Ideas for guinea pig cages that you can buy or make. Tips for how to DIY a guinea pig cage or make a c&c guinea pig cage with corrugated plastic flooring.
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If you’re in the market for a guinea pig cage, you can waste a lot of money if you pick out the wrong one. There are many cages that aren’t the right size or style for your cavy. Some cages even can cause health problems or death. Avoid expensive veterinarian bills and heartache by getting the right cage.
Make to sure read more about Guinea Pig Care as well if you’re new to guinea pigs!
Guinea Pig Cage Size
Your guinea pig cage needs to be the right size for the number of guinea pigs you own. Some breeds of guinea pigs will need a bigger cage because they’re bigger in size.
Large males (particularly keeping two males together) may need more room as well.
The ASPCA recommends that guinea pig cages be the following size AT MINIMUM, but bigger is better. It’s always best to have a lot of room for them.
And you should ALWAYS have at least two guinea pigs because they are a herd animal and need company.
- One guinea pig: 7.5 square feet cage
- Two guinea pigs: 7.5 square feet
- Three guinea pigs: 10.5 square feet
- Four guinea pigs: 13 square feet
The commonly used Midwest cage runs 8 sq ft.
Rules for Guinea Pig Cages
These are some basic rules for your guinea pig cage to keep it safe for your cavys:
- No wire flooring: It hurts their feet and could cause health problems
- No exposed wood: They shouldn’t have access to wood to chew on
- Use corrugated plastic for a liner. These are easy to wipe clean and gentle on their feet. Many people build their own DIY guinea pig cage with metal wire and then cut corrugated plastic to use as a liner. It makes for easy cleaning.
- No high ramps and any ramps or multiple levels should have good sides on them so they don’t fall. They aren’t big climbers, one of the reasons you can get away with fairly low sides on cages (compared to other critters like rats).
- Tops aren’t necessary to keep guinea pigs IN, but they MIGHT be necessary to keep your dog/cat/kids OUT. It’s safer to have a top.
If you’re pet store shopping, be careful to KNOW what you’re looking for. Store associates aren’t always knowledgeable about the care needs for guinea pigs.
Cheap Guinea Pig Cages Ideas
If you’re trying to save money, your best store bought, brand new option is a Midwest cage or designing your own C&C cages. Read more about that below.
But there are a lot of household items that you may be able to use to build a guinea pig cage. They need sturdy walls and ideally the ability to see out of the cage. They also need ventilation. I think one of these under bed storage bins might be a great option for a guinea pig house, although I’d want to see the wall height in person to judge. Also- you wouldn’t want to keep the lid on because they need to breath.
Guinea Pig Cages to Buy
DIY Guinea Pig Cages
You have several options if you want to make your own cage. I’m going to show you what I’ve done to make our cages.
Many people use these type of grids to create the frame for the cage (sides only). Then they use corrugated plastic as the bottom of the cage, using zip ties to hold the plastic bottom in place. Make sure you have enough floor space for your furry friends!
This makes for a fairly inexpensive, but effective cage. You can even build up a second level for the cage to add square footage.
Midwest Rolling Base
The Midwest cages are a great first cage to purchase, but they have a soft bottom so they can’t be moved around easily. One of my first guinea pig DIY projects was to build a simple rolling base.
Wood Indoor Guinea Pig Cage
When we were moving, I decided to turn the base into a slightly larger wood cage for the guinea pigs using scrap wood. It worked pretty well! I ended up making a few adjustments over time and I talk a bit more in my blog post about what changes I’d make next time.
Because it was made with a bunch of scrap wood, it’s not the prettiest cage ever but it worked! Keep an eye out at thrift stores or flea markets for an old coffee table. You may be able to use the top for a DIY cage.
Outdoor Hutch & Run
There are a lot of things to consider about keeping guinea pigs outdoors. Most people would NOT recommend doing this. An outdoor guinea pig cage works well for us, but we have a fairly special situation and moderate climate.
I really like the Eglu guinea pig cage + run but I haven’t had a chance to try them yet. They sell handles and wheels if you want to move the cage around which might make it easy to wheel the cage into a warmer/cooler area depending on the weather (aka you could move it indoors if you’re expecting very cold weather).
We added two levels with a ramp between to help them get to the floor level. I’m hoping that they will be able to use this cage for most months out of the year. So far they’re enjoying the extra space and happily move between the levels throughout their day. In the summer, they’re heading to the cooler bottom level frequently to stay cool. During the cooler parts of the day, they spend time in the hutch.
If you love guinea pigs and want to learn how to make your own supplies for them, check out my book below: “Sewing for Guinea Pigs: 13 Sewing Projects for Your Cavy.”
Love rabbits or considering rabbits as an alternative to guinea pigs? Check out these Rabbit Hutch Ideas.
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