C&C cages are becoming increasingly popular. Their usage has increased dramatically over the past few years. This is largely because pet owners are beginning to realize that while standard mass-produced pet store cages may be economically feasible to house racks of laboratory guinea pig test subjects, they fail to provide a comfortable and healthy living environment for our much-loved family pets.
So how do you go about building a C&C cage? As a first step, you will need to design your cage. C&C cages can be as simple as a rectangular “fence” placed around the perimeter of a Coroplast box; or as complex as a multi-level “pig mansion” complete with a top, a bottom, ramps and balcony levels. The choice is yours. Literally hundreds of photos are available online to inject inspiration into your cage design efforts.
Some things that you might want to consider when designing your cage are:
- A top or lid for your cage if you have a cat, toddler or other “domestic predators” in the house.
- A wire bottom if the cage is to be placed on a table. Cages with no bottoms can be dangerous for your pigs because once an edge slips off the table; it may drag the entire cage down onto the floor.
- If your cage has a top, be sure that it has large openings to make cleaning and cage maintenance easy. Trying to clean an enclosed cage through a small opening is difficult at best.
Once you have your cage designed, you will need to purchase all of the necessary materials. You will need grids, Corolast and some type of fasteners to hold the unit together.
You can generally obtain grids by purchasing a wire storage cube shelving unit from one of the major department stores. Be sure that the grids have openings that are no larger than 1.5 inches. One of the national department stores has recently changed the design on their storage cube units in order to save costs. The unit is constructed from grids that are 14-inches square. The old design had nine squares alone each edge. The new cost-reduced version uses 8×8 grids.
Various pig rescue organizations have reported guinea pig strangulation deaths and injuries resulting from using these 8×8 grids in C&C cages. It vitally important that these grids be avoided when building your cage. Be sure that if you are using 14-inch by 14-inch grids, that they are the 9×9 variety. As an alternative, insure that the openings are 1.5 inches or less on each side.
If grids are not available in your area, you can often obtain them by contacting one of the several online C&C cage sellers.
Coroplast is generally not available in hardware and home improvement stores. The best way to buy Coroplast is to contact local sign shops. Coroplast is routinely used for outdoor lawn signs. You will want to contact multiple sign shops and get a few quotes as they vary widely in price. If you wish, sign-makers may even be willing to cut it to size for you for a small fee. When contacting sign shops, be sure to tell them you are building a guinea pig cage. They may offer you a lower price when they find that you are not a competitor.
The last thing you will need is a means of connecting all of the grids together. Most storage cube kits come with press-on plastic knob connectors included. Most C&C cage designers use these fasteners to build cages.
As an alternative, you can also use tie wraps or zip ties to hold your cage together. Although they require a little extra work to apply, they offer a much stronger, sturdier and more permanent fastening method than the press-on plastic connectors.
You can also avoid all of the work involved in designing your cage and in finding materials by purchasing a C&C cage kit online. These kits come with instructions and all the materials required to build your cage. Either way, building a C&C cage is a great way to provide a healthy and comfortable environment for your cavies at an economical price.
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Categories: Guinea Pig Cages