If you’ve recently decided to get a hamster, you’ve made a great choice for a cute little addition to your home. Setting up your hamster’s cage correctly will play a large role in your pet’s health and happiness. While taking care of a hamster is fairly simple, you want to be sure to put little Hammie’s home together properly. Read on for some tips from your North Phoenix vet on how to set up your hamster’s cage.

Selecting a Cage

There are several different types of cages that are suitable for little Hammie. Wire cages are very popular. Modular cages are also a good choice. You can even make your own out of a plastic storage bin. Just make sure that at least one side of the cage is made of mesh or wire, as the fumes will be too strong in a cage that is completely enclosed. Plan on about three square feet for a Syrian hamster, which is the most popular type. Smaller breeds can make do with a bit less space.

Choosing a Substrate

After you’ve picked out your furball’s new home, you’ll need to add substrate. Wood pellets, kitty litter, paper products, and shavings are all suitable options. Avoid substrates made from pine or cedar, as well as clumping kitty litter, as these can be toxic to small animals. Hammie will also need some nesting material. Shredded, unscented toilet tissue, paper towels, or tissue paper are all good choices.

Hammie’s Home

Your little furball will need a hidey-hole, so he has a place to retreat to for some peace and quiet. Pet stores have lots of adorable options for little homes, from igloos to little log cabins. You can also make your own out of a plant pot, pottery, or even a cardboard box!


Hammie will need lots of toys, both for chewing and playtime. Exercise wheels and runabouts are very popular forms of hamster entertainment. Just don’t get a wire wheel, as these can hurt your little pet’s feet.


Location, location, location, the old real estate adage, applies to pocket pets too! Don’t put little Hammie’s cage in direct sunlight, or in a drafty area. His little ears are sensitive, so he won’t enjoy being too close to a TV or stereo either.

Please contact us, your North Phoenix vet, for all your pet care needs!