Hubby (or Mr. Bb as he is more commonly referred to in the BudgetBunny household) had some time off during the holidays and needed a project to keep him busy! Since Scarlet was the only member of our furry family who still had not gotten her cage upgrade I immediately suggested we give her a new home for Christmas!
There was nothing wrong with Scarlet's current home. It offered 588 square inches of floor space (the minimum in North America for a hamster is 360), was secure, safe and had happily been the home of two Syrian hamsters before her, but our little Scarlet is one busy ham and I found it to be too small for her. I also wanted something that was a little more eye pleasing.
So three days before Christmas while others were out frantically finishing their Christmas shopping and wrapping their presents, Mr. Bb and I were at Home Depot picking up the supplies for Scarlet's new home!
Inspired by Hopping Hammy, we built the main structure of the cage out of melamine and used a leftover piece of plexiglass for the front. Mr. Bb also added some shelving at the bottom of the cage so I would have a storage area.
We used a white wooden edging to hold all of the pieces in place and create a trimmed border around the cage. This helped to hide any rough or unfinished edges. Mr. Bb also added a small second level so that Scarlet could access anything we hung from the roof of the cage and to give her a little more floor space. Once everything was in place, I used aquarium sealant to add a waterproof barrier to all of the edges.
Next Mr. Bb added legs to the bottom of the cage to get it up off of the ground. Then he set to building the lid. To make it easier to open, Mr. Bb made two lids, each on their own hinges. On one of the lids he used a rotary drill bit to put several holes in it for ventilation.
We covered these with sturdy hardware mesh. It would be next to impossible for Scarlet to reach this high up in the cage but as hamsters are little escape artists we didn't want to risk it! Plus we didn't want our three cats attempting anything either by sticking their paws in to the cage! Mr. Bb attached a handle to each lid to make it easy to open!
And finally on Christmas Eve our little Scarlet moved in to her new palace! Her new cage measures 16"x49" and offers 784 square inches of floor space to our little princess. I love how fresh and clean her new home looks! It is so easy to view Scarlet, is safe and secure and gives her almost 200 square inches more of floor space to explore!