How to make a hamster bin cage
Guide to making your own hamster bin cage
A bin cage can make the perfect enclosure for your hamster to run around in as it is spacious and if they do start to outgrow it, they can be easily extended by stacking and connecting other bin cages to it. Despite the name, however, bin cages are not made from old garbage holders, but large plastic storage boxes.
This guide explains how to make a DIY hamster bin cage in step by step stages. Bin cages are simple to make (providing you have the right sized box and equipment) and are popular for hamsters as they are spacious, easy to open and effortless to clean.
Bin cages are cheap to make in comparison to the prefabricated ones that you can buy at the pet store, which means that you can spend the money you have saved on hamster toys and accessories.
So, if like us, you are fed up of forking out dollars on inadequate hamster cages that are too small, difficult to place your hand through and a pain to clean out, then a bin cage could be the perfect solution. Here we will explain how we made one.
How many litres should a hamster bin cage be?
A bin cage should be at least 20 x 30 inches, taking up 600 sq. inches of total floor space and over 100 liters in size. You can measure the box by multiplying the bottom inside width by the bottom inside length. That said, the size of the bin cage you choose to make will ultimately depend on the size of your hamster. And, whilst big is best, you need to remember that you will need to sit your bin cage somewhere safe and secure once made.
You should also bear in mind the height of your hamsters’ wheel when considering the depth of the box you want to use. If your hamster is a burrower, then you will also need to account for a deep layer of substrate.
Step by step guide to making a hamster bin cage
In order to make a hamster bin cage, you will not only need a large plastic storage box but equipment including a marker pen, box cutter or jigsaw, power drill, wire cutters, cable ties, sandpaper and mesh. If you are making this as a family, please ensure that there is parental supervision at all times.
Top tip – select a plastic storage box that has a smooth lid, as the textured ones crack easily. Trust me, we got through quite a few plastic bins in pursuit of the perfect hamster pad. For this reason, we would highly recommend the Sterilite Storage box (see at Amazon).
1. Decide where to use wire mesh (lid is best)
It is really important that your bin cage is well ventilated, so you need to decide where you will place your wire mesh. The easiest location is on the lid, so for the purposes of this guide, we will be making a bin cage with a wire mesh lid. Alternatively, you could cut out one of the side panels or drill holes all around the box to ensure that there is enough air circulating through the cage. If you are interested in using this technique, then we explain it further below.
2. Draw an outline for the wire mesh
Place the lid face down and using your marker pen, draw an outline of exactly where you want to put the wire mesh. Make sure that the rectangle has a wide enough perimeter (around an inch) so that the lid does not snap whilst you are cutting it. This also allows plenty of room for cable ties to be added after.
3. Use a drill to make some starter holes
Drill some starter holes along the visible line, before cutting out the inside of the box using a jigsaw or box cutter. Once you get going, you may find it easier to use scissors.
4. Mark where you want to use cable ties for wire mesh
Once you are left with the perfect hole, using your marker pen once more, mark out where exactly you plan to place the cable ties that will affix the mesh to the plastic. We would recommend using as many cable ties as possible as you do not want your hamster to chew through them or find any small gaps to squeeze through. Use your power drill to make the holes but be careful not to crack the lid. The type we like to use are these cable ties available at Amazon as they are incredibly robust.
5. Cut wire mesh
Now you need to cut your mesh to fit your lid. Measure around the top accordingly, making sure that the mesh is slightly bigger than the hole so that it can safely overlap the sides and not slip through.
6. Check for sharp edges and smooth down with sandpaper
Having cut out your mesh you need to check for sharp or rough edges before either smoothing them out with sandpaper or covering them over with duct tape.
7. Attach mesh to the lid using cable ties
Now is the time to attach the mesh to the lid using your cable or zip ties. Make sure to pull them tight before snipping all the ends off using these wire cutters (at Amazon).
8. Fit water bottle externally to stop hamster chewing
For the water bottle, you can either place it inside or outside of the bin cage. Ours currently sits on the inside, however, Oscar is prone to chewing through his water bottle, so if we were to make another one, we would probably fit it externally.
Either way, the best way to add a water bottle is to lie it roughly where you would like it to sit, and mark out two holes either side. Make sure that the spout is at least 1-1.5 inches up from where the bedding will reach, making it easier for your hamster to drink.
Having drilled your holes, use some wire support to hold it in place. If you are adding your water bottle to the outside of the bin cage, then you will need to drill a larger hole for the spout to go through – making sure the hole is slightly larger so that it can easily be pulled in and out for refilling purposes.
9. Drill hole for hamster wheel
Finally, if you have a hamster wheel that clips onto a cage (rather than a freestanding one), then you will also need to cut a hole out for this. Cut it just big enough to feed the wheel screw through and then do it up by fixing the tightening mechanism to the outside of the bin cage.
Using mesh for the bin cage lid
Since making our bin cages and through trial and error, we have learnt that having two windows in the lid rather than one large hole makes the plastic around it a lot more stable.
When choosing which mesh to buy, we would also recommend going for one with small squares, so that your contortionist hamster cannot escape such as this wire mesh (available at Amazon).
How to make a hamster bin cage without mesh
It is not compulsory to use mesh for your bin cage, but in order to ensure adequate bin cage ventilation, you will need to drill holes in your plastic storage. A word of warning though, you will need to ensure that you have plenty of holes across your bin cage, making sure that they are at least 3 inches from the bottom so that the bedding and substrate do not cover them up or push through. If your hamster is a burrower then a bin cage with a mesh lid might be a better solution!
Ideally, you want holes at hamster head height and then closer to the top of the bin cage too, although you can place them sporadically so that they get a nice breeze blasting through. The more holes the better the hamster bin cage ventilation, although be careful when cleaning out.
Bin cage vs wire cage
There are many benefits to buying a normal wire hamster cage. Wire bars offer great ventilation and prevent moisture from building up too quickly in the bedding. However, a wire cage does not keep little fingers or paws from poking through like a solid plastic bin cage can, and many wire cages come with a host of detachable tubes and trays that are fiddly to fix and clean.
Mess is a problem with a wire cage too and proved to be the thing that tipped me over the edge having just had a new carpet fitted in our sitting room. The constant kicking of dirty bedding on to the floor is no longer an issue thanks to our bin cage. Plus, even our kids will clean out our bin cage as it is so easy to do. In a matter of minutes or a quick tip, the bin cage is empty and is straightforward to wipe out and clean.
Finally, if you have a hamster who likes to burrow than a bin cage gives you plenty of depth and is less drafty in the colder months.
Adding floors in a hamster bin cage
You can get as creative as you like when it comes to adding floors or extra rooms to your hamster’s cage. Some people like to stack bin cages on top of each other (this certainly saves space) or if you have the room you can place them side by side. You could even add different levels inside your bin cages using bits of wood or plastic and affixing them with wire to give your hamster plenty of places to explore.
Oscar absolutely adores his bin cage and after living in it for a few months, we added an additional bin cage, that we joined via a metal tunnel (bought at our local pet store). The tunnel is kept in place between the two bin cages by duct tape, which we easily unpeel when it is time to clean him out.
When researching bin cages for Oscar, I saw some fabulous designs. From disused dolls houses to old chests of drawers, as long as you find something spacious that has enough ventilation then you can create some wonderful homes for your hamster.
Just remember, however, that one of the main benefits of building a bin cage is to make life simpler for you, so if you do decide to go slightly more elaborate just consider how you will clean the cage out and have much access you will have to your hamster.
We would thoroughly recommend building your own bin cage. It is fun, something the whole family can get involved in and can even save you money in the long run.
Introduction: How to Build Your Own Cage for Hamster.
I think that cages for animals are too small to satisify their need of space. Of course, I want the best for my little pet ... so I decided to make a place where she can have some fun and also be safe.
In this instructable, I will show you how to build your own cage for hamster (or for another animal if you want).
Here is a list of the tools that I am going to use :
- a jigsaw
- a hand drill
- a hammer
- a screwdriver
- a stapler
And, here is a list of the "building material" :
- 1m² of linoleum (30,5 x 30,5 cm) to protect planks from urine, and it's so much easier to clean this than wood.
- 2 planks of MDF/Medium Density Fibreboard (80 x 60 cm). You can choose another type of wood of course; I chose this one because it's cheaper than natural wood, and as resistant.
- 3 wooden sticks of 2m50 (3 x 3 cm). I chose to take some pine for those; but if you're not taking this kind of wood make sure you're not buying a toxic one.
- 3 wooden sticks of 2m (3 x 1 cm), made of pine.
- 2 reinforced corners of 2m50 (2,5 x 2,5 cm), made of pine.
- 2 reinforced corners of 2m (2 x 2 cm), made of beech. They are going to reinforce the structure and protect the wooden sticks from every attacks. Indeed, your hamster is probably trying to eat the pine so I chose a harder wood for the corners : beech (not toxic either).
- 5m x 50 cm of steel wine mesh . Make sure you're taking one without paint and close enough that your hamster can't go through but can use it to climb (1 x 1 cm).
Now that I've tools and materials, I'm going to start with the woodwork !
Step 1: The Woodwork.
The basis of the cage is one of the planks made of MDF.
Cut the other one, with the jigsaw, into :
- 2 planks of 54 x 30 cm,
- 4 planks of 32 x 3 cm and,
- 2 other planks of 54 x 10 cm
(If it's not really clear in your mind, step 3 is going to clarify the question).
Stick up the linoleum on the planks, cut it if you need to.
The structure of the cage is made with wooden sticks/batons wood (3 x 3 cm). Cut them, with the jigsaw too, because we need :
- 4 sticks of 50 cm,
- 4 sticks of 47 cm,
- 2 sticks of 74 cm, and,
- 2 sticks of 54 cm.
Then, cut the wooden sticks (3 x 1) into :
- 2 sticks of 80 cm, and,
- 2 sticks of 60 cm.
Those ones will be to make a sort of barrier to prevent overflowing of litter.
Cut the reinforced corners in pine of 2m50 (2,5 x 2,5 cm) into :
- 4 reinforced corners of 47 cm,
- 2 reinforced corners of 80 cm, and,
- 2 reinforced corners of 60 cm.
They will add the finishing touches to the cage.
Cut the reinforced corners in beech of 2m (2 x 2 cm) into :
- 6 reinforced corners of 30 cm, and,
- 6 reinforced corners of 15 cm.
These ones will protect the wooden sticks inside the cage.
Step 2: The Structure.
Now that I have all the materials, I can start to assemble the structure.
So, I'm going to need the big plank of MDF (80 x 60 cm) as you can see on the first image. I made some 3D models with Google Sketchup to show you, step by step, the evolution of the cage.
To fix the batons wood of 50 cm on the corners of the plank, I have to drill through the plank before any other action. So, take your hand drill and drill through the plank at each corner, it will be easier to screw on after that. When it's done, just put them on and screw on the plank with a screwdriver. At the end of this, your work should look like the second model.
To fix the batons wood of 47 cm, I need to measure 26 cm from a baton wood in a corner. Do this on the both lenghts, then when it's done I can dril through the plank again, where I made the marks. Put the batons wood and screw them on the plank. The third model represents your work now.
To this end, I just need to do one more thing : the upper frame. For that drill twice through both of the batons wood that you put on the corners, about 1,5 cm from the top of it. Put the batons wood of 74 cm long where they belong to, and do the same with the batons wood of 54 cm. Then, screw them on. Check on the fourth model to be sure you've done everything.
The structure has been made, so let's go to the inside of the cage.
Step 3: Put the Floors.
I'm going to explain how I made floors for this cage. Remember when I told you how this step will clarify your questions about the cut of the second plank ? Well, you're going to have the answer.
For this step, I need 4 planks of 32 x 3 cm and 2 other planks of 54 x 10 cm.
Measure 15 cm high on 4 batons wood (left or right, it doesn't really matter), then take a plank of 32 x 3 cm, put it on those measures and screw it on. Do the same think on the otherside,
Do it again on the 4 others batons wood (left or right, it depends on where you did it the first time) but make sure you measure 30 cm high. Take the rest of the planks of 32 x 3 cm, put them on and screw it on.
In the next time, take 2 planks of 54 x 10 cm and screw them on each side. This plank rests on the other planks I made just before. But first you may want to drill through the batons wood to make this work easier.
Now your cage looks like the first and the second model.
There is only one more thing to do before the next step : put the planks of 54 x 30 cm where they belong to. The cage has two floors now, as on the third and fourth model.
Step 4: Put the Steel Wire Mesh.
All the inside structure has been made, so now let's go to the exterior part. For this step, I just need the steel wire mesh, a stapler and of course some staples.
Put the steel wire mesh on both sides. Make sure you tighten it enough before stapling, and take care that there's anything passing (staples or steel wire mesh pieces) inside the cage because your pet can hurt itself with it.
Put as many staples as you think you need to.
Let's go to the finishing touches...
Step 5: How to Reinforce the Corners.
This is the last step before the end, so be sure you've done everything.
To reinforce the inside of the cage, take the reinforced corners in beech.
Nail down the 6 reinforced corners of 15 cm below the first floor. To do this, take 2 reinforced corners and nail them down on the wooden sticks placed on the corner. The other are going to go on the 2 others wooden sticks but make sure to put 2 reinforced corners on each one, your stick will be completely protected.
Do the same operation than this one with the reinforced corners of 30 cm, below the other floor.
To add a finishing touch to the structure, take 2 reinforced corners of 80 cm and nail them down on the frame of the structure. They belong to the lengths obviously. Then do the same with the reinforced corners of 60 cm but put them on the widths.
The others reinforced corners of 47 cm are going to be nailed down on each side of the cage. Nail them down on each wooden sticks, on the corners.
The structure is reinforced, but also has a good-looking now.
To finish, let's make some barriers to prevent for overflowing of litter. For that, you're going to need the rest of the batons wood (3 x 1 cm). Take the 2 batons of 80 cm and nail them down on the basis of the cage, on the lengths. Do the same thing with the 2 batons of 60 cm, on the widths.
Now, you can put down your hammer and just take a deep breath. Your work is almost finish ...
Step 6: The New Cage Is Almost Ready...
Hammer, jigsaw, nails and screws aren't necessary anymore. Now, your task is just to add some stuff to your cage, to improve it into a wonderful place...
For that, I advise to put some vegetal litter on the floor of your cage. Vegetal litter, as hemp, is biodegradable and without any dust. You can also put some dust bath for the furry, it's totally natural (mineral) et has special absorbent and degreasing properties.
Fit out the cage with a wheel, a ladder, pipes and tunnels, and of course a house, to have a nap from time to time. Don't forget to put some water and some food, because exercise can starve anyone.
I hope you and your little pet will enjoy this cage. Do not hesitate to add some comments if you have any idea to improve the cage;
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DIY Hamster Cage
Today we are super excited to be making a new home for our friend Timbit! Timbit is Daniella’s hamster, and he’s totally been needing some new digs.
We started out by picking up the following items.
What you’ll need:
We started by cleaning out our aquarium! We decided we wanted to build a platform to add some dimension to the cage. We measured and marked off how tall and big our platform would be, and marked this off on our tank with some tape. We then grabbed a piece of ¼ inch plywood, cut it to size, and sanded it down. Next, we took some thick dowels, cut them to size as well, to act as the legs! We attached them by first adding some wood glue, then adding a nail from the top for extra security.
Next to add a ramp! We cut another piece of plywood to size, and added popsicle sticks for grip all along the ramp. We attached those using wood glue. Next to attach the ramp, we drilled two holes in the ramp, and two holes on the platform, and attached the two together using some thin rope or twine.
Next, we’re going to add some extra fun by adding a swing under the platform. Kelsey went ahead and cut some thick popsicle sticks to size, glued them together, and attached them using the same thin rope and hole drilling technique. To secure the whole platform to the side of the cage, we attached some suction cups to the platform using some rope, and secured the suction cups to the wall! Next, Becky started working on the house. She used the thick popsicle sticks again to create the walls of the house. She cut the top popsicle stick at an angle so that the roof would sit angled as well!
This house can now sit on the platform! To finish up the transformation, we added bedding, a wheel and water tube, food dish, and plants! Feel free to add your pet’s fave toys and other treats!
And that’s it! Timbit loves how this turned out (and we do too)! If you loved this, be sure to check out the video below!
HomeKelsey + Beckypets, pet diy
Ever wondered about DIY homemade hamster cages? As you probably know, hamster cages can get a little expensive. It’s pretty hard out here for a hamster owner living on a budget. Due to this, I thought you could benefit from an article depicting an effective way of using household items to build a high-quality cage.
How do you create a hamster cage with only household items? Well, it’s pretty simple as it only requires a few supplies and a little bit of your time. All you need is a storage bin, a water bottle, washers/nuts/bolts, wire mesh, wire and a wheel to get started.
Once you have all your materials, it’s time we start outlining the step-by-step process of creating your own hamster cage. Keep reading for the complete instructions.
DIY Hamster Cage: Get All Your Materials and Tools Together
Before we get into the actual step-by-step process, it’s essential we go over the necessary tools you’ll need. By doing so, we’re making sure you’re prepared for this gratifying and cost-effective experience.
As previously mentioned, the materials you’ll need are stuff you mainly find around the house. Each one of these materials has a specific purpose that you’ll need to understand for this project to be successful.
- Storage bin: It should be a clear bin that’s at least 20 X 30 inches. This is the minimum measurement for a comfortable living environment for one Syrian hamster or two dwarf hamsters. Larger is better.
- Wire mesh: A 19 or 23 gauge roll should be enough to create the windows of the cage.
- A pet water bottle: I’d recommend this one. It’s easily one of the best on the market.
- Wire: A foot-long length should be enough to secure the water bottle inside the cage.
- Washers, nuts, and bolts: About 16 of each should do the trick. These will help fasten the mesh to the lid, which will create windows.
- A plastic wheel: A 11 or 12 inches one for a Syrian hamster and an 8 or 8.5 inches one for a dwarf hamster.
As previously mentioned, each of these materials does have a significant purpose in creating a high-quality bin cage. So, make sure you have all of them before moving on with your project.
Now, there are a few items on this list that you might not have inside your home. If this is the case, don’t fret. The cost of the following tools will be a lot less than the overly expensive hamster cages available at pet stores.
- Wirecutter: You’ll need one to cut the wire mesh.
- Some sort of utility knife or saw: Depending on the material of the storage bin, you’ll need either a utility knife or a saw to cut through it.
- Drill and bits: A 11/64 sized drill bit should be satisfactory enough to create both the ventilation holes and the water bottle spout hole.
- A sharpie or permanent market: This tool will be used to draw your windows to help guide your cutting.
With all your tools and material ready for use, we must onto the actual step-by-guide to creating this DIY hamster cage. And honestly, getting all the tools/material was the hard part. Once you got these tools, the rest is of the process is so simple a hamster could do it!
DIY Hamster Cage: The Step by Step Process
Step 1: Ready the Lid
First, you’re going to take off the lid and have the bottom facing up. This action will allow you to examine the lid for any weird, potentially dangerous plastic pieces.
After you conclude the lid is safe for this project, it’s time we start preparing it for the cutting session. You’re going to want two windows with a strip in between because the strip prevents them from losing strength.
Also, you’ll need a little room for the screws you attach later. So, you should leave about an inch and a half on each side and about 3 to 4 inches in the middle.
Once you consider these factors, take out your sharpie or permanent marker and start drawing the two rectangles. These rectangles will make cutting a whole lot easier.
Now, the cutting will most likely be the most challenging part of this entire project. So, carefully take out your utility knife or saw and start cutting according to your rectangle guidelines. After you’ve successfully cut out the rectangles, move onto the next step.
Step 2: Cutting the Mesh to Fit the Windows
Take out your 19 or 23 gauge of mesh and line it up against the rectangle windows you’ve just created. Now, you’ll need to make sure there are at least four mesh holes or about an inch overlapping the window.
See, you’ll need this extra room later when you start drilling holes. After all, if you drill too close to the window, it might end up cracking, and that’s the absolute last thing we want.
Once you’ve measured out the right amount of mesh, take out your wire cutter and start cutting. When you’re down-cutting your mesh, it might be in your best interest to file down its sharp edges.
If you have toys or tunnels that reach the top, these sharp edges could end up hurting your hamster.
Step 3: Secure the Windows
Pick up your newly cut mesh and decide which window you want to start with first. For me, I’d probably start on the right side first given I’m right-handed.
Then, place one piece of the mesh over the window and make sure it’s centered. If it’s not centered, it could cause some problematics issues later on that you don’t want to encounter.
From there, pick up your marker and start filling in the holes where you think the drill holes would work best. I’d recommend starting with the top corners and working from there.
After this, the process becomes rather simple. You drill the hole where you marked and thread a screw through. Then, you put the screw through the hole, twist a washer on it from the other side of the lid, and tighten the bolt.
And you repeat this process until you’re comfortable that the window is secure. In my opinion, eight screws on each window should be enough. With the first window safely secure, move onto the other window and repeat the entire process.
Step 4: Create the Ventilation Holes
With your lid is completely finished, it’s time to give your hamster or hamsters some breathable air. Although this step isn’t strictly necessary depending on the size of your windows, I’d still recommend added these holes.
After all, it’s never a bad idea to give your hamster more air circulation. And to add these holes isn’t a complicated process. In my opinion, the holes you drill should be in two places: one set near the top and another near the bottom.
Now, the key is to find the perfect places to drill these holes. With a 20 X 30-inch storage bin, I’d recommend drilling holes about 3 inches from the bottom. This amount of space will allow you to avoid the holes getting blocked by your hamster’s bedding.
Regarding the top layer of holes, you should drill a layer of holes about an inch below the lip of the lid. With both these layers of holes, your hamsters shouldn’t have any issues inhaling that all-important fresh air.
Step 5: Add in the Pet Water Bottle
Deciding where the pet water bottle's placed is a surprisingly difficult decision. Honestly, there are minimal guidelines for its placement because every pet water bottle is vastly different.
In the case of the water bottle I recommended above, I’d put the spout about one or one and a half inches about the bedding. This placement will ensure there’s no contact between the bedding and water spout.
Once you do decide about the placement, put the bottle flat against the spot you want it placed. Then, use the marker to draw four dots: two on either side of the bottle. These dots on both will be on top of one another. In other words, if all four are connected, they would form a rectangle.
These dots on opposite sides of the bottle will be about an inch or so apart. After drawing these dots, you’re going to draw an oval-shaped hole for the water bottle. Make sure this hole is a little bit taller than you need to be, so, you can easily pull the bottle in and out.
When you got all your dots situated, you need to drill through them. When the drilling is done, take your wire and thread it through the now drilled holes. It’s essential you put the wire into a U shape then push it through the upper holes first.
After this, pull each through the accompanying bottom holes. From there, take one of the wires and twist it over its self a few times before making a loop with its end.
With the other wire, you do the same except you make the end a hook instead of a loop. Once you're done making the loop, you can attach the pet water bottle to the cage and fill it up.
Step 6: Put in the Decor
We’ve finally reached the fun part. At this juncture, your cage is all ready to go. All you need to do from here is add in your hamster's decor.
Add in all the essentials such as bedding, wheel, food dish, toys, etc. Put in whatever you need to make your hamsters feel comfortable. And once you add in this stuff, you have your own inexpensive cage that will be your hamster's home for a very long time!
What components should a hamster cage have?
While the most popular type of hamster cage is the plastic or wire kind, some people choose to keep their hamsters in a glass aquarium. No matter what you choose to keep your hamster in, the following components are what's best for your pet.
- The cage should be well-ventilated.
- It should have wide floor space.
- It should allow easy access to your pet.
- It should be able to be cleaned easily.
- Multiple floors are best.
Larger cages with platforms are better for hamsters, but if you don't have space for a larger cage, let your hamster out to exercise (put him in an exercise ball to keep him safe) every day.
How to Make DIY Toys Out of Household Items
If you’re looking for ways to create cages out of household items, I think you’d benefit from knowing you can make toys out of these items too. Here's a great YouTube video that demonstrates easily made DIY toys:
And this video isn’t the only one out there that has some great ideas about hamster toys. Getting creative is half the fun! Just please remember to use only non-toxic materials.
You Might Also LikeSours: https://hamsters101.com/diy-hamster-cage/
Hamster home diy
DIY hamster toys are a great, low cost way to keep your hamster active and entertained.
It’s important to use hamster-safe materials, and to supervise them regularly when using home made toys.
Don’t forget that hamsters love to nibble on things, so anything you make must be non toxic.
And that they are tiny and agile, so you don’t want anything that could fall on them!.
DIY hamster toys can be anything from homemade chews, to houses and ladders.
Some of the best building materials include cardboard boxes, toilet roll tubes, wooden popsicle sticks, and non-toxic glue.
So, let’s have a look at how to create the best DIY hamster toys for your little friend!
Why Make DIY Hamster Toys?
If you have hamsters at home, you know how much fun they are to have around.
They are sweet, playful, and good-natured little critters.
But, just like other pets, they need toys to help them stay active and busy.
If you’re like me, your first instinct might be to run out and buy toys for them.
But before you do, why not consider saving yourself some money by making your own DIY hamster toys.
Homemade hamster toys can be fun to make.
And you can use stuff you already have around the house to do it.
Once you know how to make them, replacing toys is easy too!
It’s important to make sure any supplies you use are safe for hamsters to play with and possibly ingest.
As hamsters love to chew on things!
Here are some great materials to get your going:
- Toilet roll tubing
- Popsicle sticks
- Fruit tree sticks
- Small plastic tubs
- Plant pots
- Drain pipe
- Shredded paper
Start by looking around the house and checking in the recycling!
See if you have empty cardboard boxes, toilet paper rolls, wooden popsicle sticks and non-toxic glue.
You can even make your own DIY non-toxic glue. Just mix equal amounts of white flour and water.
If you have these items lying around, you’re in great shape.
If not, you can purchase some of these items at the local craft store. Or simply wait until you accumulate some!
Once you gather these items, you can start putting together fun homemade hamster toys.
DIY Hamster Chew Toys
Hamsters definitely need chew toys to keep their teeth healthy.
Unlike human teeth, hamster teeth grow constantly.
And they keep this growth in check through gnawing.
Wood is commonly given to hamsters for them to gnaw on, which helps keep their teeth from overgrowing.
When giving them wood blocks or sticks, make sure they are untreated and unpainted.
Fruit sticks are ideal.
Alternatively, you can give them dog biscuits (without garlic) or tubes from paper towel rolls.
Here are some DIY hamster chew toys that your hamster will love.
DIY Hamster Chew Sticks
Here is an idea for DIY hamster chew toys. You can make chew sticks for your hamster.
All you need is wood skewers, white flour, water and scissors.
- First, cut the wood skewers into 3 inch pieces.
- Mix 1:1 ratio of white flour and water to make non-toxic glue.
- Then dip or brush the skewers with the glue mixture.
- Stick together five pieces of them.
Allow them to fully dry overnight before giving it to your little hammy.
Homemade Chew Ball
You can make an interesting chew ball for your hamster using toilet roll tubes!
You don’t even need glue for this chew toy.
- Take a tube and chop it width-ways into 5 equally sized rings.
- You will only need 3 of these, but cutting it into 5 gives you the right size.
- Take one ring and push it inside the other to make a sphere.
- Then, do the same with a third ring, pushing it inside the other two.
- Once you’ve done this, you will have a sphere or toilet tube pieces, with slight gaps in between them.
If your hamster doesn’t seem to like this, you could even fill it with treats, like sunflower seeds, or mealworms.
You can experiment with this toy by cutting rings in different sizes and putting more of them inside one another!
DIY Hamster Toy Wheels
Hamster wheels are a great DIY hamster toy that gives your hamster fun and exercise!
Pet stores have lots of options when it comes to wheels. But, a lot of the wheels you can buy are actually really noisy!
Here is a homemade version you might prefer.
Container Tub Wheel
All you need for this DIY hamster wheel is:
- A circular plastic tub without a lid
- 3 wooden strips for a stand (2 longer pieces, and 1 shorter piece)
- A bolt
- 3 nuts
- 2 screws
Arrange one of the longer pieces of wood and the shorter piece into a ‘T’ shape for the base of the stand.
Secure these together with a single screw.
You can use non-toxic glue, but this might not be strong enough to support the wheel and your hamster.
Your next long piece of wood will need to stand upright on the other long piece.
It will be at a 90 degree angle to the short piece!
Attach this with another screw, or non-toxic glue. This will form the stand for your wheel.
Now for the Wheel!
Now, take your container, and drill a hole in the middle of its base.
This is where your wheel will attach to the stand.
You can then position your wheel on the stand, to make sure there is enough space for it to spin.
Drill a hold in the upright wooden piece that aligns with the hole in your tub.
Put the bolt through the hole in your tub, and secure this with a nut on the outer side. Make sure it is loose enough to spin.
Then, push the rest of the bolt through the hole in your stand, securing it with another nut on the back of the wood.
The bolt should have a nut on either side of the wood.
If you have a wire cage, you can position this against the wires so that your hamster won’t try to chew on the metal bolt.
DIY Hamster House
Hamster houses come in lots of different forms in the shops.
But such a huge variety can be overwhelming.
Making your own DIY hamster toy house can be cheaper, and a great way to express your love for your hamster.
Here are some great ideas.
Popsicle Homemade Hamster House
You can make a DIY hamster house by gluing popsicle sticks together to form a house.
But, make sure to use non-toxic glue such as a 1:1 flour to water paste.
The essential elements to include are:
- A stable base
- Four walls
- A roof
Make sure that there’s a doorway or two for your hamster to run in and out of the house.
You can get really creative with this house!
You could add windows, and even some cute details to make it your own.
Paper Mache Hamster House
Another great, easy way to make a DIY hamster house uses just paper, water, and a jar.
This is so easy, even young children will love making this house.
Use clean paper that has no ink on it. Nibbling on paper with ink can be harmful for your hamster.
- Simply wet the outside of the bowl or jar that you are using.
- Layer strips of your paper on the outside until it is completely covered in the shape you want.
- Leave the paper to dry overnight, and gently remove your jar or bowl in the morning.
- If it is hard to remove, you can slide a popsicle stick down the sides to loosen it.
Once you have your paper mache shape, you can cut out a door, and fill it with bedding for your hamster to use!
Using a Balloon
Lots of people like to use balloons when creating a paper mache shape.
However, you won’t be able to stick paper to your balloon with water alone.
You can use the non-toxic glue recipe we looked at earlier if you would like to use a balloon to make your shape.
Removing the balloon is easier than removing a jar or bowl, as you can just pop it!
But, whatever you use, make sure you layer your paper thick enough for a stable house.
Plant pot Hamster House
Small squared plant pots can make brilliant hamster houses too.
Use a hand saw to cut an opening in one side, and turn it upside down.
Sand around the edge and there you have it!
A hamster house.
These hamster houses are great because they are cheap, or even free if you
have some laying around the back yard.
Just be sure to use one that has fairly sturdy walls and doesn’t splinter.
You can make your own homemade hamster bedding to fill up the house you made, too!
To keep your hamster comfy in his cage, you need bedding that is safe, clean, absorbent, and doesn’t contain much dust.
You can use dry, single-ply toilet paper or tissue paper to make hamster bedding.
Just tear it up and stick it in your hamster’s living space.
Hamsters love burrowing and tearing apart these pieces of paper, so make plenty of it.
DIY Hamster Tubes
One great DIY hamster toy that your little pet will love is tubes!
DIY hamster tubes can be better for your hamster than store bought plastic tubes, because they do not need to be cleaned regularly like plastic tubes do.
Once they are a bit worn, you can just replace the DIY hamster tubes with spares or just make new ones.
Toilet Roll Tubes
Paper towel rolls and toilet paper rolls make excellent hamster tubes. They are cheap and easy toys to make.
You can cut holes in the tubes and stick your hammy’s favorite treat in there and watch him go.
You can also push the tubes together and cut corners at different angles so your hamster has multiple places to run.
Sawn off sections of small diameter drain pipe are another great choice.
Make sure they aren’t coated in anything that’s not hamster safe.
Check that they fit through easily and won’t get stuck.
And make sure that you sand the ends down so that they aren’t sharp.
These sections last for ages, even when your hamster has fun chewing them!
DIY Hamster Toy Ladder
If your hamster’s cage has different levels, you might want to make a DIY hamster ladder.
Or, perhaps you just want to add another layer to the homemade hamster house you made earlier!
Either way, hamster ladders are a great way to add an extra fun area for your hamster to access.
You’ll love watching your hamster clamber up and down these easy-to-make ladders.
How to Make Them
To make a DIY hamster ladder, all you need are popsicle sticks and non-toxic glue.
- Overlap and glue together the vertical sticks.
- Then place sticks horizontally, gluing the ends on to the vertical sticks to create the steps.
- Do this until you have a ladder that is tall enough to reach your hamster’s favorite platform.
Again, these are best used in your hamsters playpen during supervised play, rather than in the cage they sleep in at night.
Your hamster may nibble on this DIY hamster toy, so make sure it is stable each time you give it to your hamster.
DIY Hamster Toy Playground
Make a fun DIY hamster playground by using wood popsicle sticks, toilet paper roll tube, yarn, and glue.
This is basically a jungle gym for your little hammy to run around in.
- Start by building a box frame (base, two sides, roof) using popsicle sticks and glue.
- Then take the yarn and tie it to the roof.
- Slip one end of the yarn through the toilet paper roll.
- Tie it to the other end of your frame, so the tube dangles mid air.
It should look like a hanging tunnel.
For added fun, make ladders out of popsicle sticks and lean it against the jungle gym.
The Sky’s the Limit!
A DIY hamster toy playground really lets you use your creative side!
You can experiment by adding tubes, making the frame different shapes, and adding more ladders.
See how fun you can make this playground for your hamster.
DIY Hamster Mazes
A hamster maze is a really fun thing to make for them.
And a great way to enjoy them outside of their cage.
Even for hamsters that aren’t the biggest fans of being handled.
To make a hamster maze the easiest way to create something amazing is to use Legos or similar adjoining building blocks.
You can then tailor it to your hamsters exact size.
And be fairly confident it won’t fall down.
Just remember to scoop them up and put them back home if they aren’t enjoying themselves.
You Can Use Tubes Too!
You can also use toilet roll tubes to make a fun maze for your hamster. Just attach them together!
Make sure there are enough exits, though, so your hamster doesn’t get stuck and panic.
And never leave them in a homemade maze unsupervised.
Creative DIY Hamster Toys
It’s easy to be creative when you make hamster toys.
Cardboard boxes can be turned into pop-up mazes.
Brown paper bags can be stuffed with paper bedding with holes in them.
Old socks can be wrapped around an empty paper towel roll as inexpensive tunnels, and much more!
You can even use random objects from around the house, like seashells!
Hamsters love to burrow and hide. Why not gather six toilet paper roll tubes and glue them together to form a triangle?
Place it on the bedding and watch your hamster run through the tunnels and hide.
Best DIY Hamster Toys
There are so many great ideas out there for how to make homemade hamster toys.
We hope we’ve given you some great ideas on how to get started.
How about you? Have you tried making any DIY hamster toys yourself?
We would love to hear what your hamster’s favorite DIY toy is in the comments section below!
Do you have a hamster? If so, then you know that they can be pretty messy creatures. One of the most important parts of having a pet hamster is keeping their cage clean for them. You want to make sure that your little one has plenty of room to run around and play in an environment where they are safe from any dangers. But what do you do when it’s time to clean their habitat?
There are many chemicals out there on the market that claim to be “safe” for animals but look closer at the label and see if it says anything about being appropriate for pets or not. Most cleaners aimed at animal habitats often contain harsh chemicals like ammonia which can cause serious damage – even death!
Let’s look at how to create your own DIY hamster cage cleaner at home that is safe and effective.
What is a hamster cage cleaner and why do I need one?
A cage cleaner is a special formulation that helps clean and disinfect cages, wheels, feeders, toys, food bowls, and all other parts of the habitat.
Cleaners for hamster cages serve 4 purposes:
- Removing and breaking down urine, dirt, feces, etc.: a cleaner’s main purpose is to remove things your hamster leaves behind in their habitat, so you don’t have to touch it or smell it any longer than necessary.
- Reducing ammonia fumes: Cleaners may also help reduce the amount of ammonia that builds up when your hamster urinates (yes, they do as well!) by using enzymes that break down organic waste into less harmful substances such as water vapor and carbon dioxide – which can be smelled but not nearly as bad!
- Disinfecting the habitat: Your animal’s cage needs to stay clean for them to live healthy lives because dirty cages often contain bacteria from droppings and food, which can lead to illness in your hamster.
- Providing a pleasant scent: Lastly, but not least – the smell of some cleaners may be more pleasing for you and your pet than others, so make sure there is an option that suits both of you when it comes to choosing one!
DIY Hamster Cage Cleaner Recipe (all-natural)
One way to keep your hamster safe and happy is to use small pet-safe cleaning products. That starts by knowing exactly what is in the cleaner. (You can also use this formula with rabbits, rats, and guinea pigs)
Can I use vinegar to clean a hamster cage? Vinegar is a great option for cleaning your hamster cage. It contains acetic acid, a natural disinfectant, and an inexpensive, readily available, non-toxic way to clean up messes around the cage.
Here is a DIY hamster cage cleaner recipe that works well and is safe for your little hammy.
DIY Hamster Cage Cleaner (2:1 ratio)
- 4 oz. of warm (120F water)
- 2 oz. of white vinegar
- 2 drops of liquid dish soap
Mix the water, white vinegar, and dish soap into a reusable spray bottle. Close the bottle with the spray head and ensure the bottle is sealed well. Shake two times and use.
It is best to spray the entire surface to be cleaned and let the cleaner sit for 2-3 minutes and wipe the surface down with a towel. Then, re-apply the cleaner to all areas and more generously to more stains portions.
On this second application of the cleaner, allow it to sit for 10-15 minutes. Then spray a light coat one more time, scrub the area with a rag or paper towel and wipe up the excess.
Finally, rinse the cleaned area with clean water and then allow it to air dry.
Extra Strength DIY Hamster Cage Cleaner (1:1 ratio)
- 4 oz. of warm (120F water)
- 4 oz. of white vinegar
- 4-6 drops of liquid dish soap
Mix together the water, white vinegar, and dish soap into a reusable spray bottle. Close the bottle with the spray head and ensure the bottle is sealed well. Shake two times and use.
Using the spray bottle, spray the cleaner generously on the desired area and allow to sit for 10 minutes or more. Then, using a towel or rag, clean the area with a scrubbing motion. Re-apply the cleaner as needed.
When done, rinse the area thoroughly and allow it to dry completely.
Stain Buster DIY Hamster Cage Cleaner (1:1 ratio + Abrasive)
- 4 oz. of warm (120F water)
- 4 oz. of white vinegar
- 4-6 drops of liquid dish soap
- 1 tsp. of baking soda
Mix the water, white vinegar, baking soda, and dish soap into a reusable spray bottle. Close the bottle with the spray head and ensure the bottle is sealed. Shake gently until the baking soda is dissolved.
Spray the mixture generously onto the areas to be cleaned. Allow the mixture to sit for 3-5 minutes. Then begin cleaning the area with a toothbrush and paper towel or rag. When done cleaning, rinse the area well and allow it to dry thoroughly before placing your hamster into the cleaned cage.
This recipe cleans best while the water is still warm. Baking soda is a mild abrasive that can help remove stains.
Stubborn Stain Solver – Hamster Cage Cleaner
- 2 oz. of hydrogen peroxide
- 1 oz. of warm water (120F water)
- 4 drops of liquid dishwashing soap
Combine the hydrogen peroxide and water water into a spray bottle. Then add the liquid soap. Attach the cap and light turn the bottle over and back two times for a light mixing without creating a bunch of suds.
Spray the mixture generously on stubborn stains and let it sits for 10 minutes before rinsing throughly with clean water. Be sure to remove all soap residue before placing your hamster back into it’s cage.
DIY Cleaning Recipe Notes
It is important to thoroughly rinse the cleaner from the cage and accessories when you are finished cleaning.
If you can still smell the vinegar, it is going to be too much for your hamster. Wait for it to dry before placing your hamster back in the cage.
Finally, the only other issue you may run into is that these cleaners do not have an “instant” effect. It will take a little bit of time for the cleaner to work on all those urine stains and dirt and grime, but after a few cleanings, it should be as good as new!
Why you should avoid dangerous chemicals like bleach?
Many chemicals out there on the market claim to be “safe” for animals but look closer at them. For example, some cleaners aimed at animal habitats often contain harsh chemicals like ammonia which can cause serious damage – even death!
Bleach is harmful to hamsters because it can cause respiratory irritation and burning of the skin. Remember that hamsters are much more sensitive than humans. This includes smells and irritants.
You must read labels carefully for any chemicals or cleaning agents before spraying them around your pet!
Best hamster cage cleaners to buy
Maybe DIY is not your thing. No problem. There are reputable hamster cage cleaners on the market that are safe and effective.
In addition to avoiding the chemicals mentioned above, these cleaners are less likely to cause respiratory and skin irritation in small animals.
The following hamster cage cleaners have been reviewed favorably by both consumers and professionals:
Nature’s Miracle Cage Cleaner | Small Animal Formula – Nature’s Miracle Cage Cleaner for Small Animal is designed to clean small animal cages. Bio-enzymatic odor locking technology effectively removes tough, caked-on debris and strong, embedded cage odors with no perfume or essential oils left behind to irritate your hamster’s respiratory system.
Amazing Small Animal Cage Cleaner – A natural enzyme cage cleaner is extremely fast-acting and does not leave behind a greasy, sticky, or filmy residue like other cleaners or soaps. Apply the solution to a dirty hamster cage, let it sit for 15-30 minutes, then rinse thoroughly. The surface of the cage should be treated just like any hard floor – using a pet-safe cleaner to get rid of all dirt stains (including urine), grease, and food waste particles that can be potentially dangerous if ingested by your pets.
Benefits of using natural ingredients over harsh chemicals
When it comes to natural ingredients, it’s better for the environment since you’re not pouring harsh chemicals down a drain or spilling them on your counter. You’ll also save money because these cleaners are less expensive to make at home than chemical ones!
It is important not only for our hamsters but also for ourselves and other family members living on the same property to avoid inhaling strong fumes from chemical cleaners.
Another benefit of using natural ingredients is that the cage and accessories will not degrade as quickly as harsh chemical cleaners.
The benefits of using natural ingredients over harsh chemicals include affordability, environmentally friendly, and less harmful than chemical cleaners when animals in the vicinity.
You can make a hamster cage cleaner with warm water, vinegar, and liquid dishwashing detergent. It’s easy and safe when used properly.
Natural cage cleaners may not work as quickly as those with harsh chemicals, but the safety and benefits of the hamster environment are well worth it.
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8 DIY Hamster Cages You Can Build Today
If your hamster’s cage is less than inspiring, then we’ve got good news for you! It’s pretty easy to learn how to build a hamster cage! Here you can create your own DIY hamster cage rather than buying an expensive ready-made one.
Hamsters need safe and secure places to sleep at night, so even if you let your hamster out for exercise during the day, you’ll need a cage for them to hang out in at other times too.
We’ve done the hard work for you and found eight of the best DIY hamster cages — and the best part is that they’re all free!
From a super-stylish Palm Springs-inspired cage to one using an easily available Ikea bookshelf, pick your favorite and start building!
Each plan includes a list of the tools and materials you’ll need, as well as an approximate suggestion of the level of DIY skill you’ll need to successfully build each project.
For each plan, we’ve assumed that you already have all the vital accessories your hamster needs, such as bedding, wheel, water bottle, and a cozy house.
It’s worth noting that there is a minimum recommended size for hamster cages, so make sure your new project gives your hamster enough space to move around comfortably. The ASPCA recommends a minimum tank size of 10 gallons for Syrian hamsters, but they do mention that it’s best to get the biggest cage you can afford!
1. Palm Springs Hamster Cage by The Sorry Girls
Check Instructions Here
Skill Level: Beginner
If your hamster would like a minimalist and stylish cage, then this tutorial by The Sorry Girls uses an old aquarium to provide an eye-catching new home for your hamster, including a wheel, elevated house, succulent plants, and even a super-cute swing. Besides the written tutorial, you can find a YouTube video here. We’d recommend adding a wire mesh top to stop your tiny critter from making any escape attempts!
- Glass aquarium
- Hot glue
- Wood glue
- Popsicle sticks
- Small nails
- Hamster-safe plants and accessories
- Suction cups
2. Ikea Billy Hamster Cage by Small Furry Friend
Check Instructions Here
Skill Level: Beginner to Medium
This hamster cage by Small Furry Friend is clever because it uses an Ikea bookshelf frame and glass shelf to provide most of the cage structure. All you need to do is to create a mesh roof, and your hamster will have a large and stylish new home!
- Ikea Billy Extension
- Ikea Billy glass shelf
- Wooden planks
- Aquarium silicon
- Wire mesh
3. High-Life Hamster Mansion From Instructables
Check Instructions Here
Skill Level: Beginner
If your hamster would like a bit of multi-level living in a cute mansion, then you can upcycle an old doll’s house using this tutorial from Instructables. Many of the materials needed can be found around the house, so besides being an easy project, this one is budget friendly too. Be sure to choose a doll’s house with enough floor space for your hamster.
- Old doll’s house
- Plastic netting
- Hot glue
- Spray paint
- Paper clips
- Small wooden planks
- Staple gun
- Hot glue gun
- Knife or scissors
4. Victoria Raechel’s Large DIY Hamster Cage
Check Instructions Here
Skill Level: Medium
This large hamster cage made by Victoria Raechel uses melamine back, sides, and base with a glass front to create a deep and airy hamster cage. If your hamster loves to burrow, then you can add a deep layer of bedding to this cage to give them plenty of room to dig to their heart’s content. The large floor space of this cage measures 1,152 square inches.
- Melamine wood
- Glass sheet
- Four wheels
- Wire mesh
- Wood strips
- Melamine tape
- Aquarium silicon
- Wood glue
- Nail gun
- Staple gun
- Tin snips
5. Dad V Girls DIY Hamster Cage
Check Instructions Here
Skill Level: Medium
This video tutorial from Dad V Girls shows how to make a large wooden hamster cage with a clear plastic front. Using non-toxic animal-safe paint, you can paint this any color you like! There’s a raised platform, sand bath, hamster wheel, and plenty of places for your hamster to explore and burrow in their new home.
- Clear plastic
- Wood dowels
- Wood glue
6. Budget Ikea Detolf Hamster Cage by Victoria Raechel
Check Instructions Here
Skill Level: Beginner
This is another budget hack from Victoria Raechel: a long hamster cage using an Ikea Detolf glass display cabinet to create the main cage structure. While an equivalent-sized glass aquarium would cost around $900, this Ikea Detolf comes in at just $70! It is quite narrow but will provide your hamster with around 940 square inches of running room.
- Ikea Detolf display cabinet
- Wood planks
- Wire mesh
- Small handles
7. Acrylic Lookalike Aquarium Hamster Cage from Instructables
Check Instructions Here
Skill Level: Beginner to Medium
This DIY hamster cage from Instructables uses four pre-cut panels of clear acrylic glass for an aquarium-style hamster cage on a budget. You can also add a platform with a ladder for your hamster to explore, and the tank is deep enough for them to enjoy plenty of burrowing. You can learn how to build a hamster cage of this caliber in this YouTube tutorial here.
- Pre-cut clear acrylic panels
- Wood screws
- Acrylic glass glue
8. Plastic Crate Cage from Hammy Happenings
Check Instructions Here
Skill Level: Beginner
This plastic crate cage from Hammy Happenings can be put together in a couple of hours. There’s plenty of ventilation, thanks to the mesh top and sides. The design here uses two levels to create space for your hamster to explore. You can use a plastic tunnel internally or externally to provide access between the levels.
- Wire mesh
- Cable ties
- Plastic crates
- Duct tape
- Nuts and bolts
- Metal ruler
- Soldering iron
That’s a wrap!
We hope that you enjoyed our round-up of the eight best DIY hamster cages that you can start building today. Whatever your level of DIY skill, one of these plans is bound to suit you. From a cute doll’s house cage to a roomy run made from an Ikea display unit, there’s something for everyone.
Your hamster will be more than happy with their new home!
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Featured Image: Zdeněk Chalupský, Pixabay
Nicole is the proud mom of Baby, a Burmese cat and Rosa, a New Zealand Huntaway. A Canadian expat, Nicole now lives on a lush forest property with her Kiwi husband in New Zealand. She has a strong love for all animals of all shapes and sizes (and particularly loves a good interspecies friendship) and wants to share her animal knowledge and other experts’ knowledge with pet lovers across the globe.
Nicole is the proud mom of Baby, a Burmese cat and Rosa, a New Zealand Huntaway. A Canadian expat, Nicole now lives on a lush forest property with her Kiwi husband in New Zealand. She has a strong love for all animals of all shapes and sizes (and particularly loves a good interspecies friendship) and wants to share her animal knowledge and other experts' knowledge with pet lovers across the globe.