Critter Nation Questions
Is this cage really worth the price?
In our opinion, absolutely! However, we plan on keeping hamsters for many, many years to come. If you are a new owner or don't foresee having rodents for a long time, this cage may not be for you. Keep in mind that the Critter Nation is made of extremely durable coated steel and will last a lifetime. So, even if you take a break from hamsters, it can be disassembled and stored for later hamsters or used for other rodents later on (rats and chinchillas in particular love this cage!)
In short, you are essentially paying a high price up front, but will never have to buy another cage for the rest of your life.
What will I need to buy?
Unfortunately, this cage does require modification before you can use it for hamsters. You will need to purchase a few things. See the cost breakdown over on the California Hamster Association website if you need help deciding on things!
What are these pans you're talking about? Why are they so expensive?
The pans that come with the cage are pretty much flat and won't hold bedding. In order to hold bedding, you must purchase some type of pan. Bass Equipment Company makes 3" stainless steel pans that are specifically designed for this cage and fit in perfectly. This is another issue of high start-up cost, but something that will last forever: stainless steel won't rust, stain, or break down with use.
The same company also makes galavanized steel pans that are cheaper, but the galvanized coating will break down with urine. Then, they will rust--so they will need to be replaced eventually. Keep in mind that the shipping is based on size and weight, so the shipping costs will be the same regardless of the pan you choose. To save some money, you could choose the 2.5" tall option, but it will cut down on the amount of nesting your hamster can do and create more mess on your carpet as they push bedding out.
Are there any less expensive alternatives to these pans?
There are! One option is to purchase a large cement mixing tray from Home Depot (link below). It happens to fit in this cage perfectly. The major issue is that it is 8 inches tall--great for holding bedding, but it does block out a lot of light and can make it difficult to see your hamster unless you are looking from above. It also looks a little clunky in the cage, but the price savings might make that worth it to you as they are just $13 a piece. They will require some modification too, but it's fairly simple!
They look like this!
Thanks to Brandon Webb for the photo!
You can learn more about how to modify and use these cement tubs here!
What can you do with this cage?
So, so much! Check out our cage tours below!
Click on photos for a closer look
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