Owning a hamster requires you to provide it with its own place to stay. You have two options either you buy the cage from your local pet store or you can study how to construct a DIY hamster cage on your own.
Since hamster cage can be a bit expensive, we highly recommend that you learn the steps in making your homemade hamster cage. In this article, our aim is to provide you with easy to follow procedures in building a house for your pet hamster.
What are the Specifications for DIY Hamster House?
Since a hamster comes in different species, each one of them requires specific specs for its home. For example, the Syrian hamster would require a minimum cage size of 40 inches (length) by 20 inches (width) and a height of 20 inches.
Even building a cage for the dwarf and the Chinese hamsters, a large DIY hamster house is ideal for hamsters to live inside.
Keep in mind that when you are making your homemade hamster cage, the animal’s space should not be compromised. Provide enough room for it to play around with its toys.
Apart from size, another thing that you have to consider is the ventilation issue. The bigger the cage, the more air it provides.
Then, the issue of how many hamsters can live in a homemade hamster cage? If you are caring for a Syrian hamster, then one hamster per cage is the ideal. Even if you are caring for the smaller species, we would suggest you keep one hamster in one hamster cage only.
Step-by-Step Procedures to Make a DIY Hamster Cage
1. You Will Need:
- Large & transparent storage bin (40 gallons or above)
- Wire mesh
- Water bottle
- Utility knife
- Pen marker
- Duct tape
- Place the lid of the bin in front of you. This is the process where you will cut the lid to make windows. We recommend that you construct the D.I.Y hamster house with two windows and to leave a strip in the middle of the lid. This is done so the lid will not lose its strength.
- Flip over the bin so the lid’s bottom is facing you.
- Get your pen marker and begin measuring the windows. When making a measurement, leave some room on all sides, about two inches on each side. This room will be used to attach the wire mesh for ventilation. The width of the middle strip should be around 3 to 4 inches.
- Once you have marked the lid with its correct measurements, get your sharpened utility knife and being cutting the lid.
- Remember when we instructed you to leave some room or gap in the lid? This is where you are going to drill some holes. Drill the holes with 3 inches gap in between them. You will later attach the wire mesh into these holes.
- Now, cut the wire mesh to fit into the windows. You will make two batches of these since you are making a homemade hamster cage with dual windows.
- Once you have completed cutting the wire mesh and ensuring that these fit well into the windows, you can cover the sharp edges with duct tape. This is done in order to prevent your hamster from getting scratched or wounded.
- Place the wire mesh on top of the back of the lid. Secure the mesh by sewing the wire through the hole and then through the mesh. Repeat until you have sewn all the hole and the mesh.
- Now you have completed the window of your hamster’s new home.
3. Setting-up of the Cage:
- Clean the inside of the bin with water and a mild bleach solution.
- Place a 2-inch layer of bedding at the bottom of the cage. Examples of beddings for hamsters are cellulose fiber and aspen shavings.
- Get those hamster D.I.Y hamster house accessories like a wheel, pet chews, a ball, or a tunnel. You can find different kinds of accessories in the market that can make your pet hamster happy inside its newly constructed home.
- Then get a clean water bottle, attach a double-sided tape at the back of it. Then attach the water bottle on one corner. You can purchase a water bottle specifically for hamsters.
- Keep its homemade hamster cage clean by changing the beddings once a week.
Alternative to Plastic Bin DIY Hamster Cage
If you have no time to build a homemade cage from a plastic bin, an easier option is to buy a second-hand fish aquarium.
The ideal smallest size of an aquarium that would fit a hamster is a 40-gallon fish aquarium. You can choose a bigger one though. What you need to do is to make a metal mesh to cover the aquarium.
1. You will need:
- Wire mesh
- Pen marker
- Duct tape
- Measure the dimension of the aquarium
- Cut the mesh based on the aquarium’s dimensions while adding one inch on all sides
- Place the mesh on top of the aquarium and then bend the excess mesh so as to form a lid cover
- Cover the edges of the mesh with a duct tape
- To form a frame, nail the mesh onto the wood.
- Place the frame on top of the aquarium.
- Place the hamster bedding and then accessorize the cage with hamster toys like a tunnel, a swing, a bridge, among others. Of course, do not forget the hamster water bottle.
DIY Hamster Cage Ideas:
Hamsters are very energetic animals. They love to move around quickly and this the reason why they should not be placed in houses where they could barely move.
Here are some ideas on how to make your hamster happy and entertained:
- Since the hamster loves to climb, provide its home with an exercise wheel to keep it active. A hamster wheel allows your hamster to run around even in small areas.
- To avoid getting bored, purchase a lot of toys such as wood chews, hammocks, toilet paper rolls, just to name a few. But avoid changing the toys too often. Hamsters do not respond too well with sudden changes in their environment.
- Hamsters like to dig and hide in the holes. Place compost or sawdust in their DIY hamster house to satisfy their natural urge to dig. You could also purchase a hamster digging tower.
Apart from providing interactive toys, one of the DIY hamster cage ideas that we could share with you is to equip its home with a clean spot to rest. Hamsters are asleep most of the time and it is vital for their health that they will be provided with comfortable nest boxes.
In the wild, they are chased by other animals and it is their natural behavior to hide if their safety is threatened. Nest boxes provide them with a sense of security and safety.
Here are some ideas for your hamster’s hide and rest place:
- Avoid placing the nest boxes in the middle of their playground. Instead, place these boxes in a secluded area, say in the corner of the hamster cage.
- Provide your hamster with nesting materials to fill-up their nest boxes. Good examples are aspen shavings and soft cotton materials like old beddings.
- Avoid using newspapers because ink can be harmful to them.
- Avoid giving cotton wool. In case they eat these, it can lead to intestinal blockage.
Thus, there are two important things to consider when you are building a DIY hamster home. First, it should be large enough for them to play around with their toys. Second, a home should have a secure resting place.
Homemade Cardboard Hamster Tunnels
You can also make your own hamster toys such as a tunnel.
You can connect four or more empty rolls of toilet paper by using glue. So you can use a tape to attach the rolls together. To make the tunnel more fun to look at, color it with non-toxic paints.
Hamsters are good pets both for kids and the young at hearts. They are cute and very amusing to watch. But, it is not a good idea to allow your hamster to roam around your house. It must have a ‘palace’ of its own.
Instead of buying a cage, we recommend that you make your DIY hamster cage. It is more economical and exciting for a hamster owner like you.
Keep in mind that even if a hamster is small in size, it needs a lot of room to run around. Avoid making a very small homemade hamster cage.
There is a plenitude of hamster accessories that you can get to make its home looking good and your pet hamster cheerful.