How Much Does a Hamster Cage Cost?


Written by:  Howmuchisit.org Staff
Last Updated:  August 15, 2018

If you have a hamster, a cage is essential, unless you want to have it roam free around the home, which is highly unlikely (and advised against.)  This cage will have everything your hamster needs, from the comfortable bedding to an exercise wheel it can run one at night.

Hamster cage by Lyn Lomasi, on Flickr
Hamster cage” (CC BY 2.0) by  Lyn Lomasi

How much does a hamster cage cost?

On average, a hamster cage can cost anywhere from as little as $10 to $75+, depending on the features, the quality, material it’s made from and the brand.

At Petco, for example, hamster cages can cost $24 for a start kit to as much as $42 for a three level red cage made of plastic.

Some hamster owners build their own cages using 20-gallon totes.  This kind of setup could cost you about $40 for a complete setup.  You can also be creative with other materials. The IKEA Detolf hamster cage, which is known as the largest cage in the world, for instance, is actually a glass door furniture cabinet, but many have used it as a cage.  This cabinet retails for about $70.

A hamster traveling cage can cost $13 to $25.




Hamster cage overview

Most hamster cages can have little accessories attached to the cage such as a hamster wheel, a bed and even a cave where the hamster can hide and sleep.  While some cages will come as a one-piece set, some allow you to create a network of multiple cages by connecting tubes together.  The interchangeable cages allow your hamster to explore and prevent it from becoming bored.

Most cages will be made from a plastic or simple steel.  Some may even be made from wood, especially those that are homemade.  These cages can pop up off the base for easy cleaning.  Most of the bottoms will be made from a plastic.

What are the extra costs?

For additional obstacles, there are attachments sold separately that will allow you to create a larger cage setup.   For instance, tubes, which can cost $5 to $15 each, are a popular accessory purchased by most.  There are also accessory kits which can include everything such as the tubes, balls, and a wheel.  If you don’t want to spend money on the tubes, consider using toilet paper rolls or paper towel tubes.

An exercise ball provides the perfect never-ending amount of running for your hamster.  A good wheel can cost $4 to $10.  It’s best to have an exercise wheel that’s eight to 10 inches and one for every hamster in the cage.

Toys are highly recommended to keep the hamster entertained.  These toys can be purchased for a few dollars at a local pet store or via a DIY option.

Shavings for the bottom of the cage will be required so the hamster can burrow and have a softer ground to sleep on.  Hamster cage shredding can cost $2 to $5 per bag.

Other accessories will include the food dish and water bottle that attaches to the side of the cage.  Both of these items should cost less than $5 each.

The cage will need to be cleaned out almost daily to make sure the urine doesn’t produce ammonia.  A scrubber, soap and some water can usually do the trick.

While optional, some hamster owners will purchase bar chews to prevent their hamster from chewing on the metal or side of the cage.  You can also rub lemon juice along the bars to prevent them from biting as well.

Top hamster cages online

Top brands to consider:

Crittertrail

Habitrail

Hartz

Marchioro

Penn-Plax

Tips to know

The bigger the cage, the healthier it will be for your hamster, especially if you plan on keeping more than one in a cage.  Cages that are too small can lead to territorial issues or may lead to boredom, which can lead to your hamster biting the bars, harming their teeth.  Try to have at least 350 square inches of floor space.  The RSPCA, for instance, recommends a 29 ½ inch x 15 ¾ inch x 15 ¾ inch cage.

All hamster cages won’t be created equally.  The first thing you will want to pay close attention to is the bar spacing.  Since these creatures are small, they are able to slip through some small spaces, allowing them to escape.  Always purchase a cage that has a spacing less than a half inch, because anything wider than this can be a bit of a gamble.

The base of a cage should be solid, not made from a wire to allow the waste to fall through.  Cages with wire flooring will be tough on your hamster’s feet since they have a hard time walking properly on wires.  They also don’t pay attention to where they walk, allowing them to slip through these wires quite a bit, leading to some stressful situations.

Plastic tends to be the best material to purchase since you won’t have to worry it rusting like metal.  However, if you were to choose a metal cage, make sure it’s either PVC or powder coated to prevent the rust from happening.

While hamsters have no trouble climbing to the top of the cage, they often don’t know how to get back down.  Because of this, make sure you pay close attention to how your cage is laid out and try to minimize all of your vertical drops.

If purchasing a certain brand that allows you to connect other tubes, make sure you purchase the same brand in the future.  Many brands won’t be interchangeable with each one or may not be as snug with its connection, posing as a potential escape threat for your hamster.

Avoid placing your cate in the direct sunlight or an area prone to extreme heat.  The best place will be in a climate-controlled room with little to no sound.

How to build a hamster DIY cage

Pictures of hamster cages

A photo posted by Emily Price (@emily_p96) on

A photo posted by Isabelle and Ruby (@isabelle_ruby2016) on


A photo posted by @hammy_squidges on

How can I save money?

Purchasing used on eBay or Craiglist can often save you up to 50 percent.  If purchasing the hamster from someone else, they may throw in the cage as a whole package.

If just starting out, consider purchasing a starter kit with all the necessary kits to get started.


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