Building a Better Cage for Zelda the Hedgehog: Part I

I adopted Zelda from someone who sold her cage along with her. The cage itself is not too bad; in fact it’s roomy and has wheels that make it easy to move. However, it rattles terribly when she runs on her wheel at night. Since the cage is located in our bedroom, this is a problem.


Many folks who own hedgehogs or guinea pigs will tell you that C & C cages are the way to go.

Photo credited to Justin Franks on flickr

C & C stands for “cubes” and “coroplast.” Basically you get these wire storage cubes and use corrugated plastic (like the stuff used to make yard signs) for the bottom. They’re supposed to be magical.

So I bought the cubes on Amazon, and found a sign store nearby to purchase some coroplast.

Wire shelving

I began assembly.

Several hours later, I would like to address the inventor of the connectors:


These are poop!

These are a bitch to put on the panels. Oh, they’re snug all right. Snug in the way something is snug when you force two things together that are not meant to go together. All the positive reviews about these cubes say the same thing. “It’s a great shelf!… if you have a mallet/tons of patience/don’t mind that it’s impossible to line them up correctly!”

After you labor away forcing panels together, cussing and bruising your hands, cursing the instructions that claim it only takes 30 minutes to assemble, you realize that a corner has popped loose.


Fuck. Fuck. Fuck.

It’s okay, your naive brain tells you. Just make a few quick adjustments and it will fit together. Except that you can’t just make a few quick adjustments. There is nothing “quick” about this assembly. Because the connectors are so damn TIGHT that’s it’s just about impossible to pry them off.

Finally, I’d had enough. Further research provided me with more than a satisfying amount of hedgehog owners that skipped using the connectors altogether and instead used zip ties.

I was all too happy to rip apart the wobbly, uneven cage with loose panels, wrenching the connectors off like a mad woman, almost giddy with the thought of hurling them into the trash. One of the damn things pinched me hard enough to draw blood.


A mere flesh wound, but OUCH. I hate being pinched that hard, it sends panic through my bones, and I now type this clumsily with a bandaged index finger.

All right. Plan B. Zip ties. Cheap and easy.

Assembly went much faster and much more smoothly.


Can I get a witness?

Cutting coroplast

I was happy with the end result.


Now the reason this post has two parts, is because we aren’t done yet. I’ve got to figure out something for the lid. I can’t use the cube panels because my cats could easily stick their paws in through those squares and swipe at Zelda from the top.

So this ends Part I. I will publish Part II as soon as I have figured out what the hell to do next. Until then…


4 thoughts on “Building a Better Cage for Zelda the Hedgehog: Part I

  1. hey! i tried seeing what you ended up using as a lid for this cage, but also i just went through all that trouble.
    do you have the part 2? if not what did you use?

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