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Stars of HH: NekoMario

From Ikea bookshelf to hamsters’ paradise

by wiffy on July 23, 2008


Hold your breath, for I am willing to vouch with my hamsters’ weekly allowance of sunflower seeds (sorry, Neko and Nikole! :| ) that the cage set up you’re going to see will be one-of-its-kind and one of the most unique you have ever seen.

Ready? Here you gooooo!

'Ikea' Hamster Home

Are you impressed? Did you go ‘woah!’ like I did when I first saw this photo?


This is the genius of HH member Flea, from Germany. In the words of HoppingHammy, “You people in Germany are so creative and always have the nicest, most natural looking cages.” Here’s the exclusive interview with Flea.

HH (Hamster Hideout): What gives you the inspiration for such a creative set up?
Flea: I got most of my ideas from a German hamster forum and adapted it to my conditions.

HH: What are the dimensions of the Ikea bookshelf?
Flea: The dimensions of the ‘Expedit’ bookshelf are 149 x 39 x 149 cm

HH: What are the dimensions of each ‘level’?
'Ikea' Hamster Home
Flea: Every Hamster lives in one floor (5 floors in total) and each has an area of 139 x 39 cm

HH: How do you wash the ‘cage’? And what is the average cleaning time?
Flea: I remove the bedding with a shovel and then wipe everything out with a wet cloth. Due to the big doors it’s quite easy.
I take about 20 minutes to clean each level.

HH: How long have you been using this set up?
Flea: I build the entire set up in February 08. For the furniture, I change one thing in the cages about every two weeks to avoid my hamsters from getting bored.

HH: What are some of the pros and cons of using this set up?
-A lot space. My hammies really enjoy running and digging through it!
-In my opinion it looks better than a cage :D
-It’s space-saving if you have more hamsters
-It was cheaper than to buy four tanks/aquariums in that size
-The big doors: I can reach everything in the cage easily and pick up my hammies everywhere
- I can observe my hams very well

-It’s very heavy. If I want to move it, I’ll have to take it apart.

HH: What DIY works did you do to the cage?
'Ikea' Hamster Home
Flea: I screwed on a back board made of laminated chipboard. On the front I screwed on a rail with a height of 10 cm to avoid bedding from falling out from the cage. At these rails, I fixed the doors with hinges. To make the doors, I’ve sawed the holes with a jig saw and fixed the mesh inside. For locking the doors, I screwed bars/lock bolts on the doors. I used an electric staple gun to attach the wire mesh onto the door. Then I glued a barrier on the floor for the wodent wheel area. At last I’ve sealed the grooves with silicone for aquariums (non-toxic) to avoid urine from infiltrating the chipboard.

HH: Did you make the wooden toys? They are beautiful!!
'Ikea' Hamster Home
Flea: I made the houses myself using plywood. Unfortunately my hammies don’t use them. They sleep behind their wheel :twisted:

HH: What are the parts that make up your entire set up & estimated costs?

'Ikea' Hamster Home

-Expedit Bookshelf 40 € (used/ second-hand)
-Chipboard 35 €
-Screws, hinges and locks abt. 50 €
-Mesh 0 € (got it as a present )
-Edge bander 6 €
-Silicone 6 €
-Varnish (to paint the hinges white) 5 €

Entire cost for the hamster home abt. 142€
Excluding: Wodent Wheels and ‘furniture’ costing about. 80 € (I had a lot at home. The running wheels are the most expensive.)

(Note: The currency is in Euro €)

HH: Thanks a bunch for doing this interview!
Flea: Thank you as well for your interest in my hamster’s home! :-)


Related Links::

sunflower seed Read the previous issues here.

sunflower seed Proud of your hamster’s cage?

sunflower seed You can submit your hamster homes photos via HH Forum or Flickr

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Its finished!!!! - Page 2 - Hamster Central
October 19, 2010 at 4:31 am

{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Hamstergirl98 July 23, 2008 at 9:11 pm

What an amazing cage Flea!
Your hammies must be so happy to live in that cage and great idea for a bookself-cage :)

2 hammyhamsters July 23, 2008 at 10:42 pm

I’ve always loved this cage! :D it’s so cool!

3 Denise Weston July 23, 2008 at 10:45 pm

This is an awesome cage! I love the visibility of each level, and the look of it! Brilliant, flea!!

4 Kiki_Hammy July 24, 2008 at 1:14 am

WOW! This is totally brilliant! :)
I love it. And the houses are so cute!!! ^_^

5 Justrika July 24, 2008 at 2:30 am

That cage is AMAZING and huge! It really is hamster paradise. :)

6 DolphinDreamer July 24, 2008 at 10:26 pm

Wow!!!!!!! That is so cool, and big. It’s amazing and I like how natural it looks! :)

7 phll363 July 25, 2008 at 12:00 am

wow its verry big, and space saving, i would love to ha ve the patients to make one of them.

8 Kimberly July 25, 2008 at 8:36 am

absolutely amazing, I’m inspired by this setup for my own room.

9 beep41 July 26, 2008 at 12:50 pm

that reminds me of when my mom bread guineia(sp?) pigs, she had a huge cage tower set up

10 Flea July 27, 2008 at 5:50 am

Hi everyone!

First of all: Thank you so much for this great article and for all your nice comments!!
I’ve just seen that this article was published and I thounght “Wow! They wrote all this about my bookshelf??!” :o
I’m really, really happy that you like it (and I must admit a little bit proud as well ;) )

So if you have any questions feel free to ask.

11 Jazmyn July 28, 2008 at 9:39 am

Wow that cage is amazing!
I’m so jealous!

12 dusty July 28, 2008 at 8:19 pm

Bravo! This is amazing! Great work using existing materials, and I love the DIY toys.

13 Ippo August 9, 2008 at 2:05 am

I’m bookmarking this page & make that bookshelf a future project!
ps: cleaning must be hard. I have plastic & wire cages & all I do is dump the bedding into the trash bin. For this bookshelf cage, you must have to scoop the bedding little by little.

14 sarah August 28, 2008 at 5:33 am

omg thats one of the best hamster cages ever it looks home made is it plus what are ur hamsters names mine is hervay

15 bre-bre May 12, 2010 at 10:53 am

ugh i dont like it !!!! its way to big and ur hamsters must hate it because they dont know where to go

16 mouse October 16, 2012 at 10:42 pm

To bre-bre

You are an illiterate fool. Before you insult someone please check your grammar . Also there is no maximum space for a hamster so you must be either cruel or stupid, I am guessing the latter.

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