Top positive review
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Spare yourself frustration - save up for a Midwest cage
on October 19, 2013
- Make sure you get a good deal: I recently purchased this cage online from Petsmart. They were having a great sale and I was able to get this cage for $145 (including shipping), which is the best price I've ever seen for the double unit. The first thing I would say about this cage is to look around for a good deal for a month or two before you buy it for $200 or more.
- Other cages: I am a total cheapskate, but this cage is more than worth it. I started out with the All Living Things Rat Luxury Home. It was a nice cage and a decent size, but it was a terrible pain to clean and decorate. I started looking for other cages that had bigger doors, but there were few options. I ended up trying to decide between a single level Critter or Ferret Nation and the Prevue Feisty Ferret. I opted for the Feisty Ferret as it's a little bigger than the single level, and it can be separated into two sections. That was a horrible mistake. I was astounded that I could pay over a hundred dollars and get a cheaply made, rusty nightmare. I sent it back and then saw the sale at Petsmart and snapped this cage up. I wish I had simply started with this cage.
- Assembly: This was relatively easy to assemble and decorate. Some of the pieces don't want to fit together, so I'd recommend a rubber mallet or hammer to help with assembly, and a real screwdriver (phillips head) is better than the one included. This is much easier to build with two people. The directions are decent, and it's not hard to figure out how this goes together.
- Bar spacing: The bar spacing on this is an inch, so this cage will only work as is for male rats that are at least a few months old. If you have girls or babies, I would opt for a Critter Nation, instead. This cage seems to go on sale much more often, though, so it may be worth it to buy this and wrap it with hardware cloth, chicken wire etc. I imagine the spacing is a good size for bigger pets like ferrets, chinchillas, sugar gliders and so on.
- Ease of cleaning and decorating: This is probably the simplest cage for cleaning and decorating. The pans on the shelves and bottoms lift right out, and it's easy to tuck a liner around it and put it back in the cage. I really like that the bottoms of the shelves have hooks to make it easy to hang hammocks or toys. This cage is pretty heavy (about 100 pounds), so putting it in the shower to rinse off isn't likely. But it's so easy to wipe down on a regular basis that this is totally forgivable. The access this cage offers is most of what sells it. It's three times the size of my old cage, but still takes less time to clean and decorate.
- Quality/durability: This cage is well made and very sturdy. The bars are coated metal rather than plastic wrapped wire, so it will stand up to chewing. I have seen that some older units have had rusting on the screws, but the rest of the cage remains in great shape. I anticipate this cage will last many years. Given how quickly other cages need to be replaced, this cage is worth it for its durability alone.
- Pans: I intend to keep my pans covered at all times, so I doubt chewing will be a problem for me and it's unlikely I will have to replace these. But without liners and/or with avid chewers, replacement pans may need to be ordered in the future. These aren't deep enough for bedding/litter so if that's the way you want to go, I would recommend one of three things:
1)Buy or make scatter guards. These are easy enough to make with wood, plastic, coroplast or cardboard.
2)Buy the specially designed metal pans that Bass makes for these cages. They are a bit pricey, and I think they need to be sprayed with Rustoleum before use if they are to last.
3)Buy a plastic cement mixing tub or plastic bin. The cement mixing tubs seem to be thicker and cheaper, and there are several on Amazon that are the perfect size for this cage.
- All in all, this is a fantastic cage that offers lots of versatility when it comes to setups. It's huge and can easily be separated into two cages. It can house up to twelve rats (though I would limit it to eight to ten depending on size), but is certainly a good option for less. Unlike other cages, this will stand the test of time. Cleaning is a breeze. The only downside, in my opinion, is the weight. Don't waste your money on other cages. Buy this one.
I'll add some pictures of my cage. :)