No matter what type of pet you enjoy keeping, you must provide him with a high-quality habitat. Your pet’s habitat becomes his entire world, and you want to make sure that it provides him with everything he needs to live a long, healthy and happy life.
Fortunately for guinea pig lovers, their housing needs are pretty easy to meet. They simply need a secure enclosure, which provides them with plenty of space and ventilation, as well as some interesting features – such as balconies or ramps — to explore.
It is important to note that guinea pigs should usually be kept in pairs or small groups, so you’ll need to make sure you select a habitat that is suitable for more than one pet. Don’t worry – there are a number of great options on the market, and we’ll recommend five of the best habitats that’ll work for two guinea pigs.
But before we share our recommendations, let’s talk about a few important things to understand about your guinea pig’s housing needs.
- Is It OK to Just Maintain One Guinea Pig?
- Why Should You Keep Your Guinea Pig Indoors?
- How Much Space Do Guinea Pigs Need?
- What Should You Look for When Selecting a Guinea Pig Cage?
- The Five Best Cages for Two Guinea Pigs
- Guinea Pig Enclosure FAQs
Is It OK to Just Maintain One Guinea Pig?
In most cases, guinea pigs should be housed in pairs of small groups. While domestic cavies do not exist in the wild, all of their close relatives – including their likely ancestor the montane guinea pig (Cavia tschudii) – are social animals who live in small groups called herds.
In fact, guinea pigs (and their close relatives) have evolved a number of behaviors to help them establish hierarchies and get along. For example, many guinea pigs kept in pairs or groups will groom each other.
Unless you intend to breed your guinea pigs, you’ll want to keep a same-sex pair, so they don’t produce any babies. Alternatively, you can have your male guinea pig neutered, which will also prevent your pets from reproducing.
Why Should You Keep Your Guinea Pig Indoors?
Although the relatives of guinea pigs obviously live outdoors, and some cavies will enjoy exploring your backyard (under close supervision), you should usually house your pets indoors. This is the only way to ensure that your pets won’t be attacked by neighborhood dogs, cats, hawks, snakes or other predators.
Indoor maintenance also helps to ensure that your pet won’t be exposed to inappropriate temperatures or poor weather. In the wild, the relatives of cavies will use burrows to escape the rain and inclement weather, but your pets won’t be able to construct these types of shelters in most cases, which would leave them exposed to bad weather.
Temperature extremes and heavy precipitation can both cause your pet to become sick, and they may even cause your pet to die. Consequently, it is simply a better idea to keep your pets indoors unless you can provide them with outdoor housing that shields them from predators and inappropriate temperatures.
How Much Space Do Guinea Pigs Need?
Different authorities recommend different space requirements for guinea pigs. However, generally speaking, you should strive to provide a single guinea pig with at least 7.5 square feet of space. You can keep a pair of guinea pigs in a similar amount of space, but it is preferable to provide a pair with about 10.5 square feet of space.
If you want to keep a small group of three or four individuals, make sure you provide a minimum of 10.5 square feet of space. However, 13 to 14 square feet would be even better.
No matter how many guinea pigs you have, it is always helpful to select the largest habitat you can.
What Should You Look for When Selecting a Guinea Pig Cage?
Space isn’t the only thing you’ll want to think about when picking up a new cage for your cavy. In fact, you’ll want to consider a variety of things when making your choice. We’ll discuss a few of the most important considerations to keep in mind below.
✓ Look for an Enclosure That Is Easy to Clean
You’ll need to clean your guinea pig’s enclosure regularly to prevent mold and bacteria from growing on the cage surfaces. Typically, the best way to do so is by selecting a habitat made from non-porous materials, such as hard plastic and metal wire.
✓ Make Sure the Enclosure Provides Plenty of Ventilation
Guinea pigs – like all other warm-blooded pets – require habitats that provide plenty of ventilation. This is not only important to ensure your pet has enough fresh air to breathe, but it will also help prevent the habitat from becoming damp. Your guinea pig breathes out water vapor with every breath, and if there isn’t a lot of cage ventilation, this water will become stuck inside the cage. This will encourage the growth of bacteria and fungi.
✓ Try to Pick a Habitat You Can Easily Take Apart
From time to time, you’ll find it necessary to take your pet’s habitat apart. For example, you will need to perform a thorough habitat cleaning on a regular basis, and you may need to travel with your pet on occasion. Both tasks will be much easier to accomplish if you select a habitat that breaks down into several pieces.
✓ Look for Habitats with Added Features
Things like balconies, hiding spaces and ramps are important for your guinea pig’s well-being. These things will not only provide your pet with interesting features to explore, but some will also increase the amount of floor space the habitat provides.
✓ Be Sure to Pick a Habitat That Is Secure
While it is a good idea to let your guinea pigs enjoy some playtime outside of the enclosure on a regular basis, you only want to do so when you can supervise your pets closely. If allowed to run free without supervision, your pets may get into trouble or injure themselves. Accordingly, it is very important to select a habitat that is secure and won’t let your pets escape.
✓ Enclosures with Separate Rooms Are Helpful
From time to time, you may find it helpful to have an enclosure with two rooms – especially if the rooms can be completely separated by cage doors. This can be important if one of your pets becomes sick, as it’ll allow you to keep them slightly farther apart, but it can also be helpful if your pets end up quarreling. It is also helpful to have two separate rooms when introducing a new cavy to the enclosure. This will allow your pets to become accustomed to each other before they’re allowed to have direct physical contact.
The Five Best Cages for Two Guinea Pigs
Now that you understand how much space your pet needs, as well as the most important things to look for when making your purchase, it is time to identify a few of the best guinea pig habitats for two pets. Each of the following five enclosures should work well for a pair of guinea pigs, and a few of the biggest models may work for three or more.
The Midwest Guinea Pig Habitat Plus is a spacious habitat that should provide plenty of room for a pair of guinea pigs. Measuring 47 x 24 x 14 inches, the habitat provides 8-square-feet of space, divided into two rooms.
The rooms can be closed off to keep your pets separate, or you can open the door, which doubles as a ramp for your pets to travel between the rooms. In fact, all of the doors double as ramps, which allows you to attach this habitat to others in the Midwest product line.
Like most other Midwest habitats, the Guinea Pig Habitat Plus is durable and built-to-last. It is available with a number of optional features, including PVC-lined canvas panels for the bottom, walls and top. The panels stay in place via Velcro straps, and the entire habitat folds down for transport or storage.
The Living World Deluxe Habitat is a two-piece enclosure, consisting of a wire-frame top section and a durable plastic bottom. This provides a great combination of ventilation and privacy, which should help keep your pets healthy and happy.
This enclosure is available in three different sizes. The Standard and Large versions are suitable for a single guinea pig, but the X-Large version measures 46 8/9 x 22 4/5 x 24 inches, and it should provide plenty of room for a pair of cavies. The habitat also features an elevated balcony, with an open space below, which your guinea pig can use as a hiding place.
The habitat comes with a water bottle that attaches to the wire sides and a non-tippable food dish.
The AmazonBasics Pet Habitat is designed to work for a variety of animals, including guinea pigs. A combination plastic-wire enclosure, this habitat comes with several nice accessories, including a no-drip water bottle and a hay guard.
This habitat is available in three sizes, but the Jumbo size would be the best choice for people with multiple cavies. Measuring 48.6 by 26.6 by 20.6 inches, the Jumbo version is quite spacious, and it even includes an elevated platform to increase the amount of floor space available. The platform also provides a secluded space beneath it that your guinea pig can use when he wants privacy.
This enclosure is easy to assemble or disassemble, and no tools are required to do so.
The MidWest Wabbitat Deluxe Home Kit is actually designed for rabbits, but it should work very well for guinea pigs too. And because the enclosure is rather roomy – the XL version measures 47.16 x 23.62 x 19.68 inches – it should provide plenty of space for a pair of cavies.
This is another wire-and-plastic habitat, which provides a nice combination of privacy and ventilation. In fact, the habitat comes with a balcony, which not only provides more floor space, but it also gives your guinea pig a place to hide underneath.
The Wabbitat Home Kit comes with a hay feeder, water bottle and food dish, and it is easy to put together (no tools are required).
The Ferplast Guinea Pig Cage is the smallest habitat in our review, as it measures only 30.31 x 18.9 x 16.54 inches. However, that may still provide enough room for a pair of small guinea pigs – particularly if you allow them plenty of time to exercise outside of the cage.
This habitat features a plastic-and-wire design, and it also comes with a balcony/hiding space. A no-drip water bottle, hay feeder and feeding dish also come with the kit.
The top and bottom of the cage separate completely to facilitate cleaning, transport or storage. Additionally, the front panel opens completely, which provides excellent access to the habitat.
Guinea Pig Enclosure FAQs
Housing a pair of guinea pigs is pretty simple, but many owners have questions about the best way to do so. We’ll try to answer a few of the most common questions owners have below.
Where should you place the cage?
Ideally, you’ll always want to place your guinea pigs’ enclosure in an out-of-the-way place, so that your pets don’t become stressed by constant foot-traffic near their habitat. Additionally, you should always select a place that’s easy to access, as you’ll need to tend to your pet’s habitat several times per week.
What should guinea pigs have in their cage?
Minimally, you’ll want to provide your guinea pig with a food dish, a hay rack, a water bottle or dish, and somewhere they can hide when they want privacy. However, it is almost always a good idea to add other types of cage furniture, such as ramps and additional hiding places, as they’ll help provide your pet with plenty of things to explore.
Are multi-level cages good for guinea pigs?
Multi-level habitats are acceptable for guinea pigs, but they aren’t necessary. Additionally, it is important to note that guinea pigs aren’t especially good at climbing, so make sure that your pets can navigate any ramps or ladders used in the cage.
What is a good size cage for 2 guinea pigs?
Typically, you’ll want to provide a pair of guinea pigs with 7.5 to 10.5 square feet of space. This typically means looking for a habitat that is approximately 24 to 36 inches wide and 45 to 50 inches long.
How much should you spend on a guinea pig cage?
Cost should be the last thing you consider when picking out a guinea pig cage. There isn’t that much of a difference in price between the most expensive and most affordable cages on the market, so try to focus on the size and features a given cage provides, rather than the price. However, you’ll usually find that you’ll need to spend about $75 to $150 for a high-quality guinea pig habitat.
How can you keep the cage clean?
There are a variety of ways to keep your guinea pig’s habitat clean. For example, by performing frequent spot-cleanings, you won’t have to spend as much time performing complete cage cleanings once per week. Additionally, you may want to place a large plastic sheet under your pet’s habitat, to help contain any debris or bedding your pets push through the cage bars.
Can guinea pigs jump out of cages?
Guinea pigs aren’t very good jumpers, but you should still use a habitat with a complete top. This will not only prevent your pets from escaping, but it will also help protect your cavies from other pets in your home and prevent children from interacting with them without supervision.
There are a variety of ways to house guinea pigs – this is part of the reason they’re so fun to keep! So, be sure to think carefully about the type of enclosure you select for your pet, and – if you keep more than one cavy – be sure to select one of the models above, which will provide enough room for two pets.
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