The Prevue 528 cage has been a popular choice for hamster owners for many years, but is it really the best option for your pet?
This blog post will take a closer look at the Prevue 528 cage to determine whether or not it is a good choice for hamsters. We’ll examine the features, benefits, and drawbacks of the Prevue 528 cage so you can make an informed decision about which cage is best for your hamster.
Overview of the Prevue 528 for Hamsters
The Prevue 528 has a great reputation in the small pet community because it’s simple, large (comparatively), and made of higher-quality materials than most small pet cages on the market.
If you are set on using a bar cage for your hamster, the Prevue 528 is our top recommendation.
However, the Prevue 528 cage isn’t necessarily the very best enclosure for a hamster, whether it’s a dwarf hamster or a Syrian.
Learn more: Best Hamster Cages and Enclosures in the US
Pros of the Prevue 528 for Hamsters
First, let’s look at the upsides of using the Prevue 528 for hamsters.
1. Spacious enough for a dwarf
The Prevue 528 provides 618 square inches of floor space, which meets our minimum cage size standard for dwarf hamsters, which is 615 square inches. It also exceeds the California Hamster Association’s current minimum of 600 inches. This makes the Prevue a great option for hamster owners looking to upgrade from a smaller enclosure.
2. Simple layout
The Prevue 528 is a cage with a simple layout that focuses on providing open floor space rather than flashy tunnels or accessories. It does have one “floor” that can be attached to the bars, but you can also choose to leave this off.
The added level is low enough to the bedding tray that your hamster should not get injured if they fall off of it, as long as you have the bedding filled up all the way.
3. Sturdy enough to prevent escapes
The Prevue is better than many other bar cages not only in its size but also in its sturdy build. The plastic bedding tray is built so that there are no edges that a hamster can grab ahold of and chew.
Additionally, the bars are close together and non-flexible, which means your hamster can’t squeeze in between them to escape.
4. Easy to ship and assemble
One of the reasons many hamster owners go for a bar cage instead of a tank is because of the ease of ordering and assembling the cage. For a tank, you’ll typically need to pick up the item in person, either used or from a pet store.
Shipping a large glass tank results in enormous shipping costs that just aren’t worth it, plus the high possibility of the tank cracking during transit.
The Prevue 528 ships in a moderate-sized box, and it’s lightweight, so you don’t have to worry about high shipping costs if you’re in the US. It’s also relatively easy to assemble at home, with limited pieces and no tools required.
5. Clear visibility into the cage
When compared to a bin cage that offers a similar amount of floor space, the Prevue gives you better visibility of your hamster in its cage. This can be extremely useful in making sure your hamster is doing well and noticing any unusual or dangerous behaviors.
6. Attaching items to the bars
Another benefit of a bar cage like the Prevue 528 is that you can attach the wheel, water bottle, and other accessories to the bars easily. This can save floor space because stands and platforms aren’t as necessary.
Purchasing items that attach to the bars of a cage is typically also less expensive than purchasing those items that have a stand or purchasing a separate stand.
Hamsters typically have very low odor (other than female Syrian hamsters), which means ventilation isn’t a huge concern like it is for mice.
However, having the whole upper part of the cage open with bars offers better ventilation than a tank or similar enclosure. This can be good for hamsters with respiratory conditions or who have more of a smell in their cage.
Cons of the Prevue 528 for Hamsters
Now let’s look at some of the reasons you might ultimately decide against the Prevue 528 for your hamsters.
1. Not enough space for a Syrian
Many sources, including the California Hamster Association, state that the Prevue 528 is large enough for a Syrian hamster. However, the cage does not meet our recommended minimum cage size for Syrians, which is 775 square inches.
The Prevue 528 can be used for Syrians on a temporary basis, as a “vacation” or moving enclosure, or for foster pets. However, we wouldn’t recommend it as a permanent home for a Syrian because there just isn’t enough space.
2. Limited bedding space
The Prevue 528 has a bin depth of 6 ¼ inches, which provides enough room for some burrowing and digging. However, some hamsters prefer even deeper bedding to create elaborate tunnels and burrows.
Additionally, if you fill up the bedding tray all the way, you’ll probably end up with bedding on the floor or table every day after your hamster does some digging.
3. Bar climbing can be dangerous
Hamsters are not natural climbers, and they’ll often fall from platforms or climbing toys. They also tend to climb up the sides of bar cages, which can be dangerous for them.
A hamster can climb all the way to the top of the cage and fall down onto the bottom or the ledge, knocking their head or twisting a leg.
Many owners with a Prevue 528 end up altering the cage in some way to try and prevent dangerous bar climbing.
4. Limited availability
The Prevue 528 is often in high demand and low supply, which means the price can be higher at some times than others. It also means you might not be able to find one of these cages for sale at all when you want to buy one.
Alternatives to the Prevue 528 for Hamsters
If you decide against using a Prevue 528 cage for your hamster, what are your other options? Here are some enclosure ideas worth considering.
Our top-recommended enclosure for a hamster is a simple glass tank. It gives you plenty of space, depending on the size that you get, and plenty of depth for bedding.
It creates a neat, enclosed space for your hamster to dig and fling bedding around to their heart’s desire. You can fit a large wheel, a sand bath, plenty of bedding and substrate, and more without worrying about where to put everything.
Here are the sizes we recommend if you choose a tank as your hamster’s enclosure:
- Dwarf hamster: 40-gallon breeder tank
- Syrian hamster: 75-gallon tank
Note: A bigger tank doesn’t always mean more floor space. For example, a 55-gallon tank has less floor space than a 40-gallon breeder tank.
Dimensions: 48.8″L x 21.2″W x 25.2″H
Floor space: 1,035 square in.
Suitable for: Dwarf hamster or Syrian hamster
The Niteangel Bigger World Hamster Cage is the “gold standard” in many hamster owners’ minds. It’s large, open, and beautiful to look at, making it a great choice. This is more of a tank or terrarium-style cage, but unlike a glass tank, it’s easy to ship to your home and assemble.
The Niteangel Bigger World is suitable for either a dwarf or a Syrian hamster because of its large size.
Other offerings by Niteangel that are suitable for hamsters include the Niteangel Vista in small (for dwarf hamsters) and medium (for dwarf or Syrian hamsters), as well as the Stacker Series (ideal for dwarf hamsters but also suitable for Syrian hamsters).
Dimensions: 31.5″L x 19.7″W x 19.7″H
Floor space: 776 square in.
Suitable for: Dwarf hamster or Syrian hamster
The MEWOOFUN Large Hamster Cage is similar to the Niteangel and follows its style in many ways. This cage is newer to the market, but it has so far received relatively good reviews.
Again, this enclosure is a tank-style cage with a deep space for bedding and enrichment. This enclosure is smaller than the Niteangel Bigger World, but it still meets our minimum size recommendation for a Syrian hamster.
This cage would work well for a dwarf hamster as it exceeds the minimum space required for dwarfs.
Dimensions: 45.25″L x 22.5″W x 21.75″H
Floor space: 1018 square in.
Suitable for: Dwarf hamster or Syrian hamster
The extra-large PawHut cage is a great choice for a Syrian hamster because it provides more than 1,000 square inches of floor space that’s distributed well between length and width. It also has almost two feet of height, which is great for burrowing.
We recommend removing at least the bottom shelf of this cage so that your hamster has more depth for burrowing. This cage and other wooden or MDF cages aren’t suitable for gerbils or for hamsters who like to chew anything and everything.
DIY bin cage
Bin cages are great for hamsters, as they can be inexpensive and provide the right amount of space. The challenge can be finding a storage bin that is large enough and secure enough, as well as clear.
You’ll also need to measure the bin cage to make sure it offers the appropriate floor space for your type of hamster. Measure around the middle of the bin, where the top of the bedding will be.
Measuring at the top of the bin or using the measurements offered on the label will not be accurate because most bins slope toward the bottom, creating less space.
Once you have one of these, you’ll need to cut out the middle of the lid and fasten ¼-inch wire mesh over the opening. Drill holes around the perimeter and attach the wire mesh using zip ties.
You can also use the same method to cut out pieces of the sides and cover them with mesh for additional ventilation.
Choosing the Right Cage for Your Hamster
Ultimately, the Prevue 528 is a suitable cage for a dwarf hamster or a temporary enclosure for a Syrian. It has some downsides, but it is also our top choice when it comes to bar cages for hamsters. So if you are set on having a cage with bars, we would recommend the Prevue 528 as the best option.