One of the most crucial things your guinea pig needs is proper housing. Your cute chubby-cheeked ball of fur will, after all, spend most of its life in its cage. This makes it imperative to ensure that its new home is comfortable, spacious, and outfitted with the necessary supplies and accessories.
So what makes a suitable guinea pig cage?
In this guide, let’s go through the most crucial aspects to consider when buying a cage for your pet.
Guinea Pig Housing Buying Guide
There are more than a few essential things to consider before buying a cage. First, take note of the fact that young guinea pigs may be small in size, although they rapidly grow within a few months. This means it is better to invest in housing that is suitable for an adult cavy.
Guinea pigs are larger than other rodents. They are also quite active, and this makes them require bigger and more spacious living spaces. You ought to ensure that your pet will have adequate space to climb, hide, run around, and do other cheeky things that guinea pigs love to do.
The social nature of cavies makes it best to keep them in pairs or groups. The more guinea pigs you have, the bigger the space they will need. Typically, one pet needs nothing less than a 7.5 square feet cage. Most people prefer keeping a pair, and they need a minimum of 10.5 square feet.
Unlike some domestic animals, rodent pets do not strictly use litter bins. You must, therefore, ascertain that their cage has adequate open spaces for optimal airflow and proper ventilation.
Keeping a guinea pig cooped up in a stuffy cage is cruel for the lack of a better word to use. The stale air is likely to make your furry friend enraged, uncomfortable, and possibly even sick.
When it was time to add a guinea pig to my family, the accessibility of a cage is an aspect I could not overlook. A pen with multiple openings makes it easy to grab your cavy in case of an emergency.
These openings also make cleaning the cage less laborious and time-intensive. There is nothing as infuriating as having to dismantle an entire structure just to clear out the food or litter tray.
I know this is somewhat a no brainer, but I must insist that the longevity of a cage matters a lot. Just because your pet is tiny and cute looking does not mean that it cannot wreck a feeble pen in a matter of days. Guinea pigs are rodents, so guess what? – They can chew away weak bars and possibly escape.
As a rule of thumb, avoid cages made of cheap wood or plastics. Cavies have strong teeth, and their need to chew on things could see them create a big hole in the cage within a few days. A sturdy cage that is built to stand the test of time will save you from having to buy new housing every now and then.
Unfortunately, guinea pig cages are not maintenance-free. This is irrespective of whether you choose store-bought housing or make a cage at home using DIY skills. All the same, part of the deal of getting a cavy is to clean up its mess every week.
To save yourself or your kids from having a hard time keeping the cage in good shape, consider the flooring of various housings. I like pens with smooth surfaces because this makes cleaning and drying the floor a breeze.
I know you almost forgot this aspect, but fortunately, I’m here to remind you. Do not forget to scrutinize the bar spacing of a cage. Both the horizontal and vertical bars should not have more than one-inch spacing.
A small 2-3 month guinea pig can squeeze its body through any space that is bigger than an inch and escape.
If you have a small size guinea pig, also ensure that the bottom pan is deep. This will prevent your cavy from climbing up and escaping. If you still feel that one-inch bar spaces are too big, you can find cage models that have half-inch spaces between the bars and wires.
You need to make safety and convenience a priority when choosing a cage for your chubby-cheeked furry friend. Make sure the pen is of the right size, is well ventilated and has a design that makes cleaning easy and convenient.
The price of a guinea pig cage is, in most cases, indicative of its quality. If you want durable housing with safety features, you ought to be prepared to dig a little deeper into your wallet. Fortunately, your investment will afford an essential member of your family a comfortable and safe home.