Housing


Size requirements

Two guinea pigs:  7.5 square feet (minimum), but 10.5 square feet is preferred; generally 30″ x 50″ is a good size.


cages-for-guinea-pigsThere are many different types of cages for guinea pigs but it is very important to find the right one as this is where they will be spending most of their lives.

Inside or outside?

If you are going to keep your guinea pigs inside, you should be keeping them in a well insulated, well heated shed with enough protection from vandals and predators.

A hutch like this is most unsuitable! Look at the dark cramped conditions!

Guinea pigs are incredibly vulnerable creatures. They don’t have any means of protection against ferrets that can dig their way under a cage and get inside to kill the residents. Foxes, cats, and dogs are all well able to get inside a hutch and cage like this…

Unfortunately predators are not the only dangerous things for guinea pigs. Extreme weather can be deadly! Guinea pigs have a temperature range from 30-40 similar to humans! So their outside temperature range should remain between 18-24 degrees Celsius. If the temperature goes higher then that, they may get heatstroke if they don’t have any cool shady places to lie in.cages-for-guinea-pigs-1

Not Pigloos! Pigloos are well known for trapping heat and being warmer inside then outside. A guinea pig  seeking a shady place in a hot run may get heatstroke in a pigloo.

If the temperature goes lower then 13! Your guinea pig will be in danger of getting hypothermia, respiratory infections and possibly pneumonia. Either way, your guinea pig could die.

I’m not trying to put you off! 🌟

However, too many people think that cages for guinea pigs are simply a hutch and run in the garden. Then they are surprised when their guinea pig dies suddenly from no apparent cause.

Vandals & Thieves

In some horrific cases. Guinea pigs are stolen or attacked in their hutch. Anybody can walk in while you are not there, night or day and… Its too horrible to think.

Now do you want to keep your guinea pigs outside?

 

Guinea pig housingOkay! So now that we got that sorted out! What sort of cage should you get for inside, where should you out it, and how big should it be?

Indoor cages for guinea pigs!

You may have already heard of a C&C cage 🙂 C&C cages stand for cubes and coroplast. The cubes are used from these wire shelving units and the bottom is a large sheet of coroplast.


Midwest cage

Despite being small, these cages are sturdy and have the ability to be attached to another cages! Each one comes with a door that opens on the inside. This door can be turned into a ramp from one cage to the next!

The downside about these cages is that the bottom and ramp cover can be chewed. Therefore, to keep it lasting you would need to have something on top. Fleece blankets pegged around the outside usually prevent guinea pigs from gnawing the edges!

 

It is really important that you expand the cage because just one of these is not enough. Guinea pigs need lots of space to run around in  and you don’t want the extra cleaning!

cages-for-guinea-pigs-2Pet store cages

Most pet store cages are far too small for guinea pigs. They are more like extraordinarily large litter boxes with a wire grid on top! Can YOU imagine spending the rest of your life in one of these? Nope! Me neither! Even if I was only ten centimeters tall.

 

The departments that design these cages seem to have gotten it completely mixed up! This cage, above, would be ideal for a rat enclosure! Provided that the bar spacing was smaller and you added some ladders and levels!

On the other hand! Chicken coops like this one would be teeny tiny for chickens, but perfect for rabbits and guinea pigs! Again, provided that the ramp was a little less steep.

Some people do buy these chicken coops for their guinea pigs and adjust the ramp for ease of use. I would also recommend adding a plank of wood on the bottom of that doorway to prevent anybody escaping while you come in!

Remember, this coop would be for a playpen outside, or an indoor cage. Guinea pigs do not cope well outside long term!

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6 thoughts on “Housing

  • October 4, 2016 at 3:49 pm
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    I had no idea guinea pigs liked to climb, or could be trained!!!! How cool! I had hamsters growing up as a kid but I’m thinking these critters might be a whole new twist of fun. I especially like having an “outdoor playpen”!!!!!

    Reply
    • October 4, 2016 at 7:46 pm
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      Donna, there’s so much about guinea pigs that most people don’t know about. Guinea pigs can be a lot of fun, especially when they popcorn (do a leap with a twist!).

      Reply
  • October 19, 2016 at 8:49 pm
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    I agree that Guinea Pigs should not be housed outside. A little supervised play in the garden is fine but definitely should not be housed outside long term. This is a great and informative article! Having had several Guinea Pigs myself I’ve learned a thing or two about the kind of housing that is suitable. I think everyone considering a Guinea Pig should read articles like this one because a Guinea Pig cage from the pet store is just not big enough and many people default to buying their cages at a pet store. My first Guinea Pig I had rescued after he had killed the other male Guinea Pig living with him in a pet store cage! To be honest I don’t blame him. I cannot believe people would house even one Guinea Pig in there let alone two, AND both males. Personally I’ve loved C&C cages. They’re fun to design and build and give your piggies lots of room to run around in!

    Reply
    • October 19, 2016 at 9:32 pm
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      Hi Brianna
      I completely agree and the moment I have the place to build a c&c cage, I will definitely write an article on them! My friend’s guinea pig killed the other one because he lived in a cold little hutch outside with no food or stimulation and he probably got very frustrated. I’m glad you enjoyed this article!

      Reply
  • January 11, 2017 at 8:45 pm
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    Hi Emma,
    I really enjoyed cruising around your website. My youngest daughter had a guinea pig when she was in high school. She enjoyed him very much. Unfortunately, it died on a Sunday morning and we had a very sad day. We should have had the good fortune to have read your website in those days.

    You have covered such a large amount of material and very good suggestions when caring for a guinea pig. I was really interested in the health care info and what to look for to keep them healthy. The information about housing was good as well. Keep up the good work. Joyce

    Reply
    • January 11, 2017 at 9:48 pm
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      Oh no! I am so sorry to hear this 🙁 It is horrible when a pet dies- was this recent? I am glad that you enjoyed reading my material and hope that you can put it to good use one day!

      Reply

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