Published on February 15th, 2011 | by Jules Yap


Hamster-Villa above TV

Materials: Bonde

Description: In my Bonde-furniture now lives our little Hamster “Hämpfelina”. I took out the shelves and everything else. Then I fixed windows of plexi-glass and installed everything for a playful hamster-life! We have now a lot of fun to see the hamster run around!

~ Carola, Switzerland

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The Author

Jules Yap

"I am Jules, the engine behind IKEAHackers and the one who keeps this site up and running. My mission is to capture all the wonderful, inspiring, clever hacks and ideas for our much loved IKEA items".

13 Responses to Hamster-Villa above TV

  1. tina_6500 says:

    @metai: I’m the owner of last year’s hack of the year – the hamster home in an Expedit. And over here, about 80% of the hamster owners on hamster forums build diy cages out of veneered particle board. No hamster has gnawed an exit yet, not even the often very wild female syrians (with dwarfs this is not a problem anyway).

    As long as there is no edge where the hamster can get a grip with it’s teeth this is not a problem – many, many hamster owners on German hamster forums can vouch for that.

  2. metai says:

    @tina_6500: “As for gnawing – since there is no edge that the hamster can bite this is usually not a problem. They can only chew out of cages where they can get a grip with their teeth on some edge.”

    An ultimatively very expensive experiment of mine begs to differ: A hamster doesn’t need an edge to go straight through solid wood (let alone a Bonde’s laminated plywood) in a matter of hours. You clearly underestimate both the enthusiasm and the teeth hamsters can sport.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Yes, it does look nice and I see that you dont want to harm your pet, but please, give your hamster much more bedding, he really needs it.

    And if you do live in Switzerland you should known that its actually illegal what you are doing (due to our new animal protection law, introduced in 2008, the bedding for a hamster needs to be at least 15 cm deep).

  4. tina_6500 says:

    Well, the size seems good but I agree – the bedding depth is too little – hamsters are burrowers and should have a lot of bedding to burrow in. Also, the ventilation is too little if it is just that little hole in the top. You definitely want to add some more vent grilles – eg. in the sides and some deep digging area.

    As for gnawing – since there is no edge that the hamster can bite this is usually not a problem. They can only chew out of cages where they can get a grip with their teeth on some edge. If you do have “endangered” edges you can protect them with a bit of an l-shaped aluminum ledge, though.

    I’d also be a bit concerned about the cage being so near to the tv. If you only ever watch at low volume it’s ok but if you watch with a normal volume that’ll be quite uncomfortable for the hamster.

  5. Moontree says:

    That really is adorable. Though I’m also a bit concerned about chewing…. especially if it’s wood that’s been treated or veneered, or if it’s actually laminated MDF. That stuff has nasty chemicals in it.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Sehr hübsch aber nicht artgerecht. Hamster buddeln Tunnelsysteme, daher sollte der Einstreu viel tiefer sein. Klima ist auch nicht ideal für Hamster in diesem geschlossenen Käfig. Auch das Platzangebot ist sehr bescheiden.
    Tu deinem Hamster einen gefallen und überdenke noch einmal die Einrichtung des Käfigs.

  7. Anonymous says:

    It’s true. I had a hamster cage as a child made of wood, and they chewed their way out several times. They were the worst of all my rodent pets, except maybe mice, for chewing and escaping.
    It does look darling, but don’t house reptiles like that. Reptiles need much more specific thermoregulatory zones and UV lighting, and it will be difficult to build that into a small book case sufficiently. If you want to make it a freestanding piece of furniture – go for it. Geckos are fairly nondestructive (as opposed to my larger snakes or huge tortoise) and you can make some really asethetically pleasing planted terrariums for them.

  8. metai says:

    Guys, in the last picture, there’s clearly a ventilation opening in the roof. Also, unless it’s completely airtight, nobody’s going to die in a bookshelf with doors.

    Having said that, I hope not only the window is made out of plexiglass. As an (ex-)hamster owner, let me tell you: There’s a very, very good reason hamster cages aren’t made out of wood.

  9. m.winter says:

    This is great, but I do not see her getting much air flow with that tiny vent which leads to a closed section of the cabinet. You should drill some small vent holes at the front doors.

    Anonymous, simple they remove everything and disinfect!

  10. Anonymous says:

    Hamsters are burrowing animals and as such require a lot more bedding than what you have provided for them.

    Yes you won’t be able to see them play on the see-saw or chill on their veranda, but it is much more humane.

  11. Ulrike says:

    I love this concept! My son wants a Gecko. Maybe I’ll try to talk him into housing it in the living room.

  12. hem says:

    I had the same concern. Wouldn’t the little “Hämpfelina” suffocate without enough ventilation ?

    Is the door kept open on one side, when she is in there?

  13. Anonymous says:

    How do you keep your little villa clean?

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