Most cages marketed for guinea pigs are way too small.
Guinea pigs need appropriate room to roam, with separate spaces for a nest, bathroom area and food and water.
No animal is meant to live in a cage all the time, so make sure to provide your pig with time outside their enclosures at least once a day to stretch their legs, explore and exercise.
Why size matters
Guinea pigs are one of the largest rodents kept as pets and yet their typical cage is only marginally roomier than housing for much smaller relatives like hamsters and gerbils.
While small animal cages often utilize vertical space to increase living area and encourage climbing, digging and burrowing, guinea pigs do not jump or climb and rely solely on floor space. Ramps and platforms at low heights provide variety, but guinea pigs need room to exercise, even with daily playtime outside of the cage.
The following recommendations are meant to serve as guidelines to help you determine how much space you need for your guinea pig(s). Your local humane society or guinea pig rescue organization may have minimal caging requirements that differ from those listed here.
The sides of your guinea pig enclosure must be at least 12” high and the top may be open, so long as other household pets do not have access to it. Many guinea pig rescue organizations recommend “C&C” cages, which are enclosures made from cubes and coroplast, a corrugated plastic. Plastic tubs, glass aquariums and cages with wire floors are NOT acceptable as guinea pig housing.
- One guinea pig: 7.5 square feet, or about 30”x 36”, is the bare minimum recommended, but bigger is better. (Keep in mind that guinea pigs are highly social, so it is best to have at least two guinea pigs who get along with each other.)
- Two guinea pigs: 7.5 square feet (minimum), but at least 10.5 square feet (30” x 50”) is preferred.
- Three guinea pigs: 10.5 square feet (minimum), but at least 13 square feet (30” x 62”) is preferred.
- Four guinea pigs: 13 square feet (minimum), but at least 30” x 76” is preferred.