Though the only rodents in my care right now are a pair of troublemaking chinchillas, they aren’t the only members of the Rodentia order I’ve had in my life. I once had a pair of gerbil brothers named Nickel and Dime, the latter of which lived to be nearly four. Growing up, my brother had a couple of Syrian hamsters as his first non-cat pets. I also had a pair of rats named Arlo and Jeff who liked to visit with the chinchillas. I really dig rodents.

Giving your small animal a proper home is vital to maximizing both their health over the course of their precious, short lives and the enjoyment of having them as pets. Their enclosure forms the center point for your interaction with them as the primary place for feedings and entertainment. These so-called pocket pets spend most of their time in their cages and as a result, they must meet certain criteria. Animals as large as chinchillas, rabbits, or ferrets can spend considerably more time outside of the cage, but the smaller critters will always be safer in their cage.

Our list covers options for mice, gerbils, and hamsters. They all have just slightly different needs, but there is some overlap when discussing cages of this size. For a single mouse, the cage will need to be at least one cubic foot, increasing by half a cubic foot for each additional co-habitating mouse. Bar spacing for their cages needs to be one half inch or smaller for adults. For the most part, a cage that works for mice will also work for dwarf hamsters, though they tend to prefer a little more room. A Syrian hamster, which is the largest and most common variety, needs 360 square inches of floor space.

Gerbils are voracious diggers and chewers, so something chew-proof with a deep bottom is necessary for them. The best enclosure is a glass aquarium, ten gallons are larger. They’re also expert escape artists, so you’ll have to watch any possible openings carefully. Mice are also very active chewers and will find their way out of the tube-enhanced habitats that work so well for hamsters. You could use an aquarium with the topper we’ve included on the list for any of the three animals, but you’ll have to be diligent about weekly cleanings to avoid ammonia build up.

The mostly-plastic cages should really be reserved for hamsters, who can make the most of the tunneling routes and are generally less likely to chew through and escape. Many hamster owners over the years have made happy homes using the plastic-based cages on our list. That said, with all chewing animals, care should be given to monitoring the condition of the pieces to avoid injury. It takes only one poorly sealed opening for a small rodent to escape and be lost forever. Research carefully and choose the cage that makes the most sense to you.

If you have a hamster, mouse, or gerbil, consider our list of the top ten best small animal cages to give them a proper home.


1. Prevue Pet Products SP2005BL Hamster Haven

small animal cage, hamster cages, gerbil cages, dwarf hamster cages, mouse cage

(Prevue Pet)

This simple option provides everything a dwarf hamster needs in an enclosure. The medium and large sizes offer three levels to explore, with the top-most level featuring a hideout. The exercise wheel is included and could be moved to the second level, if desired. Depending on which base color you choose, the shelf will be a different contrasting colors. For the smallest size, colors include beige, blue, green, and orange, while medium and large aren’t available in beige at the time of this writing. The medium and large sizes offer two access points and all three have half inch bar spacing.

Note: The images on the Amazon page are a little confusing. The appear to be in the opposite order of the size listed, but the price moves accordingly, so we think you should feel confident that the size matches properly.

Need more options? Browse more Prevue Pet Products here.

Price: $26.99 to $43.99

Buy the Prevue Pet Products SP2005BL Hamster Haven here.


Pros:

  • Available in three sizes and colors
  • Comes with ramp and wheel
  • Relatively deep pan to keep shavings in
  • Medium and large sizes have two access points


Cons:

  • Wheel is small
  • Overall size may be better for mice or dwarf hamsters than Syrians
  • Door closure may need extra securing
  • Takes a little while to build

Find more Prevue Pet Products SP2005BL Hamster Haven information and reviews here.


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2. Ware Manufacturing Chew Proof 4-Story Hamster Cage

small animal cage, hamster cages, gerbil cages, dwarf hamster cages, mouse cage

(Ware Manufacturing)

Though its not much to look at, this cage combines two appealing qualities for housing rodents: large size for ample exploring room and an all-metal construction. With no plastic parts, you won’t have to worry about your little creature chewing any part of it and risking a blockage. The four stories provide a lot of room to roam and reviews report using it for rats, hamsters, and sugar gliders. I believe it could possibly be used for gerbils or mice, too, but it should be noted that the bar spacing is a bit on the large size. According to reviews, it’s difficult to put together, but once it is, you can give your little friend a very large home.

Need more options? Browse more Ware Manufacturing products here.

Price: $36.19 (16 percent off MSRP)

Buy the Ware Manufacturing Chew Proof 4-Story Hamster Cage here.


Pros:

  • All-metal, chew-proof construction
  • Doors lock safely
  • Four levels increase floor space
  • Excellent ventilation


Cons:

  • Not quite as visually appealing
  • Wire shelves could be a dealbreaker
  • Bars are a bit flimsy
  • Bars are closer to 3/4 inch and may not work for small rats

Find more Ware Manufacturing Chew Proof 4-Story Hamster Cage information and reviews here.


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3. Ware Manufacturing Chew Proof High Rise Pet Cage

small animal cage, hamster cages, gerbil cages, dwarf hamster cages, mouse cage

(Ware Manufacturing)

Perhaps the best choice for gerbils, these aquarium toppers expand the living area and improve ventilation throughout the tank. The three levels offer space to explore, while the bottom tank portion gives gerbils plenty of room to dig. You will have to get the ten gallon tank separately, but once you have it, this setup should last a good, long time and is easy to clean. A food dish and water bottle are included in the price, too. You could also consider the Kaytee version of the tank topper, if you prefer.

Need more options? Browse more Ware Manufacturing products here.

Price: $27.99 (38 percent off MSRP)

Buy the Ware Manufacturing Chew Proof High Rise Pet Cage here.


Pros:

  • Excellent for gerbils
  • Chew-proof
  • Creates a very large habitat
  • Improves ventilation

Cons:

  • Requires purchase of an aquarium
  • Ramp tends to shift
  • Wire shelves could be a dealbreaker
  • Some larger gaps especially determined or small creatures may figure out how to escape through

Find more Ware Manufacturing Chew Proof High Rise Pet Cage information and reviews here.


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4. Habitrail OVO Dwarf Hamster Habitat

small animal cage, hamster cages, gerbil cages, dwarf hamster cages, mouse cage

(Habitrail)

Probably the gold standard for small rodent homes is the Habitrail system. Purpose-built for dwarf hamsters and mice, the focus here is on expandable exploration. The base kit comes with a main unit with a retractable lime green roof, a wheel, feeding dish, hideaway, water bottle, den, two eight-inch tubes, two elbows, four mini tees, three windows, and 12 lock connectors. That should be more than enough for one or two small hamsters or mice. However, there are lots of expansion opportunities, including the Club Trainer, Mini Maze, Tower and more. You could also opt for the more conventional Cristal Habitat and expand from there.

Need more options? Browse more Habitrail products here.

Price: $36.21 (43 percent off MSRP)

Buy the Habitrail OVO Dwarf Hamster Habitat here.


Pros:

  • Unique, attractive design
  • Easy to assemble
  • Expandable with many optional extras
  • Excellent for dwarf hamsters and mice

Cons:

  • Small spaces make it difficult to refill food dishes
  • Some units ship with broken parts
  • Could be difficult to construct
  • Expansion kits are pricey

Find more Habitrail OVO Dwarf Hamster Habitat information and reviews here.


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5. Ferplast Favola Cage

small animal cage, hamster cages, gerbil cages, dwarf hamster cages, mouse cage

(Ferplast)

Taking cues from the tank topper above, this Ferplast design creates a safe two-level environment for just about any small rodent. Depending on your opinion, this may be just a little too small for Syrian hamsters, but reviews suggest that some can be perfectly happy in this cage. Nevertheless, it’s an excellent option for dwarf hamsters, mice, and gerbils, with the deep base providing room for digging activities and enough height to keep shavings in. The included wheel and house are definitely on the small side, so if you do try this with a Syrian, you may find yourself upgrading those. Like the Habitrail, this is apparently expandable, but at the time of this writing, the expansions don’t appear to be available on Amazon nor the manufacturer’s website. Still, this is a novel approach and certainly worth considering.

Need more options? Browse more Ferplast products here.

Price: $73.59

Buy the Ferplast Favola Cage here.


Pros:

  • Over 320 square inches of floor space on both levels
  • Chew-proof
  • Offers good space for digging
  • Expandable with add-ons

Cons:

  • Pricey
  • Wire shelves could be a dealbreaker
  • Only one small access door
  • Bottom is textured, making cleaning a little trickier

Find more Ferplast Favola Cage information and reviews here.


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6. Kaytee CritterTrail 2-Level Habitat

small animal cage, hamster cages, gerbil cages, dwarf hamster cages, mouse cage

(Kaytee)

Before the Habitrail came along, the multi-colored Kaytee tube tunnel system was the de facto hamster cage. My brother had one for his Syrian hamsters 20 years ago, complete with various expansion sets. The most fun you could have with a pet as a kid was designing long tubes for your hamster to explore. That’s kind of necessary here, too, as the floor space of this cage is limited. It’s pretty common to link a few different core habitat enclosures together to give your furry companion plenty of room to be comfortable. The Loop-D-Loop Kit is popular, while you can connect something like the Mini One with a pack of Fun-nels</a. Another recommended add-on is the food dispenser which frees up valuable floor space in the cage. Otherwise, this is a multi-level cage with all you need to get started right away and the ability to expand later.

Need more options? Browse more Kaytee products here.

Price: $27.08 (10 percent off MSRP)

Buy the Kaytee CritterTrail 2-Level Habitat here.


Pros:

  • Many routes and explorable areas
  • Six millimeter bar spacing for safety
  • Petting area
  • Expandable with add-ons

Cons:

  • Cramped quarters in terms of actual floor space
  • Gerbils likely to escape
  • Bedding easily kicked out
  • Difficult to clean

Find more Kaytee CritterTrail 2-Level Habitat information and reviews here.


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7. Ferplast Duna Fun Hamster Habitat

small animal cage, hamster cages, gerbil cages, dwarf hamster cages, mouse cage

(Ferplast)

Another Ferplast option, this habitat combines design cues from almost all of the options above. There are three floors that reach across the wide living area, which measures about 21 inches by 18 inches. Provided you’re housing dwarf hamsters or mice, this comes complete with the wheel, dish, and a house. The tube system isn’t anything crazy, but just offers a little extra interest. If you wanted slightly more in the way of tubes, the Ferplast Laura trades some floor space for a larger tube system.

Need more options? Browse more Ferplast products here.

Price: $78.29

Buy the Ferplast Duna Fun Hamster Habitat here.


Pros:

  • Nearly 380 square inches of floor space
  • Three floors for exploration
  • Large opening at the top
  • Tubes add interest

Cons:

  • Pricey
  • Accessories too small for Syrian hamsters
  • Not a good choice for gerbils

Find more Ferplast Duna Fun Hamster Habitat information and reviews here.


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8. Marchioro Kevin 82 Cage

small animal cage, hamster cages, gerbil cages, dwarf hamster cages, mouse cage

(Marchioro)

Admittedly, the price on this one is quite a bit higher than the others, unless you buy a lot of Habitrail add-ons. Still, this is a very large cage, which makes it worth a look. Measuring 32 inches long by 20 inches wide, this offers plenty of floor space, even for Syrian hamsters. Living is spread across three different levels, and the deep base will keep shavings from being kicked all over the room. Because the only access to the upper floors is the tube, you may want to pick up a flexible suspension bridge to give your little buddy another route for climbing. There’s an optional Vekto 82 cage stand if you don’t have a surface large enough to hold this cage.

Need more options? Browse more Marchioro products here.

Price: $189.18

Buy the Marchioro Kevin 82 Cage here.


Pros:

  • Over 640 square inches of floor space
  • High-sided base keeps shavings in
  • Small bar spacing
  • Good for Syrian hamsters

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • Only included method for moving between floors is the tube
  • Very small food bowls
  • Unwieldy for one person to move

Find more Marchioro Kevin 82 Cage information and reviews here.


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9. Lixit Animal Care Savic Mickey 2 Cage

small animal cage, hamster cages, gerbil cages, dwarf hamster cages, mouse cage

(Lixit)

For about $40 less than the Marchioro above, you can get this similarly-sized cage from Lixit. It’s 20 square inches smaller, but with the narrow bar spacing, this should work for hamsters, mice, and gerbils. Reviews suggest that you may be replacing the accessories before too long, but if you’re just starting out with your new pocket-sized rodent, you’ll at least have everything you need together in one package. The wheel is definitely too small for Syrian hamsters, though. This cage should last a good long while and is easy to clean.

Need more options? Browse more Lixit Animal Care products here.

Price: $146.29

Buy the Lixit Animal Care Savic Mickey 2 Cage here.


Pros:

  • About 620 square inches of floor space
  • Narrow bar spacing
  • Will work for just about any small rodent
  • Easy to clean

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • Included wheel too small for Syrian hamsters
  • Included accessory quality lacking
  • Wire shelves could be a dealbreaker

Find more Lixit Animal Care Savic Mickey 2 Cage information and reviews here.


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10. Prevue Pet Products Three Story Hamster/Gerbil Cage

small animal cage, hamster cages, gerbil cages, dwarf hamster cages, mouse cage

(Prevue Pet)

This small-footprint cage makes up for that with vertical space. Measuring 22 inches high, this cage offers a lot of exploring on three floors. Since the square inches are limited on each floor, this might not make the best choice for hamsters, but mice should enjoy climbing all over. There are four colors to choose from including mint green, yellow, lilac, and light blue. At the time of this writing, three of the colors are a killer bargain right now at over half off.

Need more options? Browse more Prevue Pet Products here.

Price: $25.79 to $42.95 (32 to 59 percent off MSRP)

Buy the Prevue Pet Products Three Story Hamster/Gerbil Cage here.


Pros:

  • Removable grille and pull out tray
  • Available in four colors
  • Three stories for exploration
  • Includes wheel and house

Cons:

  • Wire shelves could be a dealbreaker
  • Relatively small floor space
  • May be better for mice than gerbils or hamsters
  • Doors need additional locks to keep secure

Find more Prevue Pet Products Three Story Hamster/Gerbil Cage information and reviews here.


For more shopping guides on all things pets related, check out our Pets tag for everything from cat toys to pet cameras.


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