Guinea pigs are those adorable little rodents that can be found in all good pet stores and that make the happiness of children and adults alike. These domesticated animals have most of the time a very good relationship with humans, even if some specimens develop a somewhat “biting” character. Of a gregarious temperament, the guinea pig will be much happier accompanied than alone (one male for several females), and it is therefore necessary in this sense to adapt the cage to the needs of the group that will occupy it: size of the group, sex, playgrounds. It is better to quickly identify the needs of these animals before incurring unnecessary costs in a cage that will not be adapted to your animal.
What type of cage to choose?
There are various types of guinea pig cages on the market, sometimes with futuristic and strange designs, or with more sober and discreet cuts. In all cases, the cage you need is the one that will be adapted to the needs of your animals. The main cages are made of metal, plastic or wood. Here we will be able to see the advantages and disadvantages of these different models to give you an idea of what is being done!
First of all, as far as wooden cages are concerned, which are rarely found, it is true, but which can still be bought in some pet shops or on the Internet. These models are relatively beautiful and give to your cage a rustic aspect which will not fail to please you that is certain. It will also not displease your dear little inhabitants who will be happy to quickly start your cage to find a “way out”. The risk is that the wood won’t resist their little teeth and that in the long run they will manage to create a crack and escape without you noticing it immediately. The cage would not become so useful in such conditions. This is why this material is hardly recommended for rodents, except in conditions where the wood would only be a “hiding place” to conceal the bars of the frame. The wood would only have a purely decorative effect and it could totally correspond to your needs and desires.
They also have advantages and disadvantages. The first advantage is price. In fact, they are among the cheapest cages on the market, mainly due to the low quantity of materials needed to manufacture them, as well as the ease of design of these models.
They are among the most present on the market and the prices are therefore relatively low. Not very original and extravagant, they adapt to the most banal desires of a simple cage. They have, moreover, the clear advantage of allowing a good ventilation of the cage of your animal, allowing a good air circulation and thus avoiding the possible moulds related to the droppings, as well as the excessive heat in summer. In winter, however, they do not keep the heat, and must therefore be equipped with shelters to fill this lack.
The disadvantages are mainly three, with first of all the odors that spread more easily. In fact, very quickly your pet’s excrement will smell and you will be able to notice it when you approach the cage. These droppings also have the role, and urine mainly, of attacking the metal and making it rust, which affects the overall quality of the cage and its resistance over the years. The second point to note concerns the cleanliness of the cage’s surroundings. Even though guinea pigs are relatively quiet, they have a lot of activity in their cages, so the substrate you put in the bottom of the cage can cause the substrate to spread around the room, ejected from the cage. Because the bars do not form a solid surface, they do not prevent chips from being thrown out. Finally, these bars could quickly become a game for your pet and it could deteriorate the overall condition of the cage.
However, these cages are of good quality and are particularly adapted to your rodents who will be able to enjoy a relatively comfortable space for their daily life. Choose a cage that has bars with a spacing of about one to two centimeters, which corresponds to the majority of cages found in the market. They are also easily adjustable and adaptable.
These good quality products have their advantages and disadvantages, and it will depend on the consumer whether or not to opt for this type of cage. These classic models are often the most recommended for guinea pigs, but they are not exclusive. You will have to adapt the cage to the needs of the animal or group you are going to adopt. However, metal cages are not the only cages you can find in stores.
These new models, much newer than the cages mentioned above, are newer and respond to new consumer demands. They are also completely adapted to guinea pigs, and their election rather than another often corresponds to the will of the purchaser.
From a general point of view, these cages have a more elaborate and sophisticated design than the metal models, which often makes them decorative objects that can decorate your home, or at least not out of place.
In addition to being a design, these cages fill some of the inconveniences that have been mentioned above, especially that of the smell. Indeed, having less exchange surfaces with the outside, the odors spread less quickly, so the surroundings of the cage remain less unpleasant than with a classic metal cage. These same surroundings will remain clean for longer, as the walls prevent the untimely projection of the substrate that you put at the bottom of the cage. This way you can place your cage where you want without having to worry about these projections. The disadvantage is of course that the ventilation inside the cage is not as good as with conventional models, as the walls are solid and do not allow for optimal ventilation. However, modern products have relatively well located ventilation, which avoids inconveniences due to lack of air (mould…). In the middle of summer, however, it is logical that the temperature of these cages increases if they are located under the sun’s rays and it is therefore necessary to ensure that they are kept away from windows or other sources of excessively bright light so as not to create disturbances in your animals.
These cages therefore seem totally adapted to your guinea pigs and the choice is yours. However, once again, make sure that the cage is adapted to the needs of your animals.
What accessories in the cage?
In order to evolve as well as possible in its new cage, your guinea pig will have to have some accessories which are essential to him. Others, more futile, will also be able to embellish the life of your little companion in order to keep him busy throughout his days.
The first ones concern first of all the food and drink of your pet. As far as food is concerned, it is recommended that you use only heavy, flat-bottomed containers to prevent your guinea pig from turning them over and losing its food in its cage. You will necessarily need two bowls (one for pellets and one for vegetables) so that the food you give your guinea pig is well separated and that he knows where to find it.
You will also need a rack (which can be sold with the cage), either inside or outside, to prevent hay from becoming your little friend’s litter box. Indoor racks can also be used as a cocoon for your guinea pig, which will spend its nights in the hay, in a warm place.
As for the watering trough now, you will have to opt for a very simple bottle with a metal tip (working with a ball). This system is hygienic and easy to use for your pet who has often been used to these systems in his youth. Avoid all water bowls, which would quickly become soiled with your pet’s droppings.
Concerning the resting of your pet now, it is advisable that you equip yourself with at least one resting point, knowing that two would be ideal. The first point should be a small house. It will indeed allow your pet to rest but also to hide if it becomes frightened of something. The second resting point could be either a small nest (found in stores) or a hammock as we can find it for ferrets or squirrels. All rodent nests can and will accommodate guinea pigs.