Best Guinea Pig Cage – 2020 Buying Guide & Reviews

Before you bring your first guinea pig home, you’ll need to make a careful choice when picking the best guinea pig cage. While they generally last a long time, some pet parents look to upgrade from more modest digs to something akin to a piggie mansion!

But whether you’re a proud new parent or just helping your cavie move on up, cage and habitat selection are something you should take seriously.

What’s the best cage for your guinea pig(s)? How much space is enough? Which cages are the easiest to keep clean?

We’d love to help you answer these questions, and to help, we’ve written carefully researched reviews of some of our favorites.

Here’s a quick glance at the best guinea pig cages:

Guinea Pig Cage Reviews

Our Top Pick: C&C Cages (Cube and Coroplast)

Size: variable; the smallest option is 27 x 41 (interior) inches (1107 square inches or 7.5 square feet)

Many guinea pig parents are choosing cube and Coroplast habitats, the DIY option for cavie homes. Because they’re constructed from panels, you can tailor them to your home, making them almost any shape and size you’d like.

This system pairs 14 x 14 inch grids with corrugated plastic trays, allowing almost infinite customizability. Since you can buy any number of panels, you can extend your habitat in any direction, making it larger as your needs grow.

These panels are attached via included connectors and reinforced with matching-color cable ties (provided by the manufacturer). They hold well, creating a secure habitat for your fur babies. Do note that this system does not come standard with a roof or top, though covered options are available for piggies that will share a home with cats and dogs.

If you do select a covered model, the tops open completely for easy cleaning. Trust us, that’s a bigger deal than it seems–and it means that you can easily spot-clean to keep your cavie’s home spic and span!

The Coropalast trays are available in 6, 10, and 12 inch heights, enabling you to construct a habitat with a tall back wall and normal-height sides and front. For pet parents who like fluffy bedding options, that’s a fantastic option as it’ll cut down on mess.

And this corrugated plastic is very easy to keep clean with soap and water.

We don’t know any cavie enthusiast who hasn’t been happy with this choice, and despite what you might have heard, these habitats are often less expensive than properly-sized alternatives.

The only downside? You will need to assemble your C&C habitat, fitting the panels into the connectors and tightening the whole thing with the included zip ties.

Pros:

  • The smallest size has plenty of room–and they only get bigger from there!
  • Infinitely customizable–can grow with your guinea pig family
  • The deep tray prevents messes
  • This habitat is easy to clean

Cons:

  • Assembly required

Best Designed Guinea Pig Cage: Midwest Guinea Habitat Plus

Guinea Habitat Plus Guinea Pig Cage by MidWest w/ Top Panel, 47L x 24W x 14H Inches
Amazon 

Size:47 x 24 x 14 inches (1128 square inches or 7.8 square feet)

Midwest is a well-known name to guinea pig enthusiasts, and their Habitat Plus can be a great option for a cage–if you’re forewarned about some issues.

Please be aware that only the Plus is roomy-enough for a piggie to play; the other models are too small for even a single cavie. For that reason, we can’t recommend the less expensive habitats in their line up.

The Habitat plus measures a spacious 7.8 square feet, providing plenty of room for your fur babies to live, eat, and play. It uses a soft PVC-lined canvas bottom that attaches to the cage walls via Velcro straps. It’s comfy underfoot, whichever bedding option you choose, and it’s relatively light-weight and easy to set up and take down.

It also features a removable wire top for homes with predatory pets like cats and dogs.

And perhaps its best feature is that multiple Habitat Pluses can be linked to create a larger guinea pig habitat, allowing you to create the space for more than one cavie.

But not everything is perfect about this design, and we think that you should know what to expect.

First, while the nylon bottom is a good idea in some respects, it fails in many others. If you use paper or aspen bedding, you’ll find that the sides aren’t high enough to prevent kick-outs, meaning that a fair amount of bedding will end up on the floor or table next to your piggie.

Second, some piggies chew at the nylon, and it’s not very resistant to their sharp teeth! If this is the case, you’ve got two concerns. Will your fur baby eat a hole in the base through which it can escape? And will it swallow some pylon, leading to tummy troubles?

Third, though it’s washable, the nylon can be a pain to keep clean, and many owners find that it holds smells.

Finally, the Velcro straps that attach the base to the cage can be fiddly, and the whole thing isn’t that sturdy because the base is soft and pliable.

Are these game-changing criticisms?

That depends.

If you prefer paper or aspen bedding, we’d probably recommend that you give this habitat a pass. But if you like fleece, and are careful about fitting your buddy’s bedding, you might give it a try.

Pros:

  • The Plus offers plenty of room for one guinea pig to live and play
  • The modular design allows you to link more than one habitat

Cons:

  • The PVC-coated nylon base can be a pain to keep clean and odor-free
  • Some cavies chew at the nylon, and they can quickly wear a hole in it
  • The sides aren’t very tall, so if you prefer paper or aspen bedding, you’ll have a lot of mess around the habitat
  • The Veclro attachment of a soft base to the cage walls means this is least sturdy option on our list.

Best Large Guinea Pig Cage: Living World Deluxe Habitat (X-large)

Living World Guinea Pig, Rabbit, Ferret Cage - X-Large Deluxe Hutch
Amazon 

Size: 46 8/9 x 22 ⅘ x 24 inches (1081 square inches or 7.5 square feet)

Living World’s (extra-large) Deluxe Habitat is an excellent choice for you guinea pig’s home, and there’s a lot to recommend this popular cage.

Please be aware that only the extra-large is roomy-enough for a piggie to play; the other models are too small for even a single cavie. For that reason, we can’t recommend the less expensive habitats in their line up.

This Living World habitat measures a roomy 7.5 square feet, proving the space your a single guinea pig needs to roam and play. On one end, you’ll find a tiny “shelf” that creates a cozy room for your cavie to retreat into for a quick nap, and you can safely place food bowls on top.

Some cavies don’t like climbing the “stairs” to reach the top of this shelf, so you may need to experiment with that before you decide to place your buddy’s kitchen!

This cage uses a deep plastic tray as the bottom, attaching the cage with 8 plastic clips that keep it securely in place. It’s pretty easy to take-down and assemble, and the tall sides on the plastic base help to keep paper and aspen bedding inside while still providing plenty of airflow and visibility for your cavie.

We really like that plastic base: it cuts down on mess and is very easy to clean with soap and water.

The cage itself is nice, too, and the large, domed roof opens completely for cleaning. That’s a touch you’ll appreciate over time, and you won’t need to slide an arm through and reach when spot cleaning.

The only downside to this habitat is that it’s a self-contained unit. With no easy way to build-on, you’ve only enough room for a single piggy.

Pros:

  • The extra-large offers plenty of room for one guinea pig to live and play
  • The deep tray prevents messes
  • This habitat is easy to clean
  • The top opens fully to allow easy spot-cleaning

Cons:

  • This is a self-contained unit with no possibility for expansion

View Our Guide For The Best Extra Large Guinea Pig Cages

Best Budget Guinea Pig Cage: AmazonBasics Pet Habitat (Jumbo)

AmazonBasics Small Animal Cage Habitat With Accessories - 49 x 27 x 21 Inches, Jumbo
Amazon 

Size: 48.6 x 26.6 x 20.6 inches (1292 square inches or 8.97 square feet)

AmazonBasics’s Pet Habitat is a great choice for your cavie’s home, and though we like the Living World a tad better, this is a great choice that you can feel good about.

Please be aware that only the jumbo is roomy-enough for a piggie to play; the other models are too small for even a single cavie. For that reason, we can’t recommend the less expensive habitats in their line up.

AmazonBasics’s habitat uses a sturdy, tall plastic tray as a base, and like the Living World, we really like this design. It prevents paper and aspen bedding from being kicked through the cage, and it’s remarkably easy to clean with soap and water.

The cage walls are attached via clips on the narrow ends, and the whole thing strikes us as plenty secure, though here we’d give the nod to the Living World system.

But this habitat comes with a nice water bottle, a hay feeder, a food bowl, and a ramp and “balcony.” For first-time pet parents, this is a good deal, and these added accessories work fine and are as good as many that you’d buy separately.

Some guinea pigs won’t like that ramp and will refuse to climb. For cavie keepers faced with this, it’s simply enough to remove the offending second level.

The top features a large door for easy access, as well as a smaller one on the front. We prefer the Living World’s system by far, as it’s much easier to work inside the habitat when you can open the entire thing.

And like the Living World, this is a self-contained unit that can’t be added-to if your piggie family grows.

Pros:

  • The extra-large offers plenty of room for one guinea pig to live and play
  • The deep tray prevents messes
  • This habitat is easy to clean
  • It comes with nice accessories to keep initial costs down

Cons:

  • The cage openings aren’t as big as we’d like to allow access for spot cleaning
  • This is a self-contained unit with no possibility for expansion

What We Consider When Selecting a Guinea Pig Habitat

Picking the right habitat for your cavie doesn’t have to be a chore, but it pays to keep a few things in mind.

Cavies love company

Guinea pigs are social animals, and they thrive with at least one other piggie to keep them company.

As Jessie Miller explains, “A lot of people think that owning just one pig is fine, and that it doesn’t need a friend. This may be true if you have enough time to give it the attention it’s lacking from a cagemate, but most people have jobs or school. Imagine if you were left to spend an entire day in a confined space. Would you survive? Of course, but it’d be a lot better if you had a friend with you.

Guinea pigs are very social animals. They are also a prey animal, so no matter how many hours you spend hanging out with your guinea pig, I’m sorry but your guinea pig would still rather hang out with another guinea pig. Humans are scary to piggies, while other piggies are protection.”

That’s why many cavie owners opt for a second–or even third!–addition to their pet family. It’s wise–even if you’re only planning on one cavie–to choose a habitat that can adapt to that possibility.

For that reason, modular cages like C&C or Midwestern’s habitat are often the best option.

Guinea pig minimum cage sizes: don’t be cruel!

You want your guinea pigs to feel comfortable and safe, while still having plenty of room to exercise. That typically means more some areas into which they can retreat for alone time, as well as separate spaces for eating, going to the bathroom, and playing.

Those needs quickly add-up to more space than you might think, and many of the “guinea pig” habitats we found on Amazon were too small for one cavie, let alone two!

And as Katherine Quesenberry, a practicing veterinarian, warns, “Commercial housing for guinea pigs is often undersized.”

The Human Society recommends the following as ideal sizes for cavie habitats:

  • one piggie: 7.5 square feet cage; more is better; generally 30″ x 36″ is a good size.
  • two piggies: 7.5 square feet; 10.5 square feet is preferred; generally 30″ x 50″ is a good size.
  • three piggies: 10.5 square feet; but 13 square feet is preferred; generally 30″ x 62″ is a good size.
  • four piggies: 13 square feet; generally 30″ x 76″ is a good size.

But when you’re calculating the dimensions of a potential habitat, remember that only the two horizontal measurements matter: multiply the length by the width (ignoring the height).

As per the Humane Society’s guidelines, 1080 square inches is a good basic size for one guinea pig!

basic size guinea pig cage

30.25″ length x 18″ width = 543.6 square inches. That’s less than HALF of what a healthy cavie needs!

We won’t recommend any product that doesn’t meet these minimum standards.

Piggie friendly spaces

Many habitats designed for small rodents aren’t appropriate for guinea pigs.

One easy way for manufacturers to increase reported living area in a habitat is to provide multiple, overlapping tiers, giving small rodents an upstairs to go with their downstairs.

But while mice, rats, and ferrets enjoy vertical spaces and love to climb, piggies aren’t usually very coordinated. “Heights” really aren’t their thing, and ramps can be challenging for them to navigate.

In fact, many piggie parents find that they’re furry kids won’t use a ramp at all! And some guinea pigs can lose their balance and fall from (for them) high places, potentially getting hurt.

That’s not to say that multi-tiered habitats are necessarily bad for them, but rather that they’ll be happiest and healthiest with more horizontal space. They like to run and roam, scamper and play, and more floor-space is the only kind thing to offer.

As cool as some deluxe, tiered-habitats look, they’re a pretty poor choice for piggies – and even with the increased “floor area” a vertical space provides,they often aren’t large enough to accommodate a cavie’s need for exercise.

multi-tiered guinea pig cage

36” length x 25” width? That’s just 6.25 square feet of primary floor space–not nearly enough room to scurry–and can you imagine a cavie running around on that shelf?

You also need to avoid wire or mesh flooring, as piggies’ feet are very tender! If you do select an option with wire or mesh flooring, it’s important to cover it with a smooth, hard material like glass or plastic.

Location, location, location: where to place your guinea pig’s cage

Guinea pigs don’t tolerate heat, cold, or humidity very well.

It’s important, then, to keep their habitat in areas that remain room-temp year round. You also want to avoid direct sunlight and drafts, as both can cause your cavies a lot of trouble.

And as social animals, they like to see and hear you and your family, so locations nearer the center of activity in your home are ideal–just not the kitchen!

But keep in mind that their ears aren’t well-adapted to loud noises, so avoid placing their habitat near the TV or stereo.

Safety: keeping your furry friends safe from other pets

If you share your home with other pets like cats or dogs, you’ll want a cage that’s secure–and that includes a locking, sturdy top!

A cute furball can trigger a predatory response in some cats and dogs, and to avoid the worst, your cavie needs to be surrounded on all sides.

You’ll also want a design that’s proven to be escape-proof, with no space for squeezing through the bars or between the sides and the base. Trust us, some cavies are real escape artists!

Ease of cleaning

This is a bigger deal than it may seem at first.

The ideal guinea pig habitat is easy to clean, and that usually means a plastic tray-style bottom that can be detached for dumping dirty bedding and giving it a thorough cleaning with soap and water.

Even nylon can be tough to keep fresh-smelling, and constant laundering will cause wear. For some pet parents, it’s still the best choice, and not everyone likes plastic tray-style bottoms.

Whatever your choice, we also like relatively tall, solid sides to this tray as it cuts down on bedding being accidentally strewn around the habitat.

But never exceed 6-inch sides (all around), as cavies need air-flow in their habitat, as well as the ability to see out!

Material

Watch out for wood!

Piggies love to chew, and they’ll nibble on almost anything, including their habitat! Sometimes, this leads to intestinal blockage and sudden death!

We don’t recommend wood as a material for just this reason, and it also tends to absorb liquids like urine, leading to a hard-to-ignore stink!

And if that weren’t bad enough, they’re usually constructed from softwoods like fir, making them a known hazard to guinea pigs!

JUST SAY NO!

The model on the left is painted; the one on the right is fir. Both are potentially deadly options for your cavie!

Many wooden habitats are marketed for guinea pigs, but in our experience, you should give them a pass!

Our Top Pick – C&C Cages!

When you’re picking-out a guinea pig’s home, you need to keep minimum space requirements, ease of cleaning, durability, and ease of access foremost in your mind. And as your cavie family grows, a modular design that lets you add-on to the existing habitat is ideal.

There’s simply no product on the market that meets these needs better than C&C cages. Available with or without a top, this easy-to-assemble modular system can take whatever shape you need, growing to accommodate as many piggies as you’d like to add!

Sturdy and strong, it’s as escape proof as they come. And the corrugated plastic tray is deep enough to keep bedding spills to a minimum while being very easy to clean with soap and water.

Are there better options out there? Not that we’ve ever seen!

Leave a Comment