There is a common misconception about guinea pigs as phlegmatic, sedentary animals that spend most of their time eating. Therefore, it is often believed that a guinea pig cage can be small in size and also very simple in design. Sometimes animals are kept in any container that seems suitable – in a box, an aquarium, a plastic container. Such conditions of detention can have a very negative impact on the health of the animal. Therefore, before bringing home a new pet, it is important to figure out which cage to choose in order to equip him with a suitable home.
What are cages for guinea pigs
The pet store can offer a variety of options for keeping these furry rodents. The guinea pig aquarium is one of them. Usually sellers name pluses – it is convenient to observe the pet through the glass walls, and the filler and hay do not fall on the floor. Solid walls also muffle the loud sounds and whistles that the pig often wakes up the owners in the morning, the smell spreads less.
But keeping an animal in an aquarium is cruel – this is a very cramped home for a pig, and besides, there will never be a sufficient level of ventilation. The air in such conditions stagnates and heats up, a lack of oxygen is formed. Even with frequent cleaning, the animal will constantly inhale the ammonia vapors that are released by its feces. All this can lead to the development of pulmonary and skin diseases, weaken the pet’s immunity. For the same reasons, a guinea pig terrarium would be a poor choice.
Most often in pet stores you can find three types of cages.
The same variety that is used for keeping rabbits. The high plastic tray prevents sawdust from scattering, ensures easy cleaning, and thanks to the wire top, the cage is perfectly ventilated. It is convenient to cling to the rods for the elements of arrangement – a hammock, a drinking bowl. The disadvantage of such a cell is usually not a large enough area.
In fact, this is a plastic container for a guinea pig, reminiscent of a terrarium. An upper part made of transparent plastic is attached to the pallet, a lattice door in the ceiling is needed for ventilation. The advantage of this option is reliable protection against all drafts, the absence of debris on the floor. Transparent plastic walls make it possible to observe the life of the pet. But it is impossible to get good ventilation in the dune, so the health of the rodent will be at risk.
Cages for chinchillas and degus
These lattice structures are often quite large, but usually they are made tall. A three-story cage with many climbing devices will be inconvenient as a home for a guinea pig, the animal can easily fall and get injured.
A showcase for a guinea pig is also popular – often this option is made by hand, sometimes from old furniture. This allows you to save a lot and equip the animal’s home in the most convenient way. Like all closed cages, the showcase has a problem with the quality of ventilation, but otherwise it can be a good option for keeping a pig at home.
IMPORTANT: The dune cage is often used to house hairless gilts, which are more at risk of hypothermia due to their lack of coat. Also, breeders sometimes advise keeping young animals in the dune for up to six months – small pigs with not yet strengthened immunity are more likely to become a victim of a draft.
Guinea pig cage size
According to veterinarians and breeders, any cage for guinea pigs will be unsuitable because of their size. In nature, pigs move quite a lot, overcoming long distances in search of food. Therefore, these animals have a genetically great need for movement – otherwise they face health problems and obesity. Pig owners also know how their pets love to express their joy with fun jumping and running in circles, which is quite difficult to do in a cramped cage.
What size should the cage be? The answer is very simple – as much as possible.
For one adult, comfortable conditions will be an area of u0,5buXNUMXbone square meter, the ceiling height should allow the pet to stand on its hind legs. The cage for two guinea pigs must be at least XNUMX sq.m larger.
The best option for these mobile animals is to keep them in small home enclosures, and in the warm season, you can enclose an area for them to walk on the street. It is quite possible to provide such content for pigs during their lifetime in a country house.
But in the conditions of a city apartment, it is not easy to find a place even for a half-smaller dwelling. Therefore, animals are usually kept in cages that are cramped for them, where they suffer from a lack of movement.
The minimum size of the cage for one pig should be from 60×40 cm.
To mitigate the negative effects of tightness, it is recommended to give the pig the opportunity to walk around the apartment every day. Some owners find a compromise – they leave the pig in the cage only for the night, and during the day they release it into a specially fenced place where you can run. Such a place can be an ottoman or sofa in the room. It is enough to lay a diaper there, put a house and a bowl.
A large cage for a guinea pig should also be comfortable and safe for the pet. For this reason, you can rarely see two-story cages – pigs cannot climb, and lattice stairs are dangerous for them, an animal’s paw can easily get stuck between the bars.
It is better to choose one-story structures, and as an elevation or a place to lie, the animal can use the roof of its house or a shelf. The pig must climb them along a safe ramp.
The pallet must have secure fastenings so that, if necessary, the cage can be lifted and moved without risk to the animal. The tray should also detach easily so that it can be washed thoroughly. The distance between the bars can be large, but not so much that the pig sticks its head in – a gap of 2,5 cm will be optimal. It is important that the cage has a wide door to make it easier to take out the pet, options with a removable roof are very convenient.
It is better to put a cage with a guinea pig on a hill, where she can clearly see the activities of the home, especially if the animal is kept alone. These animals are very social and curious, they like to be near a person, to watch him. Therefore, the pet will be calmer if the owners are in his field of vision. But you can not put the cage where the pig is threatened by drafts, direct sunlight, the place should also not be noisy.
The most common cage materials are metal, plastic, and wood. Metal rods are most often made of stainless steel, so they are durable and resistant to detergents. The plastic tray is easy to clean, tolerates contact with household chemicals well. The disadvantage of this material is that it scratches, so the transparent plastic walls lose their appearance over time.
Wooden cages are also not a very good solution – wooden surfaces absorb liquids and odors well, and the sharp teeth of a rodent will eventually make the walls of the dwelling unusable. An original solution may be a tarpaulin bottom – its waterproof surface is easy to clean, and when folded, such a pallet will take up almost no space.
The modern zoo industry offers a variety of cage options for keeping guinea pigs. You can find out how much the product of the company you like is on the website or directly at the pet store. Most often, you can see products from several manufacturers on sale.
A well-known Russian company offering a wide range of pet products at affordable prices. Cages for pigs are large enough, comfortable, and functional. The walls are wire, a deep tray is made of colored plastic, a wide door is located in the ceiling. Some models are additionally equipped with a slatted floor, which protects the pig from dampness and dirt. Reliable convenient latches allow you to quickly assemble and disassemble the model for cleaning. All rods are covered with durable, pet-safe enamel. The cost of products is 1,5-5 thousand rubles, depending on the size.
An Italian company that produces high-quality spacious cages made of plastic, metal and wood.
The range includes products on a stand, with a removable bottom for summer outdoor installation, with additional removable compartments to expand the space, and a two-story cage with a ramp is also available. Many products are equipped with folding walls-doors, as well as houses-ramps.
In the manufacture of animal-safe materials are used, the rods are painted with a special composition that is resistant to chewing. The price depends on the size of the models, about 3-5 thousand rubles.
Belgian manufacturer of pet products. Offers wire cages with pallets made of quality colored plastic, dune containers. Products are easily assembled with the help of convenient fasteners, the plastic surface is easy to clean and does not absorb odors. Lattice models have folding walls that allow you to open the cage from the side, from both sides. Dune models have a lattice door in the ceiling, which provides air flow. Thanks to the large size of the door to the cage, it is convenient to put and take bowls, take out the pet.
Italian one-story cages for guinea pigs, with a deep tray and a wire top. Products are made of high quality materials, equipped with a shelf with a convenient ramp, there are folding doors on the ceiling and on the side. The cost of models, depending on the size, is about 4-9 thousand rubles.
An American firm presents the original Guinea habitat plus cage. Velcro canvas tray can be easily removed and cleaned.
Wire walls can also be used as a paddock for walking outdoors or in an apartment, it is also possible to combine two cages together. The ceiling elements are removable and can be used as additional sections for the aviary or internal dividers. Delimiters and ramps can also be installed inside the pallet, if necessary. All sections and elements can be easily disassembled and folded. The cage takes up little space during transportation and storage. The price of such a cell is about 6000 rubles.
Despite the abundance of ready-made options, pig cages are often made by hand from wood and metal mesh. This is especially convenient in a suburban area, where a pet can walk in an aviary on fresh grass. Do-it-yourself production also allows you to save money and make a truly spacious home for your pet.
Video: choosing a cage for a guinea pig
How to choose the right cage for your guinea pig
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