Blue Cross recommend 100cm x 50cm Minimum Cage Size for ALL species of hamsters. This is a big breakthrough for the hamster loving community as Blue Cross are the first major charity to recommend 100cm x 50cm, the same as TVT veterinary research from Germany.
Blue Cross say “The ideal home for a hamster is housing no smaller than 100cm x 50cm floor space, by 50cm tall. The bigger the better as hamsters love to explore and roam.”
We are also pleased to see Blue Cross say that “Tanks or aquariums are ideal as they allow for deep bedding” and that “Hamsters need to burrow, so a minimum of 20cm of suitable ‘digging’ bedding should be provided to allow them to create their own tunnels and nests.” This is something that can not be achieved in a small cage with a shallow base. Providing “a suitable environment” and “to exhibit normal behavior patterns” are legal requirements of The Animal Welfare Act and it’s about time that the pet shops acknowledge this and stop selling tiny cages so that their customers are not being misled into breaking The Animal Welfare Act.
Previously the Blue Cross recommended a minimum 80cm x 50cm for ALL species of hamster and the public would often refer to this since losing the cage size recommendation from The RSPCA. Before teaming up with Pets at Home the RSPCA used to recommend 80cm x 50cm but this specific guidance was removed from their website and they now just say “buy as large a cage as you can“, that advice isn’t much help and it is advice that the hamster community don’t like to see as it also plays into the hands of the pet shops not having specific measurements to follow.
Other organisations recommend different cage sizes for different species of hamsters. Similar to Blue Cross at HamsterWelfare.com we don’t discriminate according to a hamsters size and we also recommend 100cm x 50cm for ALL species on our hamster cage page.
Even though a dwarf hamster has a smaller body size they still need a large home. When looking around their surroundings a dwarf hamster will still have the same perception of space as a Syrian hamster, a bit like a shorter human has the same perception of space as someone who is taller.
Blue Cross say “Most wood shavings or sawdust should be avoided as these can be bad for your hamster’s respiratory system and can become very smelly when urinated on (although aspen shavings can be used)”
Blue cross say “Hamster exercise balls must not be used as your hamster can quickly become exhausted and won’t be able to escape. They do not allow good ventilation and the hamster cannot access their food, water or a safe hiding place while they’re in them. This can make it a very stressful experience.
Instead, we recommend giving them a safe, secure place to have a run around (like a hamster playpen) for when you want to let your hamster outside of their cage.”
The RSPCA say similar advice and we report this on our hamster ball page.
Blue Cross have provided a warning against small hamster wheels. They Say “Important – Some cages are sold with wheels included but these are not always suitable. A hamster should be able to use an exercise wheel without curving their spine or raising their head, as this can cause back problems.” They provide further guidance about small wheels that we have reported on in this news article.
The Blue Cross hamster page can be seen here.
Since seeing that Blue Cross have increased their minimum hamster cage size on Saturday 1st April 2023 the public were celebrating across social media, here are some of the posts that we spotted: