Rat Cage From Old TV Stand





Introduction: Rat Cage From Old TV Stand

I needed a cage for my pet rats, so I decided to repurpose an old TV stand, that I found at a flea market for $5. A cage like this could be made from a number of types of furniture, for almost any type of small animal.

Step 1: Materials

As mentioned, the TV stand came from a flea market. I also got a 1x2 (82 cents), some wire, (about $5) and some spray paint. I already had, but one might need to buy, some small hinges, and a latch with a spring.

Step 2: Assembly

It's a pretty basic set-up, but I used the 1x2 to make a square, mitered in the corner (like a picture frame). I painted it, and after it dried, I used a staple gun to attach the screen to the back. I used some old melamine I had laying around to add a shelf on the inside, and the scrap from the 1x2 to put on the inside so as to keep the bedding from falling out. I attached the hinges and the latch, and that was about it.

Step 3: Finished Product

This is the finished product.
Eventually they'll be "potty trained" and I'll be able to remove the bedding.
I hope this helps or inspires someone.
Thanks for reading, and for any comments, ratings etc.



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    18 Discussions

    its interesting to see this small cage .. i think it is simple and can be made easily ..


    As a rat breeder myself I have to say your cage is pretty cool - lots of room to play explore and more than enough ventilation. The only thing I would change is the melamine. If there is a corner or edge that they can chew there is a big chance it could get chewed... regardless of what toys you have in there.

    As a cabinetmaker, I know that melamine contains a lot of urea formaldehyde which is very toxic when it's either ingested (chewed) or inhaled (not to applicable in this situation). Simply by replacing the melamine shelf with a piece of solid wood is the only suggestion I could make.

    I like the design of your cage, really beautifull. But it is small indeed, I'm planning to make a cage just because I have one that is a bit too small, they need space to run and play.

    It's intresting to see how much potentional this small cage have. It's easy to make that cage even bigger. Just drill a huge hole at the top of the bench and attach a box of wire mesh.

    This can be inspirational: http://www.ratfanclub.org/cagepln2.html
    They even describe how to construct a door of wire mesh with a lock.

    you would be surprised about how much they chew the wood... I wouldsuggest making a frame out of wood, then do the wire mesh on the inside,giving them less wood to chew on, if they are heavy chewers, and goodluck on the potty training, that should be the next instructable... howto litter train a rat, the easy way... :D

    2 replies

      I made a rat cage from scratch that is made from wire and wood with wooden and wire levels. My rats have barely chewed on the wood. There is one small spot that got chewed on when I didn't have a edible log in the cage. As long as you have SOMETHING ELSE for them to chew on chances are they will not chew on the wood in the cage. Rats need something to chew on constantly because their teeth are always growing. Walmart or Petsmart has chew logs/huts that you can buy for your rats. 

     I've had my cage for almost a year now and it's in great condition. As far as the bottom goes, it does need to be lined with plexi glass to keep pee from getting on it. I used old place mats from a thrift store for a dollar as it was cheaper!

    Guess it depends on the rats - some would chew the cage, others would find something better to chew (hopefully something they're allowed to chew!). My rats live in home made cages made from plastic storage containers and wire mesh, with PVC pipes mounted in strategic places for ramps and hiding places. So far no chew marks in the last 3 years. Just happy rats who lived long (for rat) lives.  So you're right, they won't always chew their cages.
    With the TV stand, I'd be tempted to put some form of mesh floor and a plastic tray under it to avoid pee soaking into the timber. A bit of extra work, but will help in keeping it from getting smelly after a while.
    Anyway, it's a good, constructive use for old and otherwise useless furniture. Better to give a home to a fuzzball than throw it away

    Some rats will chew. Providing chew toys doesn't necessarily reduce the risk of them chewing something else, either. In my experience, they'll probably just go for the thing you really don't want them to chew :)

    Those who argue that their rats don't just have rats that don't! Some will, some won't, you can't really argue they all won't because you're lucky!

    Not bad! You can even put some sort of "dust ruffle" Like a curtain for your storage space!!! Understand, I'm a woman, so I tend to see these little opportunities to decorate...:p But other than that, pretty nice cage!!!

    How are you planning on to potting training them? Curious to know as I have two gorgeous baby male rats. Thanks Emm

    1 reply

    Potty train? They do that on their own time. Babies don't get potty trained but as they get older, they'll start to pee and poop in the same spot every time. And then you put a little box there with newspaperstrips and "Tah-Dah", your rats are potty trained!

    Seems a bit small for rats. Looks good for a hamster maybe. They should still have bedding on the bottom after the litter training, because they urinate a lot (for scent marking purposes). It's a very creative design but I don't know if I'd feel safe putting a pet in it because of their propensity for wood chewing.

    1 reply

    I just thought I should ease everyones minds about the wood chewing since quite some time has passed. I still haven't had a problem with it. I often give them chew toys and such, and obviously they are fed regularly so it hasn't been a problem. Perhaps my rats just have less of a propensity for chewing. Never the less, the ideas about adding wire on top of the wood and such are good ones in the event your pet tends to chew on things.

    Good idea, but you forgot one thing. Rats chew through wood. You would need to line the inside of the stand with wire too.

    3 replies

    As long as you make sure to include things for said rats to chew on, they don't destroy their cage by chewing through the walls.

    I don't think so, I had a 6 foot cage made entirely of melamine for three years when I used to have rats, and never had a problem. Wooden and melamine cages for rats and other small animals are all over the Internet.