sure and I simply am fascinated by them and spoil them terribly! lol.
The problems I have experienced have been numerous though with cages though and they have been the bain of my life! Mostly my hamsters have managed to break their cages and escape regular from them and the problem is once they work out how this crime is committed they remember it and do it all the time. I've had faulty lids, one my step father put up for me and broke both hatches as he was doing so and so on. Add to that sometimes I look at a cage and simply think that its too small and I can't add on to it to make it any bigger and then that bothers me and I have to look yet again another cage.
My latest pink Rotastak cage I had was called the Dreamland cage and I kept Trevor my large long haired Syrian boy in it but it wasn't just far too small for him. No! He also worked out how to get the integrated bottle on it off meaning there was a route out and then he went walkabout causing me panic almost daily and often I'd be sat watching the tv when he's run past it alerting me the situation. My best mate almost lives at mine and has a poodle and I was so concerned that one day she and her teeth would find him before I would. He never used the wheel in it and there was a separate square compartment he used to get wedged in and use as a toilet (which absoloutely stank) so I decided I and him had enough of it and that he needed something safer and larger.
I had ruled out getting another Rotastak cage as soon as I went hunting for one for him. Having had a few of them in the past I'm just not impressed with them and their durability. I also wanted a very large cage but with less tubes and things to clean out cos with three other hammies with complicated cages, cleaning them is a right royal pain in the tush and besides Trev isn't fussed with all that palaver and is happy with a nice large wheel to play in and rungs to climb and dangle off.
However as I was looking for a cage I found an advert for a brand new one in the box that someone was selling at the price of £15.00 instead of the usual £30.00 price tag and when they bought it, it had £20.00 off it too. There was no photograph but I did know it was Rotastak however I thought I'd at least take a look as it was called large in the advert.
When I got there I was bit concerned though. Called the 'Pink Palace' this wasn't unlike the Dreamland cage I was replacing (which I have written a review about on here) in its appearance. Its just bigger really. However I had paid £29.99 for the Dreamland and did like the fact this one is much larger and I knew as well that I could remove some compartments from my old cage to this one making it even bigger for Trevor and it did feel sturdier and appear it!
The Cage Itself:
Well it comes in a very large box with photographs of the cage all over it and contact details for Rotastak on it of course. Inside the box all the pieces are wrapped in clear plastic which is easy to pull off and there is an instruction leaflet too which is actually easy enough to follow even for me (apart from the tubing instructions).
Well it comes in pieces and not already assembled of course. In total this took me and my mate 45 minutes to fathom out which isn't too bad considering the tubing is hard work to put together because you get different coloured bits and the leaflet is black and white and the tubing comes all in sections you have to clip together.
Well the technical bit is this. It measures in total W 0.48m x D 0.58m x H 0.53m and weighs 3.8g so it really isn't heavy and because the base of it is the largest part it is easy to move etc (The Dreamland had lots two different sized sections that were near on impossible to move unless pulled apart before hand).
The base cage of this is tank like meaning it (like the rest of this cage isn't runged) and it is long and wide and made of see through plastic with a purple coloured lid to which one end pulls open so you can get inside the unit and on the lid of that opening there is a light pink plug you can pull out and put add on's such as housing or a tube through or whatever. Then to the top left hand side of that bottom cage there in another large round housing section that you simply pop over a hole and you pop a piece of tubing through that securing each end with large silver hoops which keeps the tubing in place. Then you have a bright pink plastic wheel that hooks onto the side and there are breathing rungs to the top of that section because otherwise air would be sealed off completely. On the top of this section of the cage you get a light pink plugged area again and a light pink lid you can twist on and off to get inside of it and again you pop two pieces of tubing through a hole provided and you get a light pink and bright pink round look out tower that you push on and the lid comes off this too. To te round housed area and to the side of it you get tubing and you get plenty of it too. It all clicks together to give two round shapes of tunnel and it goes to the bottom section of the cage/tank.
It also comes with a purple plastic and none slip bowl which is isn't huge but isn't too small and then you get to the bottom housed area you get a small bottle provided that clicks and slides in.
Like I mentioned earlier you can add bits and pieces to this providing they are made by Rotastak and I had an identical pink look out tower on my old Dreamland cage to what's on here already and I simply attached that by taking out the plug on the top of the bottom cage, I forgot to pop some tubing on that but Trevor is struggling into it as I type so he is happy enough and he gets extra space so I turned his 3 roomed palace into four in a jiffy!
This was really easy to put together and feels really secure and robust. He isn't a little hamster is Trev with his big hair do going on and liking for foods he shouldn't however this really has been a fabulous buy for him. This is a great looking cage, sturdy with the benefit of adding other features onto it from the Rotastak range (Look on Amazon and Petplanet.com etc) and I'm no genius and rubbish at putting things together but it was all simple enough for me.
The base room really is wide and tall with plenty of room and he doesn't look squashed at all in it. The second room (the round one) is again a nice enough large room and the Dreamland cage before this I was complaining about, well on that this was his largest room now its just secondary! I do not like the way there isn't a runged area to him to play on and I also worry that not enough air can circulate as the bottom room as that doesn't appear ventilated at all and the round room on the top of that only has a very small ventilation area to it but the look out tower does with slits in the roof of that and he doesn't seem to be struggling with a lack of air or anything like that!
Its easy to clean as well in the main though I wont lie I hate having to pull apart the eight bits of tube to wash them and I do find that for a large cage the diddy bottle given really is too small but there is no option with this but to use it as I can't find a standard sized tube that would fit the click and slide feature this has to it but can say that at least on this model of cage that this one stays in place which again the other didn't.
The wheel is large and not one bit noisy, and all in all he's got room to make a big bed, make himself a loo far away from where he's sleeping and he is active so that makes me one very happy bunny indeed.
My old cage was rubbish and I went on the rampage often terrorising my hood (well my brothers anyway and playing chase with a wooly covered white dog mum calls her candy floss). However I am now living it up in a cage fit for a Queen (not sure why my mum always buys me pink cages mind you seeing as I'm a real man and have proved it by helping to make 11 babies). I got plenty of room to chill and sunbathe in and my mum is always buying me toys I never play with so now at least I don't fall over her crap!
I love my new cage but I do think my bro's take the Mick out me but hey real male hamsters are in touch with their feminine side dude!
Thank you for reading lol
Available online just Google if interested!
This review is also posted on Ciao under this same username.
At first I thought this was possibly the cutest hamster cage you could ever buy - but in the end I had to get rid of it as I felt sorry for my hamsters.
First, it feels quite cheap and plasticy - I know all cages are made of plast, the one I have now is. but it doesn´t feel like that at all (if you know what I am trying to say). The design is innovative, for sure, but once you have had it for a while you realize the space could be used a lot better.
The rollercoast-like tubes are a plus tho - as hamsters love to run around in tight spaces, so no complaints there. The "house" at the top has a ladder leding up to it which works fine for the little things to go up - but they have to fall head first to get down again. The placement of the wheel could be a lot better, as its making the small compartment so crowded that they hardly can move around in there.
The waterbottle has quite a good design but there really is not much for the poor things to do in it and it´s to comparted up in little spaces to be able to put any big toys in for them that they can play with.
It would probably be alright for just the one dwarf hamster - but then again, they like to live in pairs.
I had never heard of Rotastak before and then my sister managed to buy herself a gerbil, convince us that we wanted to let our 3 year old daughter have a gerbil and then manage to get them both living in our house, think I got a little bit railroaded there! We had gone into Pets at Home to try and find the best food and treats for the gerbils wanting to do the best for them.
I came across a box of differently coloured tubes in a box approx 8 inches cubed which cost £13.99, although a bit steep we thought this could be a good idea to connect together to put them in for cleaning. I still at this point didn't understand just how big the whole system of Rotastak was.
Going home we clipped the tubes together, this was quite stiff to do with them being new and then put the gerbils in the have a run around, they ran round and round in circles bumping into each other but seemed happy in there. I noticed on the back of the box a web address and decided to have a look.
Looking at what you could get from the Rotastak I was amazed that anyone had come up with such a system for little pets that to be brutal actually will only live a couple of years. The system is a range of housing areas of different sizes and tubing to connect said compartments together. The company really have thought of everything, there are stoppers for any open ends of tubing, bungs to put in any entrances to compartments you have chosen not to use, anti gnaw rings to stop the hamster/gerbils eating the tubes food bowls and water bottles. The tubes themselves are all brightly coloured, some solid colour and some transparent, there are straight pieces, connecters, corner pieces and even crossroads to make the choices for putting them together endless.
The compartment choices comprise of attic/bedrooms, travel cases, maxi units and main compartments. An attic is a circular compartment which has a solid coloured bottom half and a clear top half and it is possibly 4 inches in diameter so is literally an area to sleep in, the top and bottom halves have to be lined up perfectly and then twisted to lock. The attic has a hold in the base so that the tubing can be attached. The travel case is a rectangular carry case that is coloured but see through and can be used if your pet needs to go to the vets but also has a couple of holes in it to attach tubing to and a carry handle on the top. A maxi unit is a larger circular unit, it is approx 8 inches in diameter, this one is totally clear with some metal barring for the top inch of the unit before the roof. The walls and roof of the unit stand onto of the base and then you get clips with it to attach them together so the animals can't escape, this unit often has a exercise wheel in it and has a couple of holes in the roof and a hole in the side for the tubing. The final piece if the main unit, this is a long unit twice as long as it is wide, it has curved walls and is wider at one end than the other, the lid is removable and just clips on the top, there are holes in the top and two holes in the sides for the tubing.
Having just had a look at the current selling prices the Rotastak sets they do seem to have come down in price, a starter kit comprising of a maxi unit bit of tubing and an attic room is around £20. A middle range kit is a maxi unit, attic room, wheel and travel unit is around £30 and a mansion with main unit, maxi unit and a couple of attics is about £35. These are just to give you an idea as there is so many different combinations and the range goes up to at least £70. You can buy these sets from Argos, Amazon, Tesco and Pets at home to name but a few.
I liked the idea of this system and started to look on Ebay for some of it as there was no way I could afford them at full price, I managed to get a maxi unit, 2 attics, a main unit, wheel and lots of tubing for around £20, one set was the pink palace and one set was extra tubing and an attic so it is possible to pick them up second hand. When this all arrived I was so excited but I quickly became annoyed, you have to work out exactly how to connect the tubes together to make sure they are secure but when I had finished the gerbils seemed thrilled. On having had this a while I would now say I wouldn't use for a hamster as when I had a hamster I seem to remember that they need cleaning once a week and this would drive you made, to clean each piece of tubing properly you have to unclip every piece, clean and then put back together so very time consuming. With gerbils they only need cleaning about once every three weeks as due to them being from the desert they don't drink much and therefore do dry poos and hardly ever wee so the cleaning issue isn't quite so bad.
Would recommend this if you have got the time and patience for the cleaning.
To be honest, a cage like this one is designed more with the owner in mind than the hamster, it is clearly aimed at young girls who beg their parents for a first pet. I would not recommend this to any Syrian hamster owner because:
1. The tubes are very small, it is possible for hammie to get stuck in them
2. The wheel is also very small, a Syrian hamster needs an 8 inch wheel - which this is not - and there is no room to add a large enough wheel
3. The ventilation is poor
4. The tubes are hellish to clean
5. There is very little actual floor space
6. Can be hard to persuade hammie to come out and play, access is poor
You are much better off getting a larger cage with more floor space such as the Ferplast Duna Multy, Duna Fun or Savic Hamster Heaven/Cambridge. Cages should ideally be at least 60cm long. We have 23 hamsters, we breed them and show them to NHC standards, and we actually make our own cages out of 84l and 64l Really Useful boxes, nuts, bolts and mesh.
This cage is too small for a Syrian hamster and too awkward for a dwarf as they are not good climbers. Avoid.
Being a hamster owners, I purchased this cage when my syrian hamster was only 6wks old to make his very own
this cage was wonderful when pickle was a fraction of his adult size, and just a baby explouring in his new home.
unfortunately, he very quickly out grew it
I know you can add to the cage, with expensive add ons such as look out points and rooms. But you would need a very large space to house something a suitable size for an adult syrian hamster.
Yes this would be fantastic for the dwarf types who need far less space
what i also found was the rooms of this cage left very little space for toys - which every pets needs to entertain him or herself
it was easy to clean, and put back together again which was a bonus and parts easy to purchase if broken or chewed
but, if you have or thinking of purchasing a syrain hamster, please look at something larger, such as the imac range, as this cage wouldnt last the hamsters lifetime purely due to size
Rotastak are a well known brand and a reliable manufacturer of Hamster cages, I had Rotastak cages for my previous Hamsters about 15 years ago. When we bought our new hamster Hamlet, I decided to buy him a more elaborate Rotastak cage- the Pink Fun Palace with the swirly tubes. So he would have plenty of space to run around and do hamsterlike things in. Pets at home only had the ink cage, but Hamlet seemed to be an open minded type of guy so I didn't think he would mind having a pink palace as his home....
The cage cost £50 and all came in one large box, unassembled. Here is where the nightmare started! It took two of us two hours to try to assemble the cage and even then we gave up with the swirly tubes to try again at a later date. There are NO instructions- irritatingly all you get is a PHOTO of how the cage SHOULD look! There are around 16 semi circle lengths of sturdy plastic which you have to hold two halves together and try to get an end piece over each end to "construct" the swirly tube- then when you have fitted the end pieces to hold the tubes you find the individual sections of tube do not slot together! It is like being on the Krypton factor. The end bits seem too small to go over the edges of the tubing and the tubes themselves are curved so you can make the loops shown in the picture but it is impossible to figure out HOW the tube swirls are constructed as its all about angles and what will fit where.
A week later we had another go at clicking the semi tubes together with tight fitting end pieces very nearly snapping some of the tubes. We managed to get five of the eight tube sections fitted together and attempted to tape this to the cage (we gave up trying to assemble the whole swirly tube as we couldn't see how it fitted together- even with all eight bits we could not work out how it would swirl). Hamlet entered the tube then freaked out and somehow turned himself around180 degrees within the tube and fled back out of the tube.
Our Hamster seems to like the cage but is scared of any long tubes- he refuses to go through anything that is more than one tube long and it took him ages to work out how to get up and down the tubes to the different floors of the cage. When he was small, he seemed too lillte to get up the tubes, so we had to make sure there was something near the bottom of the tubes he could stand on to get a leg up! We kept a close eye on him to make sure he could get to his water bottle and food.
The cage is very awkward to take apart for cleaning and doesn't provide much scope for your Hamster to chew (it will find bits to chew regardless). Smaller Hamsters will struggle to get up the tubes too so I would only recommend this for syrian (larger) hamsters.
You can buy extra things from Rotastak to extend the cage complex, and you can choose which holes to block up with bungs and you can move the floors of the cage around as there are three holes underneath the mid section of the cage so you can always buy another section or move the middle bit across some.
The best parts of this cage for me are the large bottom unit which you can put extra sawdust in for your hamster to burrow in, and this bottom section has an easy access lid- so a lod section which measures half of the cage length opens up so you can get your hamster out.
I would recommend rotastak and they are a good brand, but you have to keep an eye on your hamster to make sure it is getting up and tubes ok and it is getting to its water bottle. As these cages are larger than a standard rectangular wire cage, it seems nicer for the hamster as it has more space to run around in, but there is very little for the hamster to chew on. Hamsters need to chew as their teeth constantly grow and there is only a 1 inch strip of wire bars that your hamster WILL chew on.
So you will have to buy things like chew bars. You can also get metal ends for all the plastic tubes to stop your hamster destroying them.
This is an expensive cage, you really need an engineering genius to assemble it in all its swirly tube glory- but be aware your hamster may hate the tubes. Ours balked and almost got jammed in the length of long tube we managed to but together when he freaked out and did a 180 degree turn (my heart was in my mouth as he appeared to be stuck and panicking but somehow did the turn and ran out of the tube!). The cage is a nightmare to clean as you have to disassemble everything which then all clicks back together.. so it is pretty and spacious but you have to be aware of the downside...
*What is the Rotastak Pink Palace Hamster Cage?*
This large, spacious hamster home is produced by the Rotastak company which produces a large range of small animal homes- from the traditional all wire ones to the fancy multi-storey plastic ones which can have all sorts of different add-ons attached to them, as well as a variety of toys and accessories for hamsters, gerbils and mice.
*The product itself*
Hamsters are very active little creatures that are at their happiest and healthiest when they have lots of room to run around and various bits and bobs to keep their minds active! This is why these kind of cages have became increasing popular in the past years, unlike boring plastic bottom wired topped traditional hamster cages, these ones provide an exciting and stimulating area for your little critter to live, with plenty of opportunities for play and exercise. This style of home, is the Pink Palace large hamster home (there is a smaller Pink Starter home available too), and is suitable for either one Syrian hamster, two-three dwarf hamsters or two-three mice or gerbils.
It incorporates a large solid clear plastic 'ground floor' with a bright pink ventilated lid complete with a access hatch for feeding/picking up your pet etc, also on the 'ground floor' is the included pink food bowl and integrated water bottle- the food bowl is not attached so could be moved to anywhere in the cage but the bottle must stay in the one place as it needs the hole in the side of the cage for the drinking spout to go into. Your little hamster can then climb along the curly transparent pink plastic tubes up onto the second level, this is a much smaller circular living area which has a metal barred rim around the top to allow extra ventilation, and the included plastic exercise wheel is in this section, my hamster also has his little litter tray (not included) in this section too. Lastly, your hamster then has another vertical tube to climb which will take him/her to an area most commonly used as the sleeping compartment, it is split into two parts- the base and the lid which makes it easy to remove the lid to stroke your hamster whilst he/she sits in the base!
A bright and pale pink theme runs through the colour scheme of the product, with all tubes and sides of the cage being transparent allowing you to get a nice view of your hamster, a sheet of stickers is included for you to decorate the cage with if you wish, a nice addition if the cage is for a child's hamster, just be sure to stick them on the outside not the inside as hammy could chew them off and make himself ill!. The product dimensions are 53 x 48 x 45cm which really is a nice large size for a hamster cage.
Some assembly is required as the cage comes unassembled in its box, it's quite simple really (even though the instructions make things look impossible!) and is just a case of piecing together the tubes and main living areas. The cage comes packaged in a large cardboard box which gives a nice clear picture of the product and all the relevant details aswell as contact information for Rotastak. The box can be recycled once empty or kept as an area to place your hamster in whilst you clean out their cage!
*Price & Availability*
Rotastak is a very popular brand of small animal home and is stocked in pretty much all pet shops. The Pink Palace hamster cage is available from various places online such as petplanet.co.uk, or from Pets At Home which is where I purchased mine, it cost me £49.99 a couple of years ago but I noticed today in Pets At Home that the price was down to £39.99, this may just be a temporary offer though so if your interested in one, get down there quick!
When purchasing a home for your hamster it is important to buy the largest one you can afford as hamsters are very active animals that need lots of space, this was the main reason I was attracted to this product.. the other reason being quite obvious.. its bright pink!! It is also good to try and simulate your hamster's natural environment where they would live in habitats made up of lots of different tunnels and areas for different activities such as eating, sleeping, playing and toileting, the Rotastak Pink Palace slightly recreates this environment with the tunnels and different 'rooms'.
Marmite, my male Syrian hamster was to be inhabitant of the cage (good job hamsters are colourblind- the poor thing- I just tell him its blue), and I couldn't wait to get him in it and watch him scurrying around all the different levels and through the tunnels. It certainly didn't disappoint in that aspect, it was highly entertaining to watch him bending through the tubes and running around all the different compartments- he seemed to thoroughly enjoy it too, aswell as it being great physical and mental exercise for him, and when I wanted to get him out to handle him the access hatches were easy to open and large enough for me to reach in and pick Marmite up. But that's about all the good points I can find with it sadly, for starters there is no where near enough ventilation on the cage and when placed in only a mildy warm room condensation started to appear on the inside of the plastic within a day or so, its near impossible to keep adequately clean too! The tubes are hard to dismantle to clean inside and the poor ventilation means the cages starts to smell very quickly no matter how clean you keep it. The smooth plastic sides give no opportunity for hamsters to climb like the traditional wired topped ones, the plastic is easily chewed so if you have a Houdini hamster they will more than likely chew their way out within a week or so, and lastly most Syrians hamsters will eventually get too big for the tubes! Marmite was only a baby when I first put him in the cage and could whiz through them with ease but as he got fully grown he could barely squeeze through them.
Overall, I really wouldn't recommend! It may be slightly more suitable for the smaller breeds of dwarf hamsters or mice/gerbils which will stay small enough for the tunnels (although still won't change the ventilation or chewing problems) but Marmite is now in a large traditional wire and plastic cage and seems a lot happier!
*Pro's & Con's*
+ Large, provides plenty of room for your hamster to run and play about
+ Multi storey, connected by tunnels providing fun and stimulation for your hamster
+ Somewhat recreates your hamsters natural environment
+ Food dish, water bowl and exercise wheel included
- Very poor ventilation
- Hard to keep clean
- Provides no opportunity for climbing
- Many hamsters will become too large for the tubes
- Only one possible location for the water bottle
- Exercise wheel too small for some Syrian hamsters