Chinchillas are small rodents found only in South America in craggy, barren areas high up in the mountains. Raised correctly from a young age, they can be quite playful and active as pets and can bond easily with their owners.
Unlike cats and dogs, they do not like being held but show their affection in other ways. Therefore, they make great pets but need to be confined when not under supervision.
We will get on to building a chinchilla cage but first, there are a few things to bear in mind. Chinchillas originate from mountainous regions. They absolutely love climbing and perching in high places. Thus, the cage should be big and consist of multiple levels with different platforms, and bars. Also, it will be better to build a big cage.
The floor space must be at least four times the size of the chinchilla. The best material to build a cage is wire. Plastic is to be avoided at all costs, be it as material or as toys as the furry critters love chewing. The floor has to be lined to make it softer for the pet. You can shavings from wood or newspapers.
Things we will need: 2×4 lumbers at 26 inches each (about 24 pieces for a floor complete with a roof. 20 pieces for each additional level. Ex: 56 pieces for a three-story/level cage). Mesh wire with gaps no great than 1 inch.
Wooden boards. Wire cutters. Scissors. Long screws (5- 5 ½ inches). A drill. The wood of different sizes to serve as platforms and perches. Angle braces. Hinges.
Now we build the cage.
Step 1: The Base
As with all cages, we need a base. This also acts as a frame for the flooring and the litter. Arrange 2×4 woods into a rectangular frame and fasten them with screws such that the frame is 4 inches deep.
At this step, you could opt to cut up the front piece to create a gap for a litter tray but we will forgo that this time around for simplicity’s sake.
Step 2: The Panels
Now we make side frames for the cage. We need five frames for the front, back, sides and the roof. Each additional level/ floor will require five panels. Each will be a square frame with the dish facing inwards.
Step 3: The Walls
Cut up the mesh wire to fit and staple to the front, sides and top frames. For the back frame wall, we will staple a simple wooden board cut to size. Because we need one side of the cage to serve as a shelter from drafts.
For the levels in between, make a hole in each floor frame, about the size for a chinchilla to climb through with comfort.
Any wire that exposed the fur babies must be filed down. The mesh is positioned on the inside such that it prevents the chinchillas from gnawing away at the wood.
Step 4: The Box
Fasten the front, back, and side frames together with screws to make a box/panel open to the bottom. Make sure the dishes in each panel are facing inwards and the mesh/board wall is on the inside to get a uniform structure. For additional floors, the frame with the pass hole in the mesh goes in the bottom.
Step 5: Assembly
Now comes the assembly. We fasten the panels to the base of the cage. Deep screws are preferable in this stage, as they will help provide structural support. Add and screw-down consecutive panels to form levels.
Step 6: Install Shelves
We need the cage to mimic their natural habitat, necessitating shelves and perches. Use angle braces screwed to the side panels of the cages and attach the shelves. Sand any sharp edges on the shelves to prevent injuries.
Step 7: The Roof
Attach the roof to the cage with hinges. This makes it easy to gain access to the insides of the cage.
We are done! The process of making a cage may seem daunting at first but following the steps above, the cage can be built quite easily; even by a beginner. Just plan ahead of time and you are set!