Bar cages are what most people think of when the term "hamster cage" comes to mind. If you want a classic style that's customizable and needs no modifications, look no further.
There are some bar cages we recommend more than others, so consider this an offical ranking.
The Prevue 528 is an amazing option for hamster owners on a budget. It's a lovely and sturdy cage with a more grown-up feel to it over other barred cages. The platform is a nice touch as well and adds additional floor space. The bar spacing is the appropriate 1/2 inch or less.
The Prevue 528 offers about 600 square inches of floor space--super roomy and functional. It has plenty of headroom for a 12" wheel, making this cage great for Syrian hamsters. Most wheels easily attach to the bars, freeing up even more floor space because a stand is not needed.
The Prevue 528 is exceptionally sturdy. The top connects to the base with 6 strong, yet easy to remove, clips. The cage also offers both a large front and top door, giving you easy access to your hamster. However, note that the closing on these doors is not super secure. We do recommend a back-up clip.
The only downside of the cage is that it does not come with any necessary accessories. You will need to purchase a wheel, house, toys, dishes, and bottle separately. However, given the price difference between the Prevue and other barred cages, AND the fact that most of the accessories with those cages are junk, we think the Prevue more than makes up for it.
The Hamster Heaven is a fun choice for hamster familes that want the "hamster cage" look. Between the tubes, the "racetrack," and the fun colours, it's one of a kind!
The Hamster Heaven offers about 600 square inches of floor space, however, it can get crowed depending on the accessories you choose to keep in. It has plenty of headroom for a large wheel, making this cage great for Syrian hamsters. However, the platform may be unusable depending on your wheel, as space gets tight very quickly with all the accessories.
The Hamster Heaven is sturdy, but do be aware that the blue plastic is somewhat brittle, and often arrives broken from Amazon. The top connects to the base with 2 side clips. While they're extremely secure, they can be hard to get on and off; little hands will need help!
The cage offers a large front door, as well as a small top door if you skip the tubes/house. However, note that the closing on the main door is not super secure, and most escapes occur this way. If you get this cage, always close the door on the second bar!
There are a few downsides to this cage, other than the price. To start, you will not have great access to your hamster if you use all of the accessories. This is great for the hamster, as they love to hide, but can be hard for children. You will also need to replace the wheel as it's utter junk and too small for Syrian hamsters, so account for that expense. Finally, hamsters tend to pee in the top house--we don't know why, but it's almost universal. Hamsters!
The Hamster Heaven is available here.*
It looks a lot like the Prevue, but it's even BIGGER! Indeed, this is the largest bar cage we know of! It boasts floorspace of 700+ square inches, which is quite impressive. The bar spacing is 1/2" or less. The grey colour helps it blend into your home, but the colorful accessories bring back a pop of fun.
You will likely need to replace some of the accessories, however. The wheel is noisy and not large enough for Syrian hamsters.. The water bottle and food dish aren't great quality either, and we recommend replacing them.
The Mickey XL is a great cage for hamster owners that may want to try out other species in the future. This cage is identical to the Hamster Heaven, but with smaller bar spacing. This means it is suitable for mice and dwarf hamsters too!
It comes with a wire platform that we recommend taking out for Syrian hamsters. If you want to use it for other species in the future, you can simply cover it with a placemat. Instead, we recommend hanging lots of hammocks and baskets around the cage! This cage also has the appropriate bar spacing of 1/2" or less.
There is a large door on top, identical to the Heaven. However, there is no smaller door on top--but we find this really doesn't matter. Again, the corners do tend to arrived broken from Amazon, so inspect your cage immediately upon arrival.
And again, close the door on the second bar!
The main criticism of this cage is that the accessories will need to be replaced. Much like the Hamster Heaven, you are really buying this cage for the bare bones.
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