We should keep in mind the question of how much space do guinea pigs need when buying a cage, or if you’re fortunate, a play area for them.
Space enough for them to play and roam around is ideal for your guinea pigs. (please read here how to make Guinea pig a playpen)
Yet, some cages made for guinea pigs are relatively small, which is not appropriate as guinea pigs need room for their bathroom area, food, water, and a space for their nest.
Guinea pigs shouldn’t spend their lives inside a cage; give them time to explore outside to exercise and be free for a while. Keep on reading to learn more!
Guinea Pigs Do Need Space!
Yes, your pet needs space. You should take note of the following:
#1. The bigger, the better
So, how much space do guinea pigs need? Their cage is slightly bigger than rooms for their smaller relatives, such as hamsters and gerbils.
You see, smaller animals are encouraged to burrow, dig, or climb as exercise, utilizing vertical space, while guinea pigs rely on floor space.
The equipment inside their housing usually are ramps, and platforms at low heights provide variety.
I used this cute cage for my pet Ginger when I first got him. It was big enough for him since he was still small. And he loved it!
Again, guinea pigs are bigger and need more room to move and exercise, despite having time outside their cages.
Now, what is the appropriate size of the cage is for your pet? Well, this will depend on the number of guinea pigs you have.
So, here is a guideline for you to determine the space needed by your guinea pigs:
- For a guinea pig, generally, 30″ x 36″ is the right size for the cage
- two guinea pigs would require 7.5 square feet (minimum), but 10.5 square feet is preferred
- 30″ x 50″ is the right size, as three guinea pigs usually take up 10.5 square feet (minimum), but 13 square feet is preferred
- Four guinea pigs take up 13 square feet (minimum) of the cage; 30″ x 62″ or better, opt for a cage with 30″ x 76″ of size
Guinea pigs are active at dawn and dusk, but of course, it’s not safe to let them out.
Therefore, a big room would be helpful, with tunnels, chews, hides, and toys; it will keep your pets active and encourage them to exercise, preventing diseases like diabetes, impaction, bumblefoot, and even respiratory issues and heart problems.
#2. The more, the merrier
They are social creatures, which is why a company makes guinea pigs happy.
However, they can get aggressive towards others; they need some time alone too, you know, especially during meals.
Therefore, it’s best to have a giant cage to avoid conflict between your furies, as they can be territorial even if they are best friends.
Moreover, a vast space means more food dishes, hides, and toys can fit; this is how to make your guinea pigs happy!
If you own one, introducing your Guinea pig to a new buddy would take time. So, make sure to upgrade their digs beforehand and make sure that the cage is spacious.
Give your pet time to know its new roommate, let them smell each other, if they get territorial, then put them in neutral territory with bigger space, and let them get used to one another.
As for my pet, Ginger, he loves to meet new pigs. My friend, who is also a guinea pig owner, would come over to my house and her pets Stich and Lily, to play with my pets.
Be patient and allow your pets to settle, don’t feel pressured if you think they’re not getting along.
#3. Lower maintenance
It’s easier to clean bigger cages compared to the smaller ones. Since they allow more space for litter trays and kitchen areas, it would only require you to clean up per week.
Guinea pigs are not fans of litter training as rabbits, but they would poop (do guinea pigs poop a lot)and pee where they are eating.
Placing a big tray where you could put hay will give them an area where they can do their business; less mess, less clean-up.
Moreover, you will save your guinea pigs’ beddings from smelling bad quickly by having a bigger room since, in tiny cages, even the most absorbent bedding will have an awful odor since your cavies would love to stay there.
#4. Location is vital
Now that you have a big cage, you should consider the location where you will place it.
Since the environment where your pets would live is essential for their comfort and safety.
First, make sure that the temperature is approximately 65-75 degrees Fahrenheit. Since guinea pigs are sensitive to heat, they can’t sweat when they are too warm, leading them to heatstroke.
Therefore avoid areas with direct sunlight, fireplaces, heating vents, and wood stoves.
However, your cavies wouldn’t enjoy humid conditions, as dampness allows molds to grow in their beddings and hays, carrying harmful diseases that will make your pet sick.
Keep your guinea pigs away from unheated rooms, garage, breezeway, or any chilly locations; better place their cages in draft-free space (i.e., on an elevated surface; away from windows and doors).
Adding to this is an area where your guinea pigs can socialize. They do need time alone, but they would love it if your family members surround them.
You could place their cages where you can see them easily or where your family and friends usually are.
However, keep them away from the television or loud noises as they are sensitive to their hearing.
My Ginger and other guinea pigs are placed in my room because my siblings are quite noisy, but I often put them in our living room to enjoy my family’s company.
Benefits Of Having A Big Space To Your Guinea Pig
There are many reasons why you should opt for a bigger space for your pet and here are just some of these:
Guinea pigs would live longer
Such creatures can become bored and depressed too; imagine yourself living in the same room for five to seven years, wouldn’t that be sad? (please read here why do Guniea pig cry)
Therefore, a large space for your pet is an essential type of enrichment you can provide.
Your guinea pigs will be happier as they have the opportunity to express their natural behaviors by getting to know their personalities.
Your guinea pig will be healthier
Adequate space for your cavies would mean more room for toys and accessories they could play with will help them become more active. It is vital for them to exercise, for this will help your guinea pigs prevent possible illnesses.
Moreover, guinea pigs are most likely active every morning and evening, and I bet you are busy most of the time, and it’s not ideal for taking them outside during that part of the day.
So, having a large cage enough for your pets to zoom will help you a lot.
Now that you are enlightened about how much space do guinea pigs need, you might want to place their cages in places suitable other than the kitchen for sanitary reasons.
And if you have children or other pets, place their cages where you can monitor them and supervise your children if they play with your cavies.
It’s better to keep them indoors to have regular interaction with your family and if you let your pets play outside, do watch over them.
That’s pretty much it; thank you for reading!
Delbert Curtis is a senior writer at Petcosset, a leading online resource for pet care information. With over 10 years of experience in the pet industry, Delbert is passionate about helping pet owners provide the best care possible. He has written extensively on pet health, nutrition, training, and behavior. Delbert is dedicated to staying up-to-date on the latest research and trends in the pet industry to provide the most accurate and helpful information to Petcosset’s readers. Delbert enjoys spending time with his pets and exploring the great outdoors when he’s not writing.