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Cat Proof Hamster Bin Cage (Is This Even Possible?)

If you have a hamster and have a bin cage, you may be wondering how safe it is around your cat, and what you can do about it…

Why do cats play with Hamster Bin Cages?

Cats often play with bin cages because they are transparent, giving the cat visuals of your hamster even when burrowed. Depending on where you place your bin cage, your cat might be more likely to see your burrowed hamster.

Hamster bin cages are enticing to cats because they are great for sitting. The large objects look like pieces of furniture that are the perfect size for most felines. While cats love to see the prey inside the cage, how high they sit is equally important.

Depending on where you put your hamster bin cage, it is usually at an ideal height for the cat to lounge and oversee the things in their surroundings.

What is a Hamster Bin Cage?

A brown hamster staring.

A brown hamster staring.

Hamster bin cages are homemade cages made from a clear container bin and chicken wire. They are an economical choice that can be completely customized to fit your hamster’s personality.

They are safer than regular cages, making them perfect for households with one or more cats. Hamster bin cages can be reinforced to support your cat’s weight and are heavy enough that they will not be easily knocked from their tables if your cat gets overly curious.

However, hamster bin cages can still be dangerous for hamsters with chewing problems. Be careful that your hamster does not get free, or your cat might chase them.

How can I cat-proof a hamster bin cage?

Anyone with a basic understanding of tools may build a cat-proof hamster bin cage. Remember to account for supporting your cat’s weight. So, construct a reinforced lid and place the cage somewhere they will not knock off.

Store in a locked room

One of the best ways to cat-proof a hamster bin cage is by locking it in a safe room. Dedicate a room in the house to your hamster where your cat cannot enter. Be sure you visit this room at least once a day while your hamster is awake to give them their daily social interaction.

Keeping it away from your cat mitigates all possibilities of interaction.

Create a barrier using NIC grids

Creating barriers using NIC grids is a common way of cat-proofing your bin cage. These efficiently act as guards between your cat and hamster cage.

Use tall plastic shelving units

Tall plastic shelving units, such as the ones that you can take apart, are great for cat-proofing your hamster bin cage. You can purchase these from places like Walmart, Target, or other major retailers.

Should I discipline my cat for messing with my hamster cage?

A hamster sitting on a yellow wooden bar stool.

A hamster sitting on a yellow wooden bar stool.

Cats will naturally want to chase rodents and other smaller mammals when they see them. Punishing them for following their instincts can damage your relationship with your cat. Therefore, you may want to reconsider punishing them for messing with your hamster’s cage.

When they see your hamster in their cage, they will get curious. Instead of punishing your cat for playing with your hamster’s cage, it is better to separate the two pets. Find ways to mitigate their interactions and eliminate your cat’s natural impulsiveness.

Punishing for natural behavior is unfair.

Ultimately, it is at your discretion whether you want to discipline your cat for messing with your hamster’s bin cage. Always consider your cat’s feelings before you make harsh decisions like physically punishing them or scolding them for following their instincts.

Are bin cages better for hamsters?

Bin cages are ideal for hamsters because they offer better safety against curious cats. Bin cages are made from storage bins. They are designed to accommodate the hamster’s necessary floor space and are safer than store-bought cages.

Store-bought cages will usually fall apart within several days or weeks. Bin cages have minimal problems, with many lasting years.

Your hamster is much less likely to escape from one of these cages because of the top-down entry. In addition to safety, hamster bin cages fulfill many of the hamsters’ natural requirements, like floor space and ventilation. Too much ventilation -or too large of holes- can lead to bedding overflow.

Can a hamster live in a house with a cat?

Cats can live in houses with hamsters if you keep the two separated and safe. Hamsters should never be left alone with cats, even if you plan on returning within a few moments. Cats are natural predators, and they will act when they see the opportunity.

If you keep the two separated, they can successfully live under the same roof.

You should issue a controlled introduction between your cat and hamster before letting your hamster roam free in their ball (under your supervision). Putting a cat on its harness or crating them while placing your hamster in its ball are two great ideas for a controlled introduction.

Does a hamster bin cage need a lid?

Hamster bin cages require lids. The lids are easy to make and do not require many materials. It is crucial that you place your ventilation on the lid and not the sides of your cage.

Ventilating through the top of your cage increases the bedding you can fit in your cage. Plus, it makes it much safer for your hamster.

Do not forget to reinforce the lid when constructing it. If you put ventilation on the top, use zip ties to secure it extra. Bin cages often resemble other furniture.

Therefore, your cat might jump on it without a second guess. There must be a lid on your hamster bin cage so they do not have a very dangerous misunderstanding.

Do cats chase hamsters?

It is a cat’s instinct to eat a hamster when they see them. Housecats chase these hamsters because most cats will see the hamster and assume it is a tasty treat. They do not understand the hamster is a fellow household member, even when they see you playing with them or feeding them.

Never make exceptions, even if you believe your cat has a special relationship with your hamster. Do not let your hamster freely roam out of its cage, and never leave them in their playpens without supervision. Even if you are only stepping away for a moment, do not leave the lid to your cage off.

If your cat is an observer, it will take the opportunity to jump into your hamster cage.

Lindsey Browlingdon