“ Manufacturer: Savic / Type: Pet Feeder - Small pets „
When my sister's hamster died a couple of years ago, she kindly donated all of his effects to me, knowing that I was interested in getting a hamster. This Biba drinking bottle was part of the kit, and a very essential part at that! All small animals need a safe and secure water source, and these bottles are the perfect way to ensure that your pet has water 'on tap' without leaking and drenching his cage.
Hamsters being among the smallest of small animals, the bottle that I have holds 150ml. Savic make a range of sizes though, from 70 to 1000ml, so there's a drinking bottle to suit every size of small pet! The hamster-sized one, which is also suitable for dwarf hamsters and mice, is available from a good few online pet shops, and will set you back around £2.
The bottle I have is around three years old, and by the looks of things, Biba have updated the decoration of the bottle- mine features a very cheerful looking cartoon mouse and hamster, waving and giving a thumbs up. From the bubbly blue background to the bright green, chunky 'Biba' logo, it's all very bright and is obviously designed to appeal to kids, rather than the small animals themselves! The newer design is a bit more toned down, featuring plainer writing and a photograph of the small animals instead of the cartoon. Both designs are available online, so you can take your pick!
The bottle also features markings in increments of 25ml, so you can check how much your pet is drinking, I suppose. I've never had cause to take note of these, however, as I refill my hamster Gimli's water daily, before he's even had a chance to get down to the topmost line! I think this would be the case with most small animals, unless you have several sharing the bottle.
The bottle has a green top from which the metallic tube protrudes. To fill it up, you simply unscrew the top, and fill the small bottle to the brim, before screwing it back on. There's a logo on the side of the bottle featuring two small pictures- one shows a half full bottle,crossed out, next to a dripping bottle. The other shows a bottle which is full to the brim, next to a drip free bottle. It's not very clear, but I'm guessing that the moral of the story is to fill this bottle all the way to the top, or else it will drip.
As with most drinking bottles, the metal tube contains a fat ballbearing that rests at the base, preventing any leaks, but is pushed slightly upward when touched, releasing a little water into the animal's expectant mouth. It's a very simple design, but completely effective- Gimli's bottle never leaks when in position on his cage, but always releases water on demand, ensuring that he never goes thirsty.
The bottle is fixed to the cage by a green, plastic holder- it has a thin rectangle of plastic on one side, which you use to slot it in place between the cage bars, and two curved arms of thin, flexible plastic on the other side, between which the bottle is held snugly. Positioning this can be tricky- place the bottle too high and it tilts back, too low and it can become unstable. Somewhere in the middle is therefore best; it's a case of trial and error, but you need to remember to check it frequently while you're getting the hang of it, to make sure that it's in the right position for your pet to use easily.
The bottle is made of plastic, and is therefore very easy to clean, on the whole. The one problem area is the place where the metal tube slots into the plastic cap- here, a hard deposit builds up. Fortunately, this won't escape into the drinking water, so it's still perfectly safe for your pet to drink. Still, it's a good idea to scrub it off every now and again, as it can make the tube difficult to remove for cleaning, if it builds up.
I've been very happy with this water bottle- it's served Gimli very well, is easy to use and doesn't leak. The only slight problem I have with it is that the clip doesn't seem particularly well designed, and trying to manouvre clip and bottle into position on the cage can be quite tricky- I imagine that a child could easily get it wrong, leaving the water supply in a bad position for a small animal. I'm not sure if this is the case with all such water bottles, but I'm sure there must be a better solution. Apart from this minor quibble, the bottle is perfectly satisfactory.
The Savic Biba bottle I am reviewing originally came with my Nero 4 cage which is where my guinea pigs' cage.
When I first got the bottle I had to attach the spout to the lid as it was inside the bottle, I think this must have been to stop it getting damaged during transit. Both ends of the spout look the same so it doesn't matter which end you use, it was easy to attach to the lid just slotting into the hole of the lid. Inside the bottle was also a white plastic coated wire for securing the bottle to the cage or hutch.
The bottle had been on their cage for the past few months, but last week my boyfriend had an accident which meant I had to do a swap round of bottles.
My rabbits had two water bottles on their hutch, but for some reason they only ever used the one to drink from, then when my boyfriend was changing the water he dropped on of them and the spout broke on it. I asked him which one had broken and of course it was the one that the rabbits used. For a couple of days I left the other bottle in it's place but they just wouldn't drink from it. I was worried about them getting dehydrated so I had a switch round and got the guinea pigs a new bottle and tried the rabbits with the Biba bottle.
The Biba bottle is made from slightly opaque white plastic, it has a sticker on the outside which has a cartoon picture of a guinea pig and a rabbit on it, it also says Biba on it. The capacity of my bottle is 500ml, and this is marked in 50ml increments on the side of the bottle.
Filling the bottle is easy, you just unscrew the cap and fill as normal, it is best to do it quite slowly to avoid getting air bubbles in the water which can make the bottle leak. If I do spot an air bubble I keep on adding water until the air bubble comes out of the top.
It is easy to attach the bottle to the cage or hutch using the wire provided, you just bend the wire to the shape of the bottle and attach to the cage or hutch with the looped ends of the wire. For some reason I did find that it was easier to attach to the indoor cage than the outside hutch, so when I swapped it onto the rabbit hutch I used an old wire from one of the other water bottles as it was slightly longer.
One of my favourite things about the bottle is the length of the spout on it, it measures almost three inches in length compared to the Classic water bottles which are only just two inches. When side by side on the hutch a lot more of the Biba's spout goes into the hutch, almost two inches of it. The Classic only goes in about one inch. I think this is not only down to the length of the spout but also the angle as the Biba is not as steep as the Classic.
I also found that it worked a lot better on the indoor cage than a Classic bottle would. This means that the animals find it easier to drink from, so I don't have to worry about them getting enough water when using the Biba bottle.
The only slight downside I have found with the bottle and it is only a very slight niggle, is because it isn't transparent sometimes it can be difficult to tell how much water is left in the bottle. I do replace with fresh water every day, but when I first put it on the rabbit hutch they must have been very thirsty as they had emptied it within half a day. I can however see the benefit to it being opaque as it means there is less chance of algae build up in the summer months if the bottle is outside.
The bottle is very easy to clean, I use a bottle brush which has a smaller brush at the end for cleaning the spout. I've had no problems with dirt of algae build up in the bottle but I also clean it with sterilising solution every now and then.
I've not noticed any water leaking from the bottle which is another good thing about it.
The Biba is available in 100ml, 250ml, 500ml and 1litre capacity.
I have seen the 1 litre bottles in Pets at Home but have only seen the other sizes for sale at online pet stores.
The bottles do cost slightly more than other brands but I think they are worth the extra for the longer spout, I'm going to buy another to keep as a spare in case this one gets broken.