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Old 01-04-2019, 02:40 PM   #1
Newborn Pup
Join Date: Nov 2017
Posts: 3
Default Tips or suggestions?

Hi all! I'm new here. I'm a mom of 4 kids (2 girls and 2 boys) and each of my girls has a Syrian hamster. They are currently in separate bin cages, but we are going to be building bigger cages for each of them soon. Their new cages will be 36in (91.44 cm) by 48in (121.92 cm) of floor space and will be 24 in (60.96 cm) tall. We're planning to use solid pine plywood for the cages and contact paper for waterproofing. Does that sound ok? Is there anything that we should or shouldn't do? The top half of the cages will be wire mesh for air flow and we'll also include some shelves/ramps/bridges. I guess I just want to make sure we don't miss anything. Thanks in advance for any advice or tips.
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Old 01-05-2019, 02:18 AM   #2
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Join Date: May 2014
Location: Wales UK
Posts: 23,315
Default Re: Tips or suggestions?

That sounds as though they could be great cages but I would be a bit worried about using contact paper, it could get scratched or chewed which may not be safe for your hams & the wood would lose it's water proofing, the best thing to use is melamine board which will keep the cage water proof & not provide anything to chew as long as no edges are exposed.
Alternatively you can use a non toxic paint like Plastikote water based enamel but if you aren't in the UK you may not be able to get that.
Other than that it really is a case of not having any edges that might be chewable.
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Old 01-05-2019, 10:58 AM   #3
Hamster Pup
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: Midlands
Posts: 89
Default Re: Tips or suggestions?

That does sound like a nice cage for the hamsters.
Contact paper might not last a well but pet safe varnish or something similar.
A good youtube channel is
She makes her own cages and explains many ways to keep cages from getting hamster damaged.
Proud protector of Elaina & Frigg. Always learning.
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Old 01-05-2019, 02:51 PM   #4
Newborn Pup
Join Date: Nov 2017
Posts: 3
Default Re: Tips or suggestions?

Thank you! I've seen many of the videos from Erinsanimals. Would milk paint be safe to use? The contact paper I was planning on getting is thicker than normal and is waterproof for use on kitchen counters. But, if that's not safe, then I'll have to figure out something else. The melamine is a little expensive here, so that might not be an option for us.
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Old 01-05-2019, 02:54 PM   #5
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Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: North of England
Posts: 18,606
Default Re: Tips or suggestions?

The sizes sound great. I don't know what contact paper is. You might want to look at Ikea - there are a number of units that provide large pieces of melamined wood/woodchip which is already wipe clean.

This for example

This (there are a number of tutorials for a Linmon cage)

I've also seen two large lack tables used to make a cage on legs (one table fixed on top of the other - the bottom one provides the base of the cage). Which is a good size. For that you would need sliding doors though.
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Old 01-05-2019, 07:20 PM   #6
Newborn Pup
Join Date: Nov 2017
Posts: 3
Default Re: Tips or suggestions?

Thank you. The Ikea cages are actually what got me started thinking about building a bigger cage for them. Unfortunately, we don't have one close. The closest one is 2 hours away and with 4 kids, that turns into a much longer and more expensive trip. I could try checking some of the local thrift stores to see if they have anything. Has anyone heard of milk paint? It says it's environmentally friendly. I was thinking about using that if I can't use the contact paper but I'm not sure if it's actually safe for use on animal cages. This is what I had originally planned on using. [URL=" _=lv_ov_lig_dp_it"]
It's thick so it doesn't tear easily and it's also waterproof. But if it doesn't sound like it would be safe, I'll keep looking. Thank you all again. I appreciate it.
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cages, tips, girls, top, sound, waterproofing, paper, contact, half, air, shelves/ramps/bridges, guess, advice, make, include, miss, mesh, flow, plywood, advance, wire, floor, hamster, syrian, bin

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