The species of guinea pig kept as pets has become extinct in the wild, although they flourish in captivity as beloved little furballs. Unfortunately, despite them being common pets found in pet stores, most cages in pet stores aren't suitable for these tailless rodents. A homemade enclosure often is less expensive and has the capability of becoming a sizable guinea pig haven.
C&C cages -- the "C"s stand for Coroplast and cubes -- make ideal habitats for pet guinea pigs, no matter how many you have. The enclosure's perimeter is constructed out of cube or grid shelving units, the type you put together by connecting the single grids into cube towers with plastic connectors. The floor and short sides are made from corrugated plastic -- Coroplast is a brand name of corrugated plastic.
The shelves commonly are constructed out of 14 inch grids with plastic connectors that reduce the size by about one inch. The absolute minimum size for a single guinea pig is two grids wide by three grids long, or approximately 27 inches by 41 inches. For each additional guinea pig, add one grid to the length. The corrugated plastic needs to be one-foot longer and wider than the perimeter of the cage to allow for six-inch sides all around.
Because guinea pigs can sometimes be timid, every cavy needs a hiding place. A wooden box with a door big enough for him to fit in is ideal, as is a tall shoe box with a door cut out. Because C&C cages simply lock together with plastic connectors, you can add a second story to the cage and place a ramp from one floor to the next. The openings on the grids are ideal for hanging water bottles and hay racks from, as well.
Benefits of a Larger Cage
While the dimensions may sound large, especially for a small guinea pig, bigger is always better. Guinea pigs tend to be active little creatures, sometimes running around the perimeter of their cage at high speeds just for fun or jumping and turning around. A larger cage will allow him more space to run around in and explore. If you share your home with more than one guinea pig, a larger cage allows them space apart. The open, larger cage also makes it simpler to clean.
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