Where do guinea pigs live anyway?

Ideally they’ll live indoors like you and I, keeping warm with the heating on in winter and having a play outside in the summer months, but some do live outdoors in wooden hutches. Wherever they live, 2 guinea pigs need a minimum 4ft x 2ft living area, whether that’s a cage or a C&C type cage or a hutch.

Types of cages:

  • Cage: indoors only, with plastic base and a mesh lid. We recommend the Skyline Maxi XXL or Ferplast 120 from Zooplus as these fit the minimum size.
Skyline Maxi XXL Small Pet CageFerplast Rabbit & Guinea Pig Cage 120
Skyline Maxi XXLFerplast 120
  • Hutch: indoors/outdoors, made out of wood, unfortunately it’s not easy to find one spacious enough for guinea pigs. You can get these custom built by a local joiner, but make sure they make them the correct size! If your piggies are going to live outdoors then make sure the hutch is raised off the ground and protected with an insulated cover at night. Ideally guinea pigs should be moved somewhere warm and dry in the winter months.
Example of a raised hutch

 

 

  • C&C:  indoors, made using grid like panels with connectors, with a correx plastic inner lining.
C&C cagesPhoto borrowed from Pinterest

 

It doesn’t really matter which type of home you get as long as it’s big enough for the amount of piggies that you have. I prefer C&C type cages myself as I find them easy to clean out, spot clean regularly, they’re easy to handle the piggies from and they can be as big as you want to build them.

Number of pigs:Cage size: in C&C grids:
                       tiny guinea pigtiny guinea pig4ft x 2ft /1.2m x 0.6m2 x 4
tiny guinea pigtiny guinea pigtiny guinea pig5ft x 2ft /1.5m x 0.6m2 x 5
tiny guinea pigtiny guinea pigtiny guinea pigtiny guinea pig6ft x 2 /1.8m x 0.6m2 x 6
tiny guinea pigtiny guinea pigtiny guinea pigtiny guinea pigtiny guinea pig7ft x 2 /2.1m x 0.6m2 x 7

So now you know how big their area needs to be, it’s time to decide where to put it. Ideally in your living room is best, for both your guinea pigs and yourself, as you’ll all be able to see and hear each other, and over time your piggies will get used to the comings and goings of the family.Guinea pigs like to have plenty of space to run around and play. If you think of them  as us…you wouldn’t like to spend all day stuck in one room with nothing to do, would you? Well, piggies don’t want to live in a small boring space either, they’d much rather have a big space to live in just like us, so the bigger the home they have the better! You’ll have much more enjoyment out of your pigs, if you can see, hear and interact with them. Guinea pigs are very social animals, they love all the noises and happenings of human life, so they’ll be much happier if they live alongside of you

Exercise

Guinea pigs also need a run/playpen to have a run around in for exercise. This needs to be bigger than their cage, as guinea pigs need to exercise, just like us! As long as the piggies have access to water and hay and a few pigloos, then they can stay in the playpen/run for as long as the guinea pigs are happy to do so, as long as they are supervised. Be aware that guinea pigs need to be introduced to fresh grass slowly, start with letting them out for half an hour and increase it every day – fresh spring grass can cause bloat if they eat too much too quickly.

Due to the nature of guinea pigs, they may not suddenly start to run around just because you’ve popped them in the run. They like to snooze and eat for a bit and snooze some more and eat and snooze, therefore the bigger their home, the better as they don’t exercise on command – there are no piggy boot camps! Therefore, if the guinea pigs have a huge area normally, then access to the playpen/run isn’t necessary on a daily basis.

Our guinea pigs live in cabins/c&c type cages normally, but if it’s warm enough during the summer months then we do have some outdoor cages for them to spend the days in with access to grass. On rainy days we use an indoor playpen where we can use different toys to change things up a bit for them so they don’t get bored.

All photos found on Google ImagesWooden runs can rot and be difficult to get into.Metal runs are easy to open but don’t provide much shelter from sun without a cover.

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