Written by Howie with help from Dr Verity Swift who has read the article and
approved its accuracy.
Keep your guinea pig happy with a comfortable home customized just for him.
1. Get the Right Size Cage
Guinea pigs love living large. They prefer a cage with an expansive floor
area. Wider spaces give them more room to move around and exercise. So, when
you are looking for an enclosure, think floor area, not vertical space.
According to the Humane Society of the United States, most of the guinea pig
enclosures available in the market are small. You may need to fabricate one or
reach out to someone who can build one for you.
If you decide to build one, the Humane Society preferentially recommends the
following cage sizes or larger:
One guinea pig| Two guinea pigs| Three guinea pigs| Four guinea pigs
7.5 square feet, or about 30”x 36”
10.5 square feet or about 30” x 50”
13 square feet or about 30” x 62”
15.8 square feet or about 30” x 76”
The height of the cages should be at least 12” and made from coroplast, a type
of corrugated plastic.
Once you have the right size cage, place it at a location where the guinea pig
will be comfortable.
2. Find the Right Location for the Cage
Not only do guinea pigs like extensive property, but they also like prime real
estate. They cannot stand extreme heat or cold and prefer an ambient
temperature throughout the day.
Guinea pigs can be stressed by noise or disturbance from other pets like cats
or dogs. Avoid placing their home near noisy surroundings (for example, by a
stereo or close to the kitchen) and place the cage out of reach of small
children or other curious pets.
After you have sorted out the cage and location, you can furnish the home.
3. Furnish the Cage Well by Using the Correct Material
Guinea pigs love the finer things, and it does not stop at property or
location. They love well-furnished interiors too.
The floor should have a good-quality liner and a fine carpet of dust-free
absorbent bedding (soft paper cuttings or hay). You could feel the temptation
to use wood shavings or sawdust, but experts recommend otherwise. Wood
shavings, especially from cedar and pine, often contain phenols that are toxic
to guinea pigs.
The cage should mimic its natural environment as much as possible. It should
have medium-height grass and areas where they can hide or lounge away when the
cavies do not want company. Tunnels, cardboard boxes, and pipes can be placed
within the cage to mimic a safe hiding area.
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4. Don’t Hold Back on the Pig’s Lifestyle
Give your guinea pig a lifestyle to match the cage and furnishings. For
starters, provide all the necessities. Supply plenty of fresh water in sipper
bottles or bowls. Bowls can be raised to help keep them clean and should have
a heavy base to prevent them from tipping over.
Guinea pigs love to eat. Provide plenty of nutritious food in a broad and
shallow ceramic bowl (not plastic or metallic). Serve them plenty of hay,
leafy greens, small amounts of low-sugar fruits, and pellets of processed
foods. The pigs need fiber to keep their guts and teeth in tip-top condition
and need vitamin C to thrive. Avoid feeding them on human snacks. Diabetes is
uncommon in guinea pigs but can be caused by feeding an incorrect diet.
Guinea pigs love clean spaces. As you feed them, look out for pieces of fallen
food around the cage and clean it up before the food starts to decompose.
Plenty of food and water means that there will also be plenty of excrement and
pee. Tidy up messy areas daily and change the bedding twice every week.
Guinea pigs love to play and have fun so provide some chewable toys. The
improvised tunnels will make excellent hiding spots where you can play hide
5. Give Your Guinea Pig Peace of Mind
Although guinea pigs like company, they can be stressed by handling. Using a
small box to move your guinea pig can reduce stress.
If handling, hold your guinea pig under the front legs and use a second hand
under the rump and back legs to support your guinea pig’s back. Guinea pigs
can dislike being petted around the head or rump. If you would like to touch
them, rub them lightly under the chin or on their sides.
6. Give Your Guinea Pig Company From One of Its Kind
You can get your guinea pig an enormous cage, spruced up with all the
necessities, and plenty of play stuff but nothing will make him feel more
comfortable and happier than another guinea pig to keep him company.
In their natural habitat, groups of cavies form herds, more popularly known as
muddles. One of the reasons they congregate is because it provides a sense of
security. There is always a guinea pig on the lookout for predators.
When alone, a solitary guinea pig could suffer from anxiety and eventually
depression. We recommend that you seriously consider getting more than one. It
will not significantly add to the cost of care. Groups of guinea pigs will
have the confidence to exercise more, will feel less boredom and will help
each other with grooming.
Be sure about how many guinea pigs you are willing to take in. You will need
to change the size of the cage, the quantity of furnishings, the frequency of
changing, and the supplies like water and food. Our four male guinea pigs were
not neutered. All they did in their cage was fight and bully each other.
Spaying or neutering your guinea pigs can reduce fighting, particularly
Things to Be Aware of
Caging a pet might not be ideal for any pet parent, but you can make your
guinea pig’s cage comfortable and homely by following these tips.
Look out for signs of ailment or stress such as poor coat quality, rapid
breathing, or a change in behaviour; it could indicate a serious problem. Do
not hesitate to check with the veterinarian whenever you feel there could be
something wrong. When your cavy is comfortable in its cage, you too will be
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. It
is not meant to substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription,
or formal and individualized advice from a veterinary medical professional.
Animals exhibiting signs and symptoms of distress should be seen by a