Guinea Pig Cage Size Guide: How Much Space Do They Really Need?

Last updated:
Sep 18, 2023

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Even though guinea pigs are small pets, they require lots and lots of space to live, play, and explore. If you’re new to guinea pigs, you might be surprised how much space they really need.

After all, a simple search for “guinea pig cages” will return results that look more like hamster cages. These aren’t, of course, the best choice or a suitable option for your guinea pigs.

Below, we’ll let you know our picks for the best guinea pig cages, plus some additional guidance for housing your cavies.

What is the Best Size Cage for Guinea Pigs?

First, it’s essential to understand what size cage guinea pigs need. This will be your guidepost in deciding whether a guinea pig cage or enclosure is suitable for your piggies.

The Humane Society of the United States lists these minimum size requirements for guinea pigs.

two Females

Bare minimum: 7.5 square feet, or about 30”x 36”

Preferred: 10.5 square feet (30” by 50”) or more

Three Females or Two Males

Bare minimum: 10.5 square feet (30” by 50”)

Preferred: 13 square feet (30” x 62”) or more

Four Females or Three Males

Bare minimum: 13 square feet (30” x 62”)

Preferred: 15.8 square feet (30” x 76”) or more

Tip: Add 2.5 square feet or more for each additional guinea pig.

Are Multi-Level Cages Good for Guinea Pigs?

Unlike gerbils, mice, and rats, guinea pigs are not capable climbers. They’re not only not good at climbing, but most of them don’t enjoy climbing or walking up steep slopes, either.

A two-level guinea pig cage can be great for adding additional space and enrichment to an enclosure within a limited footprint. However, an added level should always be a “bonus level” and not be counted in the square footage of your guinea pig cage.

If you choose a multi-level cage for your guinea pig, make sure the ramp up to the second floor is very gradual and has great grip for their little paws so they don’t slip. It’s also a good idea to add sides to any ramps so that your pigs don’t fall off the side.

Do Guinea Pig Cages Need a Top?

Because guinea pigs aren’t climbers, they tend not to try and escape their cages. You do need to make sure that your cage is at least 12 inches high so that they don’t get out.

However, you don’t need to have a top on your guinea pig enclosure unless it’s to protect the pigs from other animals.

For example, if you have a cat or dog, you should plan to keep your guinea pigs in a completely separate room that those other pets don’t have access to. If this isn’t possible, your guinea pig enclosure will need a top.

Unfortunately, even a top can’t always protect guinea pigs from cats and dogs, who can poke their paws and claws through the bars.

If you keep your guinea pigs outside, the cage needs to be covered by a durable top at all times to protect the pigs from predators.

If your pigs aren’t kept around other pets and they’re indoors, you do not need a top on your guinea pig enclosure.

Additionally, if you do put a top on your enclosure at any time, make sure it is made of wire and not plastic or wood. Ventilation is essential to the well-being of your guinea pigs.

Where to Put Your Guinea Pig Cage

Location is everything when you’re thinking about how to house your guinea pigs. In general, you’ll need a space for your guinea pigs that has sufficient free space.

The location should also be away from loud noises throughout the day, so a separate room from the living room and other active rooms is ideal. You may not want to keep guinea pigs in your bedroom because they can be quite noisy throughout the night.

The space where your guinea pigs are housed also needs to be scent-free (no candles or air fresheners) and regularly cleaned of dust. It’s easiest to keep your guinea pigs on a hardwood floor (covered by potty pads and fleece) or on another hard surface.

We advise against keeping your guinea pigs on carpet since it will quickly get ruined and can even be a hazard for your pigs if they chew it.

Some guinea pig owners keep their guinea pigs outside, but this is often impractical due to temperature changes and weather conditions. It’s typically easier to keep guinea pigs indoors in a suitable area.

What Are the Best Cages for Guinea Pigs?

Best Guinea Pig Cages

Now let’s look at the best cages for guinea pigs based on our research and experience.

You’ll likely notice that almost all of the guinea pig cages on this list look quite similar. That’s because they are all a type of enclosure known as C&C cages.

One-piece, storebought cages marketed towards guinea pigs are too small 90% of the time, if not all the time.

If you see a cage that’s “for guinea pigs,” and it’s not a C&C cage, make sure to check the measurements of the cage before you buy. If it doesn’t meet the minimums listed above, it’s not suitable for your pigs.

These are our top picks for C&C cages for guinea pigs that are easy to buy and set up, and that are high in quality.

KAVEE C&C Cage for Guinea Pig 4×2 with Lid & Ramp

Measurements: 56″L x 28″W x 14″H

Floor space: 10.9 square feet

Suitable for: Two females

View on Amazon

The KAVEE C&C cage is a favorite amongst guinea pig owners because it’s the proper size and comes with a coroplast liner, which means you don’t have to make one yourself.

The cage offers 10.9 square feet of space, which is large enough for a pair of female guinea pigs. It meets the bare minimum size requirement for two males or three females, but we don’t recommend this.

This cage also comes with a low coroplast loft, which includes a ramp with sides. This is the proper type of ramp for guinea pigs so that they don’t fall off the side and get injured.

KAVEE White L-Shape 8×2 C&C Cage with Divider

Measurements: 112”L x 28”W x 14”H (or arrange into an L shape)

Floor space: 21.8 square feet

Suitable for: Up to four males or five females

View on Etsy

KAVEE also offers a double version of the cage linked above, which provides an amazing 21.8 square feet of space. This is suitable for guinea pig owners with larger herds. It meets the bare minimum for five or six pigs but would be more ideal for four males or five females.

You can lay the cage out length-wise, in which case it would be 112 inches long (9 ⅓ feet long). If you don’t have a wall that long but you do have a corner, you can create an L-shaped enclosure with this cage.

You can also use the grids to create a divide between the two parts, which can be good for separating pigs into separate spaces.

This version does not come with a loft. However, KAVEE offers a huge selection of different layouts, colors, and cage types with everything from lofts to storage space and stands.

Kaytee Open Living Pet Guinea Pig or Rabbit Habitat Large

Measurements: 60″L x 30″W x 19″H

Floor space: 12.5 square feet

Suitable for: Two males or three females

View on Amazon

This simple, open-design cage by Kaytee isn’t actually a C&C cage, but it’s similar in style and function to a C&C. It can be easier for first-time guinea pigs owners to set up and use without the hassle of assembling a C&C cage and creating a base.

The cage offers 12.5 square feet of space, which is sufficient for two male guinea pigs or three female guinea pigs. It isn’t large enough for four female guinea pigs or three males.

You can also purchase a roof add-on for this cage if you need to protect your pigs from cats or other animals.

PawHut Pet Playpen DIY Small Animal Cage

Measurements: 55″L x 27.5″W x 18″H

Floor space: 10.5 square feet

Suitable for: Two females

View on Amazon

This C&C kit comes with everything you need to make a C&C guinea pig cage in various different formations. You can use two of the pieces to create a ramp up to the loft, but we don’t recommend it. This would create a wire ramp without sides, which can be dangerous.

Instead, you can make a ramp with sides yourself using coroplast and felt or find one on Etsy.

Here are some good options for ramps:

This cage offers 10.5 square feet of space, which is the bare minimum for two males or three females. It’s more ideal for two females or a single (temporarily) male. You can make this cage a bit larger by using the grids for added length rather than a loft.

Use Any C&C Storage Grids as a Guinea Pig Cage

You might notice that the C&C cages we’ve listed look familiar, and that’s because they’re based on 12×12 C&C storage shelves and grids. If you can get a set of C&C storage grids, you can make a DIY guinea pig cage.

The only downside to this is that you’ll also need to make a floor out of coroplast (or buy a tray or tarp cover) to protect your floor or table surface.

You may be able to save money this way, especially if you already own a C&C storage unit. However, if you have to buy a new set of grids and some coroplast for the floor, the amount saved may be small or nonexistent.

Here are some C&C storage grid options if you want to go this route:

Tip: You’ll also want to pick up some zip ties to secure the grids together.

Choosing a Guinea Pig Cage

Fortunately, there are actually quite a few options when it comes to choosing a guinea pig cage, as long as you stay within the C&C cage category. These are typically the only cages that provide enough space for guinea pigs.

Don’t be fooled by small cages marketed toward guinea pigs! These are not big enough to keep your guinea pig happy or healthy, even if you free-roam them every day.

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LittleGrabbies is an independent blog run by one human and her pets. We want to help you sift through all of the information that's out there for small pets to provide the best possible care.


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