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.