Syrian Hamsters

Mesocricetus auratus

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Syrians require a large, barred cage the size suggested as a minimum is 80 x 50 x 50 cm. Cage suggestions include Ferplast Mary or Jenny, Hamster heaven 80, Alexander small pet cage, Zoozone2, Leon and Igor hamster cage.

Tanks are not suitable for Syrian hamsters due to issues with ventilation. The size needed for a Syrian would also make cleanouts extremely difficult. Bars also provide a valuable climbing opportunity and give more options for enrichment.

Cages must include some nests or houses as well as plenty of items to gnaw upon. See our section on rodent enrichment for more ideas.

A large, solid-based wheel such as the medium size silent spinner is vital for exercise - any wheel must be a minimum of 12 inches in diameter. Your Syrian hamster should not arch its back when running, as this indicates the wheel is too small. Like the majority of pet-shop cages, the wheels in 'starter packs' are often unsuitable for a fully grown hamster.

Modular systems are similarly damaging for Syrian Hamsters, especially when grown. There are many reasons why modular systems are not good for your pet and for a Syrian, one of these is the potential for them to get stuck in the tubes.

It is important to be careful with ledges and ladders since Syrians are not good at judging height so if using a cage such as a Freddy2 for example, you would need to position hammocks and ramps carefully to make sure there are no long falls.

Like all rodents, sawdust carries a high risk of causing respiratory issues so should not be used. Good examples of substrate include Aubiose, Back 2 Nature, Finacard, and Megazorb. Your Syrian Hamster also requires a decent bedding, not the fluffy cotton wool type as this can become entangled in limbs.

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