There are many different types of small animal cages available, from basic aquariums with screen tops to elaborate enclosures with multiple levels, turrets, and climbing tubes. Your small animal will spend a lot of time
in its cage so it is important to make sure you select one that will not only meet its needs, but also ensure its safety, comfort, and happiness. To help you make your selection, we’ve listed some basic housing requirements of
different types of small animals below.
Ferrets enjoy climbing and do best in large, well ventilated cages with solid floors that have multiple levels with
platforms and ladders. Ferrets are escape artists so it is important to make sure that the wires are not spaced too far apart and that the cage has a secure door.
This multi-level ferret cage would provide any ferret with hours of climbing fun.
playful animals that love to jump around their cages and prefer cages that are taller than they are wide. A single chinchilla
requires a cage at least 24”L x 15”W x 30”H although a larger cage would be better. Cages with multiple levels and ramps provide your chinchilla with lots of room to play and explore.
In addition, there must be sufficient room in the cage for a dust bath, a litter area, and an exercise wheel.
This Chinchilla cage features platforms, a climbing tube, and a house for dust baths
Guinea Pigs require a cage that provides sufficient room to play and exercise. A single guinea pig does best in a cage at least 30”L x 15”W x 15”H although larger cages are preferred. If housing multiple
guinea pigs together, a larger cage will be required. It is also important to choose a cage with at least a partially solid floor, cages with all wire or mesh flooring
can cause injuries to your guinea pig’s feet. If you must choose a cage with a wire floor, make sure to provide some sort of solid surface for you guinea pig to stand on as
needed. You will also want to make sure that the door is large enough to allow easy access to both the cage and the guinea pig. Cages with tops that lift up are ideal.
This is a basic wire guinea pig cage which has a solid bottom and lifting top.
Rabbits should have a cage at least four times their size with at least a partial area of solid flooring. When housing rabbits together, a larger cage will be required.
Like guinea pigs, rabbits require a cage that provides easy access, and cages with tops that lift up work well.
Rabbits can be housed in simple wire cages or in a more creative wire cage
Hamsters have the most housing options available of all small animals. While they can be housed in a something as basic as an aquarium with a securely fastened
screen top, you can also choose a wire or plastic cage with tubes, tunnels, and other fun features. At a minimum, a hamster cage should be large enough to include an exercise
wheel, a sleeping area, a food-hoarding area and toilet area, with room left over to exercise and explore.
This single level cage provides everything your hamster needs
Gerbils are very active and need space to explore and exercise. When housing multiple gerbils together, keep in mind that they can become aggressive if housed in too small of an area.
One or two gerbils can live happily in a 15 gallon aquarium which is approximately 24”L x 12”W x 12”H or a wire hamster style cage. Unlike hamsters, cages with tubes and tunnels are not recommended for
gerbils because they are active chewers and can quickly destroy the plastic and escape.
Wire multi level cages provide gerbils with lots of room to exercise
Mice are playful and extremely active animals. They can run up to a quarter of a mile per night so they require space for an exercise wheel as well as an area to burrow and hide
in. A single adult mouse requires a total floor area of approximately 15 square inches. They are social animals and do best when kept in pairs or small groups. Mice do well in aquariums
with screen tops, wire hamster type cages, or plastic hamster cages with tube and tunnel systems. If choosing a wire style cage, it is important to make sure that the bars are close
enough together so that your mice don’t squeeze out and escape.
This cage provides mice with lots of room and ample climbing space
Rats enjoy climbing so a somewhat roomy cage is recommended, although a single rat can live happily in an aquarium with a securely fitting mesh top. A general rule for calculating cage size
is two cubic feet per rat, although the larger the habitat you can provide the happier your rat will be.
This cage provides lots of room for your rat to move around