Guinea pigs are very playful, sociable critters. Making sure they have a good home is an important part of owning a guinea pig. Having the proper sized cage with the appropriate supplies will make your guinea pig happy and healthy.
Guinea Pig Cage Requirements
A single guinea pig should have 7 ½ square feet of space to live in. That means a guinea pig’s cage should be 30” x 36” or so. There are also other cage features that are very important:
- Materials: A guinea pig cage should be safe and escape proof, meaning the guinea pig should not be able to hurt himself on the materials of the cage or chew out of the cage. Cages made with plastic, wire, stainless steel, or a combination of those products are best. A wood cage should be avoided, as the guinea pig will chew through it. A cage made with glass should be avoided, as there is not enough ventilation
- Flooring: It is preferable if the floors of your guinea pig cage are solid. If they are not solid, putting a mat or something supportive on the flooring is recommended.
- Latching Door / Lid: The doors of your guinea pig’s cage should latch securely. This will keep your guinea pig inside his home, as well as keep other animals out.
- Activity Areas: Ramps and areas that have toys or things for your guinea pig to play with are highly recommended. Guinea pigs need to explore and play, and providing space for play things help fulfill that need.
Items for the Guinea Pig Cage
When you have the right cage for your guinea pig, you should make sure it is outfitted with the proper supplies to keep your guinea pig happy and engaged. Such supplies include:
- Places to Hide: Guinea pigs do like a little privacy, and places to hide inside the cage are always encouraged. You can use things like guinea pig hideouts, nest boxes, PVC pipe (of a large diameter), or even cardboard boxes.
- Food Dish: Heavy ceramic food dishes that aren’t too big in size are recommended for guinea pigs. You don’t want your guinea pig climbing in the dish and tipping it over, or climbing in the dish and using it as a bathroom space.
- Water Bottle: Plastic or glass water bottles with metal spouts are the best choices to water your guinea pig. Water bottles with metal spouts will not allow your guinea pig to chew through the spout, which allows for easier water dispensing.
- Bedding: Guinea pigs do best with aspen shavings, hay, or pet-safe bedding materials for bedding. It is best to avoid cedar shavings and pine shavings. Providing your guines pig with soft bedding materials will give him a comfortable place to be.
- Things to Explore: Guinea pigs love to explore, and putting ramps, pieces of furniture, or hideouts in the cage will provide the items to fulfill this need.
- Toys: Guinea pigs love to play, and providing toys is important to keep them happy. Wooden chew sticks, wood blocks, tunnels and tubes, or even hanging bird toys are great options for keeping your guinea pig entertained.
Once your guinea pig cage is set up, make sure you schedule time once a day to clean the cage. Otherwise, enjoy playing with your guinea pig and keeping him happy!