What Kind of Cage is Best for Your Guinea Pig?

Welcoming new pets to your family is always exciting, and part of the buildup is getting everything ready for their arrival. The average territory size for wild guinea pigs is 8000 square feet, so choosing the best cage setup for your new pets can feel overwhelming. Fortunately, you won’t need to relocate to accommodate your new pets, but their cage does require careful planning to be comfortable.

Guinea pigs need a cage that provides ample space to move around actively on one level. Size is the most important factor when choosing a cage, and bigger is always better. The minimum size recommended for two piggies is 10.5 square feet. Avoid cages with wire flooring or glass tanks.

Most cages available from pet supply stores are completely inadequate to accommodate a pair of piggies comfortably! Knowing what to look for when buying a cage is essential to keeping happy pets.

What Kind Of Cage Is Best For Guinea Pigs?

The aim of any pet cage should be to allow the inhabitants to mimic natural behaviors as closely as possible. Guinea pigs are the largest domesticated rodents, so it is no surprise that there are a few special considerations when choosing a cage for them.

A great cage is one where the animals have plenty of space to move about, play, and still find a quiet place to hide if they want to. It should also be easy for you to keep clean and be able to interact with your piggies comfortably.

When choosing a cavy cage, there is more to think about than just the floor space size. Other things to consider include:

  • How many piggies do you intend to keep? That will determine the minimum size of the cage you will need. Always aim to buy a cage larger than the minimum size recommended per animal.
  • The floor material: Cages with solid bottoms are the safest. Avoid cages with wire floors as they can quickly lead to conditions like bumblefoot.
  • Is the cage easy to access to clean? Being able to keep the cage clean is essential to keep your piggies in good health and keep unpleasant odors at bay.
  • The cage should be airy and comfortable. Avoid cages with plastic sides or glass tanks that limit the flow of fresh air to the animals inside.
  • Cavy cages do not need a top, but you may need one if you have other curious pets or plan to use the cage outdoors on warm days.

There is no substitute for providing enough space in a guinea pig cage. In addition to having happier, healthy pets, larger cages are easier to keep clean since the animals can designate a bathroom corner away from other areas.

What Size Cage Does A Guinea Pig Need?

The Humane Society of the United States is very clear about the space requirements for guinea pig cages. They stress that their recommendations are the minimum size to accommodate cavies, and owners should invest in larger cages whenever possible.

The table below shows the minimum recommended and preferred floor space requirements for guinea pigs. Different animal welfare organizations or local pet adoption agencies may have different requirements.

Number Of Guinea Pigs

Minimum Square Feet

Preferred Square Feet

1 – 2

(It is not recommended to keep a piggy on its own)

7.5

10.5

3

10.5

13

4

13

15.8

The minimum height for all cage sizes is 12 inches.

Guinea pigs’ low, chunky bodies are adorably cute, and although they are active and spend up to 20 hours a day moving around, they are not good climbers. Even if a cage has a ramp with a second level, floor space should only be calculated using the ground level area.

What Type Of Cage Is Best For A Guinea Pig?

The best cage style for your pet guinea pigs is the one with the biggest floor space you can provide. Of course, no cage setup would be complete without all the creature comforts your piggy requires, including hideouts, drinkers, toys, and plenty of grass hay.

C&C (cubes and coroplast) cages have become immensely popular. They are inexpensive, easy to assemble, and form large, safe enclosures. This style is also highly versatile because the shape can be changed, and the size can be extended by adding additional pieces.

Do Guinea Pigs Like Ramps?

Guinea pigs are not the nimblest little animals and prefer to keep their feet firmly planted on flat, solid surfaces. When choosing a cage, the available space per piggy must be measured using the flat, ground-level area.

Many piggy owners add ramps to add space and make the cage environment more interesting. While a guinea pig cage doesn’t need to include a ramp to another level, creating a piggy loft can add a new dimension to a setup.

Things to remember when choosing a ramp for the cage:

  • It must be broad enough for the piggy to use safely.
  • Choose a ramp with a guard to prevent falls.
  • The ramp incline should never be more than 30 degrees.
  • Wooden ramps can be tough on your cavy’s sensitive feet. Covering it with a carpet will make it more comfortable to use.
  • Ensure that there is no way that your piggy could fall from the upper level.

When adding a ramp, keep in mind that cavies are not natural climbers. No matter how enticing the new fixture looks, while some will readily explore the upper level, others may avoid using it entirely.

Conclusion

Guinea pigs are sturdy rodents that aren’t very good at climbing. Their cages should provide plenty of floor space to allow them to stay active and move around comfortably on one level. The best cages are large enough for the number of individuals being accommodated and extendable so the habitat can grow without needing to start again from scratch.

Read more: Shredded Paper as Guinea Pig Bedding: Pros, Cons, & Tips