Welcome to Dashing Hamsters. I created this website back in 2005, initially to have a place to share my love of hamsters. Throughout the years I have come across a lot of information that just often doesn't match up. Care standards and information are outdated, and these little creatures are misunderstood by many. So I decided to make this website as more than just a hamster lover's website, but a hamster website for modern owners who are looking for up to date advice on how to care for and understand their beloved hamsters. On DH you can learn about hamsters, see some cute pictures and read through a hamster filled blog.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

German Style Cages

     Have you been hearing about 'German style cages' lately? Recently there's been what can only be called an invasion of information for German websites, owners and studies. All over the world,  informed owners are looking at this information and infusing it into their own knowledge. So what are these 'German style cages' though?

     In German speaking countries the hamsters are living the high life. Knowledge about hamsters and the most suitable home for them live in is way ahead of our own. Thanks to some kind people, some studies that were previously only available to anyone that could read German, are now being translated for those of us that speak English. Basically it has been found that hamsters need big cages. And not just big cages but humongous cages, especially for those that think a cage with 360 square inches of floorspace is too big. Yes they have found that hamsters need at least one square metre of floorspace. Yes you read that right. When you really watch your hamsters playing around, exploring, running, digging, hoarding and just being hamsters you can see that such space would not go to waste.

     That's not all that they have found out. They also found that bedding depth, stimulation in the cage and access to a large enough wheel is just as important as a large enough cage. Here are some links for some more direct from the source reading:
Scientific facts about hamster homes
A pet should be kept better than in a lab
Why Have a Natural Hamster Cage?
The Subterranean House
Is Climbing Important?
Bedding Depth and Hamsters

     I don't have any pictures but why not check out this blog so you can get an idea of what it is that I'm talking about: Natural Hamster Cages. It seems that they still consider the minimum cage size is about half a square metre of floorspace.

     So what does that mean? It means that there is proof that hamster need large cages, scientific proof. Will everyone follow this right away? No I don't think so. Not when it is hard enough to convince people that hamsters need even 360 square inches of floorspace. I think that 360 square inches is still a fair, though rather bare minimum. However as animal lovers, hamster owners should strive for a far better and more stimulating cage then the bare minimum. Overtime the bare minimum will get bigger, it always does but until people can grasp that every animals deserves the best we sometimes need to settle for a smaller set up. So what I'm saying is: I still think that 360 square inches is big enough for a hamster but that a hamster lover should be striving to get a much larger and more stimulating cage then that. These studies are still only reaching our attention but it is up to us as modern and informed animal lovers to provide the best for these little creatures.

     It should also be mentioned that in Germany and surrounding countries, plastic cages and supplies are looked down upon. They feel that these supplies are too dangerous as the plastic poses a risk if it is chewed and swallowed. As long as you pay attention to your hamsters cage and supplies and remove any damaged supplies then this shouldn't be a problem. They like their cages to be as natural as possible but that doesn't mean that you can't use plastic if you want a large 'German style' cage.


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