Thickets Cage Review

We’ve had the Thickets cage for almost two years now and it’s only fair I write a review for it.

The Thickets is a cage sold exclusively at Pets At Home, and is marketed as being a degu, chinchilla, and rat cage.

Price: a shocking £90!

Size:  92cm x 47cm x 60cm (LxWxH)

Suitable for: Syrian hamsters, small birds, possibly one or two rats

Thoughts

The Thickets is a truly terrible cage.

Not only is it painfully badly designed, but it is totally unsuitable for the main two types of pets it is designed and marketed for – degus and chinchillas.

We didn’t buy the Thickets cage (we would never buy a cage this size for £90 when there are so many better and cheaper ones on the market) but it came with two male degus we adopted.

The cage comes with two shelves; one runs along the length of the cage at the back, and the other to the left across the width. These are nice added extras, but there is one huge flaw, and this has to do with the positioning of both shelves and door on the cage.

The door is positioned, quite ridiculously, on the far right of the cage, and is the cage’s only access.

It’s a shame because it’s a really nice large door, and access could be great, but because the manufacturer’s have put it so far to the right, it’s impossible to reach to the left hand side of the cage, which just so happens to be where one of the shelves is.

I had such great trouble reaching toys, pets and, of course, the shelf when I was trying to clean this cage!!

You can move the shelves, but you’re not supposed to, and it’s difficult. It can be done though, and does improve the cage slightly if you move the shorter shelf.

The second reason I absolutely detest this cage is because it’s not big enough to keep degus or chinchillas in!!

This cage costs £90, and it is very small. I’ve kept several Syrian hamsters in here and thought it was great for them, other than the stupidly positioned door.

But it IS NOT suitable for chinchillas or degus. We did add an extension on when our degus temporarily lived in there, but even so the cage was still far too small.

Degus are surprisingly large and active pets, we found the easiest way to keep them was to buy an XXL dog crate (£40) and cable tie mesh to it, so the degus can’t escape. This provide an easy access cage which  is much bigger than the Thickets, and less than half the price 🙂

The smallest cage I’d want to keep a pair of chinchillas in is this one, which we bought from Zooplus.

It costs £79.99 so is still cheaper than the Thickets, and the measurements are 79cm x 52cm x 140cm – compared to the tiny Thickets which is just 92cm x 47cm x 60cm!

As for rats, I think you could just about keep two rats happily in the Thickets.

Two females I wouldn’t be too concerned about, but males would appreciate a loft area, plenty of time out the cage etc.

Recap – Pro’s:

  • I like the way the door locks
  • The wooden shelves are a good size
  • Pull out metal tray to empty substrate
  • Bar spacing is small enough for Syrian hamsters and even younger rats

Cons:

  • The metal tray doesn’t pull out very well, and obviously doesn’t work when there are toys on the base…you have to try reach in and around to get the toys out, which is difficult
  • Access is utter crap due to door location making it a nightmare to clean
  • Too small for animals it is marketed for
  • Ridiculously expensive
  • Bulky
  • Shelves can’t easily be moved

In conclusion this is not a cage we recommend. If you are getting it for free or very cheap, it does have some uses (temporary cage, eg. hospital or quarantine) but overall it’s just a really badly designed cage.

We rate it one out of five stars: *****

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8 thoughts on “Thickets Cage Review

  1. Great review. I don’t suppose you have a pic of the dog cage which has been meshed, or a link to it? Have had a look around on your blog but cant find it xxx I was thinking of meshing a rabbit cage which is costing me £25 and use it for a hamster. Just wondered how it will look. Great idea with the dog cage tho! Oh and loving your bloggs new look! 😁 hope your well xxx

    • Thank you so much 🙂

      I don’t have a pic of the meshed crate (our degus hated the camera) but I do have a pic of our chinchillas in the same size crate (unmeshed) and I have a pic of some pen panels that we have meshed. The mesh we’ve used here is 1cm squares.

      This is the crate size:

      And this is a rabbit / puppy play pen that we meshed, literally just cut to size and attached with dozens of cable ties 😀

      https://scarlybobs.files.wordpress.com/2016/08/bunnyfun7.jpg?w=349&h=523

  2. I don’t think I’ve said this before but I really love the effort you put into your pet cages it’s really nice to see and educational too 🙂 I bought my first rabbit hutch from pets at home it was 3 by 1 foot so horrible for my rabbit. Upgraded in a few months once I learnt the truth!

    • Thank you so much 🙂 I’ve seen some terrible hutches and indoor cages marketed at guinea pigs and rabbits. I saw a 60cm guinea pig cage once – I wouldn’t really be happy keeping a hamster in there, never mind a guinea pig or two!!

  3. 1 out of 5 stars is generous for this! xD I really do hate it as well, we had it for our original degus while they were small but they quickly outgrew it so we got them a liberta explorer 2nd edition and then used it during intros with the babies but they were titchy too. I would never recommend degus never mind chinchillas to stay in them, it’s small enough for adult degus but I would probably consider it tantamount to abuse to keep 2 chinchillas in the thickets cage considering how big and active they are. We have kept ours for emergencies but hoping it never comes to that so we don’t have to ever clean it again lol. The only good use of a thickets cage I have seen is getting two and attaching them together on top of another, then the mesh floor of the top cage can be taken out to be used to create additional doors at the left hand side of both cages solving the access issues so I might do that eventually if I find a free or cheap one. It’s still such a messy cage though that we had to put wood around the inside of the cage as substrate kept getting everywhere so it really needs a deeper tray or guards on the sides. Sorry for the rant, this cage brings out the worst in me haha.

    • Hahaha I love this comment! 😀

      There are three things about this cage I find incredibly annoying – 1. it’s P@H’s go-to cage for chins and goos, even though it’s not big enough. 2. The door placement is the most ridiculous thing ever (what utter moron designed that?!?). 3. And finally it costs NINETY POUNDS!! I can’t even think of a similar sized cage that costs that much.

      I know, I honestly can’t imagine keeping two chinchillas in the Thickets. I don’t know how anybody could think that was okay. I found a breeder’s site once where they said you can happily keep UP TO FOUR chinchillas in a Thickets cage…I couldn’t believe it! I don’t think they’d be able to move!

      Adding two Thickets together sounds like a good idea, and if there’s any way to add an extra door that sounds good to me 😀 And yes, it is hideously messy…I think when first designed they expected the rodents to be kept on the wire floor, but putting the tray above the wire (so they don’t have to walk on wire) means substrate constantly gets kicked out because there’s no real lip to speak of.

      It really is such a bad cage XD

  4. I’d have to agree, putting Chinchillas in such a small cage is wrong. I love the fact you’re giving your furry friends so much room! The dog cage idea is fantastic! So many people don’t think laterally like this and end up paying through the nose for things when they don’t have to…

    • Hey thank you so much! I really dislike the Thickets, there are very few pets that would be happy in it, and regardless it’s a pain to clean!

      We use dog crates for so many small pets now haha, they’re just such a good price for a nice spacious cage. Easy to clean and access is great too 😀

      I’ve had a lot of years buying all sorts of things and adapting them as rodent toys haha so I’m pretty good at thinking outside the box in that regard 😛

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