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Small Animal cages...which type is best?

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
I've got two gerbils in a 20 gallon tank currently. I was looking into getting a different one as I can't help but think it must be boring in there. They get CareFresh beddig to burrow in, a wheel(made safe for Gerbil feet), food & water, a wooden house to chew, & two home-made "levels". I let them run around in their little balls for a few minutes everyday. I play with them & give them some treats.

I look at a cage like this, but wondered how safe it would be?

I also looked at putting something like this in the cage.

Any advice? I want the safest thing considering the cats being around...but Dorian & Ophelia are the ones to really worry about & truth be told when they actually see the gerbils(outside the cage-me holding them), they run & hide.
post #2 of 12
The best cage I found for gerbils when I had them (and rats/mice currently) are martins cages. They are really cool. Give alot of ventilation, are very secure and come in all sizes. I cant see the ones you posted though. Im not a member of Amazon.
BTW they are pretty cheap.
post #3 of 12
Measure your 20 gallon aquarium and compare sizes. IMO that cage seems to be on the small side, but I don't know how long/wide the aquarium is for comparison.

I know they have all sorts of connecting plastic pipes now that you can build extentions on which would be kinda fun for the gerbils.

4Crazy - I like those ones with levels and ramps in the website you found That's similar to the homemade cage my dad built for my hamster.
post #4 of 12
Now, I realize we're talking about gerbils, but I used to own about 10 Campbells Russian dwarf hamsters. I had them living in pairs. There are some creative and safe housing options available, and I imagine the accommodations would be similar for a gerbil.

Have you seen the Habitrail Space Station and Safari cages? The wheels that come with them are completely enclosed, and not wire, thereby being safer for their feet, and avoiding tragedy. What I did, was I bought two Habitrail cages, bought a bunch of the tubes, compartments, etc., and joined two of them together with the tubes and little houses, etc. There are bars on the outside of the cage, so they can climb, if they're into that. Another thing I did (particularly if I had a nursing mother with a litter of babies), was I took one of those giant clear Sterilite containers (about $6.00), and had my hubby drill out a circle in the side of the plastic. You can fit a Habitrail or S.A.M. tube into the hole, and join two Sterilites together. I love the Wodent Wheels...they are the best, and most safe wheels out there, to my recollection, unless something else has been proven better now. You'll need to make a mesh topper (cheap!) for your Sterilite home, to prevent escape missions. Total cost of this giant Sterilite double home? Around $20 maximum.

Anyway, hope this helps!
post #5 of 12
Thread Starter 
Thanks for your input everyone! I like the really expensive Martin's cages...

I might just have to use those plastic like Habitrail tubes to connect a couple of tanks and/or cages.
post #6 of 12
I have two habitrail/crittertrail cages with the plastic not wire wheels that he just loves. However, with the 'typical' cage doors, Boomer has managed to learn how to open them so I always have to use a twist tie to 'lock' them
post #7 of 12
One good option if you already have an aquarium is to get a tank topper. It's a wire cage that sits on top of the aquarium to add more space for the critters to run around. A couple different companies make these...
post #8 of 12
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by Nekochan View Post
One good option if you already have an aquarium is to get a tank topper. It's a wire cage that sits on top of the aquarium to add more space for the critters to run around. A couple different companies make these...
I looked at one of those & it was like $35!!! There is just no way I'm gonna spend that much on a tank topper. I've been looking for one cheaper. One I found had really wide wire spacing & I was afraid little gerbil-y feet would fall through.
post #9 of 12
Another thing I use (with fosters) is the big rubbermaid containers. They work very well. I have never had a problem using them. You can cut a big square out and put air whole around the top (away from little teeth) and they work well.
post #10 of 12
Thread Starter 
That's a really good idea! I'll have to see if I can rig up some sort of very secure lid to keep the kitties out of it.
post #11 of 12
I used to have gerbils too! Cute little guys.
Here's my 2 cents.
I used to have a plastic and wire cage with 2 levels. It wasn't huge, but was a large hamster cage. They chewed on the bars day and night, and I had noise AND rust problems as a result. Also, because gerbils love to dig, I always had bedding on my floor, the shelf and everything around it.
It sounds like you have a good thing going there, 20 gallons doesn't sound too small, but I suppose if you wanted to you could watch the local free adds to see if there might be someone selling a 30-50 gallon.
I just wouldn't go with the cage route. As you know, gerbils will chew EVERYTHING pastic, so you cant get a cage that has any that can be reached. Also, the tank would keep the carefresh in, whereas I can promise that they'd kick it over the edge of the cage. Also, there's the noise issue.
Mine loved ripe bananna's to eat, and empty kleenex boxes to play in/destroy just as some side tips.
Hope that helped some
post #12 of 12
Yeah, the rubbermaid thing actually works great...that's what I was talking about with the sterilite bins, same thing. It's cheap, and you can go really BIG, if you want to. You can take the snap-on lid that goes with it, drill out the middle section, and attach heavy-duty wire mesh for a cheap and easy cage will have good ventilation too. You can make on of these rubbermaid/sterilite homes for about $12.00...and it will be HUGE!!! Toys galore for the gerbils!
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