Hamsters are rodents kept at home as pets. They are friendly animals thus suitable for school-going children. Apart from that, they are interactive and fun to be with.
Like Hamsters, Guinea pigs are also tiny and gentle rodents, ideal for companionship and require special care. This similarity is what makes them fit in the same cage.
So, are guinea pig cages good for a hamster?
Yes, they are perfect for hamsters to stay in. Since guinea pigs are larger their cages are often more spacious than hamster cages. This is positive since hamsters are active animals who thrives in a larger habitat.
To view some suitable cages for hamsters take a look here
Are Wire Cages Bad for Hamsters?
Be careful with choosing wire cages for your hamster. They are not recommended if the wire is coated with toxic chemicals.
Hamsters are experts at chewing and can gnaw off pieces from the coating on the wire cages. They may ingest it and become sick as a result.
There should always be a substrate to prevent the hamster from walking on the wires. The spacing should be at least ½ inch apart or even less. The detachable base should be made of solid material such as plastic.
The benefit of the wire cage is that you can easily hang toys or add levels. They can explore these areas and you can even hang their water bottles as well.
Just make sure there isn’t any toxic coating on the wires and don’t allow them to develop conditions like bumblefoot when walking or wire.
Can a Guinea Pig and a Hamster Be in the Same Cage?
No way. Please do not consider this. We try not to judge the decisions made by responsible or inquisitive pocket pet caregivers, but we are very against this idea of keeping a guinea pig and a hamster together.
First of all, consider these facts:
- Guinea pigs are social while hamsters are more solitary.
- Guinea pigs are bigger and heavier.
- A 1 to 10 oz animal with a 1.5-2.6 lbs animals of another species is a disaster in the making.
- Guinea pigs require larger habitats.
- Hamsters are easily threatened and will retreat in hiding when they perceive danger.
Never should a guinea pig and a hamster live together. The facts above are self explanatory.
We should reiterate once again that a social animal and a solitary animal would never work. They may give up eating, retreat or worst case scenarios of injury or death can result.
If you would like to read more about hamsters and guinea pigs getting along, this article we prepared is very helpful.
What Enclosure Is Best for a Hamster?
In my experience, I find that wire cages work better for hamsters. They don’t need enclosures as large as chinchillas or guinea pigs do, but they need enrichment.
A wire cage works better than a glass tank for example, the main reason is that you can manipulate the space better.
- Hang toys
- Place water bottles
- Create multi-levels
- Change up the environment easier
- Allow for more air flow
- Clean easily
Hamsters love digging so the substrate could be a deep plastic tray. The tops and sides should be wired. Just make sure the wire is not coated with toxic plastics or chemicals because these little rodents are excellent at chewing the coating off.
A wire cage is more sanitary and weekly cleaning is highly recommended. Sensitive hamsters need a hygienic space to live an enriched life in cages with plenty to do and explore.
Difference Between Hamster and Guinea Pig Cage
The most obvious difference that is glaringly obvious is that a 1.5-2.6 pound guinea pig is going to need a much larger cage than a hamster weighing in a 1-10 ounces. Hamsters enjoy wheels much more and exploring multi-levels.
The added weight of a guinea pig makes it more dangerous to climb up higher levels and risk damaging their limbs in accidental falls. Hamsters are more nimble and would benefit from slides, tubes and skinny tunnels.
While guinea pigs can also enjoy these objects, they will need them designed for their much larger frames.
You cannot interchange the obstacles or manipulatives you are using for hamsters and guinea pigs. They are very different and unique to their own species. Guinea pigs need more space outside of the cage such as play pens or safe spaces to explore.
A hamster can spend their entire life in a fun cage that is easy to change around, add, adapt and rearrange without the need to go out unless you believe it’s safe to do so.
Can You Keep 2 Hamsters in the Same Cage?
It is going to be challenging to pair up hamsters. The fact remains that hamsters are territorial and solitary. They want their own privacy and you will have to try to create unique spaces to make sure they feel like they can get away from each other.
The space will need some design implementations. They want their own resources such as toys, bowls and bottles. They will not share. Hamsters enjoy living in isolation in the wild as well. Two hamsters together may bully each other.
One may prove dominance over the other. This may lead to the inferior hamster retreating or hiding most of the day and night. They may never come out or feel intense stress to do so. The equal space that you may create for them to have their own space could be taken over by the more dominant hamster.
Keep them in separate cages if you are wishing to care for multiple hamsters at the same time. Otherwise, you should consider other pocket pets such as chinchillas or guinea pigs who would enjoy being in pairs.
Do Hamsters Need Big Cages?
Since hamsters are very active and love to explore, there really is no limit on the size of cage you can get for them. The bigger the better!
Remember that Syrian hamsters are larger than dwarf hamsters and would require more space. You should create levels and exploration tubes, tunnels or slides as well.
The cage should be a minimum of 24×12 inches. The height needs to be 12 inches tall but we recommend going for more than that so you can build levels. The cage floor is 600 square inches and would allow for your hamster to remain active and satisfied.
A hamster that feels cramped may lead to depression, anxiety or a drop in their immune system that can open themselves up for illnesses. Hamsters in small cage may often climb cages and spend more time biting the wired walls.
Why Should You Keep Hamsters in Guinea Pig Cages?
Hamsters are known as cheerful and active animals. They need a fitting area to roam around. Since there are different designs of Guinea pig cages, some are huge and spacious.
Hamsters are animals that love to run and play, but before selecting an enclosure, ensure that it is big enough to accommodate the hamster’s activities.
Guinea pig cages have tools for playing, such as chew toys. The hamster is known to be awake during the night and sleep during the day. Night time is when they love to perform their numerous activities like chewing on toys.
The cages are well ventilated to allow a clean supply of air. What needs to be added is a wire mesh to cover the whole cage for a conducive environment to perform activities.
When hamsters are awake, they spend most of their time grooming or investigating around. Guinea pig cages have a solid floor that is made with materials that can’t harm the rodent.
Since hamsters love to move around, the concrete floor assists them safeguard their feet from any harm and facilitate easy movement from one point to another.
Guinea pig cages are easy to clean and comfortable to stay. Since hamsters are messy animals, they require a cage designed in a way that is easy to clean.
Most guinea pig cages are made with wire mesh and a solid floor like wood or plastic. These are easy to clean, thus a suitable environment for the rodents.
Is it Cruel to Keep Hamsters in a Cage?
Keeping hamsters in a cage is not bad as there are several animals kept in captivity. The most important thing is that their daily needs are met.
Such requirements include adequate space, good ventilation, wheels, food, chewing’s toys and a solid floor, among others. After all, you want the best for your hamster, right?
Hamsters have no problem staying in cages as long as adequate space is provided to move around.
On the other hand, a hamster can get bored just like human beings. When placed in a sparse set up with inadequate resources, they tend to become inactive and depressed.
As mentioned earlier, hamsters are active animals that like to move freely. Therefore, it is essential to find a good guinea pig cage, one that is big enough and has adequate space to accommodate your hamsters so that they can become active naturally.
Okay, now that you know it is not a crime to keep hamsters in the cages, let’s move into the types of guinea pig cages.
Types of Guinea Pig Cages
There are several types of guinea pig cages on the market. If you plan to convert your guinea pig cages to hamsters, here is a list to assist you choose the best.
1. Woody Wabbits Cavy Cage
This cage is designed to provide space for a single pet. It is suitable for a hamster as it is built with strong galvanized wire to prevent the rodent’s escape. Moreover, it is made with a plastic pan which you can replace in case of faultiness.
The most exciting part about it is that it is easy to clean. What you need to do is to empty the dirty bedding and wipe the pan.
2. Homemade Guinea Pig Cage
If you are searching for an affordable enclosure, make a homemade guinea pig cage. This cage will provide a spacious habitat for your hamster. Examples of such sections are; cube kits and coroplast and storage tub habitats.
- Cube Kits and Coroplast
Also known as Coro and Cube cage, they consist of metal and corrugated plastic storage cube kits. On top of that, they are suitable for creating a spacious room for your little pet.
The most important thing about this cage is that you can build it independently without getting any professional assistance. Since there is no lid to cover the top surface, you can get a wire mesh to cover for security and ventilation.
To make the cage, cut a piece of corrugated plastic, then fold to create a liner. Connect the liner with wire panels to create the desired shape.
- Storage Tub Habitats
Plastic storage is not only used for keeping food or other stuff. They have other uses like constructing a home for a guinea pig (or hamster).
Making the tub is very easy. Just take a newspaper and place it in the tub to create comfortable bedding. The next thing to do is put a wire mesh in place of the lid so that air can move freely.
After the set-up, put food, water and playing toys in a sunlight accessible location. Well, this is a perfect and simple habitat for hamsters, too, since it has almost all the features needed.
3. Ware Living Room Series Cage
This cage is suitable to keep hamsters since it is made with steel and has a lock to prevent hamsters from escaping. Furthermore, it has a deeper tray to keep the bedding away from the floor.
In addition to the tray, there’s a ramp leading the way up to the feeding area. Cleaning the cage is an easy task since you only have to remove your pet and slide the tray to remove dirt. You can learn more about the cage over at Amazon here.
4. Prevue Hendryx Jumbo Small Animal Cage
This cage has a lot of features similar to a Ware Cage. The better part is the availability of space. The grill floor is not good for hamsters since it can hurt their feet.
For better results, you can replace the grill floor with more comfortable material. You can learn more about this cage over at Amazon here.
With all that in mind, it’s evident that you have an idea of how a guinea pig cage can be converted for hamsters. Now that you have adequate information let’s look at the flooring tips.
Tips for Preserving Floor Space
1. Water Bottle
Using a Water bottle is much better than placing it in a bowl. Additionally, it will also maintain the hygiene of the cage. Unlike a water bowl that might soak the floor from consistent fouling, bottled water will prevent soaking since water is taken through the tubes.
2. Hanging Bee Feeder
A hanging bee feeder is much better than placing feeding bowls on the floor. A hanging feeder’s good thing is that it will allow food to drop from the top to the dish instead of feeding directly from the bowl. On top of that, the feeder will save up space and not allow too much dirt on the floor.
3. The Right Wheel
Hamsters are known for sleeping a lot, but they play as much as they can when awake. Among the things that keep them busy is a wheel. Getting the right wheel size will not only create natural fun but will also save space. On the other hand, getting a wheel that does not match your hamster’s size will create a mess.
4. Ropes and Ladders
Another tip for saving floor space is to get either a ladder or a rope. The two will facilitate easy movement and space since they will occupy less area.
5. Hanging Toys
Toys play a very integral part in the life of Hamsters. You can get chewable kid’s toys with a mixture of colours to entice them. Moreover, you can hang them to save floor space.
Hamsters are great animals because they are friendly and active. However, they need a comfortable place to stay and explore their surroundings. But this can only happen if they get a comfortable habitat.
Since guinea pig cages are large and spacious, you can easily convert them into a hamster’s space without compromising anything.
This post has outlined what you need to know about converting guinea pig cages to hamsters. If you are planning to do so, follow the tips provided above.