Guinea pigs thrive in habitats that allow them ample room to play. Cavy Spirit, an online resource dedicated to educating guinea pig enthusiasts, recommends a cage that measures 7.5 square feet for a single pig and a cage of 10.5 square feet for two. A proper guinea pig enclosure has adequate ventilation and solid, sturdy flooring to ensure Cousin It's health and longevity.
Pet stores everywhere sell guinea pig cages made primarily of plastic with metal bars and lids. Often they're marketed in kits with cage supplies including a water bottle and wire rack used to dispense timothy hay. According to pet product supplier Doctors Foster and Smith, many of these commercially marketed cages are not big enough to provide enough room for an adult cavy. They also commonly have wire floors, which needless to say are uncomfortable and which pose potential danger -- guinea pigs can get their little feet injured in the gaps.
You can fabricate a popular type of guinea pig cage from scratch using a combination of coated wire cubes, the kind that typically serve as storage crates for the home, and a plastic called Coroplast, which is used to make business signs. Commonly called C&C cages by rodent aficionados, these units convert to any size; simply increase the number of wire cubes and the length of the plastic. According to Cavy Spirit, some of the benefits of creating this type of cage include durability, low cost, ease of cleaning and good air circulation.
Aquariums are relatively inexpensive and available everywhere, Guinea Lynx, which provides online information on how to care for piggies, does not recommend using them because they are not large enough, don't allow for proper ventilation and can limit your critter's vision, hearing and sense of smell.
Multilevel cages made from either metal or sturdy plastic, serve as habitats for a variety of small animals, including guinea pigs, ferrets and rabbits. They tend to feature a handful of platforms on multiple floors. Such open-air cages provide good airflow and encourage exercise, but be warned: Metal bars could hurt your pig's feet or cause unnecessary falls.