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Post by Richard Rore » Mon, 02 Sep 1996 04:00:00

Does anyone here know of a place in the US that I can buy Habitrail
equipment for a good price?  Local pet stores are a little high.



Post by MJI Brow » Wed, 04 Sep 1996 04:00:00


> Does anyone here know of a place in the US that I can buy Habitrail
> equipment for a good price?  Local pet stores are a little high.

I found the basic Habitrail setup (the Home, with Solarium, water bottle,
dish, enclosed wheel, and cube) at Target for $28.  The pet stores here
were selling them for $56 at the time.  

I abandoned it after 6 months, however, after having one hamster chew
completely through her wheel and the other one use hers as an all-purpose
food storage/sleeping/exercise component (very noisy and hard to
clean--she would run and food would rattle and then get caught in her long
fur); both hamsters chew completely through their cubes in several spots;
and both of them use the Solariums as toilets, causing some really awful
odor problems (urine was running down the OUTSIDE of the tubes, which come
in two pieces and aren't actually joined in the middle).  

Also, Peaches (the smart one) learned that she could actually open the lid
(which requires a person on the outside to push down and then back) by
turning the wheel we bought her after she chewed through the old one over
on its side, climbing up, and then swinging from the lid by her bottom
teeth until her weight pulled the lid down and her momentum slid it back.

I ended up buying a couple of $20 wire cages at PetSmart, equipped them
with $3 exercise wheels and $1.50 water bottles from Wal-Mart, and lots of
chewy things my husband and I made from wood scraps (also from Wal-Mart).
The hamsters are happier, quieter, and smell better than they did in their
Habitrails.  Also, the black wire cages are a much classier addition to
our living room than the blue and yellow plastic.  :)  

On the plus side, Habitrails are easy to clean as long as you are careful
when you snap the little rings out so they don't break and you can get
them back in.  Hot water will also warp some of the soft plastic parts.

I really have nothing against Habitrail.  I think I've just got two
extremely intelligent and persistent rodents.  Dashiell Hamster did quite
well in a Habitrail knock-off and I'm sure would have preferred a real
Habitrail if I could have afforded one at the time.  And yes, hamsters are
MUCH more expensive pets than all those "your first hamster" books would
have you believe.

Good luck (and apologies for the redundancy to all of you who have read my
rodent-housing woes for the past 7 months!)!


MJI Brower