Guinea pigs thrive in environments where they can have room to play, run and do their normal activities, like eating and sleeping. Most guinea pig cages are too small to accommodate your piggies, so creating block cages is the best alternative.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- 10 (or more) wire shelving snap-together unit pieces (with 1-inch square grids)
- Zip ties
- poly-plastic, cardboard, or plastic pieces that equal at least three square feet by four square feet.
- felt blankets
- guinea pig food dish
- guinea pig water dish
- guinea pig igloos for cage
Create the frame of the cage. Use gridded, snap-together shelving units (available from discount stores such as K-Mart and Target) to form the sides of the cage. Buy grids with 1-inch squares, not with 1.5 or larger inch squares. Set up the sides of the cage so that the cage is at least 2 grid pieces by 3 grid pieces. This is standard for one or two piggies. Bigger and longer cages are better. Give your guinea pigs as much room as you can afford to give them.
Connect the grid pieces at all corners with zip ties. The corner connectors that come with the grid shelves can come off easily and don't always stay secure.
Line the bottom of the cage with plastic or cardboard that is cut to fit. Other materials that work include the cardboard and plastic mixtures used for science fair boards, regular cardboard, discarded plastic pieces, or nontreated wood. Plastic is the only choice that will not soak in smells and that will remain easy to clean. Coroplast is a brand of poly plastic available at stores like Home Depot. Another source for Coroplast or other poly plastics is any store that creates plastic signs. The material that most sign companies use is Coroplast or similar poly plastic, and they will usually sell it to you at a good price.
Attach food and water dispensers. Pet stores like Petco or Petsmart have food dishes that also have plastic pieces meant to hang on the inside of rabbit hutches. These dishes will hang in the same manner on the inside of your cage. At the same store, buy water bottles that have wire hangers or water bottle holder that hang from wires. Attach these on the inside of the cage, using the wire grid pieces to hang them from.
Line one-half of the cage with felt blankets or towels. Guinea pigs will learn to use this area as sleeping and playing quarters.
Place a guinea pig or rabbit litter box in the opposite corner and fill it with litter. Guineas will learn to urinate here.
Tips and warnings
- Felt blankets can be vacuumed off twice a week or shaken outside to rid them of pellets.
- A lid can be fastened out of more wire squares, cardboard or plastic, or other materials if a lid is needed.
- Do not use this type of cage for baby guinea pigs if they are small enough to fit through the wire squares, or if they can get their heads or part of their bodies through.
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