Pets at Home is the United Kingdom's largest pet supplies retailer, with more than 370 stores. To quote from their official website 'Syrian hamsters need a lot of exercise, so buy as big a cage as possible, ideally with a deep plastic base and wire top.' They clearly suggest that the bigger the cage, the better the life the hamster will have. Yet, they don't stock any cages in stores that are of the minimum recommended size requirements for hamsters!
It is widely accepted in the hamster owning community that the minimum cage size requirements for a Syrian hamster is 80cm x 50 cm of unbroken floor space. If a hamster doesn't have this they become bored, stressed and inactive. These size requirements are featured on many animal care websites such as choosehamstercages.com, hamsterhideout.com and woodgreen.org.uk. Pets at Home doesn't sell any hamster cages of this size or larger in stores, claiming that cages with sizes of 30 x 38 x 59cm are appropriate for Syrian hamsters.
Buyers are being mislead and given the wrong information regarding hamster cage sizes every day -- when I bought my first hamster from Pets at home, he was sold to me with a dwarf hamster cage! I had to spend more money to get him a right sized one. Not only this, but the wrong sized wheels being sold with the cages can damage hamster's backs as it causes them to arch when they're running.
I'm not the only one who's been give wrong information by Pets at Home staff -- many inexperienced owners are being misled. It needs to stop.
So please sign this petition in an effort to get Pets at Home to sell only appropriately sized cages with appropriately sized wheels in stores, and to make sure the owner is given all the right information regarding hamster care.
Update: Pets at Home now see the Hamster Heaven cage in stores, a cage that meets the minimum requirements. This is definitely a step in the right direction, but more needs to be done still as many buyers are still coming away with the smaller cages that they sell for their hamsters.