When shopping for finch cages, many assume that the tabletop cages found in retail stores are automatically acceptable for these birds because they tend to be small. Unfortunately, this isn't the case, and it can actually prove difficult to find proper finch cages. Basically, three different types of cages are available that may or may not be suitable for finches, depending on the birds' size and the space available for the cage itself. The basic types of finch cages include tabletop cages, stand-up cages, and acrylic cages. With each cage type comes a unique set of benefits and drawbacks.
Unlike parrots and other bird species that can obtain adequate exercise by climbing around their cages, finches receive their exercise solely from flying. Therefore, it's imperative to house finches in a cage with an adequate amount of room for them to fly around. At a minimum, a pair of finches will require a cage at least 3 feet in length. The height of the cage isn't nearly as important, but should still provide an adequate amount of room for them to fly up and down. Also, the bars of the cage should be spaced closely enough together to prevent the finches from escaping or injuring themselves.
Barred finch cages come in two main types: tabletop cages and stand-up cages. Tabletop cages are good for people who want a smaller cage that can be easily moved around. Stand-up cages work better for people who have a designated space in their home to keep a large, free-standing cage in a permanent place. The problem with most tabletop cages is that they tend to be too small for finches and don't meet the minimum length requirements the finches need for exercise. Even many stand-up cages are unsuitable for finches because they tend to be taller rather than longer, and may have bars spaced too far apart for smaller birds like finches.
While it is possible to find a suitable tabletop or stand-up cage with a little research and effort, many finch owners have opted for custom acrylic finch cages or aviaries. Homemade acrylic cages can be very inexpensive and customized to fit any space. Acrylic cages are also extremely durable; even with heavy use, they won't crack, chip, or show scratches. As an added benefit, these cages also serve to better protect finches from potential predators, such as cats.