Outdoor hutches/runs used as indoor piggy cage?

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Post   » Thu Aug 23, 2018 10:57 pm

HI! I'm curious about whether and outdoor rabbit hutch/run may work as an indoor guinea pig cage. If I ever get guinea pigs again, they would have to live with our dog, who loves to chase small animals. I'm not really thinking about getting piggies right now, I am just curious!

I thought one of these "outdoor" cages might be good because IMO they seem a lot more studier than c&c cages, and can be a lot bigger too!

Idea of a run you could use: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B073XKKRS6/ref=ox_sc_act_title_2?smid=A1JWHZB9W90JZG&psc=1
The sides are a little high, but I think it could be secured to a about 1 ft stand with a piece of linoleum underneath. It also has a cover that is easy to open.

Idea of a hutch: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00HWFV3Y8/ref=sspa_dk_detail_2?psc=1
It might not look great in a house, but I think it would be possible to pain it and make it look a little better. The one minus to this one is that it would be on the floor, meaning to dog could tease the piggies through the wire.

Any thoughts????

Just to clarify- I don't want to keep piggies outside. I am asking about keeping these cages inside. I don't believe it would ever be in my piggy's best interests to live outside, and I plan on always keeping my pigs indoors.

And got the T-shirt

Post   » Thu Aug 23, 2018 11:40 pm

Sorry, your pictures didn't come through.


Post   » Fri Aug 24, 2018 11:12 am

I can see them.

My first thought is that each of these cost over $100. You can make a C&C cage for a LOT less. Also, a C&C cage is very sturdy if you reinforce the corners with plastic zip ties. AND you can customize the shape and size to fit the space you have. You can even use grids to form a base to get the cage off the floor away from other pets. You can use grids zip tied together to form a lid or you can use plastic-coated shelving pieces to make a top.

Those cages look sturdy at first glance, but if you look closely, you can see that the wood is very thin. And you will have to spend more money on some sort of flooring material. Personally, that smaller one does not appear to be anywhere near the size that a decent cage should be for one or two pigs. I think you would be very disappointed in them.

Go to www.guineapigcages.com and see all the ways grids can be utilized to make a great cage. They are easy to build and easy to maintain. And you can put the money that you save into a special account for vet fees.


Post   » Fri Aug 24, 2018 2:10 pm

The concern is that there are dogs who like to chase small animals. We have two beagles, and they will kill rabbits and squirrels they can catch outside (thankfully, they can't catch very many). There is NO way we can allow our beagles in the same area as our guinea pigs. Though they are not able to catch wild rodents very well, they'd be able to easily catch and kill our guinea pigs indoors.

We keep the piggies downstairs in a sturdy C & C cage with lid (up on a grid base as WICharlie suggests), and the dogs stay upstairs. We don't have to keep the dogs from going downstairs -- our cat does that, lol. They are afraid to go down there because that's the cat's domain. (The cat doesn't bother the guinea pigs; in fact, she's scared of them.) When we do bring individual piggies upstairs, the dogs go outside or in their sleeping crates.


Post   » Fri Aug 24, 2018 8:27 pm

We just got a cage from Guineapigcages made using the grids. Pictures in this thread at the bottom of page 1


So far I like it, I will like it even more when they work out how to reach the loft on their own.

The one we got wasn't cheap, but we went a bit overboard, however it does seem to be working well so far and the Cloroplast seems to be easy to clean.

You can probably save money by starting off with a base cage and then buying the components to expand and customize it.


Post   » Fri Aug 24, 2018 11:14 pm

Thank you all so much for your suggestion! I really appreciate the time and effort you put in to helping me.

@bpatters- I'm not sure why you can't see them. It's a link, not a picture. I will try posting them again, hopefully you will be able to see them!

@WICharlie and @rjespicer- Thank you so much for your useful information! I actually fostered piggies for 6 months before we got our piggies. They were kept in a 2 by 3.5 c&c cage. I know that it should have been preferably bigger, but after 6 months their owner was taking them back and wanted the same cage.

Anyway... I found that it was not sturdy at all. The plastic connecters always fell off, and then the grids came loose. If you put any pressure on it at all it seemed like it would fall over. I'm not sure if all c&c cages are like this, or if their owner put it together the wrong way. I don't remember there being any zip ties on it, but I'm not 100% sure. From my past experience with c & c cages I thought that it would not be a good idea to have a dog near a c & c cage. I don't know if all c & c cages are like this or if mine was just not put together right? Do you have any suggestions for making a cage sturdier?

Also, I have previously checked on guineapigcages, and a cage with a stand and lid is very expensive. I just double checked and it said $290 for a 2 by 5. I guess I could get a smaller one but want to have piggies as comfy as possible! Sorry, this question might sound a little stupid, but I have no experience with buying a piggy cage! Is there a different place to c & c cages that are less expensive?

Also, they are 62.25" by 24" and 47" by 47". That should be big enough for two piggies right??

Also- @rjespicer- your cage is amazing! Your piggies are very lucky. I love the fleece forest in the loft!

@JX4- yes, we are concerned about the dog. You sound like you have a great routine with your dogs and piggies! Thank you for your experienced advice. Unfortunately, it's not possible to keep the dog separate, unless I put the piggies in the basement, or the attic, which I'm not prepared to do. I could also possibly keep them in my room but I'm not really sure about that yet. I'm still a teen so I don't make the rules in my family, and my parents don't really like animals. I have already asked about using a baby gate to block an area off and they don't seem like they would agree to that, because they have grown fond of our dog and don't want to put in the effort of blocking a room off. Also, our house is VERY open so there are very few places we could block off. However, I really appreciate your advice!

Thank you SO MUCH everyone! I'm still not sure if it would even be a good idea to get piggies- I don't want to put any precious pigs in a dangerous situation with the dog!


Post   » Fri Aug 24, 2018 11:15 pm

Here are the links again:


Post   » Sat Aug 25, 2018 12:59 am

I think you could make a C & C cage work. Use lots of zip ties (you can buy extras if you need to) and it will be quite sturdy. (It sounds like your friend did not put their cage together properly.) Put the cage up on a table; unless your dog is large that should make it much less accessible to the dog. I used one of those fairly inexpensive folding tables from Target that is the size of two card tables. A bit of one end of the cage stuck out over the edge, but I had the table against a wall and put a board under the cage on top of the table to add stability.

C & C cages are expensive to begin with, but they last and are worth it. However, if you are handy you can build one yourself for cheaper if you get the proper grids. (They MUST have small enough openings so piggie heads don't get stuck in them.)

If you do have a large dog, then the cage would need to be up on a table and you'd need to take precautions about not letting the dog loose in the same room with the cage with no supervision (such as night when everyone is asleep). If the pigs are in your room (probably the safest option, since you could close your door when you need to), then you can keep the dog out of your room a lot more easily than if it were in a large, open living area.

You might have to move some furniture around or even get rid of some to make that work. I am a book lover and had to sacrifice a book shelf or two full of books to make enough space for our guinea pig cage, so while I know it isn't easy, it can be done.

If you do not have pigs yet, I'd recommend getting 2 females rather than two males since males require a lot more space (bigger cage) than females do. Just make SURE you get two females and not two females that -- oops! one is actually a male!

For two females, the minimum cage is 2 x 4 grids from the guinea pig cage store. You might be able to make do with a 2 x 3 but it would be better 2 x 4 if you had to. If you get two males, then the *minimum* is 2 x 5 grids.

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Post   » Sat Aug 25, 2018 9:56 am

I have my cage zip-tied along with the (dang it! brain f**t) grid locks. I've fallen against it many times (poor balance), but it still stays together. It bows, but doesn't pop apart, probably because of the zip-ties. I LOVE my C&C Cage.

JX4 has it right - 2 females rather than 2 males = much easier.


Post   » Sat Aug 25, 2018 10:58 am

"The plastic connecters always fell off, and then the grids came loose..."

Most likely they did not seat the grids into the connecters all the way. Sometimes its necessary to use a small hammer to get them on properly. I know that whenever I used to take a cage apart, it was always a bear. I'd usually have to use a hammer to knock the connecters off.


Post   » Sat Aug 25, 2018 4:31 pm

If you do not zip tie a C&C cage once you have the connectors fully locked in place then you will have problems , push down hard top and bottom and then 'Pinch" adjoining panels together, towards the connector so they are fully seated, you should hear a solid click (I went around twice making sure they were all fully seated before zip tying at very point top and bottom. If you dont make sure that everything is fully seated and then zip tie at each point then yes it will wobble and potentially fall apart.


Post   » Mon Aug 27, 2018 1:05 pm

Wow! I did not realize they were so strong. Looking back, I'm pretty sure our foster pigs' cage did not have any zip ties on it. We didn't make it, it was given to us :). I'm also pretty sure it was not put together correctly, as some people previous mentioned. If we get pigs we will probably get foster pigs again because we are aren't able to commit to owning a piggy (I'm going to college in a few years), and I'm hoping we will be able to give C&C cages another try. They seem really awesome, I just think ours wasn't put together well!

Also-- our dog is pretty small (still a puppy but will be about 30 lbs) so I think it would work great with a table or stand.

Thank you all so much for you help! Guinealynx is a lifesaver- I don't know what I would do without it! I really appreciate all of your help. I'll let you know we do!


Post   » Sun Sep 09, 2018 6:38 am

I was having a lot of trouble with cages and I ultimately purchased a wooden, single-story rabbit hutch that is raised slightly off the floor for my girls. I think it looks nicer in the house than the c & c cages do, personally. It's an adequate size for 2 pigs, 5' * 2' or so, but they are free to come out for floor time whenever I am home. It's much sturdier/ more stable than I was ever able to make a c & c, however, it was expensive even though I got it on sale from amazon. The girls like it and I find it easier to maintain. Be very careful when buying a hutch online, the pictures can be deceptive. Check the measurements. The problem with many hutches is that they don't come with a floor, but mine did.
Last edited by Guineapun on Sun Sep 09, 2018 6:44 am, edited 1 time in total.


Post   » Sun Sep 09, 2018 6:43 am

Also, some rabbit hutches have wire floors, which are not safe for piggies. So look out for that.

The reason I purchased a single-story hutch is that the ramp and the entry hatch in between floors really decreases the usable space in many of those cute elevated rabbit hutches. So be sure to look at the plan/measurements and try to calculate how much space you will actually get for your pigs.

The cage I bought came with a "room divider". I thought the girls would like having a "cave" built in like that, but they didn't care for it so I took it away.


Post   » Sun Sep 09, 2018 12:54 pm

Wow! Your cage sounds really good! Do you possibly still have the name/link? Thanks so much for your help!


Post   » Fri Sep 14, 2018 11:58 am

It was this one. Apparently it is unavailable on (Canadian) amazon right now but it might be available elsewhere like ebay, overstock or some other site. It was the best option for me but I think U.S. amazon has much more selection so you might be able to find something suitable.



Post   » Thu Sep 20, 2018 12:08 pm

I have a jack Russell terrier and 4 indoor guinea pigs. While I do have sturdy, converted dog crates for my guineas, because of NoNo’s high prey drive and kill tally, I have an indoor Dogwatch system that doesn’t allow her to get close to their area without being shocked (we also have a dogwatch invisible fence outside). The indoor system is wireless, and the base unit is about the size of a smoke detector. I just put in on top of the cage and no no can’t get close. For us, it just adds an extra level of protection for my guys.


Post   » Thu Sep 20, 2018 8:21 pm

Thanks so much, staticgirl_77 and Guineapun! I really appreciate your help!

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