With Christmas just around the corner, you may be wondering what surprise Santa can bring the kids this year. This may be the perfect opportunity to introduce your child to the joys of pet ownership. For many young children a hamster, rat or mouse makes an ideal first pet. They are easy to care for, can be kept indoors in the child’s bedroom, and they make a wonderful introduction to pet ownership, giving children lots of joy while teaching them about the responsibility of caring for their very own pet.
There are some wonderful small pet cages and starter kits available, ranging from small start-up packages to deluxe critter mansions. Some of these can be expanded by adding more components to connect up to another cage in the line, allowing complete flexibility to do some home improvements on your pet palace as your budget allows.
My favourite cages for hamsters and mice belong to the Critter Trail line. These are colourful, funky cages, made from anti-microbial moulded plastic, that come in a wide range of zooty designs. They come fitted with fun accessories, and extra items can be purchased to add to the cage at will. Lets take a look at some of the options in this range.
The Critter Trail Dazzle is for the discerning glitterati critter, and is a fantastic choice for young girls. This dazzling purple glitter cage offers bling-bling for your critter. They cage itself is well ventilated, with a deep bottom tray to hold pet litter and prevent spillage. The main feature is the removable orbiting wheel, which sparkles as it turns – a real eye-catcher indeed. The cage comes fitted with plastic climbing tubes, and a tunnel leading up to a petting zone. While this is a really snazzy cage, the downside is that it is not that practical when it comes to cleaning – but beauty comes with a price and there are some who may find this a small irritation considering its stylish good looks.
The Critter Trail X offers a fun filled activity centre for your critter. The striking combination of purple moulded plastic together with lime green accessories makes this a funky cage suitable for both boys and girls - and their critters of course. It has a spiral staircase/slide leading to an exterior glow-in-the-dark exercise wheel, which moves on its axis as it rotates – very cool. Another feature of this cage is the extractable petting zone, which also comes in handy to contain your hamster when you are cleaning his cage. The wheel can be a bit noisy if the hamster takes his food or bedding into it, making it rattle and hum, but this is a common problem with closed wheel accessories, and it can be easily fixed by taking it apart for a good clean out.
Z for zooty, Z for zoom, the Critter Trail Z offers both style and a fast paced lifestyle for your critter. It comes in stylish contrasting shades of blue, purple and green and offers some nifty features. The most striking feature is the removable glow-in-the-dark exercise ball, accessed by funnels, providing your critter with ample work out opportunities – it can even be removed for him to run around safely on the floor! The cage is also fitted with a petting zone, where your little furry friend can catch some zzzz's after all that exercise.
All Critter Trail cages come fitted with a water bottle and a colour coordinated food bowl. There are many accessories that can be purchased as add-ons to expand your critters abode, you can even join two or more critter trail habitats together to form a humongous hamster habitat! As hamster cages go, the Critter Trail habitats are rather on the pricy side, but will be worth the outlay when you see the delight on your child's face, so start saving now, and place your order with Santa soon :)