There's been a fair amount of drama on a facebook group I am a member of recently, with a couple of members complaining about "hate" they've got for their hamster cages. Their theory is that the manufacturers wouldn't produce bad cages, or a pet shop wouldn't sell bad cages, and they will not listen to reason, recommended cage size guidelines, or common sense.
|The Ferplast Laura, at a tiny 46x29 cm|
The people in question then argued that their hamsters had wheels, so didn't need a large cage. The wheels in question were of course the ones that came with the cage, and so were tiny six inch diameter ones. Now these wheels are fine for a Roborovski, or a smaller Campbells, Winter White or Chinese, but for a full grown Syrian they are not appropriate. To be comfortable while on the wheel and to avoid spinal issues and deformities, a hamster has to have a flat back while running on a wheel. For a Syrian this means a wheel must have a minimum of eight inches diameter, but a lot, especially here in the UK where we have some giant breeder hamsters*, need rat wheels of eleven or twelve inches diameter.
|The Savic Hamster Heaven, at 80x50 cm|
*when I say giant, I mean giant. The largest Syrian I know of weighs in at 317 grams, and a fellow hamster fanatic recently bred a litter who have all been dubbed "guinea hams" because of their size, with their mother being 300+ grams too. Compared to my Annie, who is 168 grams...