Habitrail Mini Range for Dwarf Hamsters and Mice
The cage recommended by the pet store for Winston Shiny-sides actually turned out to be not that great. It was, as many cages are, built for hamsters and rats rather than mice. After it turned out he was too scared to use the crazy climbing tube for anything other than a toilet and he could actually squeeze through the bars, I turned in desperation, to Habitrail mini.
In England, it was the only cage that I could find that was built specially for small animals so that was a big plus. I know a lot of people rate vivarium/aquarium type cages for mice but since I had smelled Winston's wee first hand I figured ventilation was needed!
The great thing about Habitrail is that all of the parts no matter which range, will connect. I could connect a Habitrail ovo den and water bottle to his mini cage perfectly. The wheel that came with the cage is really quiet and he loves the mushroom climbing frame, the tube is actually a manageable size for him and he loves playing hide and seek in the holes of the mushroom. The cage is half solid plastic and half ventilated bars which is a nice mess free combination and the gaps between the bars are tiny. It is really easy to clean and he seems really happy in there.
On the negative side, it is a really small habitat. I had had him in a much larger multi-layer cage which I loved the fact he had so much room to climb around and play. (You've all seen the spider mouse pictures!) I got around the smaller Habitrail size by building my own mega add on maze out of a rather large cardboard box but I can only keep that on while I'm there to supervise. I suppose it is their plan that you will buy more add ons but they aren't cheap and also the Habitrail mini range is practically non-existent so you would have to extend with an ovo and then you are back to square one as they are built for hamsters rather than mice and he couldn't get up half the tubes! The waterbottle which comes with it is a massive mushroom oasis which he hated and it takes up loads of room on the floor of the cage which meant I pretty much had to buy the Ovo water bottle since you can't get a reg water bottle through the gaps. The ovo water bottle leaks as well as it is gravity fed and as a result Winston seems to treat that area as a toilet! Not nice!
Overall a great cage but very pricy and some design flaws, more importantly they need to release more mini products to extent the habitat as Ovo living spaces are no good for mice (the accessories work fine though!)
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Mister Winston Shiny-Sides