Guinea pigs are social animals and much prefer not to live alone. So if you are planning to keep a couple of piggies together, or even house a whole herd good for you! But making a home for multiple cavies needs some careful planning. If you’re looking for a cage for 2 guinea pigs, or more, we’ve got all the information you need.
This article tells you what size cage you should have two guinea pigs or more to keep them happy, healthy, and popcorning around. We’ve also included our top 6 picks of the best wooden hutches and a guide on how and where to set up the cage, as well as what essential items your guinea pigs need.
And as always, you’ll find our most frequently asked questions section at the end.
Guinea Pig Housing
While small in stature, cavies need a lot more space than you might think. This is because, in their natural habitat, they spend a lot of time roaming, grazing, exploring and playing. In other words, the more the floor space, the better when it comes to your guinea pigs’ cage.
Let’s take a look at what size cage you need for two guinea pigs, and then we’ll discuss cage sizes for 3 or more.
What size cage for Two guinea pigs?
A lot of animal welfare websites give you the minimum floor space needed for guinea pig cages. Although this is sufficient, we firmly believe the information needs to be updated so that your guinea pigs are not merely surviving in their enclosure but are actually thriving with more than enough room to explore and forage.
So with that in mind, here is our recommended cage size for 2 guinea pigs:
- 10.5 square feet or 27 inches by 56 inches guinea pig cage
Ideally, for 3 guinea pigs, you need a guinea pig cage that’s:
- 13 square feet or 27 inches by 71 inches
And for 4, you need:
- 16 square feet or 27 inches by 84 inches guinea pig cage
For 5 or more guinea pigs, we suggest adding an additional 2 square feet per piggy.
Important: if you’re housing boars, the cage should always be one size bigger than recommended!
Benefits Of A Large Cage: Why Bigger Is Better
One of the main benefits of having large guinea pig cages is that your piggies are able to exercise, explore and play. Unfortunately, without it, they are at risk of becoming overweight and developing serious health issues down the line, including diabetes, heart and respiratory problems.
But there are other benefits too. We’ve put together a list of all the reasons why bigger is better when it comes to your guinea pigs cage.
More space means more stimulation
Guinea pigs are curious little creatures and need constant stimulation. In the wild, they’d cover a lot of ground foraging for food and exercising, so it stands to reason that they need as much space as possible as pets.
This doesn’t only keep them physically active; it also provides them with the mental stimulation they need to stop feeling stressed out and bored. Stressed piggies are unhappy piggies, and after a while, they’ll start displaying unusual and unwanted behaviour.
Bigger means less bickering
Yes, guinea pigs are social animals, but they need their own space for much-needed downtime like all of us. Being confined to a small area without enough room to rest and relax away from other guinea pigs will ultimately lead to bickering and fighting.
Larger guinea pig cages are easier to clean
Okay, this is more for you than your piggies because a larger guinea pig cage is easier to clean. And when it’s easier to clean, you’ll be more inclined to do it. While this doesn’t benefit your cavies directly, having a clean enclosure will keep them happy and healthy. A
Happy guinea pigs equal happy piggy parents
Seeing your guinea pigs happy has a knock-on effect. Try not to smile as your guinea pigs zoom around their cage, popcorn and wheek with delight.
6 Of The Best Guinea Pig Hutches for 2, 3 or 4 Guinea Pigs
The Ultimate Guide To Setting Up Your Guinea Pigs’ Cage
For countries that experience extreme weather conditions, it’s recommended that guinea pigs are kept indoors. This way, come sweltering heat or ice-cold weather, you’re able to keep the temperature moderate for your piggies.
In the UK, you have the choice of keeping your cavies inside or outdoors. For the purpose of this article, we’re looking at how to set up a guinea pigcage outside.
Now that you’ve chosen your guinea pig cage, it’s time to start setting it up. Let’s start with the bedding, shall we?
When it comes to your cavies’ bedding, we recommend fleece, softwood, aspen wood, hay or paper. These all absorb moisture and help with odour control.
Fleece is becoming increasingly popular with guinea pig owners. It absorbs moisture well and helps keep guinea pigs warm. It’s also kinder to the environment as it can be used over and over again. The downside to fleece is that it needs to be cleaned regularly, and when starting out, it can be on the expensive side when first stocking up.
Wood and hay are also excellent for hutches. However, make sure the dust has been extracted and doesn’t contain any oils or fragrances. Both of these can cause havoc with a guinea pig’s respiratory system.
Paper is a popular bedding choice too. Not only is it gentle on guinea pigs’ feet, but it’s also affordable and does a good job absorbing liquid. Having said that, unlike wood and hay, when paper gets wet, your piggies’ pee smells stronger.
Where you set up your guinea pig cage is also important. During the summer months, we suggest placing the cage out of direct sunlight. And to protect your fuzzy friends when it’s raining, it’s best to put it under a covered area.
For our wet and wintery months, it’s worth getting a waterproof and insulated hutch cover. This works well, keeping your piggies warm and dry.
You’ve got the guinea pig cage, placed bedding inside and found the perfect location, and now it’s time to add a few essential items. After all, keeping your piggies healthy and happy requires more than just a cage, bedding and the right setting.
It goes without saying that guinea pigs need bowls for their food. But before you pop out and buy the first one you see, there are a few things worth considering. Firstly, we suggest getting tip-proof bowls rather than plastic ones. This is so your guinea pigs don’t tip them while they’re eating or just zooming around the cage.
Something else to keep in mind is the size of the food dish. If it’s too big, there is a good chance your piggies will use it as a toilet. And you may also be tempted to overfeed your cavies with a larger bowl.
You could also add hay feeders or wheel wagons around the cage. Not only is it a great way to ensure your guinea pigs are getting all the fibre they need while looking after their teeth, but they also keep the hay fresher for longer.
Guinea pigs need access to water all the time. Although bowls will do the job, we suggest getting water bottles instead. Overenthusiastic piggies tend to knock their bowls over, spilling water everywhere, while others use them as a loo.
However, a water bottle with a spout keeps drinking water clean and fresh without you constantly having to check on it and refill it.
Being prey animals, guinea pigs tend to run and hide whenever they feel unsafe or threatened. For a guinea pig’s peace of mind and overall health, nest boxes, tunnels, and any other items that provide shelter and a place to relax should be provided in guinea pig cages.
Cavies are intelligent and curious little animals, and they need to be kept stimulated all the time. Without things to keep them busy, guinea pigs can quickly get bored, leading to depression, obesity and other associated health conditions.
Look out for tunnels that double as chew toys, like chubes or shred-a-logs and balls that can be filled with treats, like the HayPigs!® circus treat ball. To keep your guinea pigs interested, don’t put too many toys in the enclosure at once, and remember to rotate them every few days.
Even though you have chosen the best guinea pig cage, your cavies will still need exercise and stimulation in a run. Not only does it give them the space to be active, but it also allows them to forage and graze as they would in the wild.
Depending on the cage and how much space you have available, you can either attach the run to it or get a folding one. We like that the folding one can be moved around, giving your piggies new areas to explore and trim the lawn for you while they’re at it!
It is essential to never leave your guinea pigs unattended in their run as predators pose a genuine risk to your furry pals.
Guinea pig cages need to be cleaned regularly for your cavies to thrive. We recommend daily spot checks for two guinea pigs to remove and replace wet or soiled bedding, along with your piggies’ poops.
A weekly clean includes replacing hay, washing fleece bedding, cleaning food bowls, water bottles, and accessories. And then there’s the deep clean. This should be done once a month and involves giving the hutch and everything in it a thorough clean with a pet-friendly disinfectant.
To make cleaning your guinea pigs’ cage easier, we suggest the following items:
You’ll also need bin bags and sponges or cleaning cloths. After the deep clean, don’t forget to replace the hay!
Remember – This cleaning schedule is based on two guinea pigs. If you have more, you will need to do it more often.
It’s not just your guinea pigs’ enclosure that needs regular cleaning. As good as they are at grooming themselves, your piggies will need some help in this department.
Long-haired breeds will need to be brushed regularly, while all breeds need their toenails clipped. To make these sessions easier, it’s worth getting a grooming kit with clippers, a soft brush and a deshedding brush.
Frequently Asked Questions About A Cage For Two Guinea Pigs
Can guinea pigs have two level cages?
Unlike other rodents, guinea pigs don’t like climbing. If you’re choosing a cage with two tiers, it’s best to get a ramp that isn’t too steep and that has raised sides. This will prevent your piggies from falling off the ramp and protect their delicate spines when going from one level to another.
What kind of cage is good to keep guinea pigs separate?
It’s not always possible for guinea pigs to get along, which means you may need to consider a two-tier cage. It also comes in handy if you need to keep a sow and boar apart for whatever reason. Chartwell’s 2 Tier Guinea Pig Hutch is an excellent choice, with separate play and sleeping areas.
Can I buy a guinea pig cage from a pet shop?
Pet shops certainly stock cages for small rodents, but they’re simply too small to house guinea pigs comfortably.
What is the right size cage for one guinea pig?
Guinea pigs should never be kept on their own, which is why we haven’t included measurements for a single guinea pig. Of course, there will be times when you need to house one piggy on its own temporarily.
Possible reasons could include a new guinea pig that you’re slowly introducing to the rest of your brood, a sickly cavy that needs to be kept separate or a boar that has been neutered and needs time to recover from the procedure.
Can I put my guinea pigs in an aquarium?
The answer to this quite simply is no! In the past, before people knew better, aquariums were often used to house guinea pigs. Not only are they too small, but the solid glass sides do not provide enough ventilation.
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The takeaway from this article is that bigger is best when it comes to a cage for two guinea pigs, or more.
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