Indoor guinea pigs - what size cage and where do you keep yours?

(32 Posts)
IzzyWizzyletsgetbusy Sun 06-Mar-11 15:24:10

So, we have two guinea pigs coming to us at the end of March and need to get everything ready.

They will be living indoors - what size cage do we need? I've been looking at 1m and 1.20m; the 1.2m looks huge but I wonder whether it will look more reasonable when they are fully grown (they will only be 6 weeks when they come).

Also, where do you keep your indoor gps? A 1.2m cage could only go in the living room (not sure if it would be too busy for them/too smelly for us!) or in the utility room (which is a bit out of the way) whereas the 1m cage would fit in the kitchen...just wondered what others found worked best?

Obviously they will be let out for a run around every day but I want to get their main living accommodation right! smile

PinkWinged Sun 06-Mar-11 15:42:54

RSPCA advice:
http://www.rspca.org.uk/allaboutanimals/pets/rodents/guineapigs/environment

Guinea pig welfare advice:
http://www.guineapigwelfare.org.uk/guinea-pig-care/

I'd go for the 1.2m cage in the utility; the living room and kitchen might be too warm for them.

Enjoy them - they are lovely pets.

Mumsaysno Sun 06-Mar-11 20:00:00

We have had our two girl guinea pigs Twinkle and Star for 7 months. They are in an indoor cage about 1m long and live very happily in it in the girls playroom. Do find that they can get a bit smelly at times so wouldnt be keen to have them in a living room or kitchen, but have found that using the lavender scented shavings in the cage helps loads.

pigpog Fri 15-Apr-11 23:40:32

We have 4 in the living room, the cage is L shaped, 2m each side roughly.

They don't seem to get too warm, but of course their fur is only grown for indoors. I had guinea pigs at my parents' and they had to live outdoors, their fur was completely different, much much thicker for the cold.

We have ours on fleece also, so no smell other than a bit whiffy on a Friday (it gets washed on a Saturday), and no mess.

They may not appreciate being in the kitchen, temperatures fluctuate too much, and cooking smells may be too strong for them. I also wouldn't want animals living in the kitchen but that's just my opinion!

I love having them indoors, wouldn't have it any other way!

tabulahrasa Sun 01-May-11 01:26:03

I bought the one pets at home said would do two guinea pigs - it didn't, no way was it big enough for two adults. So we ended up with two cages cabletied together and the doors in the middle taken out, giving them two joined together.

They were in the living room, I didn't find they smelled, unless they were overdue being cleaned out and they didn't find it too busy after the first few days, they seemed to like it, they'd come out and nosy at visitors and generally watch what was going on quite happily

alexflower Tue 19-Jul-11 18:09:39

I have the 1.2 metre cage and IMO it is really JUST big enough for 2 fully grown guinea pigs. We have ours in the living room next to the sofa and I clean them out about every 4 days so they are not smelly. Obviously you can smell the hay or sawdust smell but no stinky wee smells or anything.

I also get them out to run around in the kitchen (only room without carpet) when we are not in cooking. I just make sure the floor gets a good sweep before so there's no crumbs of anything they're not allowed smile I think keeping ours by the sofa helped them become more tame as they hear our voices and see/smell us regularly and when they first arrived they were scared of everything but now I will hoover, watch tv etc and they are not bothered at all.

hairtwiddler Wed 20-Jul-11 06:55:24

We have two boars and they live in what used to be our garage (conversion) in a 120x60 cage with two upper levels. We have fleece on the bottom, hay on 1st level in a rack and fresh veggies/fruit on the top so they get plenty of excercise! We have an outdoor and indoor run so they get out of the cage most days. I sweep up droppings daily and change fleece on a saturday. Mine are huge, so they need lots of space!

Mummysayno, sorry to intrude on thread and hope this isn't rude but we got ours from a shelter and had to sign something to say that on no account would we keep them on wood shavings as it can cause them all sorts of problems. Some info on north east guinea rescue site.

Enjoy your piggies. They are my first ever pets and I love them!

menagerie Sat 23-Jul-11 22:32:16

Hairtwiddler, I didn't know that about wood shavings. Going to look up an alternative bedding for them. Thanks for that advice.

mercibucket Sat 23-Jul-11 22:37:48

we keep ours indoors in winter and a 1m cage is really too small for grown pigs, although that's what some of ours have to put up with for a few months til it's warm enough to go back outside. we keep some in the living room and they are always the friendliest ones cos they're so close at hand for a cuddle at night-time smile

DoesItWearingWellies Fri 05-Aug-11 02:40:17

menagerie

We kept our guineas on MegaZorb - it is actually a horse bedding, but costs less per litre than non-wood shaving bedding for small furries or cat litter.

Some tack/saddlery places sell it, or you can get it online - Farmway.co.uk is the cheapest if buying just one bag, but if you have room for 2 bags, then Millbry Hill is cheaper per litre (due to weight limits for delivery).

Our boys are now in a massive 4'x4' indoor enclosure and have a towel-backed fleece liner velcro'd in place, but we still use MegaZorb in our quarantine cage (one of our little guys is on cage rest due to broken leg) and for the ratties.

Not only is it super absorbent, but it keeps down smells and can be composted too!

empirestateofmind Fri 05-Aug-11 04:46:28

Our two live in a corner of the sitting room in a 1.5m by 1m cage base. We don't bother with the cage part as they can't climb out of the base.

We use newspaper in their igloos which is changed daily and healthy pet bedding (soft cotton stuff, made of cellulose fibre) in the rest of the base as it is very absorbent. This is topped up during the week and changed totally once a week. We are in Singapore and they do fine despite the heat.

We like having the guinea pigs near us where they get more attention and we get to enjoy them pottering around. They do squeak a lot when we open the fridge door or if anyone walks past with salad or vegetables (they have very good hearing and a good sense of smell).

CRIKRI Wed 17-Aug-11 20:46:16

Our pigs are in the living room in this cage R5A 120 with only one of the platforms. They don't like the ramp that came with it, so have a small wooden step to get up to the top floor. They also get a fair bit of floor time and supervised garden time when the weather is okay.

This is a larger alternative R6A which I almost got as the floor size was the same as their previous cage (now occupied by "guest pigs" who are staying for the summer.) But, the extra platform of the R5A makes up for the missing 300cm.

Cambridge Cavy Trust advised against woodshavings at least 10 years ago I think due to the chemicals in some and also the risks to the respiratory system of inhaling fine dust. I keep mine on newspapers with lots of hay on top, but they have a fleece covered chair pad in their "bedroom" (with a puppy training pad between to keep the cushion dry.) I know some folks use just fleece and newspapers, but I've found pigs like rooting around in mounds of hay, and I don't want to deny them that pleasure!

mceajh Sun 28-Sep-14 20:36:01

We are looking to buy 3 female guinea pigs and I wondered if anyone could recommend a good indoor cage that would be big enough to house them? I have seen the C&C cages but wonder how difficult it is to make these yourself and make sure they are secure. Thanks!

Tanyapiggie1 Fri 19-Feb-16 21:56:20

Hi I have 4 lovley girlies in a 5x2 c&c cage . Am looking to get another 1 possibly 2 females. I am adding a 2x2 loft nxt week that should be big enough shouldn't it? 😃

clippityclop Sat 20-Feb-16 14:51:34

Two girlies in a P@H double decker job just over a metre long in our utility. Of course they won't have anything to do with the ramp even though we put sides on, carpet so they have a wooden tray of hay over the top of the hole. I use newspaper and the paper crumb stuff to line their cage and then lots if hay in the sleeping compartment.We also have a big wire pen which they use indoors at the moment, they go in this while we are at home. They seem perfectly content, the trick seems to be to keep things interesting by providing tunnels, cardboard boxes, snuggle sacks for them to potter around and then moving things to bamboozle them. Mine are delightfully dim and easily pleased in this way, Holland and Barrat brown paper bags with handles pulled off are their favourites.

70isaLimitNotaTarget Sat 20-Feb-16 15:26:45

We have 3 adults (2 sows and a neutered boar) in the Pighouse (which was my DC Playhouse)
It's approx 6'6" x 6'6" might be a tad larger , I can stand up inside at the highest point.

They have the floor covered in cardboard and newspaper with a covering of soft barley straw in winter.
Hay/sleeping box ( one of those plastic garden trunks, about the length of my armspan, full of hay) and a 'tunnel' made from a bookcase with three 'rooms' doors cut in to get through each compartment , enter/exit.

They have a Night Cage for winter that's 2'x4'. They grumble at it.
When we had our boars they needed a bigger space, we made a run from C&C fencing.
When we had GP3 (neutered boar) and the sows we made a really nice (I thought) roomy run. They all parked themselves in the haybox. So we got the cage back, it's much tidier because of the higher sides.
They have woodbased litter,newspaper,fleece ,shredded card (looroll tubes and thin card) and hay cookies. Every winter I rack my brains to give them a nice sleeping house but not tear out my hair with their mess .

My resident pigs all park themselves in one section of the bookcase run. But they do move about (evidence - the droppings/pee) so it's their choice to cram themselves into a shoebox hmm.
On the journey from Pighouse to the house they bellyache about being in a carrybox .

Tanya I would say the 5'x2' is on the small side for 4 piggies, do they get out and about to run?
The trouble with adding an upper level is not all pigs climb, you have no guarentee all your piggies will get along, if you have a bully (and there will always be a leader) if one of your pigs gets trapped on the upper level, she's got nowhere to go.
You run the risk of them ignoring the upper level, all swarming up there to harass one pig or one/two pigs being isolated up there.

Can you make your 5'x2' all one level and bigger?
How big a space can you make with the area you have and the C&C materials?

70isaLimitNotaTarget Sat 20-Feb-16 15:29:10

Oh YY to moving things. We shift their haybox every week, the confused looks on their little rodenty faces grin
Even moving their indoor trug from the left to the right of the cage has them "Whaaaaat? What's occuring?"

InternationalHouseofToast Sat 20-Feb-16 20:13:05

We have 3 boys and they share a pair of cages put together end to end and cable tied together. It's about 8ft long. We had originally only got them one cage, which was your sort of size plus a wooden sleeping hutch added to the end but they fought, which was because of the lack of space so we added the extra cage as a last resort before splitting them and it worked well. They're much more settled now they have the extra cage, and they need a sleeping space each to get away from each other if they need to.

Ours are under the dining room window, with the radiator turned right down. We looked at the utility room but ours gets very cold at night.

The smell is only noticeable if you don't clean them out often enough - we do spot cleans (they wee where there is shelter not out in the open) every couple of days and a big clean out once a week. If they're in a public space they get used to being around you and hearing your voice and you tend to chat to them as you go past to do other things.

InternationalHouseofToast Sat 20-Feb-16 20:18:08

Mceajh, we looked at the C&C cages but I'm not convinced they're as cheap as they're meant to be, certainly in the UK, and if you use fleece to line them you have to change it frequently and wash the fleeces at 60 degrees which felt like a faff. Also for us the lack of a lid was a problem - DS is primary age and has friends in the house and we thought it left them too vulnerable to being fallen on.

We just have commercial "pet shop" cages but unclipped the end metal panels to link them and used wooden log bridges (in pet shops) to get over the plastic edge of the cages into the other side. It works fine for us and means we could replace one half or clean one half easily.

AtSea1979 Sat 20-Feb-16 20:22:04

I have both sizes. When in the last place I had 4 piggies in the 1m one. Now they are in the 1.2m one, and they still huddle all squashed up in a corner of that, refusing to go up on the higher levels unless I put the veg up there. I find the 1.2m ok if you don't want to take them anywhere but if you ever need them to be looked after by a friend etc then you can put the 1m in your boot built and ready with piggies in.

Tanyapiggie1 Sat 20-Feb-16 20:47:36

Hi yer they come and play daily. They all get on really well although gabby the much older one is in charge a though they never fight or argue I think cause she is elderly they just respect her like any other group of animals do. . They are very happy piggies and are always stimulated as are in the lounge with us and interact loads.. they went from a double hutch with an upstairs to what is massive in comparison. .

clippityclop Sat 20-Feb-16 21:37:15

Our girls come out for a play every day too, they like a cuddle and parsley in front of the telly or to potter about the kitchen floor. When I'm home alone I put newspaper on the kitchen table and we have lunch together and do the crossword. In summer they have the run of the approx 3m x 5m patio area with their hay box, shallow pots of parsley etc to nibble on and various hidey houses, they confine themselves to to certain areas. When the grass is dry the the metal pen gets moved each day so they can graze for a while. They are frequent guests in the summerhouse too. If something doesn't suit they both have a 'look'. I am well trained.

Tanyapiggie1 Sat 20-Feb-16 21:46:03

My 5x2 is all one level I'm adding a 2x2 loft xx

70isaLimitNotaTarget Sat 20-Feb-16 22:27:26

My females get niggly with each other when they're in season, it doesn't last long but there's a bit of sniping (usually one pig one day, the other one the next) it spans 2 days at most (thankfully)
I think because we have a boar they react more than a group of all sows (though our boar wouldn't have a clue Bless him grin )

Our original boar pair were fighting in the indoor cage.We had to put a divide in at night, but the next winter we gave them two boxes stuffed full of hay , no divider and they were better .

GP1 and his new cagemate GP3 looked at the cage one Guy Fawkes (in for the fireworks) and were "You needn't think we're living in that "

Ours are in the small bedroom in Winter nights. It's cooler, I can hear them (next to DH and I ) whittering away and clanging their food bowls.

That's another thing to consider, the amount of random stuff they like. Bowls, bottles, igloos or hidey spaces, hay. Takes up a load of room.

foxy6 Sat 20-Feb-16 22:49:20

we have 2 guinea pigs in the lounge. i started off with the first size cage from pets at home which they quickly out grew. i then moved up the the largest one from pets at home, but wasnt happy with the size and neither were the piggies. they now have a 5x2 C&C cage. they are much happier in this and no longer argue. they have also become more social as well.

i would recommend a C&C cage it figured out cheaper that the large one i had form pets at home and twice the size. i line it with fleece blankets and its also much easier to keep clean. i just sweep up poops and change the blankets every 3-4 days. they dont smell at all now

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