Guinea pigs are not high jumpers; they are diggers and burrowers.
They will enjoy an open-topped, large housing option more than a too-small traditional cage.
When designing your pet’s enclosure, ensure the walls are at least 10″ tall, preferably 12″ inches. Many pet owners find Coroplast and Cubes (C&C) panel grids fitted together on a Correx base to make a frame preferable to an ordinary pet store cage. A C&C frame makes a versatile and easy-to-clean house for your pet.
Coroplast, or correx, is corrugated plastic with a smooth surface and is durable.
Your cage structure will depend on the materials you choose to build your cage space with, loose bedding versus fleece liners, correx base versus soft plastic liner, and plexiglass walls versus correx walls.
Find out more about guinea pig cages by reading on!
How High Can Guinea Pigs Climb?
Piggies have longer bodies with short legs and do not climb well.
As long as they have some traction for their claws, guinea pigs can climb about 10″ inches.
Some instances have been documented on social media where guinea pigs have climbed or jumped higher, but the rule of thumb is about 10″ inches.
Usually, younger guinea pigs will be more inclined to climb or jump than older, more experienced guinea pigs.
Guinea pigs will also avoid climbing anything with an incline of more than 30° degrees.
Do Guinea Pigs Like Heights?
Guinea pigs do not generally like heights.
Even a gentle ramp in their cage will seem scary to them.
Guinea pigs have poor depth perception, making heights difficult for them.
Piggies prefer open, flat spaces with room to roam and places to hide.
Falling is also a serious danger to our furry friends.
Read our article at the link above for more information.
How Much Space Does A Guinea Pig’s Cage Need?
Remember that your guinea pigs have minimum space requirements for their habitat.
This does not include a platform or a ramp since guinea pigs are not jumping and climbing animals.
Common cage sizes are just not roomy enough for a guinea pig’s needs.
According to the Humane Society, one guinea pig needs 7.5′ square feet of space (or about 30″ x 36″ inches).
As guinea pigs are social animals, you’ll want to keep two, which need a minimum of 7.5′ square feet of space, but 10.5′ feet is better.
Three guinea pigs need 10.5′ square feet (minimum), but at least 13′ square feet (30″ x 62″ inches) is preferred.
Four guinea pigs need 13′ square feet (minimum), but at least 14′ square feet (30″ x 76″ inches) is preferred.
|Number of Guinea Pigs||Square Feet at Minimum||Dimensions in Inches|
|2 guinea pigs||7.5’ square feet||30” x 36” inches|
|3 guinea pigs||10.5’ square feet||30” x 62” inches|
|4 guinea pigs||13’ square feet||30” x 76” inches|
The more floor space your piggies have in their habitat, the happier and healthier they will be.
A common guinea pig enclosure also needs to have room for separate spaces for nesting, a food bowl and water bottle, a bathroom area, and a hiding spot.
Guinea pigs need daily access to their food and water bottle.
Guinea pigs also need constant access to a hiding spot, or they will get nervous.
A plastic igloo or other plastic hides are great for hiding spots and easy to clean.
Be sure not to use cable ties as your piggy will chew them.
Wire shelving is not a good choice as it is hard on your piggy’s feet; a 2nd level will have to have a solid floor.
Some people use fabric or fleece liners for this purpose.
The benefits of having larger cages are:
- Better sanitation – Your pet can separate his bathroom spot from the rest of the cage and not contaminate his food or resting area.
- You won’t have to clean the cage often because there will be extra litter to absorb waste.
- Multiple guinea pigs will get along better because they have ample living space.
- Your pet will be healthier because it gets more exercise.
Making a custom DIY cage gives you control over guinea pig cage size and structure.
Prebuilt cages such as those available at the pet store are not as flexible in design and don’t have the space roomier cages have.
Other Requirements for Your Guinea Pig’s Cage
A guinea pig cage needs 2-3″ inches of bedding; raise the height of the cage wall, so the minimum wall height is 10-12″ inches.
Your guinea pig will kick the litter everywhere and make an enormous mess in a traditional cage.
A guinea pig house needs to be cleaned and the disposable bedding replaced at least once a week, so ensure your guinea pig enclosure is easy to access.
A C&C cage is easy to construct and clean and is a popular cage choice.
Daily spot cleaning and drying up damp spots are also beneficial.
Bedding products should be paper, straw, or aspen shavings, not cedar or pine shavings, as their aromatic oils harm your pet’s respiratory system and skin.
A covered cage is safer, but as long as no other pets or children are getting in, the actual cage does not have to be covered.
Location of Your Pet’s Enclosure
Another thing to consider is the location of your pet’s enclosure.
You want your piggy to be in a spot safe from other pets or young children and be out of high-traffic areas.
Do not keep your guinea pig cage where you prepare food, such as in the kitchen.
Guinea pigs also need moderate temperatures with good airflow.
They are vulnerable to cold, so they need to be in a heated part of the house.
Guinea pigs cannot sweat, so heat stroke is possible if you leave them in a sunny spot or over a heat vent in your house.
Do not keep guinea pigs outside in a hutch, as it keeps them from interacting with humans and exposes them to harmful weather and predators.