The play pens that you can buy in the shops usually take a hamster a split second to figure out how to clamber up and over. A few months ago I came across an easy way of making a better play pen on this forum. I thought I’d try it out and share what I’d made with you, as modelled by my honorary hamster!
- Plastic interlocking storage cubes, such as these from Amazon
- Cable ties x 24
- Duct tape (optional)
- Pegs or bulldog clips (optional)
I took the 13 black plastic square panels of the cubes and laid them out in a line. I then used the cable ties to connect the panels in the corner sections top and bottom:
I decided to leave the cable ties long, but you could trim the ends and put duct tape around the corners to make it look neater. I would never leave a hamster unsupervised in any play pen so wasn’t worried about hams chewing the panels in those corner openings.
When I’d connected all 13 panels like this, the play pen was finished! It was that easy and took about 5 minutes.
I set the play pen up leaving a generous overlap of panels so didn’t feel I needed to secure the ends. If you want to make the play pen the biggest possible and only overlap one panel then I’d suggest using large bulldog clips or pegs to secure the end panels and prevent escapes.
Always supervise hamsters in a play pen
These baby hamsters enjoyed their run around the pen and playing with the play pen toys! Despite the best efforts of these pups and the adult Syrian hams who have (individually) played in the pen, no-one has managed to climb the panels. The pen was big enough for the toys, including the 12 inch flying saucer pictured below, and me to sit in as well.
After use it folds down nice and quickly with no disassembly (apart from removing clips/pegs if you use them). My folded play pen slots easily down the side of some shelves in the hamster room and the panels easily wipe clean.
The panels are each 35.5cm high and 35.5 long, making a total length of all the panels of about 460cm. The cost of materials and delivery was £13.86, whereas the smaller wire pens cost £16!
p.s. – In case anyone was worried about my dog being in the play pen, he was only in there for the photo and was rewarded for his modelling duties with treats! We then used the play pen as a maze and for working on his pivots, all supervised. It’s not suitable as a dog/puppy pen 😉