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kfh227
03-16-13, 07:14 pm
I've been wanting to make my kids guinea pigs a bigger cage for a while. Don't ask how big it is. After reading, I am ashamed of how small it is.

I enjoy wood working and figure that i could whip something together in about 3 hours that is nice.

I don't intend on painting the cage. I expect to make it entirely out of wood except for the front which will be plexiglass.

I have some questions.
Is it safe to make this out of wood? Will they chew it?
Do I need the bottom to be plastic? I was thinking of just using a sacrificial piece of wood that if it gets wet over time I can replace it.

Also, I have a cat. I am concerned about it.

Any advice that can be provided would be appreciated!

Looking at pictures, can I just have a small area with a plastic bucket and that would be their litter box? They actually use litter boxes like a cat would?

--------------------
How do people make things like this:
http://www.guineapigcages.com/photos/closed-multi-level/p2981-3rd-level-nearly-there.html

What are those white pieces? What is the floor surface?

bpatters
03-16-13, 07:23 pm
Yes, they'll chew the wood.

A throwaway piece of wood won't work for the bottom, unless you've got many of them. But you can use linoleum for the bottom as long as you fix it so that the pigs can't chew it, or a plastic tablecloth, or a shower curtain.

If you've got a cat, you'll need a lid. Closet shelving makes a good sturdy lid.

No, they won't use a litter box like a cat would. Some pigs will use one quite often, others ignore them entirely. You can't potty train them like you would a kitten or a puppy. The best you can do is put a litter box where they pee and poop the most, and catch as much of it as possible that way.

It needs air circulation to keep them from developing respiratory infections. It needs a minimum of 7.5 square feet for two pigs, and an additional 2.5 square feet for every additional pig.

Take a look through the photo galleries -- there are hundreds of pictures in there of cages of all kinds.

And welcome to the forum! We'd love to see pictures of your pigs.

kfh227
03-16-13, 08:10 pm
I've been reading since i posted. Learning alot.

Too bad that I can't use wood. I still might frame something in wood but I need to make it cat proof. I see how people make cages here.

I think I might need a wood sheel where I can put in that C&C stuff inside. Maybe a plexiglass front.

Super confused right now. I was hoping to build this thing tomorrow and i am seeing those hopes disappear quickly.

rebeccars
03-16-13, 08:30 pm
I have two cats and use a C&C cage with no problem. I've made a top for it out of the grids also to keep the cats out. No need for plexiglass :)

kfh227
03-16-13, 08:32 pm
I have two cats and use a C&C cage with no problem. I've made a top for it out of the grids also to keep the cats out. No need for plexiglass :)

Can't cat arms get in there? 1"+ squares are pretty big in terms of a cat.

kfh227
03-16-13, 08:35 pm
How do I make a floor? I mean, I see people using fleece. Is the idea to make a waterproof base layer out of cloroplast then putting absorbant layers on top that you launder weekly?

So:
layer 1) clorplast
layer 2) fleece
????????????????????????
What layers am I missing? What about bedding?


Right now the bedding material we use is their "litter".

Somewhat confused.

MochaAndMoo
03-16-13, 08:37 pm
Can't cat arms get in there? 1"+ squares are pretty big in terms of a cat.

You could always double over the grids.


What are those white pieces? What is the floor surface?
That white surface is called coroflute (coroplast), it is commonly used to make signs and is cheap, waterproof and easy to clean. The stuff on top of the coroplast would be an absorbent layer (Like towels or Uhaul Pads), and on top of the absorbent layer would be a layer of fleece, the liquid wicks through the fleece onto the absorbent layer keeping your pigs environment nice and dry on the top.

R5 plus
03-16-13, 08:42 pm
Grids, some people use grids under the coroplast to give strength and stability to the cage structure.

Then,
- coroplast
- uhaul pad/towels
- fleece

juliannimal
03-16-13, 08:43 pm
Typically the flooring goes as follows: Coroplast on the bottom, a few layers of towels, and one layer of fleece on top. Droppings get sweeped daily and towels and fleece washed once a week.

R5 plus
03-16-13, 08:46 pm
Lots of people with cats use the grids (9x9) with no problems. However, there are grids with smaller holes available. I don't know where you'd get them except online. Maybe someone will chime in about where they got theirs.

Target used to carry ones with small squares, but I haven't found them currently listed. They were red, yellow and blue.

rebeccars
03-16-13, 08:53 pm
I have my cages on tables and I didn't leave much room for the cats to get onto the tables, so it hasn't been a real problem. They have looked from the floor, but once they got used to the noises coming from the cage they really weren't interested. I use the coroplast bottom and then a double layer of the uhaul pads and then fleece. I have a "litter box" for them with carefresh and I put their hay rack in there, which seems to help contain the poop somewhat. I sweep it every night and then do a whole clean every week. I spot clean the litter box each day and every few days completely change out the care fresh.

kfh227
03-16-13, 09:02 pm
Starting to understand things much better.

Much appreciated. My neighbor owns a sign shop so I'll have to ask him about this coroplast.

Still thinking about this wood cage idea. I am thinking that I might do a wood frame (with considerations for air flow) and then do a cage inside that.

Thinking about doing a 4'x2.5' base level with 2+ levels above that.

sabrinaxceleste
03-16-13, 09:14 pm
Definitely be wary of grid cages and cats. I see a lot of people here don't seem to have problems with their cats being overly curious and sticking their paws in the cage, or they say their arms are too big to fit in between the closet shelving used for lids. Mine do. Not just one of them, but both of my cats. They crawl on top, and they swat down at them. So, we we keep a folded sheet over the top of the cage. What do they do now? They lean over the edge of the cage and poke at them from the sides.
I've heard some people suggest using ...fencing? I forget what it's called. The stuff you'd protect your outdoors plants with. That stuff. They attach it to the cage/lid so there's no room to poke through.

kfh227
03-16-13, 09:30 pm
My cat attacks my dog on occasion. It's a wonderful cat but can get rambunctious. the more I think about this, the more I realize that i need this cage to be totally cat safe.

My wife is going to kill me when she see what I end up making. Probably going 3 levels. the bottom level will be 10 sqft. Not sure about the higher levels. I do worry about them chewing wood though.

kfh227
03-16-13, 09:34 pm
I am thinking of looking at fencing materials at home depot or lowes to see if anything there is a tight mech. Could also use heavy duty door screen material. Stuff that cats can't claw through. Use that on the sides and back. do the front plexiglass.

Inle_Rabbit
03-16-13, 09:34 pm
Here is my wooden cage. I used linoleum on the bottom. I attached it to the wooden base just like you'd lay a floor then had it go up the sides about 2". Works wonderful! I don't have any cats though, so I don't have to worry about that.

45008

The cage is 2x7.

45009

I added lights on a timer because it's cool. Basically the only reason. lol

45010

Here is a picture up close of the linoleum in one corner of the cage.

45007

You can see more pictures of the construction here (http://www.guineapigcages.com/forum/members/inle_rabbit-albums-wooden-piggy-palace.html).

kfh227
03-16-13, 09:41 pm
Oh, I could get hose 1'x1' linoleum tiles. Easier to install that stuff ;)

I might use this stuff on the side and back of the cages:
Phifer 36 in. x 84 in. Black Pet Screen-3004152 at The Home Depot (http://www.homedepot.com/p/t/100390513?catalogId=10053&langId=-1&keyword=pet+screen&storeId=10051&N=5yc1v&R=100390513#.UUU6SlfzmO4)
It's heavy duty door screen material. I've seen cats climb this stuff and it doesn't do any damage to the screen.

Then do the front with plexiglass.

oldnewie
03-16-13, 11:00 pm
Welcome. This is a great forum! Some of us have good alternative cages (personally I'd love a C&C cage but...), & a wood-frame one is fine. My piggies started off in a cage which was an old wood fishtank stand with garden mesh nailed around it. They nibbled at the wood at first then lost interest.The wood was plain untreated wood. Now they are happily at home in an 8'L cage. The petscreen you mention should work, or galvanised wire mesh - whatever you use will have to go the full height around the cage & you need a sturdy secure cover. Wonder why you want plexiglass? Not that it's a bad thing but there must be goid air circulation/ventilation. Would recommend having the cage raised up off the floor, on a table or you could build a nice wooden stand for it.. I think 4'x2.5' might be too small -the bigger you can have it the better. Multilevel cages are fine but not really necessary. Make sure you have absorbent layers between floor & fleece. I use newspaper(intend to replace with uhaul (furniture) blankets), then showermats with shelf liners on top. And make sure there is plenty of hay. Piggies are efficient pee-and-poo producers so regular cleaning & daily poo-removing is a must. Lots & lots of info & advice here. Enjoy your adventures!!

kfh227
03-17-13, 08:49 am
As for wood, should I just use Pine? If I should avoid that I cold always use Poplar which is a harder wood that is the same cost.

Can you link to some "wire mesh" so I know exactly what product I should consider?

Thanks!

MrsSuzy
03-17-13, 09:56 am
Sorry to hijack here but Inle_Rabbit, I love your cage. I want to do something similar not to replace the C&C I use but to use as a stand. At the moment my girls are on the floor and I want to lift them so I can utilize space better and so they can feel a bit more at our level.

MrsSuzy
03-17-13, 09:57 am
As for wood, should I just use Pine? If I should avoid that I cold always use Poplar which is a harder wood that is the same cost.

Can you link to some "wire mesh" so I know exactly what product I should consider?

Thanks!


When you say wire mesh do you mean the grids? If so this is what they look like: http://www.govgroup.com/images_products/2189854_large.jpg
If that's not what you mean please forgive me :o

kfh227
03-17-13, 05:47 pm
Wood purchased.

Found this for fencing material:
http://www.homedepot.com/p/t/100384027?catalogId=10053&langId=-1&keyword=Tenax+3+ft.+x+25+ft.+Green+Poultry+Fence&storeId=10051&N=5yc1v&R=100384027#.UUZWV1fzmO4

No way a cat paw can fit in the holes. Hoping it works out like I think it will.

Cutting has started. AS always, you start a wood working project and how things need to be done start to fall together. I'll take some pictures as I go along. Probably not till things start to shape up though.

This isn't going to be a pretty project. It's going to be nice but not "polished".

bpatters
03-17-13, 06:15 pm
A cat paw may not fit, but pig teeth will. I predict lots of chewing...

R5 plus
03-17-13, 06:17 pm
Is that "malleable" plastic? It could contain lead (think christmas light wires). Gpigs also chew on the bars of their cage (especially at feeding time lol). It may also "sink" with the weight or pressure from a cat.

If you are interested in using sheets of fencing material, there are metal ones as well with small squares. I'll see if there's a picture around here somewhere.

oldnewie
03-17-13, 06:20 pm
Wood purchased.

Found this for fencing material:
Tenax 3 ft. x 25 ft. Green Poultry Fence-090786 at The Home Depot (http://www.homedepot.com/p/t/100384027?catalogId=10053&langId=-1&keyword=Tenax+3+ft.+x+25+ft.+Green+Poultry+Fence&storeId=10051&N=5yc1v&R=100384027#.UUZWV1fzmO4)

No way a cat paw can fit in the holes. Hoping it works out like I think it will.

Cutting has started. AS always, you start a wood working project and how things need to be done start to fall together. I'll take some pictures as I go along. Probably not till things start to shape up though.

This isn't going to be a pretty project. It's going to be nice but not "polished".

That's what I used for the "fish tank stand" cage. If it's the bendy stuff though, make sure it's very taut as you nail it. I reckon it's going to look good. How will you make a door with the plexiglass? It will need to be nice & wide. I've yet to make a strong cover for the girls - using that green stuff (but it's too bendy) as a loose top with a sheet over it. My cat Narla hasn't tried to jump up on top but has jumped onto the short ledge of the table to have a closer look at the piggies, &yes she can get her fat paw between the bars. She's even sat right inside the cage a couple of times when I left the door open! No harm done, she just sat there while Tilly sat staring at her & Holly hid in her hidey! But keeping the cage raised off the floor is still recommended. Wish I were good at building, Id make a much bigger cage with a much bigger stand. Enjoy your project! Oops!! I did mean to say that it won't hold any weight - have a look in a fencing/hardware centre for galvanised wire. You could just google galvanised wire. Or look for those wire storage grids another forumer gave a link for. Sorry

R5 plus
03-17-13, 06:22 pm
http://www.guineapigcages.com/photos/data/512/18IMG_0848.JPG Here's a picture of the metal mesh.

kfh227
03-17-13, 07:19 pm
R5,

Thanks for the tips.

Ya, I saw that metal stuff at Home Depot. I had it in my cart till I saw the plastic stuff.

As for the metal screen material, I saw stuff with larger holes like in your post and some with smaller holes. maybe 1/4" squares. I think you pic has 1" squares. I am not positive that the 1" squares will be cat safe. Probably. But i also can see an arm getting stuck in holes that size.

I'm in a tough spot ;)

Anyway, I almost bought the screen with the 1/4" squares.

How did you go about attaching the screen? I can't see in the pics. I was planning on doing staple gun that covered everywhere I stapled with trim. Both for looks and for securing the screen better.

Any more pics? I'd love to get more ideas for my cage. Trying to figure out how to add things for the pigs to play with. I like the sling your pig is sleeping in.

oldnewie,
After seeing all the options at Home Dpepot, I decided to not use plexiglass. Just doing a screen mesh of some sort.

R5 plus
03-17-13, 07:41 pm
The picture is from the picture gallery under 'alternative cages'. Yes, there are more pictures of this cage. I so wish I was that talented; we have a regular C&C cage. And the only "animals" I have to worry about are my kids (the 2 year old loves to give the piggies hay showers) :D.

The original poster(OP) was ppastorin . Alternative Cages - Guinea Pig Cage Photos (http://www.guineapigcages.com/photos/g512-alternative-cages.html)

I'm pretty sure they are 1/4" squares, it's just a close-up picture, so they look bigger. There are several pictures in the gallery by the OP. He/She did appear to use a staple gun. Note: the OP was very careful to clip the metal so no points stick out to catch anyone. That would be very ouchy!

I know it's going to look great when you're done with it. The kids and piggies will be so thrilled!

R5 plus
03-17-13, 07:46 pm
Here is my wooden cage. I used linoleum on the bottom. I attached it to the wooden base just like you'd lay a floor then had it go up the sides about 2". Works wonderful! I don't have any cats though, so I don't have to worry about that.

The cage is 2x7.

I added lights on a timer because it's cool. Basically the only reason. lol

Here is a picture up close of the linoleum in one corner of the cage.

You can see more pictures of the construction here (http://www.guineapigcages.com/forum/members/inle_rabbit-albums-wooden-piggy-palace.html).

Inle_Rabbit - Just wanted to say how beautiful your cage is. Wow! And the lights really make it extra special. Fantastic!