How Barred Cages Can Still Be Beneficial

In the hamster community many people have came across gate keeping of barred cages, in this blog we hope to raise some points on how barred cages can be good.


With the current study of hamsters done by The Veterinary Association for Animal Welfare (TVT) which can be seen on our hamster cage page, it is recommended that a hamster should have 100cm x 50cm (775 square inches) of unbroken floor space (no levels/ attachments). As the base on bar cages can taper in, the very bottom of the base may not measure exactly 100cm x 50cm but the top of the base may be nearer to that, so when purchasing a cage with bars you want to aim to get as close to this size as possible, or larger.


Depending on the species and size of hamster, a few of the bar cages on the market that are recommended and considered acceptable are Savic Plaza, Barney Cage, Alexander and Mamble 100.


Adding Enrichment to A Wired Cage


A hamster needs to have a lot of enrichment in their cage and one of the most important ones is bedding depth. A hamster could start to burrow in at least 6 inches of bedding but a section of 10 inches (25cm) is much more suitable. This minimum is achievable with a large wired cage, but to get more you will need to get creative!


You could use grass mats to tie onto the bars, perspex or even use cardboard on the sides. By doing this, it can help prevent bedding falling out through the bars.


Some people will use platforms to put their wheel on top of so the hamster can have enough bedding throughout their cage, others buy wheels that can move up and down for example the Getzoo, Nightangel and Hopes healthy treats wheel to achieve this goal.


Examples of how to add more bedding to barred cages by Cosmic Hamsters.






Examples of Cages Using Added Perspex


Savic plaza cage with sprays

Savic Plaza Setup Hannah Carr

Savic Plaza with Perspex replacing bars Emma Lawson

Savic Plaza with Perspex replacing bars Emma Lawson

Savic Plaza Cage with Perspex sides added

Savic Plaza Cage with Perspex sides added Zack Tobias Mackay



This video shows hamster owner Suzi setting up her hamster Leela’s Savic plaza


We do understand that there is always going to be good and bad points to barred cages or tanks, here are the good points of a cage:

  • More ventilation
  • Easy to clean
  • Easy to move
  • Easy to store away
  • Front access


Barred Cages can Help People with Disabilities


Barred cages can be useful for many people in the hamster community for example, people with disabilities. Also barred cages are used in many rescues across the world as rescues will have many hamsters in their care and need to be able to clean the cages between hamsters and this will possibly need to be done quickly, depending on when one hamster goes out and one hamster comes into the rescue. Also, they may need to put cages on shelving units and possibly move the cages about within the rescue, barred cages make this easier to do.



Why Barred Cages Can Work For Hamster Owners With Disabilities or Chronic Illnesses


  • They are not as heavy as tanks or wooden cages so can be easier to move/assemble (also applies if you live on your own).
  • The barred part detaches from the base so again this is lighter than a tank or wooden type cage, so makes it easier to manoeuvre the top and bottom parts separately if needed.
  •  No tools necessary to put together or make a lid like on a tank cage, which can be very hard for those with lack of energy, strength or mobility. Remember, not everyone has someone that can help them in DIY projects.
  • Most barred cages have front door access rather than from the top, which makes it easier for those that cannot stand or stand for long.
  • If you place the cage on a coffee table or something similar and you have to sit or in a wheelchair the front door will probably be at the right height for you to make it easier to interact with the hamster or when it comes to topping up food, swapping water or cleaning the cage out.


Examples of Barred Cages that are 100cm+ 


(Please Note: The wheel sold with these cages is too small and will need to be upgraded.)


Blue Cross Hamster wheel sizes are:

  • Syrian: 27-32 cm
  • Campbell’s dwarf: 22-25 cm
  • Winter white: 22-25 cm
  • Roborovski: 20-22 cm
  • Chinese dwarf: 25-27 cm

More info about hamster wheels can be seen on this page.


Savic Plaza (Sizes: 100cm & 120cm)

Savic Plaza hamster Cage

Barney Cage


Barney hamster cage

Alexander Cage

Alexander hamster cage

Mamble 100


Mamble 100 hamster cage


Please make sure if you are using it for a dwarf/robo that the bar spacing is around 7mm if the bar space is too big there is a big chance of the hamster escaping and or hurting themselves.


Blog by Tiffany and Cosmic Hamsters