When choosing a new home for their guinea pig, most people prefer to go to the pet store and buy their favorite cage. In the pet store, of course, the cells are good, but it will be quite difficult, if not impossible to find a cage of sufficient size for your pig. And although large-sized cages are sold in pet stores, they usually have the minimum size you need for your guinea pig, and often less than that. And while such cells are expensive.
However, there is another way that will provide your guinea pig comfort and safety, as well as save your money. The solution is simple - do it yourself, and the main building material will be corrugated board and a metal grill. This article includes step-by-step instructions on how to how to make a cage for a guinea pig with your own hands. If you already have a cage, then make a house for the guinea pig.
Benefits of a DIY Guinea Pig Cage
Do-it-yourself cages have many advantages over a cage purchased from a pet store. Firstly, you will save money. Having spent a significant amount of money at the pet store, you will receive a cage half as small as that made by your own hands. If you use cage fleece litter, you will save even more money. After all, there is no need to change the fleece litter, as it is easy to clean - just cut out the debris and put it back.
Using a homemade guinea pig cage will make you healthy and happy. After all, piglets will not be limited to a small residential area. If you have several guinea pigs living together, then a homemade cage will give them more places for privacy.
Another advantage of a do-it-yourself guinea pig cage is that you have plenty of opportunities to create unique and exciting cells! You can create multi-level cells, L-shaped cells, skyscraper cells and others. The possibilities are endless.
In addition, you will not have a bunch of leftover parts. From the remaining building materials prepared for the manufacture of the cage, you can make a food zone, a feeder for hay and a house for a guinea pig. From the remaining bars, you will get excellent bunk beds. Bend them to create a lift and attach the ties to the sides of the cage. There is much more to be done - you just need to turn on your fantasy.
A homemade guinea pig cage is very easy to clean with your own hands. Being spacious and open, nothing will disturb you during cleaning, and the fleece litter is also easily replaced. There are no inaccessible places in it and there is no need for its dismantling.
Now that you know all these benefits, let's look at how you can make a cage for a guinea pig with your own hands.
The following materials will be needed in order to build a guinea pig cage with your own hands:
- Multilayer corrugated cardboard from various containers, such as boxes and packages of medium and large household appliances. For water resistance, paste the cardboard from the inside with a wide adhesive tape, leaving no exposed areas. Alternatively, you can cover the inside of the finished box with acrylic or fiberglass. Corrugated cardboard is excellent for the manufacture of guinea pig cages - it is easy to handle, in particular bend at an angle of 90 degrees for the corners of the cage, it is lightweight, quite durable. Also, cardboard can be found in various colors, or pasted with adhesive tape of the desired color. Another important advantage is that it is practically free, every home has household appliances, which means cardboard packaging from under it.
- A metal grill with a mesh size of not more than 3 cm for an adult and not more than 1 cm for small piglets. In large cells, guinea pigs can get stuck. The grill of the required size can be bought in the store of household goods or in the market. It is not necessary to look for large lattice panels, small pieces of the lattice are also suitable - they will be interconnected by cable ties.
- A bundle of plastic cable ties. Buy more, you will use them more often than you think.
- Stationery knife.
- Duct tape.
- A large ruler or tape measure.
Choose the size of the future cell
First, you must choose the size of the cage for the guinea pig, determine how large it will be.
The bigger the cell, the better! If you want your guinea pigs to be healthy and cheerful, provide them with as much living space as possible. Follow the minimum cell size standards listed in the table and you will see how your favorite guinea pig’s behavior improves significantly. Enjoy the new tricks of your happy, healthy and revitalized guinea pigs, who finally got into the proper living conditions.
|Standard cell sizes|
|The number of pigs||Minimum area||Preferred Area||in cm|
|0.7 sq. m||the bigger, the better||70 x 100|
|0.7 sq. m||1 sq. m||70 x 140|
|1 sq. m||1.2 sq. m||70 x 170|
|1.2 sq. m||the bigger, the better||70 x 210|
For babies, very young or very small guinea pigs, as well as for pregnant females, it is necessary to make temporary additional protection on the sides of the cage (for their own safety). In addition, any wire feeder for hay should be used with extreme caution if you have very small guinea pigs.
Exercise has great health benefits for guinea pigs. Like humans, overweight guinea pigs have an increased tendency to health problems, including heart disease, diabetes, bladder infections, respiratory problems, and more.
Adult males tend to lose muscle tone in the stool pocket, which is located in the anus, as a result of which litter begins to get stuck in it (weakened muscles can no longer properly push it out). A large cage that allows you to exercise will help keep your guinea pigs toned and fit.
Adult females tend to gain excess weight over time, which is deposited in the abdomen. This makes it difficult to find and diagnose ovarian cysts, and also entails other problems associated with overweight in females.
Even if you play enough time with your guinea pigs every day, they should still have the opportunity to study independently. Guinea pig activity changes throughout the day. Many pigs are especially active in the morning and evening, and not necessarily at a time convenient for you. If they have a sufficiently large cage, then your pets can exercise at any time they want.
Like humans, guinea pigs are very bored, being all their lives in the same old small cage, in which there is nothing special to do. Imagine being locked forever in your room, which is the size of a dressing room. And here you are in this small space having fun, eating, sleeping, swimming - and so hour after hour, day after day, year after year - until you die. Even if they let you out and allow you to “play” periodically, it’s still a numbing, dreary existence.
More fun for you
Happy guinea pigs are more fun, they feel good. Healthy guinea pigs - fewer visits to the vet, worries and costs. The easier it is to maintain, the happier the relationship with the animals. You will spend less time cleaning the cage, get more time to enjoy them and your life.
Next, you will need to decide what the height of the box of your cell will be. We recommend making the box height approximately 15cm.
Then select the dimensions of the rectangle of the bottom of the cell. The size of the base will depend on how big your cell will be. Think carefully about this very important step.
Draw on the cardboard the base of the box of your future cage. After that, measure a distance of 15 cm on each side and connect with lines - these will be the sides of the box.
Corrugated cardboard consists of two layers and air pockets between the layers. If you cut through only the top layer, the corrugated cardboard is easily bent by 90 degrees. This is ideal for creating corners. In principle, you can not cut through the top layer, but then the bend will be uneven.
Along the red lines, make an incision only in the first layer of the corrugated cardboard. Be careful - do not cut through! Cut the sheet in black lines, make cuts in the places indicated by black lines.
If you have already cut a sheet of corrugated cardboard, start collecting the box. Do not forget to paste the tape with tape!
Fold the edges to create sides, one at a time. Corrugated cardboard is easily bent in one direction. Bend the protruding edges of the sides to the other side and glue together with adhesive tape.
As a result, you should get a shallow, rectangular box without a top. Consider a cage for a guinea pig with your own hands half assembled.
Now that you have made a box of corrugated cardboard, you can begin to assemble the sides of the metal gratings that will go around the perimeter of your cage.
Prepare metal grilles. To do this, cut out the panels of the required size from them. The height of the panels should be approximately 2 times the height of the assembled box. If you plan to make a multi-level cell, then select the appropriate height. Work on the edges of the metal panels so that they cannot be injured.
Using cable ties, connect the prepared panels of grids in the upper and lower parts, as well as in the center.
Scissor the long ends of the cable ties.
Collect each side separately. Check that the length of the opposite sides is appropriate. If necessary, adjust the dimensions of the resulting sides.
We combine a cardboard box with grates
You are almost there! All that remains is to connect the sides of the grill panels to each other to form a rectangular shape that will exactly match the cardboard box.
Tie the edges of the assembled sides together using cable ties. It is also necessary to tie in the upper and lower parts, as well as in the center. The resulting angle should be straight. Do not tie the sides together too tightly - otherwise there may be problems with the connection of the sides at the opposite end of the cell.
Voila! That's all!
After you assemble the outer perimeter of the cage from the panels of the metal grill, you can step back and enjoy your masterpiece. Now all you have to do is equip the cage inside. Put a soft fleece litter, place a toilet, a feeding trough, a drinking bowl and toys. Your guinea pig will be very excited and pleased to see so much space for running and games, and you will be happy to look at it and understand how much money you saved!
Your guinea pig will be very happy, having at your disposal a cage that you made yourself!
The virtues of homemade cells
The benefits of homemade guinea pig cages are obvious:
- make it completely uncomplicated, like a cage for a budgie. You will not need to have specific knowledge and skills. All you need is a set of specific tools and materials, as well as a corresponding desire,
- this is an obvious saving of money. Even if you buy some missing materials, it will still cost you many times cheaper than buying a finished cell in a store,
- unique opportunities open up for you in terms of creating unusual shapes and design solutions. The cell does not have to be standard rectangular. They can be made multilevel, non-standard forms, high or squat - the choice always remains with the owner, since there are no artificial frames characteristic of pet stores,
- such a cage is easy to care for. Having initially thought over the design, you can make it easy to clean, change certain elements, etc.,
- it is good for the health of guinea pigs. If they are comfortable, they will have the appropriate mood. Large sizes contribute to good physical fitness. All this will help to make your pet live as long as possible,
- It should also be noted that you can occupy your hands and head with a pleasant thing. To make something is always useful and exciting.
Making a home for a guinea pig is not difficult
Everything is very simple here - the larger the cage for a guinea pig with your own hands, the better.
Free space is necessary for any pet, because it is there that it feels safe.
This is an instinct that must be taken into account.
Of course, when choosing a size, it is necessary to take into account the features of the room where the cell will stand. Unfortunately, the housing realities of many citizens are such that there is absolutely not enough free space in the rooms. Therefore, first you need to make sure that the future cell is where to put, and at the same time it is not small.
|The number of guinea pigs||Minimum area||Recommended Area|
|1||100 by 70 centimeters or 0.7 sq.m.||140 by 70 centimeters|
|2||140 by 70 cm||Maximum sizes are not limited.|
|3||170x70 centimeters||Approximately 1.5 square meters|
|4 and more||210 by 70 cm||The larger the better, the dimensions are limited only by existing housing conditions.|
Even if you buy a couple - a boy and a girl, you need to understand that they will probably have offspring. So, in this case, the size of the cage for the guinea pig must meet the requirements relating to the residence of four or more piglets.
How to equip a guinea pig cage
It is not necessary to pile up the cell too much, however, the basic elements should still be there. What should be in the cage of a guinea pig:
- feeders - in no case not one. If the animal lives in splendid isolation, there should preferably be two feeders - one for hay and one for the rest of the feed. A large family of pigs needs to be provided with a sufficient number of feeders, otherwise they may begin to compete for it. The weaker ones will not be able to make their way to food, because of which they will feel appropriate,
- drinking bowls - there should also be several of them, if there are two, three or more pigs. Drinking bowls are advisable to buy special, rather than home-made. Do not give preference to new-fangled products, characterized by an automated water supply system - the animal may not understand how it all works, and therefore he will be constantly thirsty,
- houses. There should be one house for each animal. Here they hide and rest, believing that they are completely safe. You can make a house yourself - from the same corrugated cardboard or plywood, or you can purchase a finished version in a pet store,
- ladders - relevant if the cell is multi-level. They will help the pigs to move between the floors of their home,
- play area - here you can set the maze, balls, hammock and other funny things for the animal.
Drinking bowls and feeders should be placed in one zone - the dining room, you do not need to scatter them throughout the cage.
To make high-quality and comfortable cages for guinea pigs with your own hands is within the power of each owner of these funny rodents.
Pros of a self made cell
A do-it-yourself guinea pig cage made of thick cardboard and mesh has many advantages over its store counterpart. This is not only a significant saving of money. This is an opportunity to make a really large cage for a whole family of guinea pigs with several levels, shelters and ladders. A homemade cell can have a different shape and design and fit harmoniously into the interior of an apartment or even a balcony if it is insulated. Great savings come from a lining of soft and durable fleece. It does not need to be changed every time - it is enough to clean from debris, if necessary, rinse under water and put it back. A homemade cell will allow and after some time add new levels or houses, change the design. You can create a cage in the shape of the letter G, multi-story, vertical - everything is limited only by the imagination of the breeder. From the remnants of building materials, you can make a house for a guinea pig, a nursery for fresh grass or hay, a ladder or a maze. The net will make a wonderful and comfortable bed.
Do-it-yourself cages are more durable and easier to use, and animals feel free and happy in them.
You can find different options for drawings - from the simplest to the most complex, and the manufacture does not take much time.
- Multilayer and dense corrugated cardboard,
- Металлическая сетка или решетка с ячейкой не более трех сантиметров,
- Обыкновенные пластиковые стяжки для кабеля,
- Большие и маленькие ножницы,
- Карандаши или маркеры для разметки,
Лучше всего использовать картон из-под крупной бытовой техники. Он более прочный.
In order for cardboard not to leak moisture, it must be glued on the inside with tape in two or three layers. Some people prefer to cover the inside with acrylic or even fiberglass. Cardboard is an ideal material - it is lightweight, convenient to work with, it is odorless and harmless, and yet it is easy to find. Attentive to the choice of metal mesh. The recommended cell is three centimeters, but if a family of pigs is kept and offspring are planned, you must select a grid with a cell no more than a centimeter. Otherwise, the kids will crawl throughout the apartment.
Cell size selection
Do it yourself home for a guinea pig with sizing. The larger the living area, the better, but it is not always possible to accommodate a large and spacious housing for pets in a limited area of an apartment. And for the animals to live comfortably, the minimum area of the cage should be:
- For one pig - 0.7 sq m or 100 per 70 cm,
- For two individuals - 1 sq m or 140 by 70 cm,
- For three animals - 1, 2 sq m or 170 by 70 cm,
- For four or more animals - from 1.5 sq m or 210 to 70 cm.
Do not forget that if you are planning to breed pigs, then the area of the cell should be greater than for two or three individuals.
Having decided on the size, it is worth thinking about how high the base of the cell will be. It is recommended to take a height of at least 15 cm. The parameters of the lower part are limited only by imagination and possibilities. Having thought over the sizes, it is necessary to draw on the cardboard the shape of the base of the cell. Next, a distance of fifteen centimeters is measured on each side and is connected by lines on the ruler - these are the sides of the future box. The advantage of working with corrugated cardboard is its multilayer structure, consisting of alternating air pockets and cardboard layers. Having carefully cut only the top layer, you can get material that is easy to bend ninety degrees. An incision of the top layer is made along the lines drawn on the cardboard. After cutting, the box of cages is going to. The main thing is not to forget to glue the entire inner part with tape.
The edges are folded, and the long protruding edges are bent to the opposite side for strength and glued with tape. The result is a rectangular box with no top. The next step is to assemble the sides of the metal mesh or gratings. The mesh or grill must be cut into panels of the desired size. The height of each panel should be at least twice the height of the assembled box. If the cage is planned in two or three levels, then the height is selected in accordance with the number of levels (for each minimum of 15 cm). The edges of the grill must be well treated from sharp corners. Finished panels from the grid are connected to each other from below, from above and in the center using ordinary screeds.
The last moment - the assembly of the finished components of the corral for animals. Mesh panels and the box are fastened together with cable ties. It is better not to tighten the parts too tight so as not to disrupt the correct shape of the cell.
It is important to remember that the metal part is placed inside the cardboard box and must exactly match the size of the base.
After the new and spacious house for the guinea pig is ready, it must be equipped with everything necessary for a comfortable and happy animal life. The first thing you need is a feeder. You must have a separate feeder for hay or grass, as well as for dry and succulent feed. If there are several pets, then there should be several feeders so that the animals do not compete and fight for food. There should also be several drinkers.
The drinker and feeder can also be made independently. A manger for hay is well replaced by a curved and bonded metal mesh, and the drinker is easy to make from an inverted plastic bottle. To do this, a hole is made in the cap of the bottle into which a regular drinking straw is inserted. The liquid will not spill if the diameter of the hole is slightly smaller than the diameter of the tube. The bottle is filled with water and attached to the outside of the cage, and the tube starts inside. Pigs quickly learn to drink from it, and the water remains always clean and fresh. The main condition is that all feeders and drinkers should be located in the same feed zone. Next, it is necessary to arrange shelter houses in several places in which animals can relax.
You can make a house with your own hands from plywood or durable cardboard, or you can buy a ready-made version in the store.
Some breeders use clay flower pots, cardboard boxes, and even wooden bird cages to take out of the grate as houses. There are a lot of options. If the cell is multi-level, several ladders should be installed. They are made of grate or wood. You can also equip a play area for pigs and place there a small maze, several toys, balls or a comfortable hammock.
Spacious Cell Advantage
Some breeders believe that the advice to make a cage no longer has any scientific justification. However, a large area of the cage will allow the animal to actively move and not be bored even when the breeder does not have enough time to let the animal walk around the apartment. In the cage, the pig can play, run, explore the territory and even just go eat - it will take her time. Movement is a good prevention of diseases of the lungs, heart, kidneys, stomach. A large cage will also allow each pig to have its own corner and its own zone of comfort and relaxation. So the fights between the animals will stop. An important role is played by the area of the house for the pig when the female is expecting offspring or already has offspring.
A large cage is easier to keep clean. It is much more convenient to clean it, change feed, litter. Watching animals frolic in the aviary is also much more convenient and interesting.