If you’re on the hunt for the perfect cage for your gerbils or hamsters, you’ve probably come across the Omlet Qute cage. Furniture-style cages and enclosures have been growing in popularity, offering a more aesthetically pleasing option for small pet owners. However, not all cages in this category are suitable for our furry friends. In this honest and thoroughly researched review, we’ll delve into the Qute cage for gerbils and hamsters to determine whether it’s a good choice for your pets.
What Are the Features of the Qute Cage?
Let’s start by looking at what the Qute cage has to offer. It’s a two-story cage with a tank-style drawer at the bottom and a wire cage on top. The cage features wooden sides and wire panels at the front and back. The bottom drawer is designed to be easily removed for cleaning, which is a clever feature for a gerbil cage. The cage also includes a vertical tube connecting the top and bottom levels, as well as a wheel, a water bottle, and a food dish for your pets.
Is the Omlet Qute a Good Cage?
Unfortunately, the answer is no. The Qute cage is not suitable for housing gerbils, hamsters, or any other small pets. But if you already have your pets in a Qute cage, don’t panic. We understand that as pet owners, we sometimes make mistakes. Omlet has invested effort in making the Qute cage visually appealing to pet owners and prospective pet owners, so it’s not your fault if you were misled into thinking it would be a perfect home for your pets.
Here are the reasons why the Qute, as it is currently designed, falls short for our pets.
Qute cage size and dimensions
The primary reason the Qute cage is unsuitable for small pets is its size. According to the Omlet website, the internal dimensions of the cage are as follows:
- Depth: 1 ft. 1.7 in.
- Width: 1 ft. 4.1 in.
- Bedding tray: 10 in. (H)
- Top-level space: 9.25 in. (H)
While these dimensions might seem sufficient, it’s important to consider the specific needs of gerbils and hamsters. Gerbils require a large section of deep bedding and adequate unbroken floor space for burrowing and running.
The Qute cage provides only 221 square inches of unbroken floor space, which falls far below the minimum requirements for a comfortable living environment.
Qute vertical connecting tube
Another factor that makes the Qute cage unsuitable for small pets is the vertical connecting tube that spans from the top to the bottom portions. While the tube has ridges inside, it can be stressful and challenging for pets, especially hamsters, to climb up and down. Moreover, larger hamsters can get stuck in the narrow tube, posing a serious danger.
While you can remove the tube and fill the bottom tray with bedding, some hamsters may still struggle to jump up through the hole.
Qute wheel and wheel space
The Qute cage comes with a wheel as one of its accessories. However, the wheel provided falls short in size. Gerbils and dwarf hamsters require at least an 8-inch wheel, while Syrian hamsters need a minimum of 10 inches. The wheel that comes with the Qute cage is only about 7 inches in diameter.
Using a wheel that is even slightly too small can be hazardous to your pets and make running on the wheel uncomfortable. It’s crucial for your pet’s back to maintain a natural posture while running, and a wheel that’s too small can cause back problems and permanent injuries.
Additionally, the upper floor of the Qute cage does not provide enough height to accommodate a larger wheel.
Can You Expand the Qute Cage?
Some Qute cage owners have attempted to expand the enclosure by connecting additional cages or compartments. While these creative solutions may seem like an option, they don’t address the fundamental issue of space. Even with added components, the Qute cage fails to provide the necessary unbroken floor space that small pets require to thrive.
Moreover, connecting various compartments can overwhelm and stress small animals like hamsters and cause gerbils to declan.
What to Do if You Have a Qute Cage
If you find yourself with a Qute cage and realize it’s not suitable for your pets, here are some suggestions on how to proceed:
Return your Qute if possible
Check whether the cage is still within the return window. Omlet has a 180-day “no questions asked return policy,” so you may be able to reverse your purchase. This is the best option as you can invest the money in a more suitable enclosure, such as a 40-gallon tank, and still have funds left for toys and treats.
Plan for your next enclosure
Whether you can return the Qute or not, it’s essential to upgrade your pets’ enclosure. Look for appropriate cages for gerbils and hamsters and plan your next purchase carefully. If you’re unable to return the Qute, set aside some money to invest in a more suitable enclosure, such as a simple 40-gallon tank that provides ample floor space.
Give your pets playtime outside the cage
While your pets are still in the Qute cage, provide them with plenty of free time outside the enclosure if they enjoy it. Create a playpen with unique obstacles like paper towel rolls and ramps or spend time with them in the bathtub, allowing them to explore a different space. However, avoid using hamster balls for playtime as they can be dangerous and induce stress in small animals.
Fill up the bedding tray completely
To maximize the available space in the Qute cage, fill up the bottom bedding tray entirely. Unfortunately, customer photos indicate that many Qute owners only use a thin layer of bedding, which is insufficient for the natural burrowing instincts of gerbils and hamsters.
Don’t sell or donate the Qute cage
Selling or donating the Qute cage might seem tempting, but it’s best to avoid passing it on to another pet owner. Selling or giving away the Qute would only perpetuate the cycle of unsuitable housing for small pets. Instead, consider repurposing the cage and its materials.
Repurpose the Qute cage
Instead of selling or giving away the Qute cage, repurpose it. For instance, you can donate the tube and wheel to a small pet rescue that can use them for small mice. The Qute unit itself can be transformed into a shelving unit by removing the middle floor and inserting a piece of wood. Alternatively, consider reusing the floor piece and wire grids as ventilation panels for a DIY bin cage or a custom tank topper.
Attractive Alternatives for Hamsters and Gerbils
If you’re searching for a visually appealing cage that seamlessly fits into your home while providing a suitable living environment for your small pets, here are some alternative options:
40-Gallon Breed Tank: A simple 40-gallon tank is an excellent choice for both gerbils and dwarf hamsters. With 15.5 inches of burrowing depth and 648 square inches of floor space, it offers ample room for your pets. Pair it with a mesh lid and fill it with bedding, toys, and enrichment. You can place the tank on a large surface or invest in an aquarium tank stand.
OIIBO 50-Gallon Terrarium: Terrariums are another attractive option that can complement your home decor. Available in various sizes, including 50-gallon, they offer a unique living space for your pets. Keep in mind that terrariums might not provide sufficient burrowing space.
PawHut Extra Large Wooden Hamster Cage: Designed with Syrian hamsters in mind, this cage offers over 1,000 square inches of floor space, ideal for burrowing and exploring. Removing the bottom shelf creates more depth for burrowing. However, it’s not suitable for gerbils or hamsters with a penchant for chewing.
Niteangel Vista: For a beautiful hamster cage that exceeds 1,000 square inches of floor space, the Niteangel Vista is an excellent choice. It caters to both dwarf and Syrian hamsters, providing ample room for their activities.
MEWOOFUN Large Hamster Cage: This MDF cage offers a modern look with a cute hamster design on top. With approximately 740 square inches of floor space, it suits dwarf hamsters but falls slightly short for Syrian hamsters.
DIY IKEA Cage: Consider an IKEA Detolf cage, which offers over 1,000 square inches of space for dwarf hamsters. You can also create a DIY cage using various IKEA pieces, such as the Linnmon and Kallax.
Prioritize Your Pet’s Wellbeing, Say Goodbye to the Qute
Unfortunately, the market is flooded with cages that are inadequate for small pets. The Qute cage, despite its attractive design and innovative features, is just one example of the many unsuitable options available. We hope this article has helped you make an informed decision regarding the Qute or choose a better cage for your pets. Remember, caring for gerbils and hamsters is an ongoing learning process, and it’s essential to adapt and strive to provide the best possible care.