Guinea pigs make for adorable pets. They are friendly animals and do not need specialized care, making them ideal as first pets for either you or your children.
In caring for them, the most important thing to look at is their accommodation. You would not let your children live in cave-like conditions now, would you? Similarly, your pets need proper accommodation to ensure that they thrive.
There are many variations to guinea pig cages, each offering its unique features. Different owners have different preferences regarding the type of enclosures to buy.
But one question still lingers; do guinea pig cages need a top? The answer is no. Guinea pigs are more of ground dwellers, and rarely do they jump or climb. In the wild, guinea pigs roam the mountain areas and grasslands of South America. The same instinct remains in the domesticated ones, making it unnecessary to invest in a top.
Guinea pigs will only climb out of the cage when they perceive a threat is imminent. But, given that they are in your home, there are no predators for them to worry about. Read on to learn more about guinea pig cage tops as well as the recommended type of cage to get for your little pals.
When is a Guinea Pig Cage Top Necessary?
There are circumstances where having a cage with a top would be beneficial. It is ideal to protect your pet from unnecessary harm. For owners of multiple guinea pigs, having a cage cover is a sure way of proper pet management.
In cases where you have a male and female guinea pig, having a top will prevent the male from jumping over to the female enclosure. Unless you are in the guinea pig breeding business, covering either the male or female sections will prevent unnecessary pregnancies. You can have the top over one enclosure only. It still gets the job done.
When rearing male guinea pigs, it is advisable to have them in separate enclosures if they share a cage. There are times when fighting can occur, and these can be brutal. You can add a partition between them and cover one of their enclosure to prevent these fights.
If you prefer rearing your guinea pig out in the patio or backyard, a top helps to keep away predators. Cats, dogs, hawks, and owls are some of the known predators. A cage top will prevent them from accessing your pet, ensuring its long life.
Guinea pigs are docile animals and are well known for their flight response. Children playing with balls and any excessive noise, are perceived as threats by your pet. According to the Humane Society, there have been cases where guinea pigs have scaled 10-inch high cage walls due to perceived threats.
Is Covering The Top Safe For My Pet?
As earlier mentioned, covering the top is not necessary only under critical circumstances. In cases where your animal’s safety is at risk, there are recommended types of tops that you can use.
Veterinarians recommend wire mesh tops that are securely latched. These allow for sufficient airflow for your pet and also allow easy access.
Cages with tops such as the ones you will see further down in this post are ideal for the proper health of your animal. Guinea pigs get stressed very easily, and this can affect their feeding habits and overall mood.
During the night, you are leaving them alone, so it is important to have the enclosure closed completely. Cats and dogs are notorious for harassing guinea pigs during these times.
When it comes to outside enclosures, you can use a PVC coated cover for the cage. The cover offers protection from the elements such as snow and rain.
However, leave enough room for air to circulate within the cage to allow for proper ventilation. If you want to learn more about outdoor hutches, check out this post next.
Is it Necessary to Buy a Cage For My Guinea Pig?
Not really. If you have a specific room in your house, then that can be an enclosure as well. They love room to roam around and explore, so the larger the space, the better for your pet.
Here’s an extremelly cute video where a guy shows his Guinea pig room:
All you need to keep in mind is that the room needs to be free of any items that can cause harm. For two pets or more, a designated room will be ideal for them to roam around.
Furthermore, you can get creative with the number of toys that you provide to your animals.
The recommended floor space is at least one meter by one meter for each animal. You can add climbing platforms with access ramps, which will encourage them to exercise. Be mindful of where you set this space, as extreme temperature causes stress in them.
Ensure that the area receives sufficient air circulation, to remove any pungent smells and excess humidity. Frequently visit your pets as they enjoy your company.
Finally, you can limit the amount of noise that enters the room by sound proofing. Excessive noise is detrimental to their health due to increased fear and stress levels.
Now, if you don’t have the ability or don’t want to use up a whole room for your piggies then here are a few cages that we recommend:
Guinea Pig Cage Recommendations
The recommended cage for guinea pigs is two feet wide, three feet long, and ten inches tall. These are the bare minimum dimensions as per Associate Professor Javier Nevarez from The Louisiana State University School of Veterinary Medicine.
However, other factors that will influence the type of cage that you will buy are as below:
- The number of guinea pigs that you want to keep.
- The gender of the guinea pigs.
- The temperature of the area where the cage will be positioned.
- Amount of noise within the surrounding area.
- Ease of cleaning of the flooring material.
Midwest Guinea Habitat Guinea Pig Cage
With a total area of eight square feet, the cage provides ample space for your guinea pig to roam and play. It features a detachable PVC lined bottom, allowing for an easy clean of the habitat.
A divider panel is included with your purchase, allowing you to separate specific areas for your pet. The walls are all meshed and rise 14 inches, making it applicable for both indoor and outdoor use.
If you are one to take your guinea pigs out to play in the yard, there are two types of tops that you can use to protect your pets from potential predators.
Both the PVC lined ramp cover and mesh top panel feature string latches to prevent unnecessary access to your pets. The cage is easy to assemble and can comfortably accommodate two guinea pigs. Prices for this cage start from $50. You can check it out on Amazon here.
Living World Deluxe Habitat
If you want to treat your guinea pig to ultimate luxury, then this is the cage that will do it. It comes in three sizes standard, large and extra-large. The standard model is 46 inches long and 22 inches wide, meaning your pet has all the space to exercise and play.
Features that come with this cage include a water bottle, food bowl, and balcony with an access ramp. Below it is an enclosure for your pet to get away from all the noise.
Other features include a detachable plastic bottom base and 24 inch-high wireframe walls. The cage also has a latched wire mesh roof, thereby providing security from unnecessary interference. Prices start at $79, which is peanuts taking into account all the features that you get. You can check out this cage on Amazon here.
Ware Manufacturing Home Sweet Pet Cage
For $39, this is the best cage if you are a first-time pet owner. It is 28 inches long and features a stain-proof deep base pan, which ensures no spillage of bedding and droppings to surrounding areas.
There are three options available, all of which feature large wireframe doors for easy access. You can learn more about this cage on Amazon here.
Tops are not a necessity for guinea pig cages if the environment they are in is ideal. However, there are special circumstances that you may need to incorporate one with the cage.
You also have various options for cages that come highly recommended by pet owners and vets alike. Whether you own one or are planning to own one the above information is useful in ensuring the proper care of your pet.