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Customer Review

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb add on for spare parts post Jan 2014 version, 18 May 2014
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This review is from: Rotastak Mission Pod Small Animal Housing (Misc.)
At a pinch, this would work as a starter home for a young Syrian hamster, but you'd need to add to their territory fairly quickly. Dwarfs should really have the tunnels on the flat, unless you add socks or rope up the tunnels, to allow grip (it appears).

Pros: it has a traditional wire door which is superb for getting even the most bad tempered of hamsters to jump on and calmly feed out of your hand (my 5 week old black bear Aleppo, who has been routinely cursing me and large pieces of broccoli in loud hamster) Getting a hamster to stuff their cheeks with food for their store IS the way to their heart. Plus it's easy to clean. Take off the middle spring clip carefully and the two halves generally stay together for a thorough wipe. Neither mamma hamster, Isabella, nor her unexpected brood of 6 have been over keen on the middle shelf at first. I have found that they cope with it better with a sand bath and lid half wedged under it to lower the height down....they just won't use the small tube. It's a solidly built construction, especially given that one of Isabella's daughters ate her way out of the cheap cage her new carer got her on the first night.

It has lots of curvy tunnels, which are much easier to put together in the post January 2014 version. There is one sliding side lug, and several engaging pins, so now the two sides hold together while you are manipulating them into the locking ring. Before the two sides were smooth. It wasn't impossible to put them together, but it took deep calm. The trick on the locking rings, suggested by a wonderful lady on this site, is to heat them in very hot water so they expand. Fitting them then is a doddle. You then do have to let them cool down or they pop out again, but then they are rock solid. Personally I don't intend to clean the tubes out more than every three weeks so the owners have the comfort of their scent after a cage wash wipes their territory clean, barring over enthusiastic liquid scent marking that is (Aleppo!) I still can't see where the giant race of hamsters who get stuck in tubes is coming from, Isabella has grown into a bigger hamster than I remember my original girl and boy. She can really stuff her pouches and yet is off with a voom through the tunnels to her store. Nor is there any particular difficulty on the angle, my 18 day olds, just a third the size of mamma hamster were managing the tunnel system within a day (sometimes they had to take a run at it or just keep trying, but they made it). However their Mamma, who had grown up in a plain cage had much more wobbly muscles for a few days, plus the fact she was a teenage single mum slowed her down a bit after that.

It has two spheres, which were adored by my two hamsters in 1995 and are appreciated by our three current residents. At the moment the spheres aren't for sale separately, and this is the only offering with two. As soon as I added them I had three hamsters setting up bedrooms in them, having dragged some soft bedding there themselves. They also like anointing the curves with their scent glands in their flanks. The trick on spheres is that you get a piece of electricians tape to wrap around three quarters of the linking tube's diameter. Then all the connections are also rock solid. I also tend to add in a bit of extra ventilation by drilling quarter inch holes (6mm?) in the end caps. So far the hamsters haven't tried chewing them further, and in any case the caps are easily replaceable.

It comes with a wheel and water bottles.

As I finally had enough bits between all the cage modules (adventure zone set), Isabella has a triple yellow cage section and a single wire cage, and Aleppo's set is all in blue. Cleaning day is relatively stress free for the hamsters and their skivvy as the modular system means that by removing the connecting tubes and popping in a spare cap (twist to lock and tug) you can isolate the hamster in one section while thoroughly sorting another, and then temporarily connect a tube so your obliging hamster moves up into the clean section.

Personally I haven't seen any better cages on the market, and the design has much improved over the years, (I bought a hamster ball by the much praised Savic, and it turned out to be thin plastic with one lug that didn't engage. Somewhat dangerous for hefty Isabella ramming objects at full speed). Hamsters have a short life and they might as well thoroughly enjoy it. I only set out to indulge one very polite hamster. Fate meant I ended up with two and a temporary squatter in one of Aleppo's modules. Because I had the Rotastak modular system it was easier to separate out the early weaned squabbling brood (a bit of rapid learning of how to tell girl from boy also helped, thanks YouTube)and to give their Mamma a rest from them (her poor little ears had gone all wrinkly with stress). I hope you don't end up with a, 'it must have just been a mistake, you can always bring it back for a refund' from the UK's main pet store chain, but the only way I coped was by buying this system initially.

Verdict, as a starter it's fine. Budget for more in a month, but in that time your hamster will adore you and entertain you with its energetic activity. And if you're very lucky, you'll get to be sworn at in fluent hamster for not cutting up the broccoli small enough...for half an hour.
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