View Full Version : Pros and Cons of Midwest cage

11-12-13, 11:45 pm
I've been lurking around the forums here lately, and have paid special attention the the Midwest (MW) cages forum. The reason for this is that my two boys are in an MW cage themselves. I noticed that the forum happened to be quite anorexic and did not contain a post that outlined some of the pros and cons of using an MW cage for guinea pigs.

Now, please note that I am not against the use of MW cages and I find them to be a very good alternative when the building supplies for a C&C cage is hard to find and obtain. However, this does not mean that they are the best cages out there - ok, maybe they are the best in terms of prebuilt cages. Please, if you have anything to add to this list from personal experience, do so. It would be great to get as much information into one post as possible to inform potential buyers of MW cages what they might expect.

Pros/Cons -

Pro - Decent size (~8sq ft)
Con - Too small for anything more than two guinea pigs.

Pro - Expandable by putting two MW cages together
Con - Expensive to expand (~$40 - $50 per cage on Amazon) and less flexible than C&C cages.

Pro - Collapsible for storage
Con - Doesn't always seem to stay together, thus requiring zip ties to hold the cage together properly (in my experience), making the collapsible aspect irrelevant.

Pro - Put together easily
Con - Comes together in several parts and becomes annoying to have to reassemble every few days. (Personal opinion)

Pro - Cleans easily
Con - Gets messy quickly if using just a single 8sq ft cage.

Pro - Canvas/vinyl (I keep finding conflicting information about the material used) bottom that is essentially waterproof (I still use extra plastic underneath the canvas/vinyl just in case).
Con - Scrub brush becomes essential to remove mashed in poop, and may even stain (according to some people).

Pro - Some MW cages come with a divider which is nice to use to either A) Separate guinea pigs who are still being introduced to each other or just don't get along or B) Separate living space from bathroom space. This divider is also removable if you choose not to use it, thus making it a double pro.
Con - If not expanded, there just isn't enough room to use this divider and still maximize cage space due to the ramps on each side of the divider.

Pro - Fleece works really well as a bedding, even without anything underneath (personal experience). Although, it is still recommended to have something absorbent underneath the fleece (I am using a towel).
Con - Depending on if you have the bars inside the canvas bottom (like I do), or have them velcroed to the outside of the bottom, it can become a real pain to keep the guinea pigs from pulling up the fleece and burrowing underneath and getting other unwanted things (like poop) underneath the fleece. So, if you are going to use fleece, put the cage bars inside the canvas to hold the edges of the fleece down.

Pro - Has ramps on the outside that you can open and use to allow the guinea pigs to come out of their cage and into their playpen (when the playpen is connected to the cage, if this is possible with your chosen playpen - I use a Midwest one) and then back into their cage whenever they want during the day.
Con - Ramps are only single sided and have nothing on the bars to keep guinea pig feet from falling between them and potentially harming the guinea pigs. This is fixable if you remove one side of the ramp from the divider along with the canvas and use them in conjunction with the side ramps. (Personal experience)

If I can think of anymore pros or cons of using an MW cage, I'll add them to this post. If anyone else has any pros or cons that they would like to share from personal experience, please feel free to post here and I'll try to add them to the list.

Remember, this is only a pros and cons post to help potential buyers decide on whether or not an MW cage would be good for them. This is not an attempt to either steer people away from or push them into purchasing an MW cage. It is just an informative post.