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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
When I first got Cocoa a little over a year ago, I did lots of research and at one point found this funny picture of what I then assumed was a little bit of an excessive cage (seen here a little more than halfway down the page http://www.angelfire.com/wa2/comemeetmyfamily/CaringForYourHedgehog.html). I got a rabbit cage for her because it was the minimum size that was recommended, but soon realized that with just her silent spinner and food/water in there, there was barely enough room for her to have blankets to sleep in (I have her on fleece liners) and definitely no real moving room.

I found that picture again while searching for better options, and this time it didn't seem excessive at all. I mentioned it to my dad and we started designing. Below are pictures of the final result. I apologize for the single perspective and the fact that it's so covered in blankets at the moment. I am working on zip-able cover for it but right now to keep the AC off, it's quilts.

[attachment=0:264gg1hp]cage2.jpg[/attachment:264gg1hp]

[attachment=1:264gg1hp]cage1.jpg[/attachment:264gg1hp]
The first thing I need to mention about the cage is that it's fully collapsible. there are three bolts at each corner that hold the 4 sides together. Each side is made from 1"x2"s braced in a ladder shape with cage wire sandwiched between the outer wooden ladder and a wooden strip that supports the floor of each level. The door is attached to one of the sides with a piano hinge and will stay folded flat for transport (in these pictures I have it attached upside down and the ladder parts don't match up with the cage) Each level is 12" tall with a removable 2'x2' plywood floor, and ramps made from gutters that are attached to the plywood with carriage bolts (smooth topped). The ramps have a small landing in one corner because we weren't sure how steep she would like to climb. There's a 6" tall, 4" diameter PVC pipe in the corner underneath the landing to support it. In addition to this, because the gutter is meant to be slick, I used ribbed plastic shelf liner on the surface to give her more (soft) traction. It all comes apart in less than 10 minutes and can then stack and fit in the back of my little sedan.

This is especially viable for me because Cocoa has always used fleece liners. I made custom fitted sheets that velcro to the plywood and can be placed and removed without any alteration to the cage (you don't need to detach the ramps to change the liners). She'd always been fairly clean. She never pooped on the side of her old cage where she slept, but the cage was so small that it was inevitable that things got dirty anyways. In this new cage though, she only poops on the bottom level in one corner. Even her wheel stays clean for days on end.

The bottom level is allocated to her wheel (with plenty of open space for bathroom, and an extra large water dish for quick sips while exercising). The second level has two ramps connected and the least useful space. In general, I leave her toys (a ball, a jingle ball, a baby hedgehog stuffed animal, and plastic car) on this level along with her food and water dishes. The top level is for sleeping, so I have a few different blankets, scraps of fleece, and occasionally one of my shirts for her to cuddle in. She loves doing laps. I'll lie awake at night and hear her little feet on the ramps, coming down for food, then up for a scrap of fleece, then back for food/water, then time for her wheel, then back up to get food, down to wheel (repeat wheel/food lap about 10x) then toy time which always involves pushing things up and down ramps and around different levels. Everything gets reset in the morning when I easily sweep any poop and food crumbs into the trashcan.
 

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It sounds like a great cage. Did you make sure to enclose the levels and the ramps to prevent falling?
 

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Hedgie lover - She mentioned that the levels are fully enclosed and that the ramps are made of gutters so they have sides.

I think it looks awesome! I love that it is collapsable and so easy to clean. What a lucky little girl you have :) I bet when she got into that cage she must have felt like a spoiled pricess in comparison to her last cage, heheh :)
 

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Oops sorry I must have missed where it said the levels were enclosed and you can't tell from the picture.

Good for you, hedgieball, for making such a great cage!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
You're correct! There is the cage wire enclosing all of the sides of each level, but they are not solidly closed off from the outside air.
I did not enclose the ramps or block the opposite end of the hole in the floor that the ramp goes through because she grasped the concept so quickly. She has never so much as peeked over the edge of the landing or the ramps.
 
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