How Do You Build a Reptile Cage?

build-reptile-cage Credit: Carolin Voelker/Moment Open/Getty Images

Different types of reptiles require different types of habitats. While an iguana or boa constrictor may need an elaborate enclosure that is the size of a small room, a gecko or small snake needs little more than a climate-controlled box to be comfortable. The easiest way to make a small enclosure is to modify a plastic storage box, while larger habitats require some type of supportive frame and waterproof walls.

To convert a plastic storage box into a cage for a small reptile, it is necessary to drill holes for ventilation, attach a heating pad to one part of the box and create a door. The door is constructed by building a frame to fit around the opening of the box and attaching a sheet of acrylic to it. There should be no small gaps around the door which allow the occupant to escape.

Larger cages often utilize wood or metal posts for the frame elements. Plywood, melamine, shelving board, thick sheet plastic and wire are all suitable materials for the walls of such cages. A door must be built for the cage to provide access to the inhabitant.

It is necessary to monitor the ambient temperatures of all cages with an indoor-outdoor thermometer and monitor the surface temperatures of all cages with a non-contact thermometer.