When it comes to the size of your guinea pig’s cage, there’s basically one rule: The more, the merrier.
There’s just no such thing as a cage being too big, since guinea pigs like to forage for their food and love to explore their surroundings.
We’ve cared for guinea pigs for decades, and therefore know how important it is to get a cage big enough for them to move around and stay comfortable. If you get a small cage, they’ll move around less, and that could potentially cause your guinea pigs to become overweight or develop other health issues related to their living conditions.
In order to make it as easy as possible to get a cage in a decent size, we’ve pieced together this clever size chart so you can get an easy overview of the recommended cage sizes for your guinea pig herd.
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- For male pairs we recommend going up one cage size, simply because they are more likely to be dominant and therefore need more space.
- Choose one-level cages over multi-level cages, so your guinea pigs have more unobstructed space to walk on.
The recommendations above are only meant as guidelines, but are likely to make your guinea pigs happy and comfortable. You can get a lot of smaller cages for your guinea pigs, but in general they’ll feel happier in a larger cage.
Related: Best Large Guinea Pig Cages
Here’s why single pigs should have a larger cage
Guinea pigs don’t do well on their own. It’s one of their basic needs to have a friend, otherwise they can get depressed, lose weight, and overall they aren’t as happy and bubbly when they’re alone.
We believe all guinea pigs are compatible with each other, as long as you choose a cage big enough for both of them to have their own personal space. This is absolutely critical, because if their cage is too small, fights and bigotry are inevitable.
So, in order to accommodate at least two guinea pigs, you should prepare yourself from the beginning and get yourself a cage of a decent size.
Remember: Boars usually require more space in order to thrive, while sows can get by with a smaller space. Both boars and sows need to be able to move around and exercise a little, in order to stay in shape and maintain their natural habits.
Related: Best Cages for 2 Guinea Pigs
4 things to consider before choosing a new cage
We’ve learned through time that cages have to be simple and easy to use, because guinea pigs do actually require a hefty amount of work to stay comfortable and clean.
So before locking eyes on one of those wooden cages with multiple levels, you should know that you need to clean their cage and change bedding at least one or two times every week, and liners must be changed at least every one or two days.
Below are some pointers that’ll help you choosing a new cage for your guinea pigs:
1. Forget about aesthetics
You’ve probably seen the little videos and photos on Instagram, portraying guinea pigs as cute little potatoes in a nice doll house-like cage setup.
Welp, unfortunately cages only stay neat and clean for five minutes, before your guinea pigs start pooping everywhere and causing mayhem over again. This is just part of your nature, and we think it’s important to take this into consideration when picking a new cage.
Think practicality over aesthetics, when choosing their new cage.
2. Bars over anything
Bars are great. Not only because they allow for proper airflow and prevent their cage from getting smelly in 24 hours, but because they allow you to fix anything to them.
The most popular guinea pig cages are of metal sheets, that have a grid design, and some have bars as well.
Bars allow you to easily create nice, shaded areas anywhere you’d like, by simply having a piece of cloth from one side to another.
You can also hang up their water bottles and other things on any location you like.
3. The bigger, the better
It’s always best to get a cage as big as possible. Think of it as an investment, as your guinea pigs are able to move around more and maintain a good health, instead of having their movement restricted in a small cage.
Healthy guinea pigs require less visits to the vets.
4. Consider expandable cages
We’ve come across multiple guinea pig parents, that are left with a small cage that goes completely useless, once they upgrade to something bigger.
Instead, opt for an expandable cage, where you can buy add-ons and expand it any time you want.
These cages might not be the prettiest of the bunch, but they are sure as heck functional and cheap on the long run.