A little bit of DIY :)

To begin this blog, we have a lovely example of teamwork between Kasper and Archie, our rescue rat.

My partner can never learn not to leave things on top of our pets’ cages; this usually means that Archie drags plastic wrappers into his cage and sleeps amongst them, and Cleo (guinea pig) drags in dog toys and plays / chews them to shreds *sigh*

Yesterday my partner left aΒ full (unopened) packet of crackers on top of Archie’s cage.

Archie is incredibly skillful; he can open packets, move wrappers along to the centre where the bars are more flexible, and even pull things through that are twice as thick as the bar spacing…yeah, I don’t know how either >__<

Anyway, Archie managed to open the packet of crackers and spill them. Everywhere. They went on his cage, in his cage (nom nom nom), all over the kitchen AND Kasper got half a dozen to eat too…photographic evidence πŸ˜‰


Secondly I have some news of the degus we adopted the other day. We speed-ordered some wire cutters from amazon, and today I added an extension to the cageΒ all by myself *proud smile*


It took me aaages, because I am TERRIBLE at DIY, but it’s done πŸ™‚


This was my first attempt at filling the loft…then I looked at it and realised it was crap and in need of more toys XD

The ‘loft’ is made from a bird cage we used to quarantine our finches in, and is 55cm x 30cm x 35cm. I cut a hole in the top of the Thickets cage, put the bird cage on top and used woven place mats as flooring so they didn’t have to walk on wire.


I tied the finch cage to the Thickets using chicken wire; we cut tiny pieces of chicken wire off the roll, then unwound them so it was a straight piece and used it to tie them together!

The extension also has a shelf measuring 40cm x 20cm, which is actually a metal pan used to catch ash underneath wood burners – I stumbled across it in our local pet / hardware shop today!! I put two wooden bird perches underneath to hold it steady.

I’ve filled the loft with chewables and exciting toys, to try encourage Toshi and Takka to go up there.

Unfortunately at the moment they spend 99% of their time on the tiny shelf where theirΒ wheel is. They’re either on the shelf or in the wheel, and even though I’ve filled their cage with chews and interactive toys, they’re too nervy to explore!


I cannot wait until they venture up there though, and since taking the above photo I’ve meddled with the set-up further to make it even easier for them to get to the new area.


Look guys, millet, oooh! Walk towards the millet and then follow it up to the new area!!

In other degu news I started the taming process today, and Takka surprised me by how readily he took to me!



To start with I just spoke to them, then left a seed / pellet where I had stood, for them to find whenever. By the end of the day Takka was taking seeds from my fingers πŸ™‚


Not bad to say they would flee when they saw me come near yesterday πŸ™‚

They have eaten their sunflower seed quota for the week now though (oops), so I need to dig out some healthy treat alternatives!

And now here’s Mr Greedy himself (otherwise known as Kasper), already so used to the degus he finds them boring, and willing to pose next to them for cat treats πŸ˜‰


“Why do they never move off that shelf, mummy?!”

Very happy with the degusΒ new loft area though, and hope to add to it further soon! You can see the final layout here…I took out their second hammock, so that when the new levels and such arrive there’s room for them πŸ™‚



12 thoughts on “A little bit of DIY :)

  1. Archie sounds like so much fun, I might have to keep trying to convince my fiancΓ© that we need rats πŸ™‚ for curiosity if I was to get rats would the thickets cage be okay as we still have our old one and how many rats would it be able to hold? Great job on adding to the cage and love how creative you were with the cage accessories, you’ve given me some inspiration! Kasper is so good with your other animals, Bonnie is fearful of the goos and stalks them and hasn’t improved since we’ve got her so we just keep Bonnie out of the kitchen now.

    • Archie’s an awesome little dude πŸ™‚ To say quite how fearful he was when we first got him, he’s done really really well.

      You should totally get ratties – but I’m a bad influence XD I’d be really happy with rats in the Thickets cage, providing you have the metal tray above the wire bottom so they walk on solid floor. If you add more levels (so there’s more running room on different levels) it could easily hold 2 males or 2-3 females…you could probably squeeze more in, but I’d stick with those πŸ™‚

      Haha thanks, I’ve been keeping rodents for ten years now so I’m very resourceful when it comes to toys!! We even made a papier mache house for our dwarf hamster once (just soaked toilet / kitchen roll, moulded into a shape then baked in the oven!) it was easy, free and she totally loved it XD

      Kasper is awesome with other pets…but then he has had years of practice living with dozens of rodents / birds / reptiles πŸ˜‰

      He has an amazingly high prey drive, so pets are always kept above him and they’re never free at the same time. A few years back he was fine whilst the rats ran free when he was in his crate in the same room though.

      Zoey gets amazingly excited with new pets for the first few days, then for a few weeks after any time she is bored / notices them…eventually they become part of the scenery, but she’s not as chilled as Kasper πŸ˜€

      When we adopted a Horsefield Tortoise Kasper was really scared of her…I taught him a cue that meant ‘go be near the tortoise’ and it worked really well! Unfortunately we ended up moving her off the floor anyway as baby Zoey found her fascinating XD

      • I’ll defintely keep an eye out for some ratties to adopt, animals bring so much happiness to my day, so jealous of all of the pets you have had πŸ™‚ Also that paper mache idea is fricking genius!
        That’s fascinating how Kasper and Zoey are with your other pets. How is Raiden with other pets ?

      • Hahaha thanks! I was pretty proud of that idea, but wasn’t sure at all if it would work! It was cool though as Pearl (Chinese Dwarf) wasn’t much of a chewer, so it lasted weeks πŸ˜€

        I think because Raiden came home so young…he just hasn’t even looked at any of our other pets; they’re just so boring to him XD

        From the second day he came home we would hold him up to the rat / guinea pig cage and happy talk / treat him whilst the rodents came to say hi. Now he *never* gets excited or goes to investigate when the rodents make a noise / crash about…it’s awesome, but could change as he gets older!!

      • Aww Raiden is so good πŸ™‚ I really wish back when we first got Bonnie that I knew what I do now about dog training as I would’ve done proper introductions with Bonne to the goos (we call our degus goos because its cute and quicker to say xD)

      • When Zoey was about 11 weeks old I tried to intro her to our female guinea pigs that we had back then, but I did it…so badly XD

        Basically I tried to do it alone, so she ended up getting REALLY excited and scrabbling on my lap to try sniff the guinea pig I was holding. I dropped Lazlo (the guinea pig) and then had to dig under the bed and fish her out one handed whilst holding Zoey in my arms!!!

        Our guinea pig now lives in the kitchen, where all our dogs are safely crated and don’t roam free…I’m fairly certain with a little work Zoey would adapt fine to a caged guinea pig in the living room, but if it ain’t broke don’t fix it πŸ˜›

      • Haha omg that would be my worst nightmare! I’m pretty sure the goos would be goners if they got on the floor with Bonnie around. I don’t think any amount of work could make Bonnie coexist in the same room as the goos, must get a video up sometime to show you what she’s like.

      • Hahaha that would be fun to see πŸ™‚

        Yeah, Kasper would definitely kill (and eat, ewww) any of our furries that escaped…not sure about Zoey. I think they’d get injured through her trying to play with them, rather than she’d actually *try* and hurt them.

      • I could imagine Zoey playing with them, my mother in law’s staffy Dougal has been on her bed with Cain & Abel out running around on it and he was just so chill about it and just wanted to sniff them, the only danger he posed was he nearly sat on them and he isn’t a small doggy! xD

    • If he Kasper sees other animals outside (cats, rabbits, deer, horses, sheep, mice etc etc) they are there to be chased, killed and eaten! He actually caught a pigeon from mid-air once!!

      Thankfully indoors he isn’t so extreme, and with careful management everyone can live happily together πŸ˜€

      Thanks πŸ™‚

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