“ Manufacturer: Savic / Type: Rodent & Small Pet Cages, Hutches & Runs „
I'm always on the lookout for new and interesting toys for my pets, while browsing online I came across the Savic Sputnik on an online pet supplies store. The Sputnik is a house for your small pet that fits inside their cage, it consists of 2 interlocking parts and has 3 large openings allowing your pet excellent access but is a fairly deep dome shape so can still be lined with your pets favorite bedding. As you can see from the picture it does look very 'spacey' hence the name Sputnik.
Never being one to buy something there and then I set about reading some reviews. I have to admit the reviews were a very mixed bag. None of them implied that the Sputnik was a bad product per say, they all stated that it was an innovative design and that it looked great and hung/stood very well and they liked it, their pets however were not so keen and had entirely shunned the Sputnik in favor of more traditional housing. With this in mind I bought only the small Sputnik, for my trio of mice, from my local Pets At Home, with a view to buying a larger one for my pet rats should it prove to be any good.
The Savic Sputnik comes in two parts and these parts are in two co-ordanating colours these colour combinations include: red and orange, pink and purple, black and white, yellow and green (pictured) and many more, it is also possible to get 'limited edition' Sputniks such as the orange and black halloween one. They are sometimes available in one solid colour if that is what you would prefer although these are harder to find online. If it being one colour is a big deal for you I would recommend going to a pet shop and asking nicely if you can have the top from one and the same colour in a bottom from another to make one solid one (the colours tend to be available in both combinations if that makes sense ie red top orange bottom and orange top red bottom) this is what I did for the one for my mice as there was only masculine colour combinations such as blue and yellow and green and yellow and the assistant kindly helped me make up an all yellow one.
I must admit I was a bit concerned with how easily the two pieces came apart in the carrier bag as I took them home. But once they are in situ they are very strong and sturdy and even with my mice repeatedly climbing in and out to go fetch bits of food and bedding to make a nest, it has never come apart. The Sputnik can be used two ways, as pictured it can be hung from the bars at the top of the cage, at the bottom of the three legs there are grooves which slot over the bars. This way is very sturdy as one of the grooves goes the opposite way to the other two so it cannot just slip off if knocked. The other way to use it is as a house/ nest on the ground by turning it the other way up and using the leg as ..well ..legs. The legs are far enough apart that it is very stable and makes it difficult to tip, although with the XL size for larger pets a determined fat rat back could probably manage it, however it weighs very little so posses little danger to your pets if it did happen to fall on them.
Using the Sputnik on the ground would be best for other pets say a hamster who would be likely to be injured if it were to fall whereas rats and mice prefer to be up high and are excellent climbers so greatly enjoy the vantage point that a Sputnik hanging from the top of a cage provides. I have heard of people using Sputniks for a wide variety of small animals including rats, ferrets, degus (XL size) mice, hamsters, gerbils (normal size). As with all pet products you must exercise a certain amount of caution and judgement, what may be suitable for my pet may not be suitable for yours, if for example you have an avid chewer plastic houses are not only a waste of money, they are also potentially dangerous if ingested.
I really love my Sputnik, I think it looks wonderful in the mice cage, very modern if a little futuristic, but I never did end up buying one for my rats. Being plastic makes it very easy to thoroughly clean and disinfect allowing me to use it for my mice and then when it was rotated out let my rats try it out without worry of cross contamination (germs in general and respiratory infections in particular can be easily spread from one species to another). My rats were only babies at the time so could fit into it ok, but were entirely non-plus about it and much prefer their homemade hammocks. My mice on the other hand adore it, although I have noticed now the weather is colder they tend to use it less and opt for the warmer hay bird nest instead. Something worth bearing in mind if you have hairless rats/mice who like to be snugly or have pets who prefer smaller enclosed spaces to feel more secure.
Price wise it's about standard for a pet house with the small size coming in at around £3 and the XL costing around £5 although sometimes they do crop up at car boot sales and on places like gumtree secondhand.
To sum up, a good buy, reasonably priced and somewhat multi-functional, but it wont be to every pets liking hence only 4 stars instead of 5!
I have had the large sputnik (the same one shown in the picture) for two or more years now.
I have three big chunky full grown male rats squish into it, and they seem to love it!
My rats have the option of 4 different places to sleep, a large plastic "cave like" house on the ground floor of the cage, two different hanging hammocks, and their sputnik right up high on the ceiling of the cage. Nine times out of ten the sputnik is the one they choose!
It hangs from the roof of a cage by three plastic hooks. It is easy to attach and detach, and being plastic, it is very easy to clean.
I thought my rats may chew it, and they have, a little. But in over two years, there is little more than a few nibble marks around the edges, and on the whole it still looks great.
Rats love being up high, and this is a great addition or alternative to a hammock, and much easier to clean.
It would also be suitable for other rodents I imagine, and comes in various different sizes. Mice and Degu's would probably enjoy them, but they are probably a bit difficult to get in to for an "acrobatically challenged" hamster!!!
I bought the Sputnik after my rats kept destroying fabric hammocks in record time and I realised that my finances couldn't keep up so they'd need something a bit more durable! I bought it online for £5.50 from a shop called Acrorats which is dedicated to products for rats and rat owners.
The Sputnik is available in two sizes, standard and XL, the one in the image on this page is the XL. I have both sizes. The design is exactly the same for both sizes the only difference being the dimensions. The Sputnik is made of two pieces of moulded plastic which slot together easily to form a roughly spherical house for the rats with three entrance/exit holes. The Sputnik can be hooked onto the bars of your cage to hang from the top or placed on its 3 feet on the base of the cage. My rats seem to prefer them higher up.
The standard size will fit one female rat inside, or two if they don't mind a really tight squeeze. They're good for use with a big group as sometimes on of your ratties will want a little bit of alone time, or will be being harassed to play and want to get away and hide. The XL fits my four female rats in all at once. It looks a bit squashed to me but they seem happy enough in there! Male rats tend to be slightly bigger so maybe less would fit in each.
The sputnik is incredibly easy to put together, the two pieces just slot together easily and stay securely fastened. The hooks for attaching to the bars on the cage roof are great and very secure on the XL but with the standard size I've had a couple of issues where one hook has slipped and the sputnik is left dangling by two hooks. You'll need to keep an eye on them so they don't fall with your rats inside!
The sputnik is brilliantly easy to clean, just water and a disinfectant spray and it takes all of 30 seconds. To me this is a massive improvement on fabric hammocks, which start to smell quite soon and need to be put in the washing machine regularly.
I can't recommend this product highly enough for rat owners. Mine absolutely love it, they spend more time huddled up in the XL than anywhere else, they love to drag their bedding in and arrange it just how they like it! Its great value for money and should last years I would have thought. Mine haven't even chewed it and they are serious chewers, having gnawed there way out of their first cage within days!