Article by Bianca G. Pig
Why Build a Cage?
The cages in pet stores are way too damn small for guinea pigs. The largest about 30x18in (measuring from the outside—measuring from the inside is always best), and the minimum size for even a single is about 41x27in. They, like any other living being, need room to exercise and play.
How Do I Build a Cage?
Guineapigcages.com has some good instructions on how to build one. The great thing about C&C cages is that they are customizable, and you can have them be any shape you want them to be. Most of the time, you don't need to travel very far to find supplies.
How Big to Build it?
C&C cages are measured in 14-inch grids, rather than feet. So if someone mentions a 2x4 cage, they mean 2 grids by 4 grids (or in inches, 27in by 55in...measuring from the inside, the only square footage that matters to the pigs).
If you have 2 pigs, the recommended size is 2x4 grids. For each pig you add to your herd, add another grid to the length. So for 3 pigs, it should be 2x5; for 4, 2x6, etc.
|# of Pigs||Recommended Size 1||Minimum Size 2|
|1||2x3 grids / 7.5 square ft||2x3 grids|
|2||2x4 grids / 10.5 square ft||2x4 ft 3|
|3||2x5 grids / 13 square ft||2x4 grids|
|4||2x6 grids / 16 square ft||2x5 grids|
Do I Need a Cover?
Unless if you have other pets, or kids you want to keep out of the cage, 99% of the time, you wouldn't need a cover. Most guinea pigs aren't interested in escaping their habitat, unless if there's literally no barrier or wall separating their cage from the rest of the room.
Where Do I Get The Supplies?
- Grids—can be found at Bed, Bath & Beyond, Staples, Amazon, etc
- Coroplast—a lot of people go to sign stores. In Ventura County, there's American Plastics Corp. in Camarillo, which sells full (4x8 ft) sheets of coroplast. Other materials can be used as the cage bottom, just as long as it's safe for them to chew on (because...guinea pigs...) and easy to clean.
Not a DIY Person?
You can buy a ready-made C&C cage! It will be more expensive than if you were to make one yourself, but will still be much much cheaper than buying anything from a pet store.
Alternatively, you can buy a Midwest cage, which can be linked to other Midwest cages in almost any arrangement you want. A single Midwest (2x4 ft), is smaller than a 2x4 C&C cage. So if you have a bonded trio, you'll need at least two of these.
**Note that it comes with a divider, but unless you have more than one Midwest, I suggest not using the divider, because it shrinks their "running" space significantly.**
There are two versions—one with the cover and one without, which depending on your situation, might not be needed.
Places you can buy Midwest cages:
- OR -
Buy a cage: - ready-made C&C cages from https://www.guineapigcagesstore.com/ - Midwest cages from Amazon or Chewy
In this context, "recommended" means "the number of pigs living together will coexist peacefully in this size cage". If you can can go bigger, please do! There is no actual max size for guinea pigs. If you're concerned about them becoming overwhelmed by the vastness, be sure to add some hidey houses to their cage (which is what they need, no matter the cage size), so they have some place to retreat to. But generally, they love having a big, open space they can run and do their zoomies in. Some people make their cages 3 grids wide. ↩︎
Pigs living in the minimum size all need to get along. This is only used as a last resort. ↩︎