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From Ikea bookshelf to hamsters’ paradise

Posted By wiffy On July 23, 2008 @ 4:10 pm In Featured Hamster Home | 17 Comments


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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