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3.4 out of 5 stars49
3.4 out of 5 stars
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Update on my review below! The bottom line is - this is not suitable for a hamster! If you have a small syrian hamster (which you don't know until it is fully grown) it may be suitable if it is an addition to a large cage which is minimum 80cm by 50cm - and of course then it'll cost twice as much and probably won't attach well. It is better to get a cage. RSPCA MINIMUM continuous floor space is 80cm x 50cm and there are plenty of good cages this size or bigger for not much more money and some cheaper. The Rotostak is a wonderful piece of design that is totally unfit for purpose sadly. I ended up getting an 80cm by 50cm Savic cage - which I am now having to replace for a 100cm x 50cm cage - because even 80 x 50 cm is not really enough floor space for a syrian hamster when they need a large wheel and rat sized accessories. We've had our hamster for about 8 months now, he is tame now and adorable - but what I have learned along the way is that anything that says it is made for a hamster is TOO SMALL for a syrian hamster! Only suitable for dwarf hamsters or mice. That goes for houses with small entrances and most toys. You need rat sized accessories for a syrian hamster - which I now have and now need a bigger cage to fit them in. So here's my recommendation - spend £49 on a great 100cm x 50cm cage from zooplus - it's called the Barney. If you can afford a bit more get the Alexander - same size but higher with extra levels in - it's £69 - and you'll never need another cage! They come with everything you need - levels, little houses - except a wheel - they all come with a wheel that is too small. A Syrian hamster needs a 29cm wheel. A dwarf hamster needs a 20cm wheel. I am now upgrading to the 100cm x 50cm Alexander and incidentally in Germany the minimum cage size recommendation by their animal welfare body, is 100 x 50. The 100 x 50 is minimum floor space in one unit - not lots of little ones so they have space to move, dig tunnels and just be a hamster basically. It's surprising how you can fit this in - it'll stand on a table, under a table or on top of an ikea storage unit (which will provide more storage and therefore more space). Our hamster can actually explore his cage, climb, have fun and has room for a big house in his cage that is nice and dark inside (which they love) and that he has built a huge nest in and also has room for a potty tray in the far corner - yes they are quite clean and will use a potty tray so makes cleaning a lot easier. If I had read the RSPCA advice about housing hamsters, I would have saved myself a lot of money along the way! The difference in behaviour is very noticeable when they have enough space to move around in and they are noticeably happier and easier to tame and handle. Yes they like tubes, but they like dark tubes, and a 10cm diameter cardboard tube is much safer - it can just sit inside a cage and they're cheap to buy or free with posters! They just like dark tunnels and dark houses basically, where they feel safe and can build a nice cosy nest and make little hoards.

Earlier review:

Ok - here's the bottom line - do not get any rotastak unit for a syrian hamster unless you have a syrian hamster which is smaller than average when fully grown. Our hamster was getting stuck in the tubes within three weeks and have had to buy a big cage instead. A hamster with full pouches can measure 7cm across - bigger than the tubes - they can die in them. Plus there is a much better option! If you have a small or average sized syrian, get a good cage and make it fun.

I have now bought an 80cm wide x 50cm deep Savic cage. It comes with a plastic sputnik hammock that hangs from the roof. Have bought a 29cm wheel, plus some fun bits - a wood house, and a little wooden bridge. It is nice to see Charlie running with a straight back in his new bigger wheel, lying down and swinging in the wheel, climbing bars, and he had taken to just sleeping, avoiding the tubes and looking fed up in his Rotastak.

I really missed the Rotastak at first, and so did Charlie (it was for your own good mate). Charlie hated the new cage for about 10 days, he was nervous, jumpy, scared, stressed, weeing in his food bowl, overwhelmed by all the space and hated me - wouldn't even take a treat from me! But he loved the little house in it and made himself a nice nest in it. I nearly put him back in the Rotastak but stuck it out a few days more and after 14 days he was suddenly happy and back to his old self, loving it and is now our little pal again. He has his little house to build his nest in and he treats the rest of the cage as an adventure playground. I can get him in and out easily as the cage has a good big door and by putting a kitchen roll cardboard tube in the and he just walks into it. He is now so happy with all the space in the cage he doesn't want to come out very much.

I would never have plastic tubes again. The replacement cage came with a short Savic tube to put inside as a toy, which was supposed to be bigger than the Rotastak tubes and HE GOT SERIOUSLY STUCK IN THE TUBE! Luckily we were there to get him out, but he was a nervous wreck for days and it was quite upsetting to see him frantically trying to get himself out of the tube. A kitchen roll cardboard tube is much better - it is flexible and can be chewed if necessary. So overall - I vote in favour of a big cage and NO TUBES - for a Syrian hamster. A lot of people get the Savic Hamster Heaven and end up taking the tubes out, but at least it is still a good big cage with plenty of other fun bits in.
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on 3 March 2012
I bought this for my Syrian hamster a couple of weeks ago. To start with, it took an engineer about an hour and lots of swearing to assemble. We also had to use selotape to hold some of the long tube together as even when it 'slotted' together there were gaps that he could easily get his paw stuck in. It's difficult to get him out as you can only really do this without dismantling the thing if he goes in his wheel, or is close to the hatch in the bottom compartment. My syrian is only about 8 weeks old at the moment, so I can already see that the wheel and tubing are going to be rather small for him when he is fully grown. It is also a total rip-off if you buy in store - £50!! The online price of £30 something is more reasonable.

As for cleaning - good luck. It is not a quick or easy task and I can tell that from repeated dismantling and slotting together again this cage isn't going to hold up very well.

I will also have to buy extensions for it in the future as I don't think this cage really has enough space for a fully grown Syrian.

Poorly designed and poorly made.

If you buy this for mice or dwarf hamsters, it can be set up in a flat layout, but you may need to buy some extra plugs.

I had a rotastack cage for my hamster about 15 years ago and I'm sure the older makes were more sturdy.

The only reason this gets 2 instead of 1 star is that at the moment my hamster loves it.
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on 11 January 2014
In view of all the other comments I was a bit apprehensive about buying this cage due to the difficulties in putting it together and not being able to get to your hamster, etc. etc. HOWEVER, after buying this and putting it together in a matter of 30 minutes, I was so pleased at the outcome! It's true the instructions are a bit too vague, but this doesn't matter as it is pretty easy to put together using your initiative. Everything comes apart easily giving you much access to your little friend and also means it can all be taken apart for cleaning which makes this a perfect home for a little hamster, mine loves it!! I would definitely recommend this to anyone out there wanting a cage as it is versatile, easy maintenance and when put together properly hardly any risk of Houdini attempts!

Another awesome aspect which you can't see on this picture is the lid of the main part is slightly glittery and I can't wait to buy more bits to make it into a proper burrow!

Don't let the building opinions put you off! Buy it and have a go, if you really do struggle it can always be sent back, but I can assure you, you won't!!
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on 14 June 2013
Depending on Rotastak for my small animals housing needs has always been a safe bet. I was worried about other reviewers' comments about things falling apart and needing to resort to sticky tape, but curious and confident that I had used all of these products in my early years, I was sure that for my children, I could get it together.

It is clear for me, that the bendy tubes in the picture are all of the others' problems due to being a little fiddly and requiring patience in routing design and alignment of the upper and lower housing units to get a good fit, if you try to force it - tada! the parts pop apart and clatter to the table top, mocking your efforts. Slow down, rotate each tube in relation to the next and like a wriggling snake, you can find the alignment that works.

Maybe Rotastak could expand the instructions to help out the less dextrous with some handy hints, but after all, it went together fine, it's secure and the hampy loves it. Good work!
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on 24 July 2013
Really good cage, but arrived with cracks on the bottom of the main part. Unfortunately, I only discovered this after I assembled it, so didn't go through the hassle of taking it apart to return it. Would recommend, but give it a good look over before you start the assembly!
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on 3 February 2016
A good cage however very frustrating to put together and the instructions are vague.
Also water bottlenose poor,have had to buy replacement and that leaks as did the original one that one with cage.
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on 11 March 2016
I like it but it takes ages to put the tubing together. Everything else was put together very easily but the yellow tubing for outside is a devil to put together and now that i have done it it does not look like it will come apart and appears study. Other than yellow tubing think this is a great product. Initially I thought that I was missing parts but that is due to the instructions and box having a few parts in red when in fact they are grey. Now all I need to get is the hamster and food for my son.
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on 17 September 2015
There are good things and bad things about Rotastak as a hamster home. This package is basically quite good, with the combination of a 'rainbow-runner' wheel, a living pod, a burrow/tank, a dining room and some tubing. But don't be under an illusion that its enough - you'll want to add more tubing, a carry case and ideally you'll want some more chambers and maybe a rotastak pod too. Hamsters aren't the sleepy little things you see in pet shops during waking hours, they're very active, very busy little creatures who really benefit from an enriched environment with lots to do.

So as a starter set or an addition for those already bought in to Rotastak, this is brilliant, and at the time of buying excellently priced. But please, for the good of your pet, don't only use this. Get more.
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on 8 March 2013
I bought this cage after my hamster seemed a bit bored in his other smaller cage so I found a used one from a different website for a cheaper price and bagged it! My Syrian fits in it fine and has finally got the hang of the tubes!! he loves the wheel and the little dome on the top. Personally I like the fact you can see him running around and the food tray in the dome thing. great cage!!
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on 15 December 2015
A great cage except for trying to fit the tubes together. The connectors for the winding tube are nothing like the instructions and only force will get them together. Not really big enough on its own for a hamster but great for an addition to rotastak.
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