Just like any other house pet, you don’t want your guinea pig to be roaming around the house at night. Especially for an animal this size, it’s easy for the little guy to get lost roaming around on the floor.
A cage or hutch is the best enclosure to keep your guinea pig happy.
Some owners find that their guinea pig actually enjoys lying in their cage. It’s their safe haven for daily activities such as resting, eating, or the occasional jog around the cage.
Bigger is better
If you’re a new guinea pig owner, a common mistake that many first-timers make is the size of their guinea pig’s cage. What people don’t tend to realize is that their baby cavies will most likely grow larger as they age. Here are information and advice on keeping healthy guinea pigs as household pets, just check out my great book to read before and after getting guinea pigs.
Their cage should be a one time purchase that will fit them comfortably all throughout their years as an adult. Most cages found at commercial pet stores like PetSmart or Petco do not recommend the correct sized cage for your guinea pig.
While the cage may seem suitable for when they’re a tiny baby, any sized guinea pig will want ample space for scampering around in the hay.
As most pet owners do not let their guinea pigs out for long periods of time, a larger cage lets them move their legs around more, thus allowing for a healthier and happier piggy.
The more exercise your guinea pig gets, the less likely they are to develop serious complications with their health later in life.
Larger spaces are also beneficial to you as the owner too! Unlike what you’d expect, a larger cage is easier to clean. The bigger area prevents the buildup of waste and lets your guinea pig separate their bathroom space from their napping area.
Cage buying criteria
Guinea pig cages should be large enough to contain:
- A food dish
- Water bottle
- Hay manger
- Hiding house/other accessories
- Space for relaxing and using the bathroom
Their cages should also be a wire with a rock-solid bottom. Any wiring on the bottom can potentially harm their little feet and make it uncomfortable for sitting or walking on.
Aquariums or glass enclosures, although they may seem easier to clean and wipe out, are harmful to guinea pigs. Their thick glass walls do not allow for proper airflow to circulate in and out of the enclosure.
The limited ventilation isn’t good for either you or your Guinea pig.
More than one guinea pig
The Humane Society recommends the following guidelines to determine the adequate amount of space for any number of cavies:
One guinea pig:
- 5 square feet cage (minimum), but more is better
- About 30″ x 36″ is a good size
Two guinea pigs:
- 5 square feet (minimum), but 10.5 square feet is preferred
- About 30″ x 50″ is a good size
Three Guinea pigs:
- 5 square feet (minimum), but 13 square feet is preferred
- About 30″ x 62″ is a good size
Four Guinea pigs:
- 13 square feet (minimum), but more is better
- About 30″ x 76″ is a good size
If space is a deciding factor in selecting your cage, cages with multiple levels are a great opportunity to have an enclosure that is less spread out.
Multiple levels also provide great opportunities for your cavies to get exercise without having to be let loose for too long.
Where should I put my cage?
Temperature and location are important for any smaller pet who is unable to move around as freely as they please. The ideal temperature for cavies is about 65-75 degrees Fahrenheit.
Their housing should be kept far away from any heaters, air vents, windows with direct sunlight, or fireplaces.
Guinea pigs like most furry animals are more susceptible to heatstroke. They lack the ability to sweat when they do get too warm. Check out my post about why guinea pigs feel hot and what you should do!
At the same time, it is never good to put your cage in a humid or damp room. Their raw vegetables and coarse hay and bedding do not pair well with moisture, as it could lead to mold growth.
Activity and noise levels
As far as noise and activity levels go, guinea pigs are fairly social creatures. They enjoy being able to watch the surroundings of the world around them.
However, a day of constant noise is not great either as they do have sensitive hearing and can be prone to stress. They should have periods of time and space to retreat if they need a moment to themselves.
Avoiding loud and sudden noises are the best way to keep them content. Most owners will learn to associate the noise they make when scared or startled by too much activity.
Cheap and large guinea pig cages
Housing doesn’t have to be expensive. Many companies do sell larger cages that are budget-friendly and still provide a quality experience for your cavies home.
1- Tractor Supply Company Ware Manufacturing Chew Proof Critter Cage
- 25″ x 12 ½” x 12 ½”
- Metal drip pan that is easily removed
- ½ inch wire spacing
2- Midwest Guinea Habitat Canvas Bottom
- 8 square feet of living space
- Folds flat for easy storage and travel
- Leakproof and washable PVC lined canvas bottom
3- Beware Chew Proof 3 Story Pet Cage
- 3 levels
- Large top door for easy access
- 5″ x 15.5″ x 28″
Note these are just cheap cages in case you have a small budget, keep reading to find my favorite cages.
Best Guinea Pig Cages
If you’re willing to spend a little more, you can get some seriously heavy-duty cages that are large and spacious and will last a lifetime. These were the top-rated picks for 2019:
1- Living World Deluxe Habitat
- 47″ long
- 2 domed ceiling hatches
- Detachable top cage with 8 heavy-duty latches
2- Midwest Critter Nation with Stand
- 36″ x 25″ x 38.5″
- Built-in stand
- Easy to transport
- Full panel front double doors
3- Guinea Pig Habitat Plus Guinea Pig Cage
- 47″ x 24″ x 14″
- Fully removable wire mesh top
- Ramps and doors that separate play and care areas
- Removable PVC lined canvas bottom
Overall, Guinea pig cages should be much larger than you anticipated. These creatures love their space and often utilize every square inch of it.
Cages should be cleaned and restocked with the proper necessities in order to keep the piggie happy but larger cages make it easier to access and cleanout.
Hope this post was helpful to you and that you have a very nice tent in your cage! Check out the other sections of my blog for more tips.