In recent years, C&C (Cubes and Coroplast) cages have grown steadily in popularity and have taken over a significant segment of the small animal pet cage market. A quick online search will reveal several web sites that now offer instructions for building basic rudimentary cages. In addition, a number of C&C cage retailers have sprung up online and offer C&C cages in kit form. The main reasons for the growing popularity of this cage technology is that 1) very large cages are available – generally much larger than those offered in pet stores and 2) C&C cages are relatively inexpensive. By virtue of these factors – the consumer can get a lot of cage for the money. However, as the old caveat goes: Let the buyer beware. There is one serious potential hazard that the responsible pet owner must watch for when buying or building their own C&C cage.

As I mentioned previously, several sites offer instructions on building simple, basic C&C cages. Many of them also list sources for materials. A few national department store chains are recommended as sources for metal grids. The problem is that much of this information is now several years old and some of the grid sources have modified their products.

A few years ago, one of the national department store chains was a great place to buy grids for C&C cages. They were available as cube or shelving unit kits. The kits contained both the metal grids and plastic connectors needed to fasten them together. The square grids were 14-inches on each side and were laid out in a 9-space by 9-hole grid. Thus, each opening was approximately 1.5 inches square. And these girds made absolutely wonderful cages.

As the economy took a turn for the worse, the company had this product redesigned in order to take material out of it and save cost. The new product now contained grids that had only 8 spaces per side. Thus, each space was slightly bigger – only around a fifth of an inch. No big deal if you were building a shelf to hold stuffed animals, comic books or your hat collection from Sweden. However, that fifth of and inch was a very big deal to C&C cage builders and owners.

Shortly after the design change, guinea pig rescue organizations began receiving reports of guinea pig strangulation deaths. Many of the organizations began issuing warnings to avoid 8×8 grids and only use 9×9 girds. Several also contacted C&C cage retailers with the same warning. In fact, it was through contact with these organizations that our company first heard of this issue.

After deciding on the C&C technology, you will have two choices in realizing your cage. You can design and build your cage from scratch out of grids, corrugated plastic and other hardware that you purchase yourself. Or you can order your cage in kit form and build it with the instructions and materials provided. Either way, be absolutely sure to use only grids with spacing of 1.5 inches or smaller. When using 14-inch grids, be sure to use only 9×9 girds and absolutely avoid 8×8 grids.

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Categories: Guinea Pig Cages

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