Woodgreen Recommend 100cm x 50cm Hamster Cage Size

Woodgreen animal charity logoWoodgreen recommends 100cm x 50cm Minimum Cage Size for All Species of hamsters. For hamster guidance, 3 out of the 4 major animal charities in The UK recommend this minimum, with both Blue Cross and PDSA also saying that a hamster cage should be at least 100cm x 50cm for All species of hamsters.


For Woodgreen this is an upgrade from their old advice that used to suggest a minimum of 80cm, its great to see these major charities align their opinions with each other to provide more clarity to the public of what minimum size hamster cage you should use.


Even though hamsters are small they actually require a lot of space. They can move around the cage very quickly and they need the space to allow for all their enrichment needs. With essential needs such as a Large Wheel, Hides, Sand Bath, Deep Bedding for Burrowing it is almost impossible to provide all the enrichment required in a cage which is smaller.


The updated hamster advice from Woodgreen can be seen here.



Woodgreen Give Specific Wheel Size Measurements


We are also pleased to see that Woodgreen have provided Specific Wheel Size Measurements they say:


“A Syrian hamster needs a wheel that’s at least 28cm in diameter and a Dwarf hamster needs a wheel that’s at least 21cm in diameter. This is so their spine isn’t arched the wrong way as they run which can be painful and lead to joint problems. The wheel needs to be made from solid plastic and not mesh.”



Woodgreen Bedding Depth Recommendation for Hamsters


You need to provide your hamster with the ability to burrow, they feel happiest and most secure when they are living underground. Small cages don’t allow for a keeper to provide a deep enough layer of substrate for a hamster to even start to burrow. Sadly, this inherent requirement for a hamster to burrow has been a largely kept secret by the shops who sell small cages and most pet stores have kept this advice out of their in store care guides!


Wood Green say:


“Deep substrate for them to dig deep as they would in the wild. The deeper the better, but aim for at least 6 inches for Dwarf species and 8 inches for Syrians”



Warning Against Cotton Wool Type of Bedding


For Substrate, different types of paper based bedding is suggested and warning is given form Woodgreen saying:


“Please avoid the cotton wool type, as this can be dangerous to your hamster”


The PDSA give the most specific advice regarding this type of dangerous bedding and they say:


“Fluffy beddings – such as cotton wool, kapok, and bamboo fluff, these are often marketed as safe for hamsters but can cause injuries by getting wrapped around their legs, and life-threatening gut blockages if ingested.”



Woodgreen Warn Against Sawdust


For years pet shops have suggested keepers to use sawdust but this is common misconception that it is suitable. Most major organisations advise against Sawdust and Woodgreen have said:


“Wood shavings or sawdust can be extremely harmful to your hamster’s skin and airway, and can give you an allergic reaction too!”



The RSPCA Removed Their Specific Cage Size Measurement


For hamsters, 3 out of the 4 major Animal Charities in The UK now provide a specific minimum hamster cage size requirement. The RSPCA used to suggest a minimum measurement but this was removed after teaming up with Pets at Home in 2012. It is unclear if the removal of this specific advice is directly associated with the Pets at Home RSPCA “Working Together” relationship. The RSPCA are unable to give a good reason as to why they can’t bring in a specific cage measurement like The PDSA, Blue Cross and Wood Green, instead they simply say “buy as large a cage as you can”. Without a specific measurement this ignores research from experts and leaves cage size open to interpretation from the customer who’s buying a cage. The lack of a minimum requirement from The RSPCA also allows Pets at Home who they work together with, to operate without restrictions. We report on this on our Hamster Cage Page. The RSPCA are also unable to suggest a deep Bedding Depth measurement and Wheel Size measurements.