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EP54: Is your Cage the Right Size? Guinea Pig Cage Size Guide

EP54 - Guinea Pig Cade Size Guide V4

Listen to the episode:

In this podcast episode I share:

  • In this episode I share:
    The minimum cage size you must have for your guinea pig pair or herd
  • Important elements that you must consider when designing or picking a cage
  • & why it’s important to have the right size cage for your guinea pigs’ happiness & health

TIMESTAMPS:
1:29 – Why now is an important time to think about your guinea pigs’ cage
5:13 – Guinea pig cage sizes
11:39 – Important Shop Announcement
12:40 – POPCORNER OF THE WEEK
14:03 – Important elements to consider when designing or picking a cage
22:03 – Why it’s important to have the right size cage for your guinea pigs’ happiness & health

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Is your Cage the Right Size? Guinea Pig Cage Size Guide

Podcast Notes:

Hi & Welcome to the Popcorning Piggy Podcast, your audio guide on all things guinea pigs. I’m your host, Sam, & this week’s episode is all about guinea pig cages.

Guinea pigs live in their cages for 24 hours in a day, 7 days a week & 365 days a year. Therefore they are one of the biggest factors in your guinea pigs happiness & health. 

We all want happy & health guinea pigs, right?! Yeah, otherwise you wouldn’t be listening to this podcast episode right now. You care about your guinea pigs. You want to give them the best life possible & one way to do this is to ensure they have the right size cage & it provides them lots of opportunity to be happy.

In this episode, I sharing, 

  • The minimum cage size you must have for your guinea pig pair or herd
  • Important elements that you must consider when designing or picking a cage
  • & why it’s important to have the right size cage for your guinea pigs’ happiness & health

So let’s get into this week’s episode.

Stuck in the same 4 cage walls all their life...

As I record this episode, the majority of the world is in self-isolation & restricting their travel outside of their home due to COVID-19, the coronavirus pandemic. So I wanted to record this episode right now because NOW is the perfect time to understand how your guinea pigs feel every day of their lives.

Take a moment to think about how you feel right now. 

  • Are you frustrated with being stuck inside your house unable to go outside?
  • Do you feel cramped inside your house with your family & nowhere to escape to get a little bit of alone time?
  • Are you bored? Do you wish that you could go outside for just for a few hours, or a day, for a change of scenery?

Believe me this is how a lot of us feel right now so I personally think that now is the perfect time to think about how your guinea pig feels living that experience every day of their life! They see the same 4 sides of their cage every day & don’t get to experience anything else. 

Side note: this is why floor-time or grass-time is so important but I’ll save that for another episode as it’s a whole other topic for another day!

Anyways, your guinea pigs’ cage is potentially one of the biggest investments when owning guinea pigs so I want to help ensure you pick or build the right one straight away & don’t have to buy another one or rebuild it in the future.

So let’s talk about the minimum cage sizes you need for happy & healthy guinea pigs. 

Minimum Cage Sizes for Your Guinea Pigs

To start off, I’m getting this information from guineapigcages.com who have a wonderful cage size chart that I follow & is well loved & used within the guinea pig community.

Let’s start with a pair of guinea pigs. Now, you might be thinking “but what about one guinea pig on their own?” & my answer to that is guinea pigs are social creatures & should never be kept on their own so I’m not going to share the information about cage sizes for 1 guinea pig. Because you should never have just one guinea pig! You always need a minimum of two guinea pigs in a pair.

Right now we’ve addressed that important fact. Let’s get back to the right cage size for two guinea pigs.

If you have boys, I would recommend you increase your cage by one size again. So if you have 2 boys the preferred size is 2×4 grids. I would go up to 2×5 grids. More space helps reduce any dominance issues which you can learn more about in last week’s podcast episode.

PODCAST EPISODE 53: THE REASONS GUINEA PIGS FIGHT, HOW TO AVOID IT & HOW TO STOP THEM.

Ok so now you know the right size you need, let’s talk about some of the important elements to consider when building or picking your cage because having the right sized cage is the first step but you need to ensure that that size is also laid out correctly so that you don’t hurt your guinea pigs or reduce the cage size unknowingly!

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Important elements that you must consider when designing or picking a cage

Guinea pigs do not do well with temperature variations so ensure you either keep them indoors or have a sheltered area in your garden such as a shed or other accommodation where they are not exposed to high or low temperatures.

Make sure they are protected from other animals within your home, like cats or dogs, & any external predators such as foxes, birds of prey, snakes etc.

Pet shop cages or hutches often do not meet the minimum cage sizes required. They are also way more expensive than if you were to buy a C&C cage or build a cage within an outdoor shed or wendy house. Don’t waste your money on pet store cages or hutches! 

Check out our Pinterest board full of examples of great guinea pigs cages if you want any ideas or what to see what other people have built or created.

The cage sizes that I shared earlier in this podcast are for flat cages. You cannot spread these cage sizes over multiple layers! This is because piggies need to have a large amount of room to run around & do zoomies as well as popcorn. They also need to be able to go off exploring & feel like they had a little adventure. Therefore, if you want to add different levels to your cage these should be additional space on top of the minimum cage sizes outlined not included within the overall total size.

Don’t overfill your cage with stuff! The cage size is again important so they walk around, run around & have a wander. Therefore don’t clutter the cage with bulky items that stop them from having space. 

Lastly, think about the future. If you’re going to want more guinea pigs then have a way to expand your cage in the future. Remember, every additional guinea pig you add to the group means more room is needed!

Why it’s important to have the right size cage for your guinea pigs’ happiness & health

A spacious cage means your guinea pigs are happier. They will have lots of enrichment & will be less bored & depressed. Imagine spending your whole life stuck inside one room of your house! Boring, right! More space means happy piggies.

A spacious cage provides them adequate room to exercise when they want! Guinea pigs don’t sleep much so they are quite active throughout the day & night. If they’re able to exercise when they want to then they’ll be happier & healthier for it.

More space means more harmonious guinea pig relationships. You can learn more about this in last week’s episode, but piggies need space in order to get away from annoying siblings & have their own time alone when needed.

Correct cage sizes means they are actually easier to clean because there’s less build-up. There’s more space for piggy poops to be spread around which can actually help piggies create separate bathroom areas & avoids health-related issues from unclean cages.

I hope you enjoyed this week’s episode & are happy in the knowledge that your guinea pigs’ cage is the correct size so that your guinea pigs are living their best life. 

f not, then obviously start to plan & action how you can ensure your guinea pigs have the correct sized cage. Remember, happy & healthy guinea pigs means happy guinea pig owners!

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