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How To Build A PVC Pipe Cage For Sugar Gliders & Other Animals

Updated on October 15, 2011

Why to choose PVC pipe?

PVC pipe cages are very very light and simple to move around. With that PVC cages are also very easy to clean you can just take them outside hose them down and let them dry and you're done. You never have to worry about it rusting out or being hazardous to your sugar gliders or other animals. PVC pipe is actually less expensive than wood and 10x lighter than wood making it a better option for cages all around. I have been building custom wood enclosures for years now and just recently discovered how much better,easier, and more inexpensive PVC cage building was.

Small & Medium PVC pipe Cage

Left- 20in x 30in ||| Right - 30in x 40in
Left- 20in x 30in ||| Right - 30in x 40in

PVC Pipe Tools

PVC Pipe, PVC cutter, 3 way elbow, tee, elbow, and measuring tape.
PVC Pipe, PVC cutter, 3 way elbow, tee, elbow, and measuring tape.

Starting Your PVC Pipe Cage

PVC Pipe Cage Tools

1. PVC Pipe Cutter - This is not needed but highly recommended for straight easy PVC pipe cutting. You can also cut your PVC pipe with a saw or razor blade but both of which do not cut perfect every time and must add a lot of force to cut it. PVC pipe cutters make cutting PVC pipe cutting just as easy as cutting butter with a knife.

2. 3-Way Elbow Fitting - This is the hardest part to come by. You can often mind them at Lowes if you are lucky but might end up having to order them online. You will most likely need at least 8 of these if your case is going to have 8 corners.

3. Tee Fitting - These are used to make walls, bridges, doors, anything you can think of I use them to support the weight of big PVC pipe cages. I normally use 6-10 on an average cage.

4. Elbow Fitting - Elbow fitting are used less than any other piece but do great at making second stories for cages. They also do very well in the making the door or roof curve. I normally use 2-4 of these on an average size PVC enclosure.

5. Measuring Tape - Almost the most important part of building anything. Measuring tape is used to make accurate cuts and used to determine how far to cut the PVC pipe.

PVC Pipe Cage Pictures

PVC Enclosure sketch
PVC Enclosure sketch
PVC Pipe Bottom
PVC Pipe Bottom
PVC Front Built
PVC Front Built

Getting Started With Your PVC Pipe Enclosure

Steps to building a PVC pipe cage quickly and effectively.

1. The most important step is to sketch out your idea before you start doing anything. Make sure you know how many feet of PVC pipe you need and how many fitting. This sketch will prepare you for your trip to the store and make it much easier on you while your there. Lowes and Home Depot both have a project desk which normally has very creative people that can often show you how to save money on supplies and often save money by making the most cuts out of your PVC pipe. They normally kick your sketch into over drive by showing you how to maximize your money.

2. After you have sketched out your PVC enclosure and already purchased all the necessary supplies your ready to start cutting. I cut my PVC pipe as I go this way I can ensure I use as much of the PVC pipe as I can without wasting any. A lot of folks just cut all there PVC pipe as they think they need it then realize "Oh jeez" they forgot to take into consideration the 1 inch fitting and then they have to make an extra trip to the store.

3. I always start from the ground up while building a cage this makes it super easy for me to determine what size cuts I will need to make and also allows me to make any changes needed. I cut 4 pieces of PVC pipe to make the bottom then add the fitting and then just keep going up from there. I try to build up as even as possible that way I am usually cutting 2-4 pieces of the same size instead of a million different cuts at a given time.

4. After you have the entire thing built you are ready to add your mesh or walls to the enclosure. Choosing the type of mesh depends on the type of animal you are going to house in the PVC cage. I am housing sugar gliders so I will use a plastic mesh with 1/2" holes to make sure the sugar gliders cannot escape their enclosure.

Finished Building The PVC Enclosure

2 Sizes Of PVC Enclosures
2 Sizes Of PVC Enclosures

PVC Pipe Meshing Tools

Mesh, scissors, pliers, and assorted zip ties
Mesh, scissors, pliers, and assorted zip ties

Tools For Adding Mesh To Your PVC Pipe Cage

Meshing Tools for your PVC enclosure

1. Mesh - Used to make the walls to stop the sugar gliders from escaping while also making them viewable at all times. Allows air flow looks relatively nice.

2. Scissors - Used for cutting the mesh to appropriate length. Make sure to remove all the little stragger piece of mesh these little pieces are known to cut the sugar gliders if not cut flush. Also used to cut off the extra pieces of zip tie that would be on the cage after adding the mesh and zip tying it.

3. Pliers - Used to tighten the zip ties to make sure they will not slide lose and allow for the sugar glider to escape.

4. Zip Ties - Used to hold the mesh in place and hold the fixture tightly together.

Meshed PVC Pipe Cage

Meshed Front Of Cage
Meshed Front Of Cage

Adding Mesh To Your PVC Pipe Cage

1. Choosing you mesh wisely. Make sure you know what is best for the animal you are housing. For sugar gliders a thick plastic mesh with holes 1/2" or smaller is best. If you plan on breeding your sugar gliders then I would get 1/4" to be on the safe side sense sugar gliders start out the size of a grain of rice but don't leave the pouch will about a 1/2" long.

2. Cut the mesh to appropriate length. Make sure it will fit flush with the PVC pipe to ensure your sugar gliders cannot escape by pushing on the mesh. Sugar Gliders are very smart and will use everything to there advantage.

3. If you are using 1/2" mesh put a zip tie every fourth hole this will make it very tight and a sugar glider cannot escape I promise you this as mine have never escaped there enclosure.

4. Do not forget to tighten your zip ties this is always best because after you cut the access off the zip tie you are not going to be able to tighten it later. Also by tightening it will make the mesh look mush better and not all loose and nasty.

PVC Pipe Cage

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    • profile image

      Malena 

      9 months ago

      Hi, i live in Argentina (Buenos Aires) and i can't seem to find any place or even online that sells pvc pipes at the desired width. Which in my case is an inch. Because its used mainly for water and stuff. How can i search or for what purpose would an inch pipe be used? There are other options on that size.. But i wanted pvc! Thanks for reading.

    • Nspeel profile imageAUTHOR

      Nspeel 

      6 years ago from Myrtle Beach

      A - Its actually just shown in the picture but your right I completely forgot to touch base about the doors. So I will keep it simple in this comment. Use 2 Tee fittings & 2 90 degree fittings for your door.. Of course just put the proper length of PVC pipe between the fittings for proper fit into your enclosure. I also use vasoline in the tee fitting bc of it not being as toxic as say motor grease. I have also sprayed with pam baking spray for a good lube to.

    • profile image

      6 years ago

      It does not mention how to work a door into this home made cage

    • Nspeel profile imageAUTHOR

      Nspeel 

      8 years ago from Myrtle Beach

      Femmeflesh - Wow did I leave that part out, I cannot believe I forgot that part I will get in here and revise it shortly for all the other readers but to answer your question yes for only $30 you can get an appliance tray which is normally what you would sit a washer one. These are normally found in 30in x 36in trays & 29in x 31in trays. Go lowes.com and search "Appliance tray" they good pretty stylish, very light, and have a lip to catch all the mess gliders make.

    • profile image

      femmeflashpoint 

      8 years ago

      Nspeel! Great Hub! Seriously, lol!

      I've thought for a long time now that I'd like to trade Checkmate's current cage for one I made myself, and using pvc, I could make him one that offers more room than the wire one he's in now, and it'd be much lighter for me to handle when carrying it out for a cleaning.

      I also like the idea of being able to design it just for "Himself", lol. He dislikes heights, if you can imagine that. He's the only glider I know that seems to be threatened by high places. But, I'm thinking if I have plenty of things for him to hold onto and climb, he might not mind exploring in a taller cage.

      I'm wondering what you use for a catch pan at the bottom of the cage. Any suggestions on what to make one with and how to fit it in and secure it, yet allow for easy removal?

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