What Size Enclosure Does a Guinea Pig Need?

What Size Enclosure Does a Guinea Pig Need?

Are you scratching your head, wondering what size enclosure your guinea pig needs?

As a first-time guinea pig parent, I also had many questions when I learned that cage size was vital for keeping my guinea pig happy.

So, I'm here to provide you with a handy guide on how to pick the best enclosure size for your cavy's needs.

Just keep reading.

Key Takeaways

  • Spacious enclosures keep your cavies healthy, prevent boredom, and make it easier to maintain proper hygiene.
  • Always consider the number of cavies and their gender when picking up the right cage size for your pets.
  • Place your guinea pig habitat in a well-ventilated place away from direct sunlight. 

Why Does Enclosure Size Matter For Cavies?

Before discussing what size enclosure your guinea pig needs, I'll tackle another important question - Does it matter what guinea pig cage size you pick? 

In the wild, guinea pigs live in groups and spend most of their time exploring their territory and foraging for food. At night, they hide in burrows, dense vegetation, rocks, bushes, etc.

The key things are:

  • Cavies are social animals. As experts from Four Paws International say, "There's nothing worse for a guinea pig than living alone." So, the enclosure should be big enough for at least two guinea pigs. (1)
  • Piggies are active animals. They can cover a lot of ground searching for food, so they require plenty of cage space to match their exercise needs.

So, cage size does matter and can tremendously affect your pet's quality of life! And here are the possible consequences of picking the wrong cage from the pet shop.

#1 Risks of Health Problems

Piggies need plenty of space to run, play, and explore. When the cage is small, they can't do their usual shenanigans, which leads to various health issues, such as obesity or heart problems.

Small enclosures also put your furry friend at risk of foot infection because their sensitive feet are in close contact with urine and feces. 

#2 Fighting and Bickering

Guinea pigs are social but can fight and bicker when they don't have sufficient space to co-exist. That's normal because no one likes it when they don't have "me space."

However, a larger cage gives your pets plenty of space to occupy without being on top of each other's heads, which means less aggression and fights.

#3 Boredom

Lack of cage space means no room for toys or other guinea pig essentials to keep boredom away. It also prevents your floofy friend from engaging in natural behavior like foraging. 

A bored piggy can become destructive and develop serious behavioral issues, such as excessive chewing. And that can have a huge impact on your pet's quality of life! 

#4 Harder to Clean

Cleaning a small cage seems easy. But it's not because when piggies have adequate space, they separate their bathroom area from the rest of the cage.

When I had a small cage, I changed the bedding every day. But when I switched to a larger enclosure and Luftpet's cage liners, my cleaning time was reduced almost by half!  

Moreover, small enclosures get stinky quickly, especially without proper ventilation. And that's bad for your piggy and can cause respiratory issues.

#5 No Room for Cage Accessories

A guinea pig needs larger floor space not only because it can prevent health or boredom-related issues. It also ensures enough room for water bottles, food dishes, hutches, toys, cardboard boxes, etc.

Roomy cages allow you to achieve the best guinea pig cage setup and ensure your piggy has easy access to food, fresh water, and suitable bedding.

So, providing ample space for your furry friends is vital. But what is the minimum floor space for your adult guinea pig? Let's find out!

What Is The Best Cage Size for My Guinea Pig?

The most important factor determining the enclosure's size is how many cavies you have. And that makes sense because the more piggies you have, the more space they need.

Minimum Cage Size for a Single Guinea Pig 

As I said, keeping at least a pair of guinea pigs is preferable because cavies are sociable animals. But in some circumstances, piggy parents may have to isolate a sick piggy or a pregnant sow. 

According to the Humane Society, the minimum requirement for a single piggy is 7.5 square feet (that's a 3x2 cage). It's a good option if the cage will be a temporary home for your floofy friend. (2)

However, I recommend getting a guinea pig habitat of at least 10.5 square feet, especially if you plan on getting an additional guinea pig.  

Buying a bigger cage also ensures you won't have to replace the enclosure if you decide to have another guinea pig. 

Minimum Cage Size Recommendation for a Pair of Guinea Pigs

According to animal organizations, the minimum space for 1-2 guinea pigs is 7.5 square feet. That's the base minimum, and it doesn't give your pets much room to move, play, and interact.

I recommend getting a larger size to ensure each piggy has plenty of room for daily activities and adequate access to resources. And going larger means less chance of fighting! 

The perfect choice would be a 4x2 grid C&C cage, which gives your furry friends 10.5 square feet of space. 

Minimum Size Cage for 3-4 Guinea Pigs

To create a comfortable environment for 3-4 cavies, you'll need a spacious indoor enclosure of at least 13 square feet.

That's a cage a bit bigger than the one you'd need for a pair of cavies. As you can imagine, it will provide the bare minimum of space for your furry friends. 

But to keep your guinea pigs happy, I recommend the following:

  • 5x2 grid cage with available space of 14.4 square feet for three cavies
  • 6x2 grid cage with available indoor space of 17 square feet for four cavies
  • 21 square feet for more than five guinea pigs
  • Keep in mind that many pet store cages are far too small for multiple cavies, so always check the indoor floor space! Or check this video on how to make a suitable cage. 

And now, let's talk about what other factors matter when picking the right housing size. 

What to Consider When Picking Guinea Pig Enclosure Size

While the number of cavies is the most important factor when choosing the best cage for guinea pigs, pet parents should also consider gender, breed, and cage type. 


Here's a little secret: Male piggies can be pretty territorial, which is a problem if the enclosure lacks adequate space. Fights can get ugly, and one of your piggies might get hurt. 

That's why I recommend sizing up when you have male cavies. More space equals less fighting for territory and less chance of someone getting hurt. 

Moreover, if you think about breeding your female cavy, I recommend going for a bigger cage to ensure the female has enough space to raise her babies. 


The largest guinea pig breed can reach an adult size of up to 17 inches, while the smallest breed is only 8-9 inches. A small cavy will be happy in a 7.5-square-foot cage, but a large one will struggle.

The best option is to buy a guinea pig cage as big as possible from the pet store to avoid your cavy outgrowing its enclosure! 

Type of Cage

Many pet parents ask me whether multi-level cages are a good idea for cavies. In general, they are not because cavies don't enjoy climbing, so vertical space doesn't work much for them. 

Moreover, cavies have poor depth perception and can get hurt when climbing ramps and stairs. And multi-story cages don't provide enough ground floor space to meet your guinea pig's exercise needs. 

And now, let's talk about where you should place your piggy palace. It's more important than you realize! 

Where Should I Put My Guinea Pig Enclosure? 

Do you know your cavy can't sweat when they become too warm? That's one of the reasons why you must be careful where you put the guinea pig habitat. Here are some tips: 

  • Place the enclosure away from direct sunlight and heat sources, such as stoves, fireplaces, and heating vents. 
  • The location should be draft-free, or your piggy can get chilled. 
  • Don't place the enclosure in a room you rarely visit. Cavies need to feel like they are part of the family and be included in family activities.  
  • Avoid locations with loud noises and ensure your cavy has a safe hiding place to retreat when overwhelmed. 


1. Do guinea pigs like 2-level cages?

Most cavies don't like climbing and can get hurt if they fall from ramps or stairs. That's why it's better to avoid 2-level cages. 

2. What cages are bad for guinea pigs?

Cages less than 7.5 square feet in size are bad for 1-2 guinea pigs because they don't provide adequate space. Also, avoid plastic tubes, glass aquariums, and wire floor cages. 

3. Can a guinea pig cage be too big?

No, big enclosures are not bad for cavies—just the opposite. Get the roomiest cage if you want a happy guinea pig. 


What size enclosure does a guinea pig need? Depending on the number of cavies you have, you'll need a cage of at least 7.5 square feet for 1-2 cavies, but it's always better to go as big as possible.

However, avoid traditional cages with wire floors. While they're a popular option for some pets, they can be dangerous for guinea pigs. 

What do you think about the guinea pig enclosure size? What size enclosure do you prefer for your furry pet? Share your thoughts in the comment section.  


1. https://www.four-paws.org/our-stories/publications-guides/a-natural-life-for-a-guinea-pig

2. https://www.humanesociety.org/resources/guinea-pig-housing

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