I live in a two guinea pig household. We just moved their cage from our office into our living room. The new room combined with the colder weather has cured all of their boredom woes, and it makes me very, very happy! It is so nice to have happy, active piggies again.
To make a long story shorter: pet store cages are awful for small animals. It is easier, nicer, and cheaper to make them a much larger C&C cage (out of those wire grids from Target and corrugated plastic from a craft or sign store). More information can easily be found on Cavy Cages – the website I frequent as my go-to guinea pig resource. (Yes, it DOES worry Boyfriend that I sometimes spend a few hours reading forums about guinea pigs.)
I currently have a 2×5 cage for my piggies, but I’d like to make them something that looks more ‘furniture’ and less ‘cage’. I was really inspired by this DIY IKEA-hack rabbit hutch on Design*Sponge. I’d like to create something the same size (slightly bigger or smaller, depending) as the current cage – just nicer looking. I realized this was possible – and also probably pretty easy – when I found this antique-trunk-turned cage for a different rabbit (supposedly Hilary Swank’s (celebrity bunny?)) in the comments on the same post.
So, then I did a lot of research (read: internet browsing) and have found a lot of beautiful, wonderful solutions. A lot of the more intricate and interesting cage set-ups are for bunnies, but they’d be easily changed for pigs. You can look at all the different pictures I’ve collected here. This is my favorite cage by far as of right now:
I still have a lot of planning, tinkering, and researching to do. I won’t bore you with ALL of the details right now. Basic details are:
- open top-cage (tried holding some boards over the cage – just too dark!)
- making some of the walls more solid (back, maybe the shorter sides?)
- plywood! (but painted with non-toxic glossy paint, many coats – which apparently is water proof)
- most likely making one side of it really ‘decorative’ (i.e. like an adorable little cottage with windows, etc.) (this side would be taller and more protective, so we can turn the cage around if lots of guests come over – giving the pigs more security and privacy, and less strange people’s fingers)
- creating “platforms” within the cage itself (essentially, adding more interest to their cage and extra “floors”, “layers”, what have you – without actually adding extra boxy layers on top of the cage itself so we can get them out easily and maintain a streamlined profile)
- DIY-ing some adorable hidey-houses
This well definitely be an interesting project! I’ll keep you updated.