Which guinea pig cage is best?
It might seem like guinea pigs are fairly low-maintenance pets, but they must have a proper habitat to live in. You should spend some time finding the perfect guinea pig cage and making sure it’s appropriate for your pets.
Guinea pigs require more space than you may think, and they aren’t climbers, so it should be predominantly on one level. If you’re looking for a spacious home for a pair of piggies, the MidWest Guinea Habitat Guinea Pig Home is ideal.
What to know before you buy a guinea pig cage
Cages vs. hutches
Guinea pig cages are the best homes for guinea pigs. However, you may have also heard of guinea pig hutches and want to know more about them.
- Cages: Cages are made from wire with hard or soft plastic bases. They’re meant for indoor use, which is ideal for guinea pigs.
- Hutches: Hutches are usually made from wood and wire. They’re designed for outdoor use, but it isn’t ideal to keep guinea pigs outside due to temperature fluctuations and danger from predators.
Guinea pigs need plenty of space to move around, play and exercise themselves. They’re commonly kept in too-small cages and even many commercially available cages aren’t large enough. It’s important to know what size cage you need for the number of guinea pigs you want to keep. Because guinea pigs are social animals, you should keep them in pairs or larger groups, never alone.
- Two guinea pigs: If you want to house two guinea pigs, they’ll need at least 7.5 square feet of floor space. You can find quite a lot of 24-inch-by-48-inch cages, which equal 8 square feet.
- Three guinea pigs: A group of three guinea pigs needs at least 10.5 square feet, which is equal to 30 by 50 inches.
- Four guinea pigs: You need a cage of at least 13 square feet to keep four guinea pigs. This is the same as 30 by 62 inches. Few commercial cages are this large but some are designed so you can link two together.
While many cages for small animals, such as hamsters and rats, have multiple levels, guinea pigs aren’t climbers so their cages should have single-level layouts. While it’s fine to have a small second level with a shallow ramp, you should look for cages mostly arranged in one layer. This means they have large footprints and take up a significant amount of floor space, but it’s just something you have to live with if you want to keep guinea pigs.
What to look for in a quality guinea pig cage
The base of your cage should be leakproof. Even though you’ll line it with bedding, it’s still vital that moisture can’t seep through.
Cages should be well-ventilated to provide healthy air quality for your piggies. Wire bars are ideal since air flows through freely.
Safe bar spacing for adult guinea pigs is up to 1 1/2 inches, while cages for baby guineas should have bars no more than 3/4 of an inch apart.
How much you can expect to spend on a guinea pig cage
You can find some basic cages for around $50, while the largest and most elaborate cost $100-$250.
Guinea pig cage FAQ
How often should I clean my guinea pig’s cage?
A. You should do a quick spot clean to remove visible waste daily and a more thorough clean once a week. One of the benefits of choosing a large habitat for your guinea pigs is that they’ll usually use just one area as a bathroom, making spot cleaning significantly easier.
Do guinea pigs need hay in their beds?
A. Guinea pigs should always have access to an unlimited supply of hay. While they’re likely to use some of it to nest in, it shouldn’t be the only bedding in their cages because it isn’t absorbent. Wood chippings and sawdust can be harmful to guinea pigs’ respiratory systems, so it’s best to use paper-based bedding.
How much time do guinea pigs need out of their cages?
A. Ideally, they should have at least an hour outside of their cages twice a day, but anywhere up to 4 hours in total. During some of this time, you should play and interact with them. However, it’s also nice for them to have some time to roam freely in a large pen or a guinea pig-proofed room.
What’s the best guinea pig cage to buy?
Top guinea pig cage
What you need to know: With 8 square feet of floor space, this is a perfect cage for two guinea pigs.
What you’ll love: The floor is leakproof and chew-resistant. You can divide it into two spaces if you like: one sleeping area and one living area. It’s easy to assemble, taking just minutes with no tools required.
What you should consider: The soft bottom makes it difficult to move around without emptying it.
Where to buy: Sold by Chewy
Top guinea pig cage for the money
What you need to know: Offering roughly 8 square feet of floor space, it’s great for a couple of piggies.
What you’ll love: It comes with an optional divider with a door in it. It comes with a lofted corner area that you can use as a hide, a spot for a bed or a food and water area. The waterproof canvas base is gentle on the feet.
What you should consider: The sides of the base could be higher as they let bedding out.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Worth checking out
What you need to know: This comes in a 24-by-48-inch version for two guinea pigs or a 30-by-60-inch version for three.
What you’ll love: You can connect both sizes of this cage to house four or more guinea pigs or to give them a separate run area. It’s quick and easy to assemble with a durable waterproof liner.
What you should consider: It can feel somewhat flimsy, so you need to make sure you position it on a stable surface.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
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Lauren Corona writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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