Making your home for your guinea pigs is important, as no creature, whether it be human or guinea pig, can relax without being safe and secure.
There are four main types of cages to choose from to create a home for your guinea pigs: space aquariums, pet store cages, cubes and chloroplast, and a homemade cage.
Pet Store Cage
As the name suggests, this cage is used most often in pets stores and animal shelters. This type of enclosure is not the most comfortable or the most spacious. They are used mainly because of their size, to save space when both stores and shelters have limited areas for animals.
If you have a home or apartment all your own, then using this type of cage is not ideal because you have more room to dedicate to one or two guinea pigs.
However, you can use this cage as a transportation cage since they won’t need to be in it for long periods of time. For example, this case would be ideal if you are moving, and you need to take your guinea pig to its new home, or you need to take the guinea pig to the vet.
Many guides many poorly written guides say that pet store cages can be used as starter homes or at the home of a baby guinea pig, but this is not true. Baby guinea pigs grow quite fast and will quickly outgrow a small-sized cage.
Some pet store cages, on the other hand, can be widened or lengthened by being attached to other cages. About three or more heads or cages would make a decent long-term home for a guinea pig.
Many people choose aquariums to house their guinea pigs. Aquariums are easy to clean, and they are cheap to replace if they are broken or damaged.
However, many organizations that care about the treatment of animals warn against using aquariums as a long-term guinea pig home. The vast majority of aquariums are made for small fish, not for rodents.
Cubes and Chloroplasts
When we say cubes, we mean those wired cube grids that can be attached with other cubes to make any shape or form that you wish. These cages can be molded to fit corners or around furniture.
The cube’s material is also durable enough to be outside so you can make a second home outside for your guinea. Sometimes, the attachments that keep the walls together can be quite flimsy and made with plastic. So, many owners secure the walls together with zip ties. Zip ties are cheap to replace and can also be cut easily if you need to dismantle or rearrange the cubes. But you may not have heard of chloroplast.
Chloroplast is plastic that is used to make signs. You do not use this material for walls, but as lining, that goes under the guinea pig’s feet. Chloroplast is soft to lay on for guinea pigs and help create a comfortable environment for them. Plus, guinea pigs do not like to chew on chloroplast.
Depending on your creativity, and your ability to make warm places and inviting beds, a homemade cage could be an ideal home for your guinea pig. This option would work well if you don’t have a lot of floor space dedicated to a single large unit cage.
Just make sure that the grates are not wide enough to allow the guinea pigs to slip out between the bars. Although they are quite fluffy, their fur folds down easily, and their fat is squishy, so guinea pigs have been known to get out of their cages.
How to Make Your Guinea Pig’s Home More Inviting and Comfortable
- Before you put anything down, be sure to place a liner on the floor. It will make cleaning up much easier. Nothing will take up more of your time than cleaning up guinea pig poop from the cage floor.
- Do not use a bare grate floor on wood or cement as the cage floor.
- Guinea pigs need to drink a lot of water, so attached a large water bottle with a drinking spout.
- They will also need a hidey-hole so they can hide away whenever they feel scared or anxious.
- Guinea pigs love to hide and play in tunnels. And tunnels can be a fun way to connect to cages together.
- Make sure to have an area specifically for their hay and food bowls.
- Your guinea pigs were made to roam the forest and fields, so it is good to place down fleece bedding, which is soft and will help them get a good night’s sleep.
How to Choose a Cage Size
The right sized cage for guinea pig depends on how many guinea pigs do you have. If you have one guinea pig, its cage should be at least 7.5 square feet or 30 x 36 in.
If you have two guinea pigs, then their cage should at least 10.5 square feet or 30 by 50 in.
For every extra guinea pig you have, add three additional square feet to its cage size. So, three guinea pigs should have at least a 13 square foot cage.
There are several signs you need to recognize to see if your guinea pigs think their home is too small. Those signs are:
- aggression towards other guinea pigs or to you when you try to pick them up.
- Not sleeping well
- Being generally more anxious and always hiding wherever they can
- Excessive moving around and then fatigue
- Four different types of cages are used to house and shelter guinea pigs
- Aquarium and pet store cages are too small for guinea pigs to live in permanently.
- A cube and chloroplast combination or a homemade cage are the most used methods to set up a home for your guinea pigs.
- Chloroplast is the plastic-like material used to make signs.
- Pet store cages should only be used as a transportation cave.
- If a cage is too small, your guinea pigs will be more aggressive, anxious, and hide more often.
- Add a liner before putting down the hay for easy cleanup.