Here is an easy method for all you DIYers out there looking to save a few pounds by making a homemade hamster cage. Lets face it a hamsters lifespan is not that long so why outlay big money for something that you may only need for 2-3 years. With a few basic tools and parts from a DIY store you can make a great home for your pet.
What You’ll Need
- A large plastic storage bin or tupperware box
- 2 pieces of wire mesh for the front and top
- Wire cutters or pliers
- Bag of cable ties
- Stanley knife
- Pen and a ruler
- File or sanding paper
- A drill
Homemade Hamster Cage In 5 Easy Steps
Wash The Plastic Tupperware Bin
Start the process by washing out the plastic bin with a mild soap or detergent, then rinse thoroughly. This will remove any remnants of chemicals used in the manufacturing process of the plastic and prevent your hamster from getting poorly.
Mark The Cage Holes
With a pen and a ruler mark out a decent sized rectangle on the front and on the lid of the bin. Then with masking or duct tape stick tape along the lines to use as a cutting guide.
Cut Out the Cage Holes
All along the rectangle shape you can score a line and make indents with your stanley knife so that cutting becomes a dot to dot like exercise. Also warming the tip of the blade up with a lighter will help to cut more easily through the thick plastic of the tub. The lid is a little easier to get through. Take your time when doing this so as not to cut yourself or shear off the guide line.
Smooth Out The Edges
Take a file or a small piece of sand paper and smooth out any rough edges. This gives a better looking finish but also will prevent any finger cuts for you or injury to your hamster.
Fasten The Mesh To The Bin
To fasten the mesh to the bin we need to drill holes around the perimiter of the 2 rectangular holes. Drill holes large enough to thread cable ties through and around 2 inches apart. Place the mesh over the holes and fasten with cable ties. Ensure you snip any bits of long wire off from the mesh that you could catch your hand on. Then when secured snip of the excess length of the cable ties. You can also decorate the edge of the holes with a patterned sticky tape as shown in the video.
Note the holes of the mesh should be small enough so that smaller hamster breeds like Campbell, Winter White Russian and Roborovski dwarf hamsters can’t excape. The latter grows to only 2inches long and can easily get through larger mesh pieces.
Extending The Hamster Cage
Why stop at one level? Rather than cutting out a rectangular hole in the lid you could always cut it to the size of a plastic hamster tube so that your pet has a tiered home. This is a good idea if you don’t have the space for a long wide cage, build upwards instead. This will provide your hamster with an interesting environment. A homemade cage doesn’t have to be as basic as the example in the video.
Once you’ve finished the cage you’ll need to kit it out with a water bottle and some fun hamster accessories to keep your hamster entertained. Active hamsters are easier to handle and less likely to bite.
For those of you who don’t have the time to make your own cage or plan to keep hamsters ongoing checkout our recent reviews of the best cages around. There are good interesting examples from £15 upwards.