One of the first considerations when becoming a new hamster owner is where to put your hamster’s cage and sooner or later, you will consider whether putting your hamster’s cage on the floor is the right thing to do.
So can you put a hamster cage on the floor?
A hamster cage should not be placed on the floor. When a hamster’s cage is on the floor, you are potentially exposing your hamster to drafts and floors can be cold, especially if they are tiled or made of concrete. Hamster cages placed on the floor can also be a tripping hazard and could attract unwanted attention from other pets.
Where should a hamster cage be placed?
Although it’s not possible to tell you exactly where to place your hamster cage in your house, there are a number of important things for you to consider when deciding where to place your hamster’s cage.
Placing your hamster’s cage in the optimum location really comes down to the consideration of these three things: temperature, noise and lighting.
Let’s look at temperature first.
Hamsters are quite sensitive to temperature, so it’s important that the temperature in the room where you plan to put your hamster’s cage is not only warm, but constant too.
A steady temperature between 64°F and 70°F is recommended and you should keep your hamster’s cage away from any drafts and direct sunlight. Your hamster is much more likely to experience drafts if their cage is placed on the floor.
If your hamster becomes too cold, they can start to become rather sleepy and even start to hibernate if the temperature drops below 40°F.
In order to keep your hamster’s cage at a steady temperature, keep it away from fireplaces or radiators. It’s also wise to keep the cage away from bathrooms where windows are often left open and away from any air conditioning units as you definitely don’t want cold air blowing on your hamster.
Places to avoid
There are some places you should definitely avoid when it comes to placing your hamster cage.
Conservatories are one of these places. In the winter, they can get extremely cold and during the summer months, they almost become like a greenhouse and can get very hot – not ideal for your hamster.
Other places to avoid include laundry rooms, hallways and garages because of potential chemicals and dust and because the temperature can fluctuate throughout the day in these areas.
One final point to remember about temperature, is that the temperature inside your hamster’s cage is going to be a few degrees higher than the surrounding air temperature. This is particularly important to consider if you are using an aquarium as a cage.
Hamsters don’t like a lot of noise, especially during the day when they’re trying to sleep, so it’s a good idea to put your hamster’s cage somewhere quiet.
If they’re woken up by lots of noise, then they’re going to be grumpy, so find a quiet corner of your house to put your hamster’s cage. Don’t put your hamster’s cage near busy rooms and definitely not near a TV or music system.
Another reason not to put your hamster’s cage near to a TV or music system is that they can generate ultrasound and other high frequency sounds. Unlike humans, hamsters can hear high frequency sounds. They’re very sensitive to this kind of noise and can find it stressful.
Other things that can generate high frequency sounds include computer screens, vacuum cleaners and water pipes so it’s best to keep their cage away from dishwashers and taps also.
I can only imagine what ultrasound actually sounds like, but I can imagine a constant high pitched noise, a bit like the noise when your ears are ringing.
This will really begin to annoy you after a while and not something you’d like to experience, so don’t let your hamster experience it either.
It’s important that the lighting where your hamster is housed has a regular pattern to it.
So, in other words, put your hamster’s cage in a room that is dark in the evening and light during the day. This means turning the lights off in the room at the same time each day.
Or, ideally, you should place your hamster’s cage in a room that gets lots of natural light without being directly in the sun. A climate-controlled room without artificial lighting is going to be a lot closer to your hamster’s natural environment
If you don’t have a suitable room like this in your house, then be sure to switch the lights on and off at regular times, otherwise your hamsters are going to be confused and are likely to upset their sleeping patterns.
A smart bulb like this Philips Hue on Amazon (#CommissionsEarned) will do the trick here, so you no longer have to think about turning off the lights at specific times.
A word about other pets
When placing your cage, you need to make sure that it is well out of the way of other pets that you may have, such as on a table, otherwise this can be very stressful for your hamster.
Large animals, like dogs, are likely to stare at your hamster through the cage which will scare the living daylights out of your hamster!
Remember, hamsters are prey animals in the wild and even though your dog will likely just want to play with your hamster, he/she won’t realize this and will be terrified.
If you happen to have pets such as cats, ferrets or even reptiles, they definitely won’t want to play with your hamster. These pets will, by nature, try to attack and eat your hamster, so keep them well away.
And remember, hamster’s have an extremely good sense of smell, so they will likely sense that other animals are nearby.
Other things to consider when placing your hamster’s cage
Here are some general pointers when considering where to put your hamsters cage.
- Find a good solid surface for your cage. Keeping the cage off the floor means that you need to find a good surface to put it on that is stable and won’t let the cage fall. Optionally, you can purchase a freestanding cage like this one on Amazon (#CommissionsEarned).
- Don’t put the cage outdoors. Hamster’s are used to warm climates and could potentially go into hibernation if they get too cold.
Can you keep hamsters in your bedroom?
Yes, you can keep your hamster in your bedroom as long as the temperature, lighting and noise is appropriate for your hamster.
You may however want to consider the smell that your hamster’s cage can generate if it’s nearly due for being cleaned out.
However, if you clean your hamster’s cage on a regular basis, or regularly spot clean your hamster’s cage, which you should do, then this shouldn’t be a problem.
Another thing to consider when keeping hamsters in your bedroom is the amount of noise that hamsters can make at night.
Hamsters can often be seen scampering about, digging in their cage or running on their wheel at night, so consider investing in a silent wheel, like this on Amazon (#CommissionsEarned).
Also, hamsters sometimes chew on their cage which may wake you up at night, so consider buying some chew toys to help prevent this.
Can you keep a hamster in a closet?
No, your hamster should not be kept in a closet. Your hamster may not have enough oxygen if they are kept in a closet or cupboard as you need air to circulate.
Moreover, your hamster’s body clock may be disrupted since they will be kept in the dark during the day. Closets (or wardrobes, in the UK) can also get a little damp and cold which is not good for your hamsters health.
We have a couple of closets next to an en-suite bathroom which tend to get damp quite often, so we rely on dehumidifiers to help collect some of the water.
We definitely wouldn’t want to put a hamster in there, not to mention the smell it may generate!
Can you keep a hamster in the kitchen?
No, I would not advise keeping a hamster in the kitchen.
Hamster’s like quiet places and sleep during the day and kitchens tend to be one of the busiest places in a house with people coming and going at all times of the day and night. So hamsters and kitchens aren’t really compatible!
Another reason is tht it’s not hygienic to have animals around where you’re preparing food.
Where do I place Richmond’s cage?
You may be wondering where my hamster’s cage is kept. Well, Richmond’s cage is kept on a plastic table in the corner of a room which is in a separate living space to the one we use regularly and it has some natural light coming in during the day.
In the evening, if we use the room, we use only a small table lamp to illuminate the room as hamsters don’t like bright light and we like to try and simulate his natural environment as much as possible.
We now know that putting your hamster’s cage on the floor is not a good idea, especially if you’re as clumsy as I am when walking around the house!
We’ve learnt that hamsters need consistency, in terms of light and temperature and we know that hamsters like their environment to be quiet.
Hopefully you’ve learnt enough from this article to be able to put your hamster’s cage in a great location that’s pride of place in your home and in a place that will make your hamster feel happy.