I’ve already had some hamsters and made a lot of mistakes. Harry is my fifth hamster, I had four other Russian dwarf hamsters before him. I am not a perfect hamster owner, I have had small cages and made mistakes, but I have learned from these mistakes. In this blog I want to look with you at my hamster past and what mistakes I have made and how I approach it differently now.
We go back to 2005 I got my first hamster, with cage and all. It was a Russian dwarf hamster called Boefje. He lived in my bedroom in a Crittertrail X Extreme Habitat. This was 40 x 25 x 45 centimeters. This was of course too small, but well I did not know any better.
The cage had a much too small running wheel on top of the cage. Boefje could go up via a spiral staircase. The running wheel rotates normally, but also on its own axis. Upstairs was also a special tray where Boefje could get to the side via a tube. I used this tray as his hideout, the tray could open at the top. That was not all, the cage also gave light in the dark.
Boefje was a very tame hamster and I often played with it. He often walked loose through my room where I had put all my cuddly toys to make a kind of trail, but Boefje also often escaped. He could open the door at the front of the cage himself. The house has been turned upside down many times, because Boefje had escaped and everyone had to help searching. Boefje was almost 2 years old.
After Boefje I didn’t have a hamster for a while. I went to high school and was busy with other things. In 2011 I bought my second hamster Elvis. I bought a Ferplast Combi 01 for this hamster. This cage was 40.5 x 29.5 x 22.5 centimeters. Slightly larger, but still too small. Later I expanded this cage with another Ferplast combi 01 and a Ferplast hamster gym through tubes.
When Elvis died after 2 years, I had the brilliant idea to take two Russian dwarf hamsters. After all, I still had two Ferplast Combi 01. I then made these bins separately from each other and mixed them with many tubes. So it looked like the cages were connected to each other, however they were not.
In July 2019 I bought Harry. As a cage I bought the Hamster cage Daisy. Still far from the ideal hamster residence. it was 43 x 28 x 38.5 centimeters I became more and more interested in Hamsterscaping and found out that the cage and running wheel I had were far too small for Harry. From everything I read online, I really wanted to buy a bigger cage for Harry where I could put in more ground cover and a bigger running wheel.
I saw the Inter-Zoo Hamster Cage Vision 58 in the pet store, which was 59 x 38 x 47 centimeters. I was very happy with this. I also immediately bought a 20 cm forest running wheel, sand bath, willow bridges and extra hideouts. Because the cage had a glass container at the bottom, I was able to put more than 18 centimeters of ground cover in the cage, so that Harry also had places where he could dig.
Although I was very happy that I could use all my creativity in hamster scaping and it had really become a hobby, in my opinion it was still not good enough. The ideal cage size for your dwarf hamster is 80 x 40 cm and this box was not. Then my boyfriend’s aquarium suddenly leaked and I took my chance! For a hamster, the fact that it is leaking made no difference. This was the ideal hamster stay! The aquarium was 100 x 40 cm in size. I was very happy and made beautiful setups in this enclosure. Harry was happy and lived in a nice big aquarium with a lot of ground cover and everything he could wish for.
Still I wanted more. I noticed that I had so many ideas about how I wanted to set up the enclosure, I just did not have enough space in the aquarium. After consultation with my boyfriend, we chose to replace the aquarium with an Ikea detolf. This is a display cabinet that you can use as a hamster tray. Check out my blog about my stay upgrade for more information. The Ikea detolf is 160 x 40 cm. It is a great container and I am very happy with it.
After all this we can say that I made a lot of mistakes as a hamster owner, but I learned from my mistakes and that I am the hamster owner that I am now. I want the best for my animals and want to give them the best!