At QLD Guinea Pig Refuge, we recommend housing your guinea pigs inside.
Plastic based cages are only suitable for living and are recommended by QGPR. They are a great choice as they are easy to clean and offer maximum interaction between you and your guinea pigs. Plastic based cages are also easy to decorate and rearrange with items like igloos, hammocks, tunnels, caves, tents... the options are endless! These cages come in a variety of sizes, so ensure your cage is the right size for your number of piggies.
It's important these cages are only used indoors though (they are not suitable for patio use) as they aren't predator proof and offer no protection from the elements.
C&C (Cube and Corflute) cages are easily to make and have endless possibilities in regards to size, shape and levels... if you can imagine it, you can make it!
They have become incredible popular thanks to their availability through Guinea Pigs Australia. These cages are ultimately designed for fleece bedding, but can also be adapted for wood shavings or care fresh bedding.
It's important to remember this cage is not at all predator proof and should be made with a lid if you have other pets. This cage is also only suitable for indoor use.
Wooden hutch varieties on legs provide a built-in enclosed area for your guinea pigs to enjoy. They are a sturdier option if you're worried about your other pets, however don't provide the same ventilation for your piggies as other cage styles.
These hutches are generally NOT predator-proof, having only the black bars, and if being used outdoors will need snake-proof wire added as well as a latch on the top to ensure your piggies are safe.
These hutches come in a huge variety of shapes and sizes, so you can choose a size that is suitable for your number of piggies. When looking at this style of hutch, it's important to ensure you purchase something with a wooden or plastic base, as the wire-based hutches provide an extreme risk to your piggy's tiny, delicate feet.
You need to ensure that your piggies' cage is kept constantly clean and dry in order to keep them healthy. We recommend an absorbent, disposable bedding such as Hysorb wood shavings or Carefresh bedding, or reusable bedding such as fleece liners or vet bed.
Ensuring that your guinea pigs have enough space in their housing is an essential part of their health and happiness. It is recommended that guinea pigs have a minimum of 60cm x 60cm, measuring only one level of the cage, so they can move around happily. Here are our minimum cage size recommendations according to number of piggies:
2 piggies 1.2m x 60cm
3 piggies 1.4m x 75cm
Bigger herds will need C&C style housing that can be customised to the size you require. Work out the floor space you require (e.g. four piggies require the minimum of 60cm x 60cm multiplied by four), and then measure the floor space you will have available (length by width of the cage). If your second calculation is the same as or larger than the first, you've found a cage the right size!
When selecting a hutch or cage, it's important to consider the amount of space removed by ramps from both the base floor and the top floor. We recommend only measuring one level when calculating floor space for this reason.
Requirements for cage cleaning vary depending on the type of housing and bedding you opt for, but here are some handy tips we've picked up along the way to make your cage clean that much easier!
Do your guinea pigs live inside but you would love to be able to give them a day on the grass in a safe house when the weather is perfect for it? A two-story hutch is fantastic, with the second level giving them more room and allowing them to get up and off the grass if they wish.
Ensuring that your run is big enough for two and doesn't have a wire base, as well as snake proofing the bars if not already done so, means you will have an easy to move house for your guinea pigs to enjoy the outdoors occasionally.
Free-ranging outdoors is not an option for guinea pigs. They have long lost the abilities of their wild relatives, the cuy, and are no longer able to fend for themselves. Animals such as dogs, cats, birds of prey, snakes and even rats pose risks to guinea pigs. Free-ranging indoors though, provides a suitable living