When it comes to guinea pig cages, the larger the better. Piggies actually get depressed if their housing is too small, and most store-bought cages are way too small! We recommend that you make your own inexpensive cage using wire dorm room cube grids and coroplast (waterproof plastic sign material). We have both the grids and coroplast available for purchase at our rescue store, and we will even pre-cut the coroplast for you for free. The wire grids are also available online, and the coroplast is available from local sign shops in 4-foot by 8-foot sheets.
The minimum recommended size for two guinea pigs is at least 7.5 sq ft (a 2×3 grid cage), and for three guinea pigs is ideally 10.5 sq ft (a 2×4-grid cage). Some ambitious owners have even made a two story cage, complete with low ramps that are easy and safe to climb, but this is certainly not necessary.
You can see how to make your own guinea pig cage at Guinea Pig Cages, or refer to these complete detailed printable instructions. Please don't let the idea of a Do-It-Yourself cage intimidate you into buying an overpriced under-sized store-bought cage. We use Cube and Coroplast cages at our rescue and we will be happy to help you learn how to set one up.
Never use a fish tank or plastic storage container for housing your guinea pigs. They provide no air circulation. Also avoid wire-bottom bird cages, which will cause painful bumblefoot infections. Lastly, hutches are not suitable housing for guinea pigs. They are usually made of wood, which will absorb their urine and contribute to odor and the growth of mold in their cages and hay. Additionally, they provide poor ventilation and exposed elevated platforms and ramps which can cause severe injury or death if a guinea pig should fall off of them.
Types of Bedding
Aspen Wood Shavings - This is the only type of wood shaving bedding that should ever be used. Cedar and Pine bedding are toxic to small animals and can cause respiratory problems and death. Heat-treated pine and cedar shavings (kiln dried) still cause a rise in liver enzymes in rats and mice.
Recycled Paper Bedding - Brands such as CareFresh are a great alternative to Aspen bedding, especially if you have allergies to Aspen.
Fleece - Fleece cage liners are becoming more popular. Fleece fabric is placed over several absorbent layers of fabric (such as toweling or U-Haul moving pads). The poops can be swept out daily and the liner washed weekly. For a detailed explanation of how to use fleece liners, visit here.
Done weekly, this will be a quick and easy task.
Keep these guidelines in mind when locating your guinea pigs' cage: