Should I Build A C&C Guinea Pig Cage Or Buy It?
A lot of new guinea pig owners will immediately think of a pet store for their guinea pig cage. You will see a number of nice looking cages for your guinea pig in a pet store but there are a couple of problems with this.
The first is that pet store guinea pig cages are never usually large enough for your guinea pig. It is essential that guinea pigs have enough room to move around and feel free otherwise they can stress and could become sick. The second issue with pet store guinea pig cages is the cost. You usually have to pay a lot for a small cage.
We recommend that you get a guinea pig cage made from cubes and coroplast (C&C). These are available for purchase through specialist websites or you can purchase the materials you need and build on yourself.
Is it better to build your own C&C guinea pig cage or purchase one from an online store? The answer is that it depends. Some people do not have the necessary skills to build a C&C cage for their guinea pig. This is fairly easy to do but if you are not DIY minded then this will not matter.
The other problem is time. Most people are busy these days and would sooner pay for their C&C cage than try to find the time to build it themselves. If you have a time problem or a DIY skills problem then it is better for you to purchase your guinea pig C&C cage from a specialist online store.
But build own c&c cage is the best way to save more money.
Building your own C&C Guinea Pig Cage Easy Steps
If you want to build your own C&C guinea pig cage then this will be a lot of fun and it will certainly save you money. You will also not have to wait around for your C&C cavy cage to arrive from the online store.
We have put together a practical guide for you to build your own guinea pig C&C cage in just a few hours using the necessary materials and a few simple tools. The advantage of building your own C&C cage is that you can make it as large as you like and in any shape that you want. So let’s get started.
Step One – The Storage Cube Grids and creating the Base and Walls
A storage grid cube is great for building the walls of your guinea pig cage. It is easy to use this material and when you are purchasing look out for cube grids that have 1 ½ to 2 ½ inch openings (3.8 to 6.4 centimeters).
We recommend that you purchase at least 12 pieces of grid for the building of the cage. You can usually buy storage grids from large stores near to you or you can buy them online and have them delivered.
12 panels 2×4 C&C Cage – 56″ x 28″ – 10.89 square feet, perfect for 1 or 2 guinea pigs.
It is best to go for storage grids with openings greater than 1 ½ inches (greater than 3.8 centimeters) as smaller openings can lead to your guinea pig getting stuck in an opening and suffocating.
Once you have your storage grids lay them out on the floor and make a rectangle that is a minimum of 7.5 square feet (0.7 square meters). It is a good idea to lay out the storage grids in the place where you intend to locate your guinea pig cage.
When you are laying out the storage grids ensure that the edges line up correctly and that you don’t have any overlaps. Use a tape measure to confirm that you have the square footage that you want as this will be the base of your guinea pig cage.
You will usually be able to buy storage grids in 12 by 12 inch (30 by 30 centimeter) pieces. So you need to calculate how many of these you require for your cage base. Bear in mind that if you want to house more than one guinea pig that you will need another three square feet (0.28 square meters) of storage grid for each additional cavy.
When you have laid out this rectangle with the required square footage how well does it fit in the location that you want to use for the cage? If it is not a good fit then you can build an “L” shape cage that will fit. Just remember to follow the square footage recommendations and you will be fine.
Once you have your desired layout you will need to secure the grid pieces together. You can achieve this using zip ties. Put the edges of the grid pieces together and then secure them by adding a zip tie to each corner. You will probably need to add another zip tie in the middle so that you have a secure connection. Keep doing this until you complete the base of the cage.
Now it is time for you to build the walls of the cage. Place a piece of the storage grid along the side of the base and then use zip ties to secure this to the base. Keep doing this until you have the wall around the cage in place. Connect the pieces of the wall together and add additional zip ties to make the wall strong.
After completing the base and the cage walls be sure to cut the tails off of the zip ties. If you leave them there then your guinea pig will want to chew them and this can be dangerous. You can use a pair of scissors to do this. It is actually more efficient to cut the tails off as you add each zip tie to the grid pieces.
But if you need a completed cage with removable PVC lined canvas bottom.
Step Two – Adding the Coroplast Floor
With your base and walls built measure the dimensions of the inside using a tape measure. If you have created a rectangular shape cage then note down the length of at least two of the sides. For an “L” shaped cage you will need to measure all sides. Don’t skip measuring the internal size as these dimensions may be slightly different to the grid sizes.
Purchase some coroplast locally or online. Sign makers use coroplast so find a sign making company and purchase from them. You will need to lay the coroplast piece on the floor and then mark out the measurements that you made from inside the cage. Add another 6 inches (15 centimeters) to each side of the material.
You will use the additional material to fold it up into the walls of the cage. Try to purchase a single piece of coroplast for the whole job. If this is not available then you can use multiple pieces and then use tape to connect them together.
Once you have marked out the coroplast you will need to cut out a 6 by 6 inch (15 by 15 centimeters) piece from each corner to allow for folding. Now you need to score the edges of the foldable parts of the coroplast by cutting into it about half way.
Next you need to fold up the 6 inch edges so that they are at a 90° angle from the floor. Bend the edges slowly as you do not want the material to break (it shouldn’t but we still recommend caution). Make sure that all of the corners are flush. If there are any gaps or overlaps then add extra material to fill the gaps or trim off the overlap.
Use duct tape to connect the corners of the folded pieces together. Be sure to tape up all of the corners. Use the duct tape on the outside and not the inside because your guinea pig will want to chew the tape on the inside.
OK so now it’s time to add your coroplast floor structure to the base and walls you created with the storage grid. Place the coroplast on the bottom of the cage structure and make sure that it covers the grid. Then push the coroplast down until it is resting directly on the top of the grid pieces underneath.
So that’s it – your new C&C guinea pig cage is finished. Test the structure of the cage one more time to ensure that it is sturdy. If anything feels loose or insecure then use more zip ties to make it strong.
*** But I recommend you to use fleece cage liner on the top because fleece absorbs moisture away from upper layer and keep your guinea pig’s feet stay clean and dry.
I wrote more about Guinea Pig Fleece Cage Liner here.
Finish off your New C&C Cage
You can now add your choice of guinea pig bedding to the new cage. We also recommend that you add a couple of hiding places in the cage as well. Make the cage as comfortable as possible for your guinea pig to live in.
Your guinea pig will want places that they can hide away from the light so get these from your pet store or online. Some ideas here are tunnels, hidey houses and even igloo covers. It is likely that you guinea pig will choose one of these hiding places to sleep.
Add some bedding into the hidey places so that your guinea pig will be comfortable inside. If you intend to keep more than one guinea pig then make sure that you have enough hiding structures for all of them.
The final step is to introduce your guinea pig to their new home. They will need to get used to this new environment so give them time to have a good look around and explore everything. We recommend that you let your guinea pig have a whole day getting used to their new cage before you interact with them again.
I wrote more on what you need in your guinea pig cage