Green Iguana Society logo  1999-2001, D. Baze

The habitat shown here is the same one that appears on our Habitat Menu Page. It measures 7' H x 3' D x 6' L. It is constructed of plywood over a frame made of 2"x2"s. Because we get several emails each year asking how this cage was constructed, we hope the description and photos below will provide interested people with the information they need to build something similar.

These two photos show the cage framing inside the cage on the upper and bottom right side. The 2"x2"s were of the following lengths - for the floor frame: two 36" long, two 68" long; for the ceiling frame: two 36" long, two 68" long; and for the wall supports: four 80" long. The 2"x2"s were attached at right angles with long wood screws.

The floor and ceiling frames were put together first, and then the wall supports were attached at the the floor and ceiling frames at the four corners. Everything was screwed together with long screws so that the cage can be dissassembled if necessary.

The floor, walls and ceiling are made of plywood, attached to the frames with screws. The floor is attached to the bottom of the floor frame, so the frame sits on top of the floor. I suggest that if you want to cover the floor with a remnant of vinyl flooring, which is what I now have on the floor and which works great, you should attach the vinyl flooring to the piece of floor plywood first, and then attach the wood to the cage frame so that the vinyl extends under the frame. Some sort of sealer can then be used along the seam between the floor and the frame to prevent fluids from running underneath the frame later on.

There are two doors on the front of the cage, each made of 1"x1" frame with 1/2" hardware cloth (hail screen) attached to it. An additional 1"x1" extends horizontally across each door approximately half-way between the door top and bottom, to provide extra support. There are pieces of trim nailed over the edges of the wire to cover the sharp edges. Each door is 3' wide and they meet in the middle. You may want to consider using plastic-coated hardware cloth if your iguana tends to rub its nose on the door. Plexiglas is also an option to consider if you want to increase heat retention.

I used hook and eye attachments to secure the door to the cage. One hook is attached to the inside bottom of one of the doors and the eye is attached to the inside of the bottom cage frame. I close this door first and latch the door to the frame (shown left). Once that door is closed and secured to the cage, I close the second door and hook the two doors together with another hook and eye on the outside bottom of the doors (shown right) and with a latch up by the handles. If your iguana likes to try to escape its habitat, you may want to consider putting additional hooks and eyes or other fasteners at the top of the door as well.

The shelves in the cage consist of one long 2"x10" that extends all the way across the cage about 20" from the ceiling, one 2"x8" angled partway across the middle (from the right side to the middle of the back wall), and a bit lower there is one smaller 2"x4" angled partway from the left wall to the back wall. The shelves are screwed securely onto supports made from pieces of 2"x2"s. These support pieces are screwed securely to the cage walls. For the top shelf, which extends all the way across the cage, an additional support is in the middle. I have a 2"x4" attached at an angle from the cage floor to one of the side walls. My iguanas use this to climb up and down. You can organize the shelves however you want. I attach indoor/outdoor carpeting to the shelves and "ladder" so they can grip it. I fold the edges under and tape them with duct tape to keep them from unraveling, and then I attach the carpet to the shelves with carpet nails on the shelf bottom. The carpet does wear out, so I replace it when needed. If you have an iguana that is poorly potty trained (or not trained at all) that may often defecate on the shelves or otherwise get them dirty, consider using wire shelves and covering them with removable/washable towels for easy cleaning.

This cage is not fancy. It is made of cheap plywood and has no insulation. There is no complicated wiring for lights and/or heating devices. It was built to be functional rather than aesthetically pleasing. A simple habitat like this can keep your iguana quite comfortable, but if you want something that will be more naturalistic looking and will fit into your home like a piece of furniture, then you'll want to take a look at our page on habitat construction for more detailed building instructions and tips.

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