Should You Get A C & C Guinea Pig Cage Or A Normal Cage?
You might think that getting a cage for your guinea pig is an easy thing to do but there are several things that you need to take into account. Yes there are guinea pig cages at the local pet store, but more often than not these are too small for your guinea pig.
Your guinea pig needs a lot of room to roam around and feel free. If they don’t have this then they can become very agitated and may even get sick. Just because you see a cage in a pet store that says it is suitable for a guinea pig doesn’t mean that it is.
Not only does your guinea pig require a lot of open space to run around and explore. They also need dedicated areas in the cage for food and water and a bathroom area. A pregnant guinea pig will need space for nesting.
What Size of Cage for your Guinea Pig?
A guinea pig is a much larger rodent than a mouse, rat, gerbil or hamster. Yet pet stores continue to market cages that they deem suitable for all rodents including guinea pigs. Don’t fall for this. Your guinea pig will be very unhappy if their cage is too small.
Sometimes you will see guinea pig cages in stores that have two levels. You might be thinking that this is a good idea as your guinea pig will get lots of exercise going up and down levels. But they won’t because unlike their other rodent cousins guinea pigs don’t tend to climb. They like the ground floor and that’s it.
Your guinea pig might like ramps and low height platforms but you cannot guarantee this. So when you are looking for a guinea pig cage you need to focus on the floor space. Anything else is a bonus.
So what kind of floor space do you need? Well the Humane Society provides the following recommendations:
- For a single guinea pig choose a cage with a minimum of 7.5 square feet. If you can go for a larger cage then do that.
- For two guinea pigs choose a cage with a minimum of 10.5 square feet.
- For three guinea pigs choose a cage with a minimum of 13 square feet.
- For two guinea pigs choose a cage with a minimum of 13 square feet but larger if possible.
Although your guinea pig will not want to climb you need to make sure that the cage is of an adequate height so that there is sufficient ventilation. We recommend that the cage height be at least 12 inches and again the higher the better.
So now that you know the size of the cage that you need, what type of guinea pig cage should you go for? Should you get a C & C guinea pig cage or a normal cage? We will look at both of these guinea pig cages below.
The C & C Guinea Pig Cage Pros and Cons
C & C stands for cube grids and coroplast. In our opinion this is the best type of guinea pig cage available. It is pretty simple to make your own C & C guinea pig cage or you can buy them from online stores.
The cube grid is used to construct the base of the cage and the sides. Coroplast is then added inside of this structure to provide a solid floor for your guinea pig to walk on. Everything is connected using cables ties and duct tape etc. A C & C guinea pig cage is robust and will last for a long time.
There are no dangerous materials used in the construction of C & C cages. You won’t find any sharp edges either with the possible exception of improperly trimmed cable ties. One very important thing to look out for is the grid size. Don’t buy a C & C cage that has either 5 by 5 or 8 by 8 grids.
The reason to avoid these grid sizes is that your guinea pig can get their head stuck in these grids. If this happens then your guinea pig could strangle itself to death. Go for a C & C cage with at least 9 by 9 grids.
The advantages of C & C guinea pig cages:
- They are large and provide a spacious environment for your guinea pig
- In general they are easier to clean but this does depend on the type of bedding used
- You can make your own C & C cage pretty cheaply and easily
- You can buy a C & C cage at select online stores
- You can make different designs when you build a C & C cage e.g. “L” shaped
- It is really easy to gain access to your guinea pigs
Disadvantages of C & C cages:
- A large C & C cage requires a large amount of floor space
- If you choose the wrong size grids than your guinea pig can get their head stuck
When you build or buy a C & C cage you know that your guinea pig will have ample space to run around and do all of the things that they like doing. This will result in a happy guinea pig.
C & C cages are very versatile from a design standpoint and you can build them to suit the space that you have available. These cages are sturdy and easier to clean than other cages. We consider a C & C cage to be the very best for your guinea pig.
I wrote more on 8 Reasons Why C&C Cage Is The Best Cage and Supplies
Guinea Pig Cages from Pet Stores Pros and Cons
In the larger pet stores you will find a wide range of guinea pig cages. The people that work in these stores will tell you that they are suitable for your guinea pig but don’t listen to this. The truth is that most pet shore guinea pig cages are far too small.
Sometimes you will see cheap guinea pig cages in pet stores that have a “starter home” label. This is a sure sign that they will be too small for your cavy. It may also be a sign of a cheaply made cage that has a lot of inferior materials. Some of these materials can even be harmful for your guinea pig.
It is fairly common they see guinea pig cages in stores that have a lot of ledges in them. These are fine for keeping food bowls and holding water bottles but they do not add to the floor space of the cage. You cannot accept that additional ledges means additional living space.
Are we saying that it is impossible to get the right sized cage for your guinea pig from a pet store? No we are not. But a cage large enough for your guinea pig is likely to be very expensive.
Online stores like Amazon sell guinea pig cages. The same thing applies here. Most of the cages on offer are simply not large enough for your guinea pig. Also the materials used to construct these cages are often not of the highest quality.
If you are looking for a guinea pig cage in a pet store then check the materials used in construction. Some plastics can be dangerous for your cavy. Look out for sharp edges on cages as well. Guinea pigs are curious creatures and will explore everything. You don’t want them to harm themselves in their cage.
The advantages of Pet Store Guinea Pig Cages:
- You buy them ready to use
- High quality cages are usually well built and sturdy
- A lot of the cages available look nice
- You can purchase a guinea pig cage kit that has everything you need to assemble it
- Pet store guinea pig cages are usually lightweight and you can move them around easily
- It is a lot more convenient to buy a cage from a pet store than order a C & C cage online or build your own
The disadvantages of Pet Store Guinea Pig Cages:
- The starter cages or base models are usually far too small and made from inferior materials
- The typical guinea pig cage you will find in a pet store does not have enough space for your pet
- Pet shop cages often have a second levels and are taller which is useless for your guinea pig as they don’t like to climb levels
- To get the right sized cage from a pet store will usually cost a lot of money
- It is often difficult to clean pet store guinea pig cages
If you insist on buying a guinea pig cage from a pet store then you need to pay careful attention to the floor space as well as the materials used for construction. You guinea pig will chew anything and if the materials have harmful chemicals then your cavy could get very sick.
Go for a C & C Guinea Pig Cage
With a C & C guinea pig cage you have no worries about size or dangerous materials. These are just perfect guinea pig cages. You could build your own C & C cage with the minimum of DIY skills and a few simple tools in a few hours. Or you can order your C & C cage from a specialist online store.
Your guinea pig will spend most of their time in their cage so don’t make it like a prison for them. Provide them with as much space as possible and they will be happy in their cage. Don’t be fooled by pet store cage labels and employees. Always check the floor space available with any cage.
I wrote more on: Should You Build C&C Cage or Buy One