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Thread: I have a cage size delema -- what would you do in this situation?

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    I have a cage size delema -- what would you do in this situation?

    Hi! So I am planning on adopting two guinea pigs soon. I don't have too much space that they could live in, and was planning on creating a two story cage for them that would be 8-9 square feet altogether. My brother offered to build one out of wood for me which sounded great! It will have 18 inches of headspace for each story, but I just found out his blueprints shrank with the wood we have on hand. Originally going to be 8-9 square feet all together it is now going to be 7.33 square feet and I'm not sure what to do. My room is guinea pig proof and there will be a ramp for them to climb out of their house very easily into my room, but I am now worried about them using the bathroom everywhere. I'd like to give them the best life they possibly can have, and was excited to allow them to run around my room whenever I was around -- but now I'm not sure if that is an option? I'd love to get your feedback or know what you would do in this situation as I am stuck. Thank you!

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    Re: I have a cage size delema -- what would you do in this situation?

    Personally I would have a change of plans and instead of guinea pigs get rabbits. It does sound like the situation may not be ideal for guinea pigs, and a dwarf rabbit may be more suited.

    Allowing guinea pigs to free roam a room will likely result in them toileting where ever they please for the most part, however rabbits can be litter trained so are much more suited to that kind of lifestyle. Rabbits are also more suited to multi-level cages, whereas guinea pigs tend to do better one large flat space.

    The cage might still be a little small for rabbits, is there any way you could get more wood? It would be better the build the cage right the first time around rather than have it not suit your needs and need to do something about it later.

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    Re: I have a cage size delema -- what would you do in this situation?

    I've often read that the square footage required applies to the bottom level and top levels don't count... could you borrow wood from your planned second level to make your ground/bottom level bigger? Maybe have a loft up top instead of a full second level?
    They need 7.5 square feet on the bottom, any higher levels are just gravy really.

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    Re: I have a cage size delema -- what would you do in this situation?

    I wouldn't get guinea pigs if I couldn't provide a large flat area for them to run around in.

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    Re: I have a cage size delema -- what would you do in this situation?

    Thank you everyone for the suggestions! I asked the same question on another forum and someone responded with this which I am going to go with!:

    The reason that second levels don't count as they can't be used for exercise - guinea pigs are ground roamers and when they run around they do it on one level, so whilst they may go up and down to a second level to sleep and explore it still doesn't really count as excecise space.

    However what you could do is buy some C&C grids and cable tie these together and attatch them to the front of your cage. This would give them more open space outside of the cage to run and play, but allow you to keep them contained. You could put a fleece liner or puppy pads in their play pen area, so if they do got to the toilet there it is easy to clean up.

    Take a look through the members cage gallery - several members have used this permanent playpen system to increase the floor space their piggies have available.

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    Re: I have a cage size delema -- what would you do in this situation?

    Quote Originally Posted by Hannah.odnet View Post
    Thank you everyone for the suggestions! I asked the same question on another forum and someone responded with this which I am going to go with!:

    The reason that second levels don't count as they can't be used for exercise - guinea pigs are ground roamers and when they run around they do it on one level, so whilst they may go up and down to a second level to sleep and explore it still doesn't really count as excecise space.

    However what you could do is buy some C&C grids and cable tie these together and attatch them to the front of your cage. This would give them more open space outside of the cage to run and play, but allow you to keep them contained. You could put a fleece liner or puppy pads in their play pen area, so if they do got to the toilet there it is easy to clean up.

    Take a look through the members cage gallery - several members have used this permanent playpen system to increase the floor space their piggies have available.
    Which forum did you find this information in? Could you post a picture of this setup? I'm trying to imagine exactly what this looks like and coming up blank...

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    Re: I have a cage size delema -- what would you do in this situation?

    Quote Originally Posted by LittleSqueakers View Post
    I'm trying to imagine exactly what this looks like and coming up blank...
    The reason you can't visualize it is the way that it's described. I think what the poster is talking about is the type of setup that we often use as an introduction area, a temporary cage or a travel cage.

    It is simply a bunch of grids zip-tied together (no connectors) so that it can be collapsed flat for transport or storage. Set up the grids and create the size enclosure that you desire.......and then use binder clips to hold the ends together. You can use an old shower curtain or a flannel-backed vinyl tablecloth to protect the floor. Cleanup is simple: collapse the grids and empty the shower curtain in the toilet or trash....and rinse it off. Of course, one could also use fleece or puppy pads to protect the floor. In my case, I wouldn't use puppy pads because virtually any cavy that I've had somehow just loved to eat the blue plastic on the puppy pads, even if I tried to conceal them under fleece. I "think" that the attractant that is put into many of these pads also attracts a cavy. I once had a cavy with poor vision, but those little beady ruby eyes could always spot the smallest piece of that plastic and would help herself to a snack.

    In any event, you would have to create an opening in one of the grids of the cage to permit a temporary "door" or the placement of a ramp unless the cage is not on the floor.

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    Re: I have a cage size delema -- what would you do in this situation?

    I asked on the Guinea Pig Forum. Yes pretty much! It's like adding a little fenced yard to the front of their house but can be taken down when we have parties and things like that My brother also is going to be adding eight inches to the cage -- so with the yard the bottom floor will have eleven square feet!

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