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Building a ferret cage will save you money and allow you to add custom features for your pet. This step-by-step guide gives you a complete materials list and step-by-step instructions for a ferret cage made from 2x4s and rolled wire fencing.
Building a Ferret Cage from Scratch: Step-by-Step Guide
Building a ferret cage can save you a considerable sum of money and allow you to have creative control over the interior environment that your pet will be living in. Keep in mind that ferrets need a few special considerations for their cages.
There are several things to consider when building a cage for a pet ferret. The first of these is the number of ferrets you will be housing. A 2’x3’x3′ cage will handle up to three ferrets comfortably, any more and you’ll want to double the width so that the new dimensions are 4’x3’x3′.
The reason for the added height in the cage in comparison to other furry friends is to accommodate multiple platform levels — an absolute must for ferrets.
Materials Needed for Ferret Cage Building
While construction materials can vary, this is a simple list of basics to build a ferret cage. All of these materials are easily obtained at a home improvement store.
- 2’4″ x 3′ plywood board
- Vinyl flooring tiles
- 8 three foot long pieces of 2×4
- 4 two foot long pieces of 2×4
- 4 20″ pieces of 2×4
- Rolled Wire (chicken wire or any other wire with small openings that the ferret cannot fit its head through – do not use a screen as the ferrets will chew through it and escape)
- 3 large hinges
- 2 Eye screws
- 2 eye hooks
- Wood Screws
- U Nails
- Finishing nails
- Wood Glue
Most home improvement stores will cut 2x4s to length for you if you ask, so this project should only take five eight-foot-long 2x4s. The entire cost of the project should run about $120.
Constructing the Ferret Cage
Once you have assembled all of your building materials you can begin construction. You’ll need a hammer, wire cutters, a Philips head screwdriver, a rotary tool with a metal grinding/polishing bit, and work gloves to build the ferret cage.
- Begin assembly of the cage at the base. Use wood glue to attach two of your 2 foot 2×4 pieces and two of your three-foot 2×4 pieces in a rectangle on top of the plywood base. Peel and stick the vinyl flooring tiles to the plywood to create a washable surface for the base of the cage. Flip the base over and secure the rectangle in position with finishing nails.
- Return the base to its upright position and place three-foot-long 2x4s into each corner so they are sitting vertically. Attach each of these 2x4s to the rectangle with wood screws.
- Assemble a second rectangle that is identical to the one attached to the base. DO NOT attach this to the supports.
- Cover the rectangle with rolled wire attaching it to the 2x4s with U nails every two inches.
- Set the covered rectangle on top of the cage supports so that the wire holds the top in place. The fit might be a bit tight but this is okay, it will be harder for the ferrets to escape that way.
- Wrap three sides of the support legs with rolled wire attaching it to the supports every two inches with U nails.
- On the remaining open side construct a wooden square with the remaining 20” 2×4 pieces. This will fit snugly inside the support beams.
- Attach the square to the top of the cage with two hinges.
- At the bottom of the 20″ square install the eye hooks.
- Install the eye screws to the support beams to create locks on either side of the 20” square door.
After completing the preliminary build, you need to make sure that all of the sharp edges created by snipping off pieces of wire are taken care of, for the safety of both you and your ferret.
A rotary tool with a metal grinding bit is the best choice for this job. Make sure to wipe down the edges you have ground down with a damp cloth to remove any residue from the wire.
Adding Levels to a Ferret Cage
Ferrets like to have their feeding area well away from the area where they do their business, so it is advised that you add different levels to your cage. You can build them yourself by making small platforms and attaching them to the cage structure or you can purchase cat towers or other premade structures for use in the cage.
If you are making platforms yourself, make sure to include a ramp system for easy access, or else you will find your ferrets climbing the wire sides of the cage.
Building a ferret cage will allow you to control all of the elements inside the ferret environment. Make sure you have been given adequate room for separate feeding, sleeping, and bathroom use.
If your cage is going to be outside, you will need to use an animal-safe varnish and sealant to keep it from weathering. If it will be used inside you may still want to seal it to prevent the ferrets from chewing the wood.
- Inspiration for this build came from http://www.ferretcentral.org/gallery/cage-dirns.html
- All ideas and instructions herein are directly from the author unless otherwise stated.
- Photo courtesy of Aaron Jacobs @Flickr.com