My mom and I are arguing about a cage for a Guinea Pig. She wants to get a wire cage with a slide out tray because she said it would be less expensive and less stinky. I didn't want to do that because he might get bumblefoot and the cages are quite expensive, yet small. I wanted to get a C&C type cage with a solid bottom and use fleece, but she claimed it would be stinky, and she didn't want to wash "peed up fleece" in her washing machine. She also claimed that the guinea pig wouldn't get bumblefoot because he would have beds to lay in and I would take him out to play with him. What would be better for the piggy?


3 Answers 3


Solid bottom. Wire grating can cause arthritis over time, from toes wrapping and unintentional grabbing around the bars. Also, toes or toe nails can get caught and pulled, causing injury anywhere from bent or yanked toenails, broken toes, foot, leg(from twisting), and muscles or tendons pulled or strained.

I also like to think a cage without a grate encourages cleaning. Some people associate that having a grate means they don't have to clean as often because their pet doesn't have physical contact with urine or feces, but actually alot of the harm is in the ammonia and bacterial build up from urine and droppings in close quarters causing respiratory stress and illness. Many also forget that the tray isn't the only thing that has to be cleaned, the grate would have to be as well.

Over lengthy periods of time, walking on grate can also cause spinal stress as the body of guinea pigs, rats, and bunnies (etc...) is not made to compensate constant muscle use to hold or balance on grate.

Sidenote relative to the bottom of cages: Using a bedding free of oils is healthiest for small animals. Wood shavings like cedar for example can be dangerous. Once again to reduce risk of respiratory problems, but also is better for the padding on their feet. Also splintering is a less likely risk, but still happens wether it's splintering by accidental ingestion or on the skin. Carefresh is a line if small animal bedding that makes a dust free and dye free product, and there used to be a recycled newspaper pellet bedding made by yesterday's news, specifically for small animals (not sure if it's made anymore but it was made safe so that if small animals confused it with a food pellet it was safe to eat, but not encouraged- they make cat litter as well but the formulation is different and not as safe).


I tried different things including fleece and different kinds of bedding. I found the best one is solid bottom with absorbent paper bedding. Wire bottom will hurt their feet. Hope this helps.


In addition to the above answer I absolutely agree to: You cannot go cheaper, easier to clean and GOOD FOR THE GUINEA-PIG(!!!!) than a decently constructed C&C cage! To help in the argument with your mom, and speaking as a guinea-pig-owner myself:
No matter what type of cage you have, you have to clean it regularly, or it smells, yes. The type of cage does not change that fact one bit. If she is opposed to fleece, you can use woodshavings in a C&C-type cage as well, and if you think about the construction just a LITTLE bit, you can make them easily cleanable! Just come up with a decent plan for how to make a full cleaning easy, and that advantage of the wire-botton quickly vanishes.

A little addendum: you talked about just one guinea-pig? Please, get at least two! They NEED the company of other guinea-pigs, a human can never fully replace those.

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