If you’re new to the world of small pets, you might not know that there is a craze for homemade cages. Whether their hamsters, guinea pigs, or rabbits, each pet has their own type of DIY cage, and the hamster’s is the bin cage.
A bin cage is a cage, not made out of your old trash can, but from a plastic storage box, like the ones used to store clothes, Christmas decorations, or old toys. It must be clear plastic, do not buy a colored one, as these do not let enough light in, and they must have a lid that locks on to the box. There also needs to be at least 360 square inches of floor space, so an 80l box, or more is perfect for your hamster.
These storage containers are airtight when the lid is on, so you will need to cut out squares from the box, and cover theses wholes with wire mesh. Visit here, to find out how to make a bin cage.
So why should I bother? Wouldn’t it be easier to just buy a cage?
- Yes, it would be easier, but it will also be more expensive. I have made a bin cage myself, and all the materials used cost me about €30. Considering a good, big hamster cage is at least €50, it is certainly worth the effort.
- Choosing to have a bin cage means that you can pick your size of cage easily, without going overboard on the price. It cost me €15 to buy a 110L box, with a floor space of nearly 500 square inches. If you buy that sized cage from a shop, you’d be paying €60 and up.
- Creativity can play a part too. If your a crafty person yourself, or have children, making a cage is a great way to express your arty animal side! You can choose your own layout, make your own levels and tubes, or decorate the outside, with stickers and paint. A storage box is the blank canvas of the animal world!
- They are not eyesores! Are you sick of looking at a bright blue/pink/orange/green plastic mess in your room? Bin cages are simple, neutral, and draw little attention. They are also a great option for adults looking to keep hamsters, as many of the factory-made cages on the market are geared towards children.
Sounds great! But are there any downsides?
- Yes, like all things, nothing’s perfect! You do need an adult who is good with electric drills and saws to help with this project. You may seriously hurt yourself if you’re trying to do something you have know idea how to do.
- Adding levels and tubes can be a fiddly job. Though it’s not hard to do, making a multilevel bin cage takes quite a bit of effort. If you’re planning to add tubes to the cage, you will have to find and buy them, and cut holes in the plastic that are exactly the right size. Again, not difficult, just fiddly!
- The chance of escape! If the wire mesh is not attached properly, your hammy may be able to escape. That’s a risk you can avoid by making sure the mesh is extremely secure!