8 simple steps for creating the perfect guinea pig cage.

8 Simple Steps to Creating the Perfect Cage for Guinea Pigs

If the thought of setting up a Guinea Pig cage feels overwhelming, then keep reading! I’ve got eight foolproof ways to create a fun and healthy home for your new piggies! You’ll be ready to create a comfortable and engaging space for your furry friends. 

I’ve built many different types of Guinea Pig cages for my herd of piggies over the years. Some were better than others and some I would not recommend at all! With so many choices it’s difficult to know which cage is the best for you and your pets’ needs.

My goal is to keep it simple so you can get started with your cage setup the easy way! And so your piggies are safe, happy and healthy!

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Your Guide to Choosing the Right Size and Type of Guinea Pig Cage

Step 1: Choose the Right Sized Guinea Pig Cage

The first and most crucial step is to ensure that your guinea pigs have enough space to move around comfortably.

Guinea pigs need a minimum cage size of 8 square feet for one guinea pig and 10.5 square feet for a pair.

Bigger is always better! Opt for a larger cage if you have more than two guinea pigs. The cages you see in the pet shops are often way too small to accommodate one, much less, two Guinea Pigs!

My advice is to skip the pet store cages and look for the following:

  • DIY C&C Cage (Cubes and Coroplast = C&C) Use these metal grids and add zip ties to each panel to fully secure them in place. The plastic connectors that come with these kits can come loose over time and may cause the grids to disconnect, so be sure to buy a bag of zip ties and use them for extra security. Coroplast or corrugated plastic sheets can be purchased from the hardware store in large sheets that can be cut to size to fit your cage. I got mine from Lowes Home Improvement for about $35.
  • Expandable C&C Cage 8Ft If you have more than two piggies you can connect two of these kits together for more space!
  • Kavee Cages Clear C&C Cage This one features a clear front for a stylish and clean looking finish. The clear panels also help deter bar-biting-behavior that some piggies do to get attention. When wheeking doesn’t work they gotta get your attention somehow, so they bite the bars to really beg for treats and food. Only two of mine do this and only when they hear a crinkly bag rustle and think I have treats for them. I’m talking about you Poppy and Pip!
  • Kavee Cages 5×10 C&C Cage This one is perfect for 2-3 Guinea Pigs to zoom around it!
  • Guinea Pig Cages Store Jumbo 2X6 C&C Cage This one can house up to 5 Guinea Pigs!
  • connect two of these MidWest cages together for two or more piggies!
Our Pick
CHEGRON Guinea Pig Cages Expandable
  • Provides enough room for up to 2 guinea pigs to exercise
  • The liner made of 1mm thick PVC-lined canvas
  • CnC grids iron wire are 4 and 2mm thick
  • Pet playpen is very easy to assemble
  • Suitable for guinea pigs, rabbit, bunny, hedgehog, chinchilla

Pro Tip: The required floor space counts for the flat surfaces of the cage on the main level. If your cage has a ramp to another level, that upper floor space does not count toward the minimum space requirements.

So, keep that in mind if you’re looking at a cage that has a second level or loft area and only measure the main floor area. If it’s at least 8 sq ft you can house two piggies, if not then you’ll need to increase the area so they’re not cramped. 

Cramped quarters lead to increased anxiety and aggression between Guinea Pigs. Just imagine having to live with other people and you only had the space of a small bathroom. It would get old realy quick and you’d probably start to get on each others nerves because you have no space to escape and be alone.

The same goes for Guinea Pigs. They love living with other piggies, but they also need space to roam and areas to hide and be alone from time to time. A large cage with hides and covered areas provide this respite for them. 

Plus, a larger cage doesn’t get as soiled as quickly as a tiny cage does! Spot cleaning daily helps keep the cage tidy and your Guinea Pigs healthy. I do a deep full cage clean every 2 to 3 days.

Guinea Pig Cage Size Recommendations

Number of Guinea PigsRecommended Floor Space (square feet)feetcm
2 females (sows)10 sq ft2 x 5 ft61 x 153 cm
2 males (boars)12 sq ft2 x 6 ft61 x 183 cm
3 females (sows)12 sq ft2 x 6 ft61 x 183 cm
1 male + 2 females12 sq ft2 x 6 ft61 x 183 cm
4 females (sows)14 sq ft2 x 7 ft61 x 214 cm
+ each additional Guinea Pigadd + 3 square feet+ 1.5 x 1.5 ft+ 46 x 46 cm
Recommended Cage Sizes For Guinea Pigs guineapigacademy.com

Basic Guinea Pig Cage Requirements

Okay, now that you know the best size and type of cage you need, the next step is to gather the supplies for the cage!

What things do guinea pigs need in their cage?

To create a stimulating and healthy  environment, make sure your guinea pigs’ cage has the following essentials: Bedding, hideouts, chew toys, food, and water.

Step 2: Bedding

Who doesn’t love to snuggle down in a soft cozy bed? I sure do! And so does your Guinea Pig, so be sure to use safe and comfortable bedding materials.

Popular bedding choices include:

Avoid cedar or pine bedding as the oils in these woods are harmful to their sensitive respiratory system. Breathing in these wood shavings could lead to an upper respiratory infection which can be deadly to Guinea Pigs.

If you’re looking for something more sustainable, then try using washable cage liners made of fleece or moisture-wicking noodle bathmats. The upfront cost may be more expensive than shavings or paper bedding, but they will pay for themselves over time. 

Step 3: Hideouts

Guinea pigs are naturally skittish so they love having places to hide to feel secure.

To help them feel safe, be sure to provide various hideouts or tunnels made of natural untreated wood, plastic, or fabric.

Ensure the hideouts are large enough for your guinea pigs to comfortably enter and exit. Ideally, you want two openings in your hides or houses so they can easily get out of the way if another piggy wants to take over the space. This will also keep your piggies from being cornered by another dominant piggy!

Some of my piggies favorite hides and beds include:

Step 4: Chew toys for Healthy Teeth

Guinea pigs have continuously growing teeth, so provide them with plenty of chew toys. This will help keep their teeth from overgrowing and causing dental issues in the future.

I’ve had to have my Peruvian Guinea Pig’s teeth trimmed a few times when she was young and not feeling well. Because she wasn’t eating as much hay as required to keep her teeth worn down, they overgrew and made it difficult for her to eat and she began to lose weight. 

It was a costly vet visit each time she had to get her teeth taken care of. But, now she’s healthy and is eating and chewing just fine, thank goodness!

What types of chew toys are safe for Guinea Pigs?

Look for chew toys made of safe materials like untreated wood, compressed hay or braided grass to keep their teeth healthy and occupied. My Guinea Pigs love these apple wood chew sticks and these Oxbow Enriched Life Timothy Lollipops!

Step 5: Daily Food and Water Requirements

  • Ensure a constant supply of fresh water in a water bottle or in a few heavy shallow water dishes that they can’t tip over. I like to use these ceramic water bowls in addition to having these water bottles.
  • Provide unlimited piles of grass hay daily (Timothy or Orchard grasses are great!)
  • 1 cup per pig of fresh vitamin C rich vegetables like bell peppers

Step 6: Floor time

Guinea pigs need regular out-of-cage exercise to stay healthy. 

Provide supervised floor time in a safe, guinea pig-proofed area outside their cage for at least one hour a day. When the weather isn’t nice enough to take them outside, I use this foldable pop-up playpen in the house so they can explore safely while I clean their cage.

These snuggle sacks are great for bonding with your piggies during floor time. They feel safe and secure in the pouch and can sit on your lap without you having to worry about potty accidents happening on your clothes.

Our Pick
Small Animals C&C Cage Tent
  • Surrounded by nets, you could watch your pets at all times
  • No need for complex splicing, built in frame, opened in seconds
  • The pet exercise fence is easy to carry
  • Width & height after expansion 47 in*15 in (120 cm*38 cm), 10sq.ft
  • Small animals pet playpen, suitable for hamsters, chinchillas, guinea-pigs, gerbils, ferrets, squirrel, bunny, reptile or other small animals.

Step 7: Enrichment activities

Stimulate your guinea pigs' natural foraging behaviors by hiding food or treats around the cage for them to find. 

Snuffle Mats like this are a hit with my herd! You can also offer them safe items like toilet paper rolls and paper towel rolls stuffed with hay, treats or twigs for them to chew on and play with.

Our Pick
Rabbit Foraging Mat 20
  • Funny feeding games
  • Soft durable & non-slip
  • Keep pet busy
  • Washable material
  • Perfect for all small animals

Step 8: Social interaction

Guinea pigs are extremely social animals and need companionship. They feel safer and are much happier with a cage mate. If possible, keep at least two guinea pigs together, ensuring they are compatible and have enough space to coexist comfortably. 

Two boars (males) are typically great together, but three males in one cage is a crowd. So, if you have males, keeping them in pairs is best.

Sows (female) piggies, on the other hand, can be kept in pairs or small groups (herds) as long as they’re in a large enough cage. 

Remember to NEVER put unneutered males with unneutered females unless you are an experienced breeder. They will mate very quickly and you’ll have pregnant piggies and babies to take care of!

Well, there you have it! When you’re ready to set up a home for your Guinea Pigs, just follow these simple steps and you’ll be on your way to making a happy piggy paradise. 

What do I need to do to set up my Guinea Pigs Cage?

  1. Choose the right size and type of cage.
  2. Provide comfy bedding.
  3. Give them various hideouts to relax in.
  4. Offer them chew toys for entertainment and to keep their teeth healthy.
  5. Give them fresh food and water daily.
  6. Let them explore outside of their cage.
  7. Add enrichment activities to help stimulate their mind and body.
  8. Give them a buddy or two for social interaction, companionship, and safety.

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