You’re off to the pet shop to get your new guinea pig, and we know this is exciting stuff! Whilst you are there, you might look around for a cage for your guinea pig, or you might already have a cage at home that your hamster lived in once.
Either way, the cage is smallish, but then so is your piggy at this point.
So this is where you might ask the question, “Can my guinea pig live in a hamsters cage?”, or any small cage for that matter.
Guinea Pigs cannot live in hamster cages. A small space such as this would be very stressful for a guinea pig, and would cause them anxiety. You want to create a large living space for your guinea pig, as they enjoy freedom of movement. Consider both indoor and outdoor solutions.
Guinea pigs need to move and feel a sense of freedom in their surroundings. I’m going to look at how to create the perfect living space for your guinea pig, and really hone in on why exactly guinea pigs cannot live in hamster cages.
First of all, let’s look at guinea pigs as a whole. Their personalities, their needs, their friends and you.
Guinea Pigs Are Not Wall Flowers
A guinea pig really enjoys company, so it is recommended when purchasing one guinea pig that you rather purchase two. This way they have an automatic friend for life. What is not to love about that? Guinea pigs are the social butterflies of the animal’s world and enjoy all company, but of course, at times they require time alone too.
This is certainly something that is beneficial to the guinea pig. Having one on their own will lead to them becoming depressed, and that will also play a significant role in your decision when it comes to their accommodation.
Two is Always Better than One
So knowing this, two guinea pigs would not survive in a small cage. There are a few reasons as to why, but for now, let’s also consider that at this point you might have decided money-wise that one guinea pig is for you and you are quite happy to have just your baby piggy.
Remember, that guinea pigs grow up quite fast. They grow upwards and outwards quicker than you would imagine. Some piggies become quite plump as well, and this all takes up space. More than this, they start learning just like babies do from a very young age. This means that any behaviors they learn, good or bad, begin the moment you pick them up.
Guinea pigs find new spaces, new people and noise terrifying. They can literally die of shock, so ensuring their journey home is a safe one is a good way to start your relationship. After all, you want things to get off on the right foot.
If a guinea pig experiences life in a small cage from birth, he might suffer stress problems and anxiety. Never leaving his straw or staying huddled up in a corner. He will also struggle to build trust and bond with you. So the whole relationship can be compromised by incorrect choices.
Yes, They Do Require Less Space
Many people decide to get guinea pigs because they are small, and they do require less space, but less space is really subjective. A hamster cage would cause your guinea pig great distress. There have been tales of piggies being put into hamster cages with wheels and having got wedged into a wheel have died. Accidents happen, so you need to take steps to reduce the chances of them happening.
You might be asking at this point about which kind of cage is best?
It is always better to go larger than you think you need. There are many reasons for this.
Perhaps as you go along, you fall so in love with your guinea pigs that you decide to purchase another one! Then there is also room for growth. Falling in love with your guinea pig is almost always guaranteed.
Guinea pigs also love their own space. They can spend time with humans, they can spend time with other pigs, but they also enjoy their own company. In fact, they crave it.
There are times when your piggy is not responding to you that you should probably just accept that and leave them alone. It makes sense that they need some space to feel as if they are away from you, so that rules out something like a hamster cage.
Because of this, it is important that your piggies have bolt holes or safety pockets within their home arrangement. In this way, when they are nervous, which is often, they can bolt into a pocket or hole and take some time out. Clearly, you need space to set up this type of arrangement for them. [Source]
Guinea Pigs are Very Nervous
Don’t worry about guinea pigs being nervous, it is their general make-up. They have to be nervous in order to survive in the wild. They are very small animals compared to general predators, so their awareness of danger is super-honed. [Source]
Within their small community of one or more fellow pigs, they do need to have their own space. This includes being able to walk around, exercise, visit their friends a little bit further away, and eat and sleep sometimes without being disturbed.
Some People Do Not Go for a Cage at All.
In fact, they decide to section off a part of a room by way of a collapsible cage that is made up of walls only. These can be made from wood or other materials. Within this sectioned off area, people add things like climbing stairs, bridges and safety pockets, as well as feeding stations and sleep stops. This can give a guinea pig a bigger service area in which to walk.
Guinea pigs do not create a lot of smell. Particularly if the owner is hygienic and changes their bedding and straw regularly as they should.
There can be a lot of fun starting off with two guinea pigs, and even more fun watching them play, but two guinea pigs fighting is not very relaxing for anyone. So ensuring they have their space is paramount to avoid this happening.
Some Other Housing Alternatives
Some people house their pigs outside and have great outdoor hutches that are large and also interesting. This is important to a piggy. He could get bored or lonely. If you create an interesting space with other piggies to talk to and where he can roam about, you will have a happy, lovable piggy. Just make sure you visit them often and keep control of the situation.
Outside hutches can be homemade or purchased. There are tons of ideas and instructions online for both. Whether you are in the market for buying a fancy home for your pet or making one. Some of the greatest ideas have come from guinea pig lovers, such as you perhaps, on how to build the best homes for their pet.
For those that do not have a garden, but instead live in a small apartment or home, a wall stacking type hutch could work well. There are many of those on the market, and some people even make their own. If you can imagine a small block of apartments attached to a wall, then you are getting the picture!
The great thing about these types of guinea pig houses is that many leave the walls transparent by using plastic, where you can see into the hutch at all times, no matter where you are. This way, your piggies can enjoy each other and you at any time of the day.
Whenever you purchase a pet, some research is really the way to go. This way, you will learn how long your commitment to your pet might have to last, some pets live longer than others. You can understand their living requirements and offer them a better living area, and also ensure they get better food.
Understanding their behavior also helps you to bond with your pet. The sounds they make, the fun things that they do in order to show you how they feel.
The main goal of why you brought your pet home in the first place should never be far from your mind. Mostly it is more likely that you want your pet to be healthy and happy, and to live a good and happy life whilst bonding with you.
Pets can be so joyful to be around, so making sure you have the right home environment is a great place to start.