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How Do I Choose the Best Guinea Pig Cages?

By Patti Kate
Updated May 21, 2024
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Before shopping for guinea pig cages, research the basic requirements for housing. You can inquire at the pet store, but reading a book or two on guinea pig care would also be a good idea. Guinea pig cages come in a few sizes, but if your pet will be confined most of the day, or you don't plan on buying a large run for exercise, choose the largest size cage available. Exotic pets such as guinea pigs also will need accessories, so you might want to choose a cage that comes fully equipped. Also, choose a guinea pig cage that is easy to clean, as you will need to disinfect it weekly.

Depending upon how many pets require housing, you might opt for two or more guinea pig cages. If you plan on housing multiple guinea pigs in the same cage, choose a large cage suitable for more than one rodent. In any case, you'll need a cage that has ample room for your pet to play and exercise.

One guinea pig should not be housed in a cage smaller than 32 inches (81 cm) by 37 inches (94 cm). This size will allow the animal enough space to play. If you house two guinea pigs together, choose a cage twice as large.

Consider what type of materials are used to make the cage. Guinea pig cages constructed of all glass are not appropriate because they will become too hot, especially in warm weather. You'll want a cage that offers proper ventilation. Stainless steel and plastic will probably be a good combination. Avoid cages made from wood, as your pet's teeth can be destructive.

Some guinea pig cages are made with a wire floor. These are not suitable for your pet, as the wire may cause sore feet. If the wire tray on the cage bottom is removable, take it out. If not, either cushion the cage bottom with a soft padding or choose another model that does not have wire flooring.

Also consider security when shopping for guinea pig cages. You'll want to be sure the cage has some type of safety bolt or clamp to prevent escape. This will also prevent small children from easily opening the cage door and freeing your pet.

Consider a cage with a built-in slope for your pet to climb and exercise on. Some of the large guinea pig cages also have accessories such as special toys or ladders that can provide exercise and stimulation to prevent boredom. A cage that comes equipped with some type of tunnel is also beneficial as rodents enjoy a secure hiding place.

If your guinea pig cage comes with a lightweight feeding dish, replace it with something sturdier. Choose some type of ceramic dish that the animal cannot tip over. A water bottle for your pet guinea pig can be made of high-quality plastic, although glass is easier to clean and disinfect.

Frequently Asked Questions

What size cage is recommended for a single guinea pig?

According to the Humane Society, a single guinea pig requires a cage that is at least 7.5 square feet, but 10.5 square feet is preferred. A larger space is essential for their well-being as it allows for exercise and enrichment activities, which are crucial for their physical and mental health.

Is it better to have a cage with a wire bottom or a solid floor?

A solid floor is best for guinea pigs as wire-bottomed cages can cause bumblefoot, a painful condition. Bedding such as fleece liners or paper-based substrates can provide comfort and absorbency, making the habitat cozy and promoting good foot health for your guinea pig.

How important is ventilation in a guinea pig cage?

Ventilation is crucial for maintaining a healthy environment for guinea pigs. A well-ventilated cage ensures proper air circulation, reducing the buildup of ammonia from urine and preventing respiratory issues. Cages with open sides, such as those with wire grids, typically offer better airflow than enclosed habitats.

What type of cage is easiest to clean?

Cages with a removable bottom tray are generally the easiest to clean. This design allows you to quickly remove and replace bedding without disturbing the entire setup. Some cages also feature sections that can be detached or doors that provide easy access for spot cleaning and maintenance.

Can guinea pigs live in multi-level cages?

Guinea pigs can enjoy multi-level cages as long as the ramps between levels are not too steep and there are no dangerous drops. However, the primary living area should be on a single level due to their poor depth perception and risk of injury from falls. Always ensure that each level has a solid floor and is safely accessible.

Should I get a cage with room for expansion if I plan to get more guinea pigs?

Yes, it's wise to choose a cage that can be expanded or easily connected to additional habitats. Guinea pigs are social animals and may benefit from companionship. If you plan to introduce more guinea pigs in the future, having a cage that can grow with your pet family will save time and money while ensuring their comfort.

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