Many pet owners think that it is completely fine to house a guinea pig in an aquarium because it is the typical scenario. Though it is acceptable at times, there are instances when this does not do any good as certain types of guinea pig cages don’t actually provide enough space for your furry buddies.
With that said, it is just right to familiarize the different types of housing for your cavies. To start with, here are the various cage types that are very popular among guinea pig owners:
Long ago, aquariums were used as habitat for guinea pigs. And until now, these are still popular among pet owners who don’t do any research before buying guinea pigs.
Yes, an aquarium may look like an excellent choice as a cavy cage because it is cheap, easy-to-clean, and sturdy. Sad to say, it has disadvantages. Aside from not allowing proper air circulation because of its solid frames, it is also quite small for one guinea pig. This means that if you get more of them, space might become a bigger issue.
Always keep in mind that cavies are social animals and that they need to mingle with other members of their species to survive. If you house them in habitats that are very small, they might end up fighting. And this is something you would want to avoid.
2. Commercial Guinea Pig Cages
Pet stores, nowadays, sell a wide range of cages that are deemed acceptable and safe for your guinea pigs. But then again, not all of the available enclosures have met the recommended size, which is 7.5 square feet per one guinea pig.
There are also commercial cages that have ledges, but these don’t count when measuring. The ledges are just places where you can store food or provide your pets with water bottles. Thus, it is not counted as a living space.
When choosing a commercial cage for your cavy, expect to spend a decent amount of cash, especially if you want to get something bigger.
3. Cubes Grids and Coroplast
When it comes to guinea pig habitats, cube grids and Coroplast are the gold standard. Enclosures made of these provide guinea pigs enough space to roam around and play. In case you are wondering what is Coroplast, it is a type of corrugated plastic that is commonly used in making signage.
Pet owners who opt for this sort of cage usually uses felt as a lining instead of using typical bedding. This is because it is softer, smoother, and easier to clean. Grids are kept intact with the help of connectors and are then secured with cable ties.
If you don’t have any other pets at home, you can leave your cage with an open top. But if you do have bigger pets like dogs and cats, you will probably need a lid. Yet, this does not mean you need to buy one. You can always make use of wire shelves.
4. Homemade Cages
Using Coroplast and cube grids is perhaps the easiest way to create your own cage. But with creativity and some other materials, you can always create one without having to spend a cent.
For instance, if you have a playpen made out of a portable swimming pool, you can convert it to a cage. Still, you get to decide whether you will allow your cavies to live in it all the time. Nevertheless, it really makes an ideal home since they could not jump out of this.
You can create some other homemade cages with what you have at home. Just let your creative juices flow and make use of the materials you have.
Choosing the Appropriate Lining
Once you have chosen and set up a guinea pig cage, you will then need a lining that can absorb your pet’s waste. This is very extremely necessary to prevent guinea pig health-related issues.
While there are lots of bedding available in pet stores for small animals, you can still find an alternative without having to spend much, such as hard wood shavings and recycled paper. Keep in mind that shaving from soft woods like pine can only make your pet sick and may cause allergic reactions as it contains volatile oils. So might as well avoid using this in the first place.
If you have extra time to spend to do laundry, you can also opt for reusable fleece pads. But when choosing this option, you need to change it regularly to avoid mess and clutter.
As a pet owner, the best thing you can offer your child-friendly guinea pigs is a comfortable place to live. Although there are plenty of cavy cages out there, you still need to consider some important things to ensure they get the best guinea pig cage. By giving the appropriate guinea pig cage, you can help him mature and grow into a happy and healthy cavy.