11 Best Hamster, Gerbil & Mouse Cages: Your Buyer’s Guide (2019)

small animal cages, hamster cages, gerbil cages

Giving your small animal a proper home is vital to maximizing both their health over the course of their precious, short lives and the enjoyment of having them as pets. Their enclosure forms the center point for your interaction with them as the primary place for feedings and entertainment. These so-called pocket pets spend most of their time in their cages and as a result, they must meet certain criteria. Our list covers options for mice, gerbils, and hamsters. They all have just slightly different needs, but there is some overlap when discussing cages of this size.

For a single mouse, the cage will need to be at least one cubic foot, increasing by half a cubic foot for each additional co-habitating mouse.Bar spacing for their cages needs to be one half inch or smaller for adults. For the most part, a cage that works for mice will also work for dwarf hamsters, though they tend to prefer a little more room. A Syrian hamster, which is the largest and most common variety, needs 360 square inches of floor space. Go here for more ideas on choosing a hamster cage.

Gerbils are voracious diggers and chewers, so something chew-proof with a deep bottom is necessary for them. The best enclosure is a glass aquarium, ten gallons are larger. They’re also expert escape artists, so you’ll have to watch any possible openings carefully.

Mice are also very active chewers and will find their way out of the tube-enhanced habitats that work so well for hamsters. You could use an aquarium with the topper we’ve included on the list for any of the three animals, but you’ll have to be diligent about weekly cleanings to avoid ammonia build up.

The mostly-plastic cages should really be reserved for hamsters, who can make the most of the tunnelling routes and are generally less likely to chew through and escape. Many hamster owners over the years have made happy homes using the plastic-based cages on our list. That said, with all chewing animals, care should be given to monitoring the condition of the pieces to avoid injury. It takes only one poorly sealed opening for a small rodent to escape and be lost forever. Research carefully and choose the cage that makes the most sense to you.

If you have a hamster, mouse, or gerbil, consider our list of the top eleven best small animal cages to give them a proper home.

What are the best hamster, gerbil, and mouse cages?

Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Available in three sizes and colors
  • Comes with ramp and wheel
  • Relatively deep pan to keep shavings in
Price: $26.15 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Chew-proof
  • Creates a very large habitat
  • Improves ventilation
Price: $44.93 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Unique design
  • Easy to assemble
  • Expandable with many optional extras
Price: $34.09 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Over 320 square inches of floor space
  • Chew-proof
  • Expandable with add-ons
Price: $67.92 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Many routes and explorable areas
  • Petting area
  • Expandable with add-ons
Price: $42.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
lixit hamster haven hamster cage Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Plenty of interesting accessories
  • Deep base keeps shavings in
  • Easy assembly
Price: $163.77 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Prevue Hendryx deluxe hamster cage gerbil cage Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Two included houses and platforms
  • Easy snap-off base
  • Included exercise wheel
Price: $39.88 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Removable grille and pull out tray
  • Available in four colors
  • Includes wheel and house
Price: $30.08 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Amazon Customer Reviews
  • About 620 square inches of floor space
  • Works for just about any small rodent
  • Easy to clean
Price: $131.69 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Over 640 square inches of floor space
  • High-sided base keeps shavings in
  • Good for Syrian hamsters
Price: $129.67 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Amazon Customer Reviews
  • All-metal, chew-proof construction
  • Doors lock safely
  • Four levels increase floor space
Price: $33.79 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Our Unbiased Reviews
  1. 1. Prevue Pet Products SP2005BL Hamster Haven

    Pros:
    • Available in three sizes and colors
    • Comes with ramp and wheel
    • Relatively deep pan to keep shavings in
    • Medium and large sizes have two access points
    Cons:
    • Wheel is small
    • Overall size may be better for mice or dwarf hamsters than Syrians
    • Door closure may need extra securing
    • Takes a little while to build

    This simple option provides everything a dwarf hamster needs in an enclosure. The medium and large sizes offer three levels to explore, with the top-most level featuring a hideout. The exercise wheel is included and could be moved to the second level, if desired. Depending on which base color you choose, the shelf will be a different contrasting colors.

    For the smallest size, colors include beige, blue, green, and orange, while medium and large aren’t available in beige at the time of this writing. The medium and large sizes offer two access points and all three have half inch bar spacing.

  2. 2. Ware Manufacturing Chew Proof High Rise Gerbil Cage

    Pros:
    • Excellent for gerbils
    • Chew-proof
    • Creates a very large habitat
    • Improves ventilation
    Cons:
    • Requires purchase of an aquarium
    • Ramp tends to shift
    • Wire shelves could be a dealbreaker
    • Some larger gaps especially determined or small creatures may figure out how to escape through

    Perhaps the best choice for gerbils, these aquarium toppers expand the living area and improve ventilation throughout the tank. The three levels offer space to explore, while the bottom tank portion gives gerbils plenty of room to dig. You will have to get the ten gallon tank separately, but once you have it, this setup should last a good, long time and is easy to clean.

    A food dish and water bottle are included in the price, too. You could also consider the Kaytee version of the tank topper, if you prefer.

  3. 3. Habitrail OVO Dwarf Hamster Habitat

    Pros:
    • Unique, attractive design
    • Easy to assemble
    • Expandable with many optional extras
    • Excellent for dwarf hamsters and mice
    Cons:
    • Small spaces make it difficult to refill food dishes
    • Some units ship with broken parts
    • Could be difficult to construct
    • Expansion kits are pricey

    Probably the gold standard for small rodent homes is the Habitrail system. Purpose-built for dwarf hamsters and mice, the focus here is on expandable exploration. The base kit comes with a main unit with a retractable lime green roof, a wheel, feeding dish, hideaway, water bottle, den, two eight-inch tubes, two elbows, four mini tees, three windows, and 12 lock connectors. That should be more than enough for one or two small hamsters or mice.

    However, there are lots of expansion opportunities, including the Club Trainer, Mini Maze, Tower and more. You could also opt for the more conventional Cristal Habitat and expand from there.

  4. 4. Ferplast Favola Gerbil Cage

    Pros:
    • Over 320 square inches of floor space on both levels
    • Chew-proof
    • Offers good space for digging
    • Expandable with add-ons
    Cons:
    • Pricey
    • Wire shelves could be a dealbreaker
    • Only one small access door
    • Bottom is textured, making cleaning a little trickier

    Taking cues from the tank topper above, this Ferplast design creates a safe two-level environment for just about any small rodent. Depending on your opinion, this may be just a little too small for Syrian hamsters, but reviews suggest that some can be perfectly happy in this cage. Nevertheless, it’s an excellent option for dwarf hamsters, mice, and gerbils, with the deep base providing room for digging activities and enough height to keep shavings in. The included wheel and house are definitely on the small side, so if you do try this with a Syrian, you may find yourself upgrading those.

    Like the Habitrail, this is apparently expandable, but at the time of this writing, the expansions don’t appear to be available on Amazon nor the manufacturer’s website. Still, this is a novel approach and certainly worth considering.

  5. 5. Kaytee CritterTrail 2-Level Hamster Habitat

    Pros:
    • Many routes and explorable areas
    • Six millimeter bar spacing for safety
    • Petting area
    • Expandable with add-ons
    Cons:
    • Cramped quarters in terms of actual floor space
    • Gerbils likely to escape
    • Bedding easily kicked out
    • Difficult to clean

    Before the Habitrail came along, the multi-colored Kaytee tube tunnel system was the de facto hamster cage. My brother had one for his Syrian hamsters 20 years ago, complete with various expansion sets. The most fun you could have with a pet as a kid was designing long tubes for your hamster to explore. That’s kind of necessary here, too, as the floor space of this cage is limited.

    It’s pretty common to link a few different core habitat enclosures together to give your furry companion plenty of room to be comfortable. The Loop-D-Loop Kit is popular, while you can connect something like the Mini One with a pack of Fun-nels.

    Another recommended add-on is the food dispenser which frees up valuable floor space in the cage. Otherwise, this is a multi-level cage with all you need to get started right away and the ability to expand later.

  6. 6. Lixit Animal Care Savic Hamster Heaven Metro Cage

    Pros:
    • Plenty of interesting accessories included
    • Deep base keeps shavings in
    • Easy assembly
    Cons:
    • Almost entirely made of plastic
    • Somewhat tricky to clean
    • May be too much plastic for some

    This large option would be a good choice for hamsters, but your other small rodents may get a kick out of it, too. What makes it unique is that a full complement of accessories are included: water bottle, exercise wheel, tubes, houses, food dishes, even a toilet. While some other options on this list are focused on providing basic housing, this offers a large space with varied surfaces to keep things interesting.

  7. 7. Prevue Hendryx Deluxe Hamster and Gerbil Cage

    Pros:
    • Two included houses and platforms
    • Easy snap-off base
    • Two color choices
    • Included exercise wheel
    Cons:
    • No expandability options
    • May require slight alteration to keep the platforms and houses situated
    • Some units arrive bent due to shipping

    If you want a simple cage with built-in hiding spots, this one could work for you. Included are a pair of ramps, a pair of platforms and a pair of houses. An exercise wheel is included to keep activity levels up. This cage is a good choice for a single Syrian hamster or a pair of smaller rodents. There are some complaints of hamsters nudging the platform up and getting stuck under it, but a slight modification can make this inexpensive and well-equipped cage work.

  8. 8. Prevue Pet Products Three Story Hamster/Gerbil Cage

    Pros:
    • Removable grille and pull out tray
    • Available in four colors
    • Three stories for exploration
    • Includes wheel and house
    Cons:
    • Wire shelves could be a dealbreaker
    • Relatively small floor space
    • May be better for mice than gerbils or hamsters
    • Doors need additional locks to keep secure

    This small-footprint cage makes up for that with vertical space. Measuring 22 inches high, this cage offers a lot of exploring on three floors. Since the square inches are limited on each floor, this might not make the best choice for hamsters, but mice should enjoy climbing all over. There are four colors to choose from including mint green, yellow, lilac, and light blue.

  9. 9. Lixit Animal Care Savic Mickey 2 Mouse Cage

    Pros:
    • About 620 square inches of floor space
    • Narrow bar spacing
    • Will work for just about any small rodent
    • Easy to clean
    Cons:
    • Expensive
    • Included wheel too small for Syrian hamsters
    • Included accessory quality lacking
    • Wire shelves could be a dealbreaker

    For about $40 less than the Marchioro, you can get this similarly-sized cage from Lixit. It’s 20 square inches smaller, but with the narrow bar spacing, this should work for hamsters, mice, and gerbils. Reviews suggest that you may be replacing the accessories before too long, but if you’re just starting out with your new pocket-sized rodent, you’ll at least have everything you need together in one package. The wheel is definitely too small for Syrian hamsters, though. This cage should last a good long while and is easy to clean.

  10. 10. Marchioro Kevin 82 Hamster Cage

    Pros:
    • Over 640 square inches of floor space
    • High-sided base keeps shavings in
    • Small bar spacing
    • Good for Syrian hamsters
    Cons:
    • Expensive
    • Only included method for moving between floors is the tube
    • Very small food bowls
    • Unwieldy for one person to move

    Admittedly, the price on this one is quite a bit higher than some of the others, unless you buy a lot of Habitrail add-ons. Still, this is a very large cage, which makes it worth a look. Measuring 32 inches long by 20 inches wide, this offers plenty of floor space, even for Syrian hamsters. Living is spread across three different levels, and the deep base will keep shavings from being kicked all over the room.

    Because the only access to the upper floors is the tube, you may want to pick up a flexible suspension bridge to give your little buddy another route for climbing.

  11. 11. Ware Manufacturing Chew Proof 4-Story Hamster Cage

    Pros:
    • All-metal, chew-proof construction
    • Doors lock safely
    • Four levels increase floor space
    • Excellent ventilation
    Cons:
    • Not quite as visually appealing
    • Wire shelves could be a dealbreaker
    • Bars are a bit flimsy
    • Bars are closer to 3/4 inch and may not work for small rats

    Though its not much to look at, this cage combines two appealing qualities for housing rodents: large size for ample exploring room and an all-metal construction. With no plastic parts, you won’t have to worry about your little creature chewing any part of it and risking a blockage. The four stories provide a lot of room to roam and reviews report using it for rats, hamsters, and sugar gliders. I believe it could possibly be used for gerbils or mice, too, but it should be noted that the bar spacing is a bit on the large size. According to reviews, it’s difficult to put together, but once it is, you can give your little friend a very large home.

See Also:

 

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