DIY: Rat Condos From Ikea Furniture

People are so clever!  Today I bring you 4 easy DIY rat condos,cages or hutches from modified Ikea furniture.  You can, of course, use other furniture too and these homes will also work for other small pets with some possible adjustments.

If you don’t already own something that would work for these condos, you still may not have to pay full price.  Ikea furniture is often found at thrift stores and garage sales.  I bet there’s also a lot of Ikea furniture thrown out by collee students at the of the school year.  Don’t forget to check the Returns section at Ikea before paying full price.

First up is a rat cage made from Billy shelves.  They left it divided into 3 sections—storage, younger rats, and adult rats.  You could also cut holes in the shelves if you wanted to connect the different levels.  They add a lip to each shelf which will help keep anything falling out of the cage like bedding or food.


The rat condo made from Gorm shelving looks good and has room for some storage.  I like that they added wheels to make it easier to move and clean around.  It looks like they made the doors themselves, but that’s pretty easy.  Home Depot and Lowes will cut your wood for you for free if you don’t have too many cuts to make.  The “L” brackets at the corners are a good idea for strength and durability.  You don’t want your condo doors to fall apart!


This elaborate rat condo made from an Ikea Kullen wardrobe uses other Ikea products as components for the interior, like the tunnels, litter boxes, and houses.  This condo has lots of connected level and is flexible, so you can move things around as needed.


Another rat condo from a different Ikea wardrobe, the Aneboda.  The shelves aren’t permanently fixed so you can change things around for different configurations.  I love the flexibility, so you can keep things interesting for your animals.


Finally, check out these ideas for repurposing other inexpensive Ikea products for your rats or other small animals.  This post gives numerous product suggestions for bedding, litter boxes, play, and infrastructure.  The ubiquitous plastic bag holder also works as a bed or lounging platform.  Great ideas!  I’m going to look at Ikea a little differently next time I’m there.

Don’t miss these other nifty Ikea based DIY pet projects:

(Please note: I am in no way connected to Ikea.  Other than I shop there and like all their pretty paper napkins.)

DIY: 2 Hidden Entryway Cat Litter Boxes

Litter boxes are the one bad thing about having a cat, but these 2 different hidden DIY cat litter boxes are a definite improvement.  They’re based on modifications of Ikea furniture, so they’re pretty simple and they can double as a low table or bench.

The first project uses a Besta shelving unit, which was also used for this DIY bunny hutch.  For the hidden litter box, they cut a doorway through the inner divider and applied contact paper to the inner compartment for easy clean-up.  I think I might put something more durable like metal sheeting.


 The second project uses a bench no longer sold by Ikea, but the Stuva bench looks like it would work.  Instead of a door, there is a drawer to keep everything hidden and tidy.  You’ll have to cut an opening through the bench and the drawer.  And I think I’d also line the drawer with metal sheeting.

DIY: Sleek Bunny Hutch

Last week, I had a post about a nifty dog crate coffee table with nice clean lines.  This week brings an attractive bunny hutch made by modifying an Ikea shelf unit.  For some reason, the instructions don’t appear on the tutorial page, so click here for the instructions and scroll down.

The clever people over at Design Curiosities started with Ikea’s Besta shelving, but you could adapt this to other media cabinets or sideboards of the right size.  The bigger, the better.  (Eames, the bunny for whom this was made, mainly just sleeps in his hutch and spends most of his waking time in an exercise pen.)

This customized hutch has great features.  I love the glass tile on the floor—so much easier to clean and keep looking nice.  On one side of the hutch they used a metal grid from The Container Store, but had to peel the rubber coating off and paint it.  That seems like a hassle.  I’d look for something similar from Home Depot or Lowes that was just plain metal.  The aluminum sheeting they used to finish the doorway in the divider looks great and will keep bunnies from nibbling on things they shouldn’t.  Always remember to use non-toxic materials and let the hutch air out after completion.

I just love pet furniture that looks great.  I think it means pets are more likely to be where their people are if their hutches, cages, beds, etc. aren’t some hideous thing people are likely to hide in a back room.  Neato!

DIY: Cat Wall

Remember that nifty modular Catswall from last week?  I was thinking it reminded me of something I’d seen before—Ikea’s Mandal headboard.  It comes with 6 shelves you can move around as you like.  Or you could get 2 headboards for even more options.  Someone over on IkeaHackers used part of a bedframe they found and some Lack shelves to make their own version.  You could make your own piece like the headboard, but for $150, I’d just get the Ikea version.

I’recommend modifying the shelves by attaching sisal, sea grass, or carpet so your kitties have traction.  I’m thinking hot glue would be the best way to do this since it might be hard to get staples or tacks through the melamine on the shelves without cracking it.  I love this idea and just might put one up in our guest room.  Too cool!

DIY: Cat Ladder

Our cat Raven loves the ladder we use when doing home improvement projects.  If we left it for a moment, she was always sitting at the top very pleased with herself when we came back.

Most cats like high spots and here’s a tutorial on making your cat their own ladder. The nifty thing is you could move this around your house to keep things interesting for your kitty—from a bookcase to a closet to a ledge.  I bet you could modify this design so you wouldn’t have to drill holes in your bookcase, shelf, etc.  Lean the ladder at enough of an angle, rubber caps on the feet of the ladder, long brackets with a non-slip material on them, etc.

You’ll need:

  1. some soft carpet or rug (the author used a $15 Ikea rug)
  2. 1×2 boards (measure where you want the ladder to reach and add some length so you can lean the ladder at a bit of an angle, and include the number of 5″ long rungs you’ll need for the length of the ladder)
  3. drill
  4. saw
  5. measuring tape
  6. scissors, carpet knife, utility knife for cutting carpet
  7. hot glue gun plus extra glue sticks
  8. wood screws
  9. metal brackets to secure ladder to bookcase, shelf, etc.