Best Way to Make a Hamster Bin Cage without Mesh

Are you looking for the best way to make a hamster bin cage without mesh? I didn’t want to use window screen or wire of any type. Tinkerbell is a chewer. She would likely gnaw right through it in less than 24 hours – if she could reach it. I think maybe it’s because she has run of the house every night. She runs in her clear acrylic ball through the house. She isn’t under stress. It wouldn’t matter how large her cage was. Some chew more than others, and she doesn’t like being cooped up. She would prefer to run in her ball all night long, but that wouldn’t be good.

Best Way to Make a Hamster Bin Cage without MeshCan I Just Drill Holes in the Bin Cage Lid?

Someone suggested drilling lots of holes instead of adding a mesh panel in the lid. It sounds like the easiest way to make a hamster bin cage, but it’s not a good idea. The reason you shouldn’t just drill holes has more to do with temperature than oxygen. Inadequately ventilated cages are warmer inside. Imagine being confined to a plastic room! Small holes wouldn’t be enough to let in fresh cool air or breezes. You need a well-ventilated top.

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Hamsters are Smarter Than People Realize –

Don’t underestimate your hamster’s abilities. Leave the lid off and he might escape. They have the amazing ability to make tools for climbing by moving things around. My hamster’s igloo is more than just a hideaway. She looks like a turtle when she moves it around. She gets inside, hunches her back, and walks to move her igloo. Hamsters are much smarter than people realize! They’re also capable of stacking things to reach high places.

Zilla Reptile Terrarium Covers Fresh Air Screen, 20x10-inch

View it at AmazonZilla Reptile Terrarium Covers Fresh Air Screen, 20×10-inch

It’s the Best Way to Make a Hamster Bin Cage without Mesh or Wire –

Look at the photos to see how to make a hamster cage using a plastic container. You won’t need mesh or wire. What you will need is a 10 gallon aquarium screen lid.They’re used to transform aquariums into reptile cages. My tank topper (the one pictured) has holes for tubes and water bottles, but that style is nearly impossible to find now. A Kaytee Critter Trail Tank Topper will work, but you can also use a reptile tank topper lid. Simply cut openings in the top side of the bin for the drinking tube and the hanger. Watch the video at the end of the post to see how to attach a water bottle to a bin cage.

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The Easiest Way to Cut Through a Plastic Lid –

Easiest Way to Cut a Plastic Lid
Click to Enlarge the View

As you can see from the photos, I started with a clear 110-quart bin with a lid. I traced around the base of the screen lid tank topper using a fine-tip Sharpie marker. I left a 1/2″ lip all of the way around to support the topper. Don’t make the mistake of trying to use a steak knife to cut the plastic! It will shatter and/or split. You have to use a sharp box cutter!

Tape off the lines with duct tape. It will help to prevent the plastic from shattering or splitting when cut. To avoid shattering or cracking the plastic, hold the blade of the box cutter in a candle flame for a few seconds. It will enable you to cut through the plastic like butter. Use an electric hot knife if you already have one. They’re used in crafting but they aren’t cheap tools. Follow these easy step-by-step instructions on the best way to make a hamster bin cage without mesh, and give your hammy more room for a whole lot less.

Another Way to Give Your Hamster More Room –

Kaytee My First Home Tank Topper

View it at AmazonKaytee My First Home Tank Topper

Step-by-Step Instructions on How to Make a Hamster Bin Cage without Mesh or Wire –

  • Buy a 10 gallon screen lid
  • Mark the lid about 1/2″ in from the topper edge with a Sharpie
  • Use dots to determine where the lines need to be
  • Apply duct tape around the outer edge of the lines to prevent shattering and splitting while cutting
  • Heat the blade of a box cutter using a candle flame
  • Very carefully cut the opening for the hamster bin cage lid topper using the instructions above
  • Use hot glue or E6000 adhesive to attach the topper or screen lid to the bin lid
  • Drill 5 mm holes around the top portion of the bin for added ventilation
  • Make holes for the water bottle wire and a slit for the holder on the side of the bin
  • Take the time to do it right!

How to Make a Hamster Cage with a Plastic Tote

No Nuts, Bolts, or Mesh Will Be Needed –

I consider this the best way to make a hamster bin cage without mesh. I didn’t use bolts, nuts, or wire either. Sure, I had to buy a tank topper, but it worked extremely well. I would have spent just as much on the hardware and the mesh or wire as I did on the topper. Now I don’t have to worry about my hamster escaping or not having enough space or air. It was much cheaper to make a hamster cage with a plastic tote. It’s much safer than those flimsy plastic tube hamster cages. It’s a whole lot roomier too! Those colorful plastic cages should never be used since they don’t provide nearly enough space.

Wondering How to Attach the Water Bottle to a Bin Cage? Take a Look –


Kimberly Dalessandro (a.k.a. Crystal Ray) began her online writing career in 2005 with PageWise Incorporated and went on to become a top writer for both Associated Content and Yahoo Voices under the pen name Crystal Ray. In early 2017 she launched Blue Crystal Sky ~ Everything Under the Sun. She is continually coming up with new ideas to share with the world.

2 thoughts on “Best Way to Make a Hamster Bin Cage without Mesh

  • November 20, 2018 at 7:37 PM


    • November 20, 2018 at 7:53 PM

      Hi, Heather. You can find tank toppers at Walmart and online through the link I posted. You can get a 20″ x 10″ screen for around $13.00. I found a smaller one that was less than $10.00. It would still provide plenty of ventilation.

      My bin is deep enough that my hamster can’t get out, even if I leave the lid open, but I can’t recommend doing that. One hamster I had moved things in her cage so she could climb out. She was an escape artist. The one I have now doesn’t even try, but I still keep the lid with the topper in place. I have two cats.

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