Best Guinea Pig Cages That Meet the Ethical Requirements

Best guinea pig cage

With so much misinformation out there, it’s easy to make mistakes with our guinea pigs. One of the most common is keeping them in an unsuitable cage. Usually these cages are too small, and in some cases they can cause injury or health problems!

A pair of guinea pigs needs a cage that provides at least 7.5 square feet of flat floor space–but the most ideal size is over 10.5 square feet. It should also be well-ventilated, escape-proof, and have a waterproof bottom to prevent urine from leaking onto your floors.

In this article, we’ll talk about the four best guinea pig cages you can buy and which cages aren’t suitable.

How Much Space do Guinea Pigs Need?

How much space your guinea pigs need depends on a few factors, including gender, age, and how many guinea pigs you have in your herd.

For two guinea pigs, the minimum cage size is 7.5 square feet. However, a more ideal cage size is 10.5 square feet or larger.

If you have more than two guinea pigs, they’ll need an even larger space–see the table below or our cage calculator for more help!

No. of Guinea PigsMinimum SizePreferred Size
27.5 sq. ft.10.5 sq. ft.
310.5 sq. ft.13 sq. ft.
413 sq. ft.16 sq. ft.
516 sq. ft.19 sq. ft.
* for male pairs or groups, go up one cage size

Generally, male guinea pigs need more space than females. This is because they tend to be more territorial, and their bonds break more easily.

Sometimes when guinea pigs, either males or females, are bickering, you can resolve the tension by providing a larger set-up. Of course, sometimes bonds will break no matter what–but it’s important to set our fur babies up for success!

Keep in mind that there is no maximum cage size for guinea pigs. The bigger you can go, the better! Your guinea pigs will always appreciate more space, so do what you can given your financial situation and the space available in your home.

Best Guinea Pig Cages: What Are the Requirements?

Before we dive in to the best guinea pig cages, let’s discuss what to look for in a guinea pig cage:

  • At least 7.5 square feet of flat floor space (but preferably 10.5 or greater) for a pair of guinea pigs, or even more space if you have more piggies.
  • Ventilation on multiple sides – The more the better!
  • A waterproof bottom that cannot absorb urine and will keep your floors clean.
  • The ability to expand when needed – Such as if the original cage is too small, your guinea pigs show signs of needing more space, or you want to add more piggies to your herd!)
  • Adjustability – Cages that can change shape help when rearranging a room or moving house, and are also generally easier to fit into your space.
  • Solid sides to keep in mess – Hay, pellets, poop, fur, and more can fall out of your cage even with solid sides, but without them you’ll experience a lot more messiness. If your guinea pigs spray urine, it’s also important to keep that inside the cage, not on your walls or floors!
  • Bars or grids that are spaced close enough together to prevent piggies from escaping or getting their heads stuck.

With that said, here are the best guinea pig cages:

1. The “Best Guinea Pig Cage” Award Goes to – C&C Cages

Guinea Pig C&C Cage

Where to Buy

C&C cages are hands-down the best in our opinion! I love them because they’re affordable, easy to put together, and can fit into any space.

C&C stands for cubes and Coroplast. “Cubes” refers to storage grids. The grids should be 14×14 inches and at least 9 squares across. This prevents your piggies from escaping or getting their heads stuck, which can happen when the grids are spaced further apart.

Coroplast is a corrugated plastic sheet. This is used as the bottom of the cage and is typically scored with a knife and folded to make solid sides as well.

Though this isn’t necessary, it does help to hold in the stray hay, fur, and poops that tend to fall out of the cage. Some people choose to have taller sides in the back, or use solid panels, to protect their walls as well.

C&C cages are typically held together not just with the storage cube connectors, but also zip ties. This makes the cages more secure, which is important so your guinea pigs cannot escape and the cage can’t fall if kept on a table.

You can build C&C cages yourself or purchase them online from stores like Kavee Cages and Guinea Pig Cages Store.


  • Can be adjusted to any size and shape
  • Easy to assemble
  • Coroplast is waterproof and easy to clean
  • The cheapest guinea pig cage option


  • Homemade C&C cages must be assembled yourself, which takes more effort than those that come pre-made

2. Midwest Guinea Pig Cage

Midwest cage for guinea pigs

Where to Buy

The Midwest guinea pig cage is also typically one of the few guinea pig cages you’ll find in a pet store that’s large enough for them to live in.

However, at 8 square feet, the Midwest only meets the bare minimum requirements–and doesn’t meet the ideal cage size for two guinea pigs. It might be suitable for two female guinea pigs who get along well, but males typically need a larger enclosure.

Of course, bigger is always better, and we should always strive for giving our pets more than the bare minimum–even if they do well with it.

The great thing about Midwest cages is that you can easily join two together. In my opinion, this is a much better set-up for two guinea pigs than one cage on its own.

Midwest cage setup
Image by: acrossthesea / CC BY-NC 2.0

This means that, if you need to, you can get the Midwest as a starter cage and expand later on as you get the funds or just want to give your piggies more space.


  • Meets minimum requirement for two guinea pigs
  • Waterproof liner
  • Can be joined together for added space


  • Doesn’t meet recommended size for two guinea pigs
  • May be especially unsuitable for males
  • Joined cages will have a small opening and walls dividing the cages

3. Kaytee Open Living Small Pet Habitat

Kaytee Guinea Pig Cage
Image by: Kaytee.com

Where to Buy

At 12.5 square feet, the 60 x 30-in Kaytee Open Living small pet habitat is a great size for guinea pigs. Similar to the Midwest, it also comes with a waterproof lining and can be connected to another cage for extra space.

I will say that, before going this route, I’d pick up a C&C cage. This is because, with the Midwest and this Kaytee cage, your guinea pigs can only go from cage to cage through a small opening. A C&C can be expanded much easier and give your piggies a larger, open area for zoomies!

However, this is another great option if you want a pre-built cage that you may be able to find inside of a pet store.


  • Meets ideal requirement for two guinea pigs
  • Waterproof liner
  • Can be joined together for added space


  • Joined cages will have a small opening and walls dividing the cages

4. Homemade Guinea Pig Cages

If you’re looking for something a little different and are crafty, you might prefer to build your own guinea pig cage. Many people make cages out of wood, plexiglass, and other materials that turn out absolutely stunning!

However, there are some things to consider before going this route.

Firstly, your cage should have a waterproof lining to protect your floors. This can be something as simple as a cheap shower curtain.

If the bottom of your cage is wooden, the wood will absorb urine and hold onto that smell. This is unsanitary for both you and your piggies to live with, and impossible to clean.

Again, this is an easy fix! All you need to do is line it with something waterproof. Be sure to attach it securely to the wood so that your piggies don’t burrow underneath, and keep it covered so they don’t chew on it.

Lastly, make sure your homemade cage has proper ventilation. Air should be able to circulate on multiple sides, and the top should either be open or covered with a mesh material.

Many hutches don’t allow for nearly enough airflow. Be careful using solid C&C grids or plexiglass as well, though these are less risky if your cage is large enough and has an open top.


  • Can be made to fit any space
  • Custom-made to match your style


  • Some homemade cages aren’t easy to expand if your piggies need more space
  • Wood can hold onto odors if not protected from urine
  • Some homemade cages have poor ventilation, which can cause health problems
  • Takes more work to build than other cage types

Unsuitable Guinea Pig Cages

What kind of guinea pig cages are unsuitable

Next, let’s go over some guinea pig cages that aren’t suitable due to size, lack of ventilation, or other problems.

Of course, we can’t list every unsuitable place you could keep your piggies in here–so when making a decision, ask the following:

  • Is the cage over 7.5 square feet for two guinea pigs (or the minimum cage size for the number of piggies living there)?
  • Does the cage have ventilation on multiple sides?
  • Is it waterproof or does it have a waterproof liner to stop it from absorbing urine and becoming smelly?

Hamster Cages

Hamster cages sold at pet stores are much too small for hamsters, yet alone guinea pigs!

These rodents have plenty of differences between them, including their burrowing habits, the way they eat, and how much they pee and poop.

Therefore, they have different needs in a cage as well. Even the best hamster cage wouldn’t be suitable for a guinea pig.

Multi-Level Rat or Ferret Cages

Multi-level cages made for climbing animals aren’t suited for guinea pigs. Instead, they do best in a one-level enclosure where they can run around with ease.

In fact, only the ground floor counts when calculating guinea pig cage size. We don’t count extra floors or lofts, because those don’t provide the benefits of a large, flat surface where piggies can run and play.

Guinea pigs aren’t climbing animals, and some won’t even use ramps to get around multi-story cages.

Some suitable guinea pig cages have loft spaces, and this is fine! Just remember not to count it toward the square footage of their cage, because it’s important that the ground floor is large enough for them on its own.

Small Pet Store Cages (Under 7.5 Sq Ft.)

I think this is the most unfortunate thing to have to say, but most cages marketed and sold for guinea pigs aren’t suitable for them!

Unfortunately, there aren’t laws that dictate whether pet stores can sell unsuitable items like this. And because pet stores that sell live animals are unethical, they don’t care where the piggies end up or how they’re treated in their new homes. They only care about the money they make selling guinea pigs and expensive, tiny cages to go home with them.


Hutches are a popular choice for keeping guinea pigs outside, and are also sometimes used indoors. Unfortunately, most hutches are far too small for guinea pigs.

Remember that your piggies must always be kept in a suitable environment. Many people think it’s okay to close them into a too-small hutch or cage at night, thinking they’ll sleep during this time.

However, this isn’t true. Guinea pigs sleep less than most people–averaging about 4-6 hours per day. If you watch your piggies, you’ll notice they don’t do all their sleeping at once, either.

Because guinea pigs are prey animals, they sleep shorter durations of around 10-30 minutes. In the wild, sleeping for long stretches of time would leave them vulnerable to predators, which is why they don’t tend to do so.

Wooden Cages without Liners

Wooden cages often look incredible, but they can come with problems if you aren’t careful! Namely, a wooden floor will absorb urine and become very stinky over time.

This can be fixed by lining the wood with a waterproof layer.

Of course, you should also ensure the wooden cage is well-ventilated and large enough for the number of piggies living there.

For instance, oftentimes wooden hutches aren’t ventilated enough and can lead to piggies becoming sick. They’re also usually much too small.


Aquariums are almost always too small for guinea pigs. In order to purchase one large enough, you’d need to spend a lot of money–so it’s just not cost-effective.

Even more importantly, aquariums aren’t ventilated enough for guinea pigs to live healthily in. Guinea pigs produce a lot of waste, and they’re also very sensitive to dust and contaminants in the air.

Their sensitive respiratory systems mean that, when kept in a poorly-ventilated space, guinea pigs can easily develop upper respiratory infections (URIs).

Frequently Asked Questions

Guinea pig cage FAQs

What’s the Best Guinea Pig Cage for Two Guinea Pigs?

The best guinea pig cage for two guinea pigs is a C&C cage that’s 10.5 square feet or larger. Remember that there’s no such thing as “too big” when it comes to guinea pig cages, so provide the biggest you can with your finances and the space in your home.

The best thing about C&C cages is that they can be expanded when needed, or even put together in different shapes when rearranging a room or moving house. They’re also the cheapest option.

What’s the Best Cheap Guinea Pig Cage?

Pet store cages are expensive! The cheapest way to create a suitable cage for your guinea pig is to buy storage grids and a piece of Coroplast (or corrugated plastic sheet).

Make sure your grids measure 14”x14” and have at least 9 grids on each side. Any smaller, and your guinea pigs can get their heads stuck inside.

This DIY guinea pig cage is not only cheap, but very easy to make!

Which Bedding to Use in a Cage?

In my opinion, the best bedding for guinea pigs would have to be fleece or chenille bath mats. Fleece is more customizable, while bath mats are by far the cheapest bedding option.

Both are reusable, so they’ll save you money in the long-term because you only have to buy them once! They also look great in the cage and are super plush and soft on your piggies’ feet.

How Do You Set Up a Guinea Pig Cage?

I go into the process of setting up your guinea pig cage in-depth in this article!

In short, you’ll want to find a safe bedding first. Then, add in the essential items–water bottles or bowls, food dishes, at least 2-3 hiding places, and hay.

I recommend giving hay in piles, but if you do use hay racks or bags, make sure they’re safe and easy to eat from. The holes should be large enough for your guinea pig to crawl all the way into, otherwise it can be difficult for them to eat or they could even get their heads stuck!

You might want to add a litter box, which will reduce but not eliminate pee and poop around the cage. Pee pads in the hidey houses are also a great way to reduce mess if you’re using reusable bedding.

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    1. Guinea pigs should live in same-sex groups or pairs if they are not spayed or neutered. If you want to keep females and males together, the only way to prevent unwanted babies is to neuter the males.

  1. I Love this website and it is so easy to do a comment,do you guys know what type of guinea there are if that makes scene.

    1. Hi, thank you for your comment 🙂 We’re glad to hear you like the website! There are several different guinea pig breeds out there, we’re planning to cover that topic in the future so hopefully, you’ll be able to read more about it here soon 🙂

      1. I have 2 guinea pigs and I want a c&c cage but my space is only 61×20 inches and the c&c cages are_27 so thay with not fit in my space do you have eny other recommendations?

      2. Hi Audrey, I don’t know of any suitable enclosure for guinea pigs with similar dimensions, but I think you might be able to make a C&C cage for those dimensions. However, some grids will have to be at an angle instead of straight. And then you can shape coroplast so it fits your cage. I’ve seen some guinea pig owners setting it up like that. If you don’t find a better solution, that’s also an option.

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