Martina from Austria probably has the luckiest hamster in the world. Here’s the home she built for Sonic the hamster.
“I am an adult keeping a little dwarf hamster. I don’t like the traditional cages – I find them indescribably ugly and also most of them are much smaller than the space recommendations given by animal rights organizations. So I looked for a solution that would provide my hamster with a lot of space to run, high levels of bedding to buddle and give me something beautiful to look at when watching the little furball go about her activities.
After lots of research and planning I hacked a 5×5 Expedit into my dream hamster cage. I got the Expedit used for €50,- and shortened it to 3 rows of 5 columns as the room would have looked too full with another 5×5 Expedit in it. I then added 2 sets of Capita feet (8 feet in total) to get the height I wanted (eye-level when I sit in my chair) and to get a more floating look.
The cage area has a deep area on the left side where the hamster can buddle 40cm (~16in) deep. The right side has less bedding because you have to secure heavy things like stones and wood so the hamster isn’t squashed when she buddles under them. Securing everything with 40cm high platforms or “legs” was not an option, therefore the shallow area. A back plate was added to close the cage and to give more stability I screwed the backplate also to the inner divider plates (esp. the shortened top one) of the Expedit. Air holes are in the top and on both sides. The front of the deep area is plexi glass, the sliding doors are real glass. I then used aquarium silikone to seal all the little gaps between the cage area and the non-cage area so no bedding (or pee 😉 can go through.
I used a set of white Dioder strip lights for the cage illumination plus a red LED christmas light chain so I can choose between white and red light. Hamsters are red blind so you can watch them under red light without disturbing them. (I could have used another colored Dioder but I was too cheap for that. The Xmas-lights were only €5,-.)
The interior also contains Ikea products: the 2 houses were hacked from a Fira set and the little food bowls are actually Glimma tea light holders.
Jules Yap started IKEAHackers.net in 2006 as a personal blog to showcase the most impressive IKEA hacks from all over the world. Since then, she has learned a lot more about power tools and DIY. Her site has helped thousands modify IKEA furniture with step-by-step tutorials, craft projects and home styling.