Kaytee Pets: Stop Selling Inappropriate and Inhumane Cages

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Here’s the TL/DR: Kaytee makes and advertises cages for a variety of species of animals that are wholly inappropriate for the needs of those animals. The primary concern is that they are far too small. We would like Kaytee to become a leader in the pet industry and make cages and other products that are appropriate for the species they are advertised for and promote good care for the animals in question.

Dear Kaytee,

We need to talk. We need to talk really badly. The vast majority of the cages and accessories you manufacture for small animals are wholly inappropriate for the species they are advertised for.

Let’s start with hamster cages. You advertise the vast majority of your CritterTrail hamster cages as being 20 inches long by 11.5 inches wide. So, if we’re being generous the cages you make for hamsters are 230 square inches. I think we all know they are actually a bit smaller than that with the rounded corners and slope, but hey, even assuming there is really 230 square inches of unbroken floor space in each hamster cage it’s still too small.

Of course you have a variety of other cages.  The Kaytee CritterTrail Begin & Connect Habitat is 12.5 inches by 6 inches. That’s a measly 75 square inches of floor space. The Kaytee CritterTrail Quick Clean Habitat  and the Kaytee CritterTrail Simple Start Habitat are 16 inches by 10.5 inches or 168 square inches. The Kaytee CritterTrail Primary Habitat is a little better at 16 inches by 11.5 inches or 184 square inches. I’m guessing you’ll argue that these habitats are meant to be connected and no single cage alone is adequate. We could maybe believe that story if the cages were advertised that way, but of course, they aren’t. Plus there are these pesky cages like Kaytee 2-Story My First Home Hamster Habitat that is not made to connect to any other cage. Yet it only measures 13.5 inches by 11 inches or 148.5 square inches.

Every single one of these cages listed is inappropriate for hamsters. The accepted minimum by the hamster fancy in the U.S. is either 360 square inches or 450 square inches of unbroken floor space depending on who you ask. Even if you go with the smaller size, 360 square inches, Kaytee does not make a single hamster cage that is large enough. Of course, the U.S. has some pretty low standards for hamster care, so even a 450 square inch cage is below the accepted minimum in many other countries.

Plus, even if we think those minimums are arbitrary a little bit of common sense will tell you the cages need to be bigger to fit the basic supplies a hamster needs to live a fulfilling life. For example, a syrian hamster needs a wheel that is at a bare minimum 8 inches and even that is cramped for most hamsters. Unfortunately even an 8 inch wheel will not fit in any of those hamster cages listed above and still leave room for the other necessities. Generally, the wheels that come with Kaytee hamster cages is approximately 6 inches in diameter. A small dwarf can run on that size of wheel without causing injury to their back. However, no Syrian can run on a wheel that size without curving their back into an unnatural and painful position.

So, if we put a big enough wheel in the cage we probably can’t put the top on the cage any longer. Then if we add a decently sized house, a food bowl, a water bottle, some chew toys, and ideally a sand bath there isn’t a whole lot of room for the hamster left. Actually, I’ve never been able to fit all of that in a Kaytee CritterTrail habitat, but I imagine if I could there would be nowhere for the hamster to go.

Kaytee, for the love of all things fuzzy, please listen to the hamster owners of the world. We want you to stop advertising cages that are inappropriate and inhumane for our beloved pets. We would love it if you would become a leader in the pet industry and start making cages that actually meet our pets’ needs.

Sincerely,

All of us 

P.S. Owners of other species would also like you to consider the sizes of your guinea pig, rabbit, and chinchilla cages. They are also uniformly inappropriate and we all want the best for our pets.

 

Dear supporters,

Thank you for taking the time to sign this petition please also consider contacting Kaytee to tell them we want bigger cages via these other methods.

  • Go to http://www.kaytee.com/about/contact-us to send an email
  • Call them at 1-800-KAYTEE-1
  • Visit their Facebook page at facebook.com/Kayteepets  
  • send some snail mail to: Kaytee Products, Inc. Attn: Customer Service 521 Clay Street Chilton, WI 53014

Thanks so much!



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