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Cage Specifications: Building a C&C Cage

cages and tunnelssetup
Our old cages with connecting tunnels

Why I Decided to Change My Cavy Cage

Problems With Our Old Cages

I knew how important exercise was to my guinea pigs. I didn't have to read that in a book or on a web site. They loved to run their piggy laps several times a day, so I gave them as much "floor time" as possible.

But still, most of their time was spent in their cage(s). This got me thinking: Is our cage setup big enough? Do my pigs have enough opportunity to exercise and play?

Originally, their cages were linked together with lots of tunnels, as in the above photo, with a tunnel to the floor, opened whenever we could keep an eye on them for "floor time." Although, they could get some exercise moving through the tunnels between cages, they could not do their piggy laps whenever they wanted. In addition, they started using their tunnels as toilets, and the tunnels were very hard to break apart and clean, so we had to disconnect them.

Without the connecting tunnels, our two female piggies shared one cage at a time, since they wanted to be together. That was an awfully small amount of space for two pigs to share for most of each day.

And I had another problem... Even though they enjoyed running laps around my living room, they soon learned how much they loved "hanging out" under my couch. That became such a favorite resting spot that it was hard to coax them out, and they began to think of this area not only as a bed, but a toilet.

So, how could I give my furry friends enough room to run around whenever they chose?

A Solution That Didn't Work

First, I experimented with a cage and "play yard"situation. I used several Small Animal Playpens as a fence around their cages. I left the cage top off for much of the day, and they hopped in and out onto the floor whenever they chose. But soon they began to soil the carpeting, and Scruffles became proficient at jumping over the playpen sides, which were only about 9 inches high, so I needed another solution.

cage playpen setup
Example of a cage and playpen setup


Discovering the Cubes & Coroplast Answer

In April of 2002, I discovered a web site called Cavy Cages, which showed photos and directions on how to make better and roomier cages for guinea pigs from Cubes and Coroplast (corrugated plastic). The cubes are actually square metal grids that come in a kit for making a cube storage unit. Coroplast is corrugated plastic, similar to corrugated cardboard, only made out of plastic. It is found at sign-making stores or warehouses that specialize in plastics. (Note: the Cavy Cages web site has a "Find Materials" section, helpful for locating supplies in your area.)

My first reaction was to think that I could never make a complicated cage like that. I've never been terribly "handy" with building things around the house. But the more I thought about it, the more I thought, Why not? Surely, I could figure this thing out. I invited my 15-year-old son to work with me. I thought two heads were better than one, and I was right.

We spent two days collecting the materials, planning, and building a 30-square-foot, 2-level pen for our pigs. Once they realized they had all that space, Piggles and Scruffles couldn't have been happier. I would highly recommend the Cavy Cages site and their method of building your own roomy pig cage. Of course, you don't have to go as "hog-wild" as we did, but you can significantly increase your pig's space and health with just a little time and effort. We did it and we love it!

Read on to find out how we made this cage...

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Scruffles Tornado Calvin Pikachu Rocky Copper Hermione Zoe King Piggles