Bigger is Better!
For the health and well-being of your guinea pigs, provide as large a living area as you can manage. Cubes and Coroplast (C&C) cages are an easy and inexpensive alternative to the small cages found at pet stores and online. Follow the recommended cage size standards of 10.5 square feet
(or 1.0 m2) for two guinea pigs and you will see your own guinea pig's behavior improve significantly. Enjoy the new antics of your happier, healthier, and perkier guinea pigs in their proper environment.
About the Info
We advise against keeping a single guinea pig. They are a social, herd animal and need a friend in a properly-sized cage.1 If you do have a single guinea pig, a 2x4 grid-sized cage is still preferred over the 2x3 which then also allows the addition of a friend when possible. Get the cage size right before
adding a friend. We advise against trying to combine 3 males if you are new to guinea pigs. Two males are fine, but with three, it can work for a little while, but the odds are low it will last for more than about 6 months. Similarly, we do not recommend combining two neutered males with one or more females. They will typically fight over a female even though neutered.
Not all grids are the same size or design. The safe
grids are 14 inches
cm) with inner grid holes just under 1.5"". Young and baby guinea pigs could get their heads stuck in larger openings. For more information about grid types, brands and safety, please see our Get the Goods on Grids
These are the cage size recommendations that do not compromise on crowding within the cage. Crowded cages require more frequent cleaning and attention. Crowded cages take more work, are more expensive to maintain (more bedding and supplies needed over time) and are less enjoyable and not as healthy in several aspects for the guinea pigs.
These are the dimensions quoted by all
other cage manufacturers -- outer edge of metal or plastic to outer edge -- which doesn't tell you the true space that any particular cage model is providing for the guinea pigs.
The interior cage size is the internal space usable by the guinea pigs. This is the dimension that matters and the one that we always use and reference.
The internal square footage provided for a cage is the actual goal to be achieved if you are looking at creating your own cage. Don't compromise on the cage width. Narrower cages are not practical for guinea pigs. Three grids wide can seem like a good idea, but just be aware of two design considerations. 1) You'll need to tape two sections of Coroplast together as you cannot achieve the width from one sheet (unless you go down to 3"" walls) and 2) You cannot reach all the way across 3 grids of width. The guinea pigs will run to the furthest corner that you cannot reach when you try to pick them up and they will potty the most in the corner furthest away from you as it will seem like the safest area to them, making it difficult to clean. Two grids wide is the optimal width with all factors considered. Wider is fine if you can manage it.
A huge misconception about guinea pigs is that guinea pig babies, being small physically, do not need as much space. It is very sad to see this play out time and time again. Babies LOVE space. The more the better. They are little speed demon racers when they are very young and really need the room to run around -- lots of room for zoomies, running up and down levels, exploring and for popcorning all over the place. By forcing them to live in a cramped, crowded cage (including the small size), you are dampening their spirit and ability to do what they love doing best. In a couple of short months, if they are still so inclined to do zoomies, they'll be hitting the wall when they need the space to really run.
What about building UP?
We add an Upper Level to give them more room?
Upper levels do not count towards basic cage space.