How to Make Cool Hamster Cages

Updated April 17, 2017

Say "I love you" to your favourite rodent by building her a cool hamster cage. Using a bookshelf as a base, the project can create a glorious home for your hamster and will also serve as a functional piece of furniture. The hamster will live in an enclosed area on the top two shelves and the remaining shelves may be used for trinkets, books or additional storage.

Remove the cardboard back panel off of the shelving unit. Cut a piece of plywood to match the size of the removed backing. Measure the vent covers and make two cuts 2 inches from the top of the plywood and at least 2 inches from the sides to match the size of the covers.

Paint the backing to match the shelving unit. Allow it to dry completely. Attach the plywood to the back of the shelving unit with screws. Glue the vent covers into place with aquarium silicone.

Cut one hole, matching the width of the hamster tubes, out of the top shelf, 2 inches from the side. Repeat the process on the other side of the shelf. Screw the top shelf into place from the back and the sides. Measure the distance from the top shelf to the next shelf. Cut a piece of plywood to match the measurement. This piece of plywood will be used to separate the second shelf into two sections. Cut an additional hole out of the middle of the plywood, just large enough for the hamster to comfortably fit through. Paint if desired then nail into place.

Measure the length of the top two shelves from side to side and cut two sliding door tracks to that measurement. Attach the tracks to the front of the shelves. The tracks will hold the Plexiglas doors for easy access to the inside of the cage.

Cut two pieces of Plexiglas with a jigsaw or power saw to the length of the shelves from side to side and at a height that matches the thickness of the bedding that will be placed on the shelves. These pieces of Plexiglas will be used to contain the hamster bedding, so it does not fall out of the cage when the Plexiglas doors are opened. Glue the Plexiglas into place directly behind the door tracks on the shelves.

Cut two pieces of Plexiglas to measure the front opening of the top shelf. Each shelf should measure half the distance plus one inch. Repeat the process for the second shelf opening. Slide the doors on the door tracks, one side at a time.

Place a layer of hamster bedding in all the sections of the cage. Slide the hamster tubes into the holes connecting the top and bottom cages. Add additional items such as food dishes, water bottles, treats and toys.


Use any additional shelves on the bookcase for storage of hamster supplies. Always use safety goggles when using saws. Purchase the plywood, Plexiglas, door tracks and vent covers at home improvement stores. Consider having the home improvement store make the cuts for you. If the shelving unit's backing is the same material as the shelves, you do not need to replace it with plywood.

Things You'll Need

  • Wooden bookcase with three to four removable shelves
  • Plywood
  • Safety goggles
  • Jigsaw
  • Vent covers
  • Measuring tape
  • Aquarium silicone
  • Paint
  • Sliding door tracks
  • Plexiglas
  • Hamster tubes
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About the Author

Daelyn Fortney is the co-founder and managing director of the animal rights and eco-friendly news source, This Dish Is Veg. Her expertise includes animal welfare, vegan and vegetarian nutrition and health and wellness. In addition to her work at TDIV, Fortney writes for and various other websites.