What the Proper Cage Size for Guinea Pigs?

Properly sized Guinea Pig cage with loftImage courtesy of Michiko Vartanian

An example of a guinea pig cage with a loft. Whenever possible, more room is better!

One of the questions we get asked most at Cavy Haven is, “What the proper cage size is for guinea pigs?” Many people are only aware of the habitats they have seen in pet stores and so part of our application process includes education on cages. We have found that people are very open to providing the right environment for their new family member, if they are provided with the proper tools to do so.

Guinea pigs like to roam, and popcorn, and run around. Most cages that can be bought at typical pet stores are not going to provide enough room for your guinea pig to get proper exercise, or to satisfy the instinct to roam and run. So here are some tips:

What type of cage is best?
We use C&C cages, which you can learn about at this website http://www.guineapigcages.com. Our volunteers actually build these cages as a way to fund the rescue. So when we get an adopter who is just learning about proper cage size, many of them just order from us and pick up their piggies and their cage at the same time.

A couple notes of caution on the grids: If you are going to order the storage grids and try to build your own cage, please make sure you order the grids with 9 openings across. Some stores have started selling the grids with larger openings and piggies can get their heads stuck in them. Also, if you have baby guinea pigs, you will need to reinforce the grids to “baby-proof” them until baby is at least 6-9 months old and too big to get his head stuck. We reinforce with grids with thinner openings (which can be bought at most pet stores). Just make sure the openings are small and you can attach the “baby grids” to the outside of your regular grids with cable ties.

What is the proper size?
We recommend that two guinea pigs have a minimum of 8 sq. ft. to stretch their legs in. The rule of thumb with guinea pig cages is: The bigger, the better. So if room is an issue in your house or apartment (as it is for many of us) and you want to give your piggies that extra space to roam in, we recommend a 2”x3” C&aC cage with a loft (pictured). The loft is also very nice for those times when piggies just decide they need their space. The loft serves as a “time out” area where one piggy can go and hang out if he/she feels the need to be alone for awhile.

Of course, if you have a little more room, a 2”x4” with a loft is even better! And you can see pictures on the website link provided of how creative people can be with cage size and structure.

The idea is that, the more room piggies have to roam and play in, the happier they will be. We have had great success in helping two piggies who have decided they don’t like each other work out their issues simply by adding on to their cage and giving them a little more room.

If you have a great idea for an article about guinea pigs, please let us know. Guinea Pig Today is a network of guinea pig lovers and we’re always looking for the next great story. View our submissions page for more information on how to submit your idea.

Michiko Vartanian

Michiko has been a volunteer of Orange County Cavy Haven since she adopted her first guinea pigs five years ago. She currently cares for four adopted guinea pig boys and three fosters. She really enjoys being involved in rescue and associating with so many great people who care so much about these wonderful animals.

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One Response to “What the Proper Cage Size for Guinea Pigs?”
  1. Hello to you,

    I’m Anne-marieke van Dalen from Caviaflat.nl. I would like to introduce you to our place were dreams come true for Guinea pigs and there Adoptive parents 🙂
    The last 5 years we are designing and create, as we call them ‘Caviaflats’. Maybe it’s fun to make an article about us.

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October 2012
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