How to Build Your Own Iguana Cage

Building your own iguana cage is cheaper than buying one, and it allows you to customize the cage to your iguana's needs. You can build a cage with different levels, or a split cage to house two iguanas. No matter what size or design you choose, there's a simple way to put together iguana cages with items from the home center or hardware store.

Materials Needed:

  • 2 x 2 Lumber
  • 20 L-shaped roofing brackets to fit two-inch lumber
  • Hinges: you'll need one set of hinges for each door. Depending on the height of the door, you may need two or three hinges for it.
  • Slide latch, one for each door
  • Screening material
  • Plastic roofing panels
  • Oil drip pan or plastic the size of the bottom of the cage
  • Polyurethane coating

Assembly

  1. Measure and cut the lumber for the cage size you are building. If you are building a four-foot by four-foot cage, you will need 20 pieces that are four feet long: 16 for the sides and four extra to lift the bottom of the cage off the ground. Nail or screw the sides of the frame together. Butt the ends of the lumber together; do not overlap them. Coat the frames with polyurethane coating. Set the extra four pieces aside.
  2. Measure the inside dimensions of one of the frames. Build another frame to fit inside the frame, which will be the door. To allow for expansion of the wood, leave about an eighth of an inch between the door frame and the outer frame.
  3. Make sure the corners of all the frames are square. Put an L-strap on each of the outside corners of the frame to strengthen it. Put L-straps on the outside of the door frame as well. Flip all four frames over so that the L-straps are facing down.
  4. Unroll the screening over each of the frames, except the door frame. Cut the screening about ½" bigger than the frames on all sides, so that it is easier to work with. Using a staple gun, staple the screening across the bottom of the frame, making sure it is straight. Work your way up the frame, stretching the screening over the frame and stapling the screening in place as you go. Leave the frame that will hold the door uncovered, but do cover the door frame itself.
  5. Fit and screw the four wall frames together. Trim off any excess screening that sticks through the joints. Unroll screening over the top of the cage and staple it in place. Line up the pieces of lumber set aside earlier over the frame and nail or screw them on. If the cage will be kept inside, leave one end off, so that the oil drip pan can slide underneath the cage. Flip the cage over.
  6. Cut the plastic roofing panel to fit the top of the cage. Carefully screw the plastic roofing panel into the frame of the cage.
  7. Hang the door. Use spacers on the bottom and the sides to make sure the door hangs evenly, with about an eighth of an inch between the door and the frame. When you have the door perfectly straight, attach the hinges.
  8. Attach the slide latch to the door and the frame.

Leave the cage outside for 48 hours before putting your iguana in it, so that the polyurethane is completely dried. Be careful about attaching an iguana light to the plastic roof panel. If the light's housing gets too hot, it may burn a hole through the panel.

If you're building a particularly large cage, consider adding some extra supports across the bottom, so that the screen isn't the only thing supporting your iguana and its habitat.

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