While I was building my relationship with Beanie I did notice a few things about her and her cage. Beanie’s first cage was the, ‘Ware Manufacturing Chew Proof 4-Story Cage For Hamster,’ and about five weeks after getting Beanie she moved out of it for multiple reasons.
I’d found that cage second hand on a buy and sell website and it came with many other items. I honestly am very glad I got that setup, I got about $100 worth of supplies for only $40, and I’d probably not have gotten a hamster for a long time if I hadn’t bought those supplies, but I did throw out or stop using most of the items eventually.
Beanie started bar-chewing the first week I had her. Bar-chewing is a sign of stress and boredom, and it’s also harmful to rodent’s teeth. It really bothered me, so I put some tape over the bars where she chewed, and that solved most of the chewing.
Beanie’s Reaction To Her Cage
When Beanie came out each night for Playpen Bonding time she would run around her massive playpen for around an hour, then I’d need to go to bed, and therefore have to put her back in her cage. When she saw her cage looming ahead as I approached it she would climb up my arms and try to jump away, and I felt so bad.
Upgrades, And More Upgrades
Shortly after that I lined up two of the levels and added a board across them so the second cage level was a solid surface, where I had her 8 inch wheel and a takeout box she slept in for weeks. RIP Takeout Box, 2019-2019.
She was happier for about a week, then I decided she needed another upgrade, soon. I used to have fish, and their tank was just sitting around, so I decided it would be a perfect fix for the moment. I spent the day sterilizing, polishing, moving and setting up the cage.
The tank was about 410 square inches. Less than the requirement, but it was an improvement. That night Beanie moved in, and she was much happier! She ran around, dug in the substrate, explored every nook and cranny. She was almost too big for her 8 inch wheel by now, and her 12 inch was coming in the mail that week. When I really think about it her 12 inch wouldn’t have fit in the old cage anyway.
The Final Upgrade
Even after the tank upgrade I was not happy. Beanie apparently was, but I wanted an appropriately sized cage. I wanted a bincage. The only issue was I couldn’t find any suitable bins. They were all too low, solid sided, small, or bad quality.
I had almost given up the search for a bin cage when a friend texted me, “Are you still looking for a bin?”
“I found a 200 quart Sterilite bin at Walmart.”
WHAT?! I needed it.
“What are the dimensions? Square inches? Price? Stability?”
It turned out the bin calculated to 690ish square inches, it was around 20 inches high, so the 12 inch wheel would fit well, it was clear with a tan lid, and looked very appealing, and it was $35. And that bin was going to be mine.
The evening the friend dropped off the bin Beanie moved in, sometime in late March, early April of 2019. I got some help to tablesaw a hole in the lid, zip tied some mesh on. I cleaned it, made a quick setup with Beanie’s things and got her in that night.
As soon as Beanie got inside she was so excited. She was bathing in substrate, exploring, just… so happy! I was overjoyed. The bin is much wider than the tank, which was 11 inches wide, and Beanie loves the width.
The bin is by far my favorite cage for many reasons.
- Easy cleaning
- Beanie loves it
- Easy to DIY
- Size for price
I’m so thankful my friend checked the bin section and found this bin! I love it so much and highly recommend it to anyone, with the exception of Gerbil owners, because Gerbils are known to totally destroy anything plastic. And that’s my experience with upgrading cages, Beanie’s reactions, and bar-chewing. I hope this was entertaining and helpful if anyone is contemplating whether to upgrade or not.
If you’re interested in more hamster-related content be sure to like this post and follow the blog, and I’ll be back on Tuesday with more small pet care, DIYs, recipes, cage setups, stories and more, have a ham-tastic day!
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