Guinea pigs are adorable creatures to keep as pets. It is up to you to take care of your guinea pigs as you’re in the ‘mommy role.’ The first thing you need to ensure is to have the perfect cage or hutch for them. There are several types of cages and hutches available. Some are vulnerable to such an extent that it is not safe to keep your guinea pigs inside them. Sometimes, large animals may attack and kill your pets.
This is why you should go to study the types of guinea pig cages and hutches (indoor & outdoor). Read the article as we take you to the tour to the types of cages and hutches and choose the one your guinea pigs need.
Cage or Hutch? Which is better for Guinea Pigs?
A cage is always preferable if you want to keep your guinea pigs indoors. You can use a traditional cage or make a cage all by yourself using C&C panels and coroplast. Always remember, hutches take more space than cages. But if you have enough space, you can have an indoor guinea pig hutch.
However, if you want to make outdoor guinea pig hutch for outdoor guinea pigs, you need a solid sturdy hutch which is quite spacious. A hutch is always preferable unless you’re putting your guinea pigs in a shed or outbuilding.
Here are the types of cage and hutch you’ll find in the market place. You can also make some of these by yourself. Go through these categories and see which one you need.
Types of Guinea Pig Cage
You’ll be shocked to know that aquariums once were used as guinea pigs habitats. Though when you hear the word ‘aquarium’, the image of goldfishes pops in your mind. But, people actually had their days using an aquarium as a home for guinea pigs.
Aquariums are alternatives to indoor guinea pig cages because they are cheap, easy to clean and quite sturdy as well. However, it has some drawbacks too. Because of its solid frame, the air fails to circulate properly. This can be a serious threat to guinea pigs.
Another problem you may face with an aquarium is the minimum space it has. Aquariums often come in small shapes, Sometimes it is not enough for one fat guinea pig to fit in. If that’s the case, the thought for keeping more than one guinea pig can’t even come close.
Always remember that cavies are social animals. To survive, they always need to communicate with other members of their species. So if you have more guinea pigs, getting large guinea pig cages is the best idea. If you keep them in small guinea pig cages, they might end up having a fight.
2. Commercial Guinea Pig Cages
Nowadays, you’ll find that pet stores often sell guinea pig cages that are safe to use. Starting from extra large guinea pig cages indoor, you’ll also find small guinea pig cages. Always remember that the recommended size for keeping guinea pigs is 7.5 square feet. This size is recommended per one guinea pig.
You’ll find commercial cages that come with ledges. However, this is not an issue when measuring. Ledges are not that important. It is just the place where you can store food or provide water to your guinea pigs.
When choosing a commercial indoor guinea pig hutch, try to spend a decent amount of money. Make sure you don’t buy a small indoor guinea pig hutch. Rather, always try to buy the bigger ones in shape. This type of cages also can be used as an outdoor cage as well. However, make sure you buy a big shape cage with extra protection.
3. Cubes Grids and Coroplast
Cube grids and Coroplast are the best standards when you’re talking about guinea pig habitats. Usually, these types come with the comfiest enclosure. The guinea pigs will be able to roam around and play due to its big space.
If you don’t know what Coroplast then you should know that it is a type of corrugated plastic. Usually, people use it to make signage. Instead of using typical bedding, pet owners use felt as a lining. With the help of connectors, the grid is kept intact. Later, cable ties are used to secure them.
It is necessary to leave your cage closed, especially on the top if you have any other pets. It’s because other animals may enter the cage and harm the guinea pigs. However, if you don’t have any other animals in the house, you can keep the top wide open. Using lids will on the top save your guinea pigs from cats and dogs.
If you are not into buying a lid, you can use wire shelves instead.
4. Homemade Cages
We agree to the fact that using coroplast and cube grid is one of the easiest ways to create a cage for guinea pigs. However, if you have a sense of creativity, you can always create a cage without spending money.
Take the playpen for example. If you have a playpen that is made out of a portable swimming pool, turning it into a cage is just easy. Though it is all up to you if you want your guinea pigs live inside a homemade cage all the time. But making a homemade cage is always ideal,
One of the best advantages of homemade cages are, you can make them using what you have at home. If you can build a solid homemade cage, you can also place them outdoors.
Types of Guinea Pig Hutches
If you want to try hutches then you should know about the types of hutches
1. Basic Single Hutch
This hutch is simply made of wood and comes with a one-story housing. As we said, hutches come in bigger shape then cages. Hutches have a strong roof as well, so it actually protects your guinea pigs from other large animals outdoor.
2. Elevated Single Hutch
Though the elevated single hutch has similarities with the normal single hutch, this one is elevated by four feet from the ground. Since the hutch is above the ground, your guinea pigs will be safe from predators.
3. Double-Deck Hutch
With great space, you can put many guinea pigs inside. Well, the double-deck hutch is the one you need. As the name says it, the hutch is two-storied one that provides the ultimate space your guinea pigs need.
4. Deluxe-Deck Hutch
The hutch is a two-story hutch but it comes with the contraption, living quarters and trap door as extra features. There’s also an adjoining ramp so that your guinea pigs can roam around and move.
Similarities between Rabbit Cage and Guinea Pig Cage
You should know that guinea pig cages are somewhat similar to rabbit cages. Especially, when it comes to hutches, they have huge similarities. You can use rabbit hutches or cages for your guinea pigs as well. However, make sure never to put your guinea pig with rabbits. Rabbits can harm or even kill guinea pigs. Case studies show that rabbits try to mate with guinea pigs sometimes which can injure the guinea pigs.
Besides, they both are different animals with different needs. As rabbits are larger compared to guinea pigs, they hold the superiority here. So getting on a fight is quite normal. This is why it is always a recommendation to pet owners not to keep the two animals in the same place.
Some Relevant Question and Answers
Do hutches come in a metal body?
You can find metallic hutches in the market or you can have them built. However, we don’t recommend metallic hutches as you’ll keep them outside. The sun can burn the metal and it can be harmful to your guinea pigs. But you can take extra measures to protect the hutches from getting heated.
Do I need to use a cover on the cage?
Covering your cage is essential especially to keep kids, cats or dogs out from entering it.
If you keep male guinea pigs next to females, then in this case too having a cage is a must. Put the cover to the area of the cage.
Do these cage work in a school?
We don’t recommend to keep guinea pigs inside a school classroom. However, if a school does have guinea pigs, then the cage should be about 12 inches high.
Also Read: Types Of Rabbit Hutch
In this article, we tried to cover all the types of guinea pig cages and hutches (indoor & outdoor). If you have read this article thoroughly, it is time to think which type you need. You can also switch between cage and hutches or their types to have different experiences.