Picture of House Rabbit Palace
In Israel, and probably most of the world, most house rabbits are given to children, who keep them in tiny cages (cheap) and forget about them after a month. The tragedy of the house rabbit is its low price. The costs of having a healthy and happy rabbit are enormous compared to the price you pay for the animal at the pet shop. For comparison, ferrets are treated much better simply because they cost 150-300$ and not 10-20$.
The other extreme of caring for a house rabbit is letting it run loose in the house, eat fresh vegetables with scientifically balanced dry mix and giving it unlimited attention. Not so easy!
I remember the day I came home from work. Stella came running to get her head rubbing fix. I picked her up and sat in front of the TV. Something was wrong. The sound system was shredded. I decided to surf the web. The modem supply cord was cut in two places.
Since that day, we kept Stella in a back room. Her projects included digging holes in the wall (new instructable: how to dig a hole in the wall) and shredding anything we absent mindedly decide to put in that room, including two very expensive mattresses.
Finally, I saw on the web a caging system that looked cool. It was a labyrinth of wire mesh cages assembled together to make a relatively large playing area for rabbits. Problem: it is not available in Israel. So, after finishing a basic wood working class, I decided to build a cage. The goal was to give Stella a big enough playing ground without compromising our apartment's free area and without letting her cause any more damage.

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kakungulu (author)  meismeems7 years ago
Thanks Kim, I built this cage using 17mm plywood. The free edge is hanging in air but the 3 connectors are strong enough to keep the shelf from bowing to Stella's weight. I used blum connectors for modular cabinets. All the cage is assembled / taken apart by rotating a series of screws. I didn't invest too much on hardware with this model. The cage is functional but not so elegant. I think I did better job with the current model (see last step). It is "frame and panel" cabinet style. Thanks for your comment.
meismeems7 years ago
Oh, another thing I wanted to add...you might think about using small 'open end' eyehooks instead of the screws on top to hold the shelves. They would be sturdy, yet allow you to remove the doors if you needed to. You might even be able to use them on the sides if you wanted them for 'hinges', to swing the doors out horizontally. Kim
Sinner3k9 years ago
Before my boy's beloved rats died, we used a clip from an old dog leash to keep the cage door closed. We found out quite early on that rats are crafty enough for midnight escape attempts. And I agree with your sentiment not to get another companion. The two rats we had were from the same litter and we never even considered getting another after the first one passed. They get very accustomed to their own nesting areas. And for anyone out there that does plan on getting a cage animal for their children, for the love of whatever deity you believe in, let the animals out of the cage for a while each day. Cleaning up after their messes helps teach your little 'uns responsibility and the animals love to scurry about and bond with their keepers.
Amen to that!
Ah! And if I use smaller mesh I could house rats in it... Some of my favorite pets. x3 I love it!
kakungulu (author)  destructopop8 years ago
See the last step, where I posted Stella's current cage. The doors on that one are made of standard rabbit fence that I cut to fit the door frames. I guess for rats you could build a shorter step configuration with construction mesh (the kind you use to plaster ceilings)for the doors. If you build one, I'd like to see a picture. Rats are some of my favourite too. I think all rodents are cute. Alas, my wife differs... Thanks for the comment.
qetuo8 years ago
That's really nice of you how, you have put in so much effort to make sure the animals are happy, are rabbits get the whole run of the side garden.
"Clothespins" Isn't really a pin, but hey, I didn't make it up.
kakungulu (author)  erik.teichmann8 years ago
Thanks Erik. I eventually used suitcase type latches on my latest design (see last slide).
Very Keri8 years ago
wow, that is so nice! you stained it and everything, it looks great in your living room. i like that lamp too.
kakungulu (author)  Very Keri8 years ago
_soapy_8 years ago
Nice work, and an elegant solution. I'm suddenly considering this for our next hamster, rather than the giant Rotastack agglomeration, as this would provide more hamster room, yet take up less room. Obviously, sizes and ladders, and bar spacings, would have to change! The landry clip is a "(clothes) peg".
Instead of bars, maybe you can use plexiglass, its easy to clean too, just wipe. I don't know what your budget has room for, though.
kakungulu (author)  Very Keri8 years ago
I thought a bout plexiglass for the next cage I'm building at the moment in our new home in the US. Plxiglass is more see-through but unfortunatley lacks on the following points: 1. Rabbits need to breathe. 2. Plexiglass and regular glass have static charge issues, meaning they can get messy with all the bits of hay flying inside a normal rabbit cage. So I could build a plexiglass cage if I made sure to air it artificially (computer fans come to mind) and drill holes in them. I would have to "windex" the panels at least once a week. Still, it may be a good option. I'll finish the wood frame and then make a decision about the walls. Thanks for the input anyway.
lol, I know rabbits need to breathe, I figured someone would be smart enough to leave some openings somewhere. :) When I envisioned my take on the project, I was thinking plexi only on the front panel. I would put holes in the very top of the cage where the hamster wouldn't be able to reach. The bars are good for the rabbits, I was thinking about Soapy's hamster, which is considerably smaller and more elastic than a rabbit. They like to squeeze around and under things and they would actually try to climb and chew the metal. They're also sooo much messier than rabbits. They need bedding that they scatter everywhere and it gets wet with their waste. Not to mention the smell that the plexi will cut down on. Plus rabbits have really clean, easy to remove poo that hamsters to do not. I can just imagine having to scrub that stuff off metal bars periodically. In addition, the plexi will keep the mess inside the cage, instead of allowing it to get all over your floor and surrounding walls. On a side note, do you have a problem with your rabbit chewing on the wood in his cage? In that case, I just want to warn people not to use wood that has been treated with chemicals or with glue that maybe be harmful if ingested by your fuzzy friend. I hope you didn't already post that warning. If you did, sorry for being redundant.
kakungulu (author)  Very Keri8 years ago
I just finished building the cage. The plexiglass didn't work out, for logistic reasons. I used regular bunny proofing mesh. See last slide. Thanks for commenting.
kakungulu (author)  Very Keri8 years ago
As for the wood chewing problem, I tried to protext the edges with coper foil (see the slide). Stella ate the copper! The wood she didn't bother with. So I don't know if it was because we give her constant suplly of hay or that she doesn't like this kind of plywood, but she didn't chew on the cage she had. Anyway, I didn't skimp on material and got her plywood, not MDF, which is toxic and carcinogenic. I also used water based varnish and not acrilic, again for the same reason. I don't rule out the plexiglass. I may use it for the cage I'm building now.
kakungulu (author)  _soapy_8 years ago
Thanks for the English tip. If you end up making something like that for a hamster, I'd like to see it.
Very Keri8 years ago
My friend bought something like this for her ferret. It was something like 200 bucks and it wasnt as big! I like that you custom built your own, you could even make a triangle shaped one for a corner or whatever fits your space! Do you have a problem with the mats slipping? They make rubber pads that go under area rugs to keep them from shifting, that will help your poor bunny if she jumps up and slips back on her fluffy butt because the pads move around too much.
snakeblack88 years ago
this would be good for a water monitor lizard if modified it :-0
kakungulu (author)  snakeblack88 years ago
Please send a photo. Kakungulu+wife and pets just moved to the US of A! To mark the occasion I plan to build a new and improved Stella residence. The workshop is being assembled these days and hopefully it'll be the source for more fun projects. Stella feels great being a trans-atlantic rabbit but wishes she had the 5 floor cage here.
kakungulu (author)  kakungulu8 years ago
Hey, and now I get the news from the old country that my sister will be using Stella's old cage for her ferret. I'm excited to see how it goes.
crapflinger8 years ago
very good instructable! very detailed...and anything that helps the animals has to be good right?

for a latch...some stiff wire (i've got some 8 or 12 guage copper wire at the house that's REALLY BEEFY) could work as a latch...bend a full loop on one end of a peice of the wire then open it enough to get it around the shelving material...then bend the other end into an L shepe (but probably a little past perpendicular) that end would then be able to be pushed over the shelving material on the other side...thereby latching it shut...though...the bunny might be able to push the door open still

as for the hinges you could use these http://campmor.stores.yahoo.net/70011.html kayak deck loops...you just place them across the bar of the shelving and screw them in this would allow the shelving to be held on but still rotate around to open the cage
kakungulu (author)  crapflinger8 years ago
Thanks for the link and advice. I don't think Stella is interested in the outside world any longer. We take her out of the cage every once in a while and she gets her share of loving and attention. After she's done with us humans, she runs back to her cage and we come to close the doors. She seems to be content in her space and toys. We pet her every time we walk by.
kakungulu (author) 9 years ago
I agree with Sinner3k. Even Stella with all the attention she's getting and huge living quarters needs some running aroung time. She loves running on the living room carpet.
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