I’ve previously had pet rats but this time around I’ve got a Syrian hamster as my animal companion and she needed a suitable cage. I did a lot of looking around online before choosing a one. Syrian hamsters need quite a bit of space but I had a budget to consider and a particular space that it had to fit into – as such a taller cage with plenty of levels was more suitable than a very wide single storey cage. After a lot of review reading and price comparison I finally chose the Extra Large DY511C Syrian Hamster cage by Liberta and purchased it from an online retailer.
(photo one, a top down view of the newly assembled cage)
Pros: For the price you get a fantastic size of coated wire (white) outer cage – great for ventilation and for your pet to climb – with a plastic base in a choice of three colours: blue/pink, pink/white, or yellow/green – I chose the yellow/green option. The measurements are 70cm h x 30cm x 47cm and there are three shelves included to give extra floor space. The roof has a carry handle and the overall cage is lightweight and easy to move around when necessary.
There are two good sized doors, one at the front and centre of the cage and one in the roof.
The provided water bottle is very nice and is easy to clip into the cage, and a food dish is included, as is a plastic house that requires minimal assembly.
Two wheels are included and they easily fit anywhere on the sides of the cage, and in my experience they are very quiet! I’d love to get a larger version since the wheels are little on the small side for a fully grown Syrian but perfect for a smaller hamster or mouse. That said, since having all this new space my hamster spends less time in her wheel and more time climbing around and investigating her habitat.
There’s so much space that three shelves and the provided house left it a bit sparse – so I added in some accessories from previous cages and pets. You can see the current setup in photo #2, below. Now my hamster gets to use all of the cage and she has a great time exploring and playing when she’s not out for play time or exercising in her ball.
(photo 2, a front view of the current, in use, setup with hammock and other accessories I already had to hand)
Cons: As many other reviews point out there is some difficulty in assembling it and the cage did not come with instructions. The cage itself folds from a flatpack into a rectangle and the roof fits on top, quite easy to manage. However there are four holes where ventilated domes (“bubble windows” in some descriptions) fit and these are fiddly to attach. One site mentioned using warm water to soften the plastic rings provided, which might help. Then the domes fit into the first half of the connector ring and the bottom half of the ring is pushed into the holes. You can see a closeup of these in photo #3.
I did hope the domes might be replaceable with ventilated tubes or other additions in the manner of a Rotastak home but the Rotastak tubes are too small. I will continue to investigate, looking for other tunnels/look-out posts that might further expand the cage, just to keep things interesting for my pet.
The shelves are awkward to put in, quite flimsy and fragile, and it’s easy to break the clips that sit over the bars. Make sure you have planned where to put the shelves, taking into account the position of the door and roof access before starting! The shelves rest on the bars rather than clip securely. Four shelves would be better since positioning the highest so the ramp touches the next shelf leaves a lot of wasted space at the top of the cage.
The ramps are sturdier but they too rest in the provided holes in the shelves rather than clip in and are constantly knocked loose by my hamster. I’m thinking of replacing them with ladders if I can get the right size to attach to the shelves.
(photo 3, a close up of the bubble windows/ventilated domes)
Conclusion: I’d recommend the cage with a few caveats; be prepared for some frustration during the initial set-up – if you have any dexterity issues you might require some help – although once it’s assembled it’s easy to maintain, and it’s probably helpful if you have or are willing to buy some accessories like extra shelves/hammocks/hanging tubes to improve the safety and enjoyment of the cage for your pet.
There’s plenty of space to add in things like toys, other houses, a hamster toilet, or sand bath, so it’s quite versatile. Smaller plastic pods are selling for a higher price than I paid, so overall I think this is good purchase.