View Full Version : Critter Trails

05-15-07, 10:25 pm
What do you all think of the critter trails for Hamsters. they look like my hammie would have a ton of fun with all the tubes and stuff, but they don't seem to be that big. When housing a hamster what counts the most, how high it is or how wide? I have my Bella in a large 90 gallon container that I turned into her home. She has a couple of hidey houses her wheel, some toilet paper rolls, etc, but I haven't been able to figure out how to add stuff like tubes becase their is no bars to attach anything to. So I'm really contemplating a critter trail for her to have more fun, what do you all think?

05-17-07, 02:59 pm
I initially bought critter trails for my hamsters cause they looked fun and I will say they are easy to clean but they do not have good ventilation. I wasnt happy with them so I switched to wire cages.

05-18-07, 09:15 am
I had a critter trail first too. It didn't work out to well. My hammie got to small for the wheel that came with it and there just didn't seem to be enough space. Plus he figured out how to escape from it. I now have a rat cage for him. It was the largest I could find where the bar spaces weren't to far apart. I still use the tubes from the critter trail. I tie them to the sides with shoe strings. And I got him a wodent wheel that is large enough for him.

07-08-07, 12:22 am
I have a hamster. I didn't have a crittertrail, but I had a smiliar setup for my hammy's first cage. Tons of tubes and play areas.....however... it was SUCH A ROYAL pain to clean up. Mine would poo and pee in his tubes and I would have to refresh daily. It just became too much. I got an aquarium instead and not only does the hammy have much more room, it was cheaper and easier to clean.

I have a friend who works at a petstore and says Crittertrails are awful. They constantly get them back from people because they break easily and most customers are unsatisfied.

07-14-07, 07:13 am
What type of hamster do you have? For Syrians, one Crittertrail is just cruel. They tend to grow out of the tubes and wheels, they have no room to move around, and they are such a pain to clean. I have had a couple Crittertrails and they suck. The roof on one of them cracked because the plastic is so brittle. Try investing in a large wire cage. Aqauariums are not too good because they are heavy and provide poor ventilation.

07-14-07, 10:37 am
Crittertrail 3s aren't too bad. They are a nice size but too expensive for the cheap plastic you get. We had to patch the occasional crack but we did get about 5years of use out of one so it should out last 1 hamster.

My sister and I have had gerbils and dwarf hamsters probably nearing 50 during our lifetimes. Aquariums or plastic storage containers with mesh tops always worked the best. We have absolutely never had any issues with ventilation. Aside from 1 staph infection that started in the horse herd and got transferred inside we've had no illnesses and aside from a bad flea infestation that killed 2 of my dwarf hamsters we've had no deaths from anything except what could be contributed to old age(ie arthritis to the point they can't move or failed internal organs at over 3years old).

I'm still going to stand by using aquariums or storage containers because they are the most escape proof and I have seen no issues with ventilation. That is provided you get a properly sized cage for your hamster. The smallest container I ever used for dwarf hamsters was 3' long. Mostly we used 40gallon breeder tanks which are 4'long, very wide, and very short giving a huge bottom area and open top for ventilation. We got several of these free from a reptile store that was going out of business. That's currently what I have 2 gerbils in. Mesh cages are great but finding a large one with proper bar spacing and a solid bottom is hard enough. Add in the fact that hamsters do like to dig some and finding one with a deep enough pan is really difficult. Gerbils just have a lot more fun with a solid sided cage that they can throw bedding and sand around in or pile cardboard clear to the top without worry of chewed bits getting everywhere. Unless you want to build a mesh cage yourself or spend a ton of money on a crittertrail 3 I still say an aquarium or storage container with the top replaced is the best way to house hamsters and gerbils.

Now tubes are where you'll find ventilation issues. If you put too many together without connecting a more ventilated area between sections the hamsters will start to develop skin diseases and lose their hair. Go easy on the tubes.

07-17-07, 05:14 pm
They are not really good cages. The plastic is cheap and breaks easily. One cage alone is cruel for any breed of hamster. The CT3 is still to small alone. Height does not matter floor space does. If you want a CT get a CT outlook and attach it to your bin cage. Just drill or cut a round hole big enough for the tube and add on.

07-17-07, 08:48 pm
Hamsters climb quite a bit so I do think height matters some to a hamster cage. Especially when we're comparing ct1 which is barely as tall as syrian hamster to a ct3. However for a syrian I probably would not use any crittertrail. We always kept dwarf hamsters which fit much better in these cages. Plus you can stick various houses inside a ct3 at different heights and the dwarf hamsters will fit in them quite nicely. Just requires more cleanup but I think my sister's 4 female dwarf fit very well in a ct3. Not wanting to spend that much money on such cheap materials I always went for the tanks and storage containers and then nailed, siliconed, tied, etc... various levels inside them with pine board or heavy duty plastic. Same design as those tube cages but with more space and alot less cost. This is what I did with my crittertail cage more than 5years ago: http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v244/aqh88/gerbils/past%20gerbils/DCP00650.jpg Only problem was when I put gerbils in it they tend to chew through plastic tubes so I had to wrap some duct tape to cover some of the air holes and slow them down and replace them every couple months.

07-18-07, 03:00 pm
Which is why gerbils do better in tanks as they just love to chew. Four dwarfs in a CT3??? That is ridiculous it is amazing they haven't fought yet! Dwarfs need large spaces to get along usually I would never keep a hamster from the room it needs just like guinea pigs needs lots of room and the cages made for guinea pigs are often to small for guinea pigs.

07-19-07, 07:17 am
I really don't like those critter trail type cages. But what I would be going for (if I had a gerbil or hammie at the moment) is a 10 or 20g tank with these tank toppers. Here's (http://www.amazon.com/First-Home-Gallon-Tank-Topper/dp/B0006IUL64/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1/104-7227075-2820706?ie=UTF8&s=home-garden&qid=1184850806&sr=8-1)one from Amazon I don't like so much as the shelves are plastic. My gerbil guys would have TKO'd those in about a day... but I've seen them with wire levels, as well, and wood. They had a couple at the reptile fair I went to last weekend and I was tempted... But anyway- it seems like you get the best of both worlds with that kind of set-up. As for tubes- I never use those plastic ones. They get destroyed and peed in and are a royal pain. If you get paper towel rolls, toilet paper rolls, and the rolls that carpets come one cut up (see a local carpet store and they'll give you some for free) they last about as long but are much better to chew on and you don't have to clean them.

09-03-07, 08:31 am
Critter trails are way too small for a syrian, I agree. Are they too small for a mouse? Does anyone know what the spacing is between the bars? How many mice could comfortably fit in the CT3?

09-04-07, 06:37 pm
Crittertrails are too small as many have said before, I would reccomend a bin cage. They are easy to make and you can get a huge one for like $10. Here are instructions of how to make them.
Bin Cages (http://hamster.etla.org/cgi-bin/topic_show.pl?tid=617)
FeatureBin (http://www.geocities.com/calhamassoc/FeatureBin.html)
There is also a good hammy site you may wanna see. It has a forum too.
Hamster Owners Forum Website (http://hamster.etla.org/web/)

09-06-07, 10:52 am
Four dwarfs in a CT3??? That is ridiculous it is amazing they haven't fought yet!

A little late but no they didn't fight at all and actually we had 20 dwarf hamsters(females) together at one point and 12(males) because my sister got a bunch of pregnant females all at once and had around 6 babies each. Only 1 hamster wouldn't get along and had to be housed alone. These were in 2 massive cage setups with interconnected cages including bin cages that covered most of a 14x14' room. Since then I have kept 3-4 dwarf hamsters together at a time in 4-5 sq ft bin cages with no issues. Dwarf hamsters are social. They will even raise their young together. It's only the odd dwarf hamster that doesn't get along. Usually these were poorly raised and handled as youngsters.

09-06-07, 11:14 am
I disliked the critter trails when I used them for my previous dwarf hamsters. They peed constantly in the tubes and then slept there and made themselves nasty.

With our gerbil, I'm currently using a cage that's intended to be a rat cage, and is 30"x30"x18". He LOVES the space. I made a coroplast bottom for it so he could have digging space, but he spends quite a bit of his spare time on the top deck begging for lovings. It's the equivalent of the Martin's Rat Skyscraper, just a bit skinnier.

I'd big on ventilation, and not using bins or aquariums, and these gerbils have both really outlived their project lifespans. Chank (who passed a couple of months ago) was between 6-8 (he was a rescue, and his owner kept him in a wire cage as well), and Tailchaser is turning 5 this year.

Mommy Of One
09-06-07, 06:45 pm
All crittertrails are FAR too small. I would know, I have been a member of a hamster website for six years owning 5 hamsters at one time. I recently got out of the hamster craze though but I would say I know my stuff.
I reccomend an imac fantasy or RODY.