When you want to buy a cage and playpen for your guinea pigs, you may wonder why you should get both of them at the same time. What if they live in a playpen? So, can you use a playpen as a guinea pig cage?
You can use a playpen as a cage if you can ensure that it has enough space for the guinea pigs to move or walk around and for the essential things that are needed to be put inside a cage. Moreover, it should be durable and easy to maintain. However, some playpens aren’t suitable to live in because they are too small and not so sturdy.
C&C and DIY metal yard fence playpen are the best to be used for this purpose.
Let’s find out which types of playpens you can use as a cage for guinea pigs and what are the pros and cons.
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Playpens that can be used as a guinea pig cage
You can use the following types of playpen for guinea pigs’ cages.
C&C playpen and cage
C&C offers versatile products that can be used as both playpens and cages for guinea pigs. This playpen is so popular as it provides wide space and is made of durable and safe metal wire grids.
Most of the playpens can’t be expanded and they don’t offer enough space for guinea pigs to live in. But, the c&c playpen is highly customization and you can use it as a cage without any issue.
Moreover, it works better than most guinea pig cages. This item acts as an indoor version of an outdoor hutch with a run.
You can assemble this item easily, but it may need some time initially. You can also access and clean this enclosure quite easily as it offers wide doors.
Holes between the wire grids are also small and the guinea pig’s head won’t get stuck there. Besides, air can pass through the spaces freely.
You can also build a multilevel cage with ramps using this product. Even then, it can offer enough open space for guinea pigs.
Overall, this playpen works great as both playpen and cage to live in and can be worth the money.
You can also check out what to put inside the playpen for guinea pigs.
DIY metal wire yard fence playpen
Metal Wire Yard Fence is another great playpen that can be used as a cage for your guinea pigs. It’s just like a c&c playpen.
Many brands offer metal wire grids to build a cage that’s similar to the c&c playpen. Only you have to connect those panels with connectors and build the cage or playpen.
You can use this playpen as a permanent cage for them because it’s customization, expandable, and offers a large space.
This DIY metal playpen is also very sturdy, easy to assemble, and easy to clean.
However, you have to be careful of the wire spacing of the panels. If the holes are big, your piggy’s head may get stuck in them.
DIY Plastic playpen
You can use a DIY plastic playpen as a cage as you can expand it and give it to any shape you want.
This item offers guinea pigs a lot of open space.
You have to buy these panels made of plastic and connect them to each other.
Each panel is encircled by a metal frame. So, you will get a durable and sturdy enclosure.
As plastic grids are transparent, both your and your piggies can see each other through it. So, there’s no problem with taking care of them.
Some brands also allow you to build a multi-level cage with ramps.
You can clean the plastic panels easily because it’s waterproof.
As it doesn’t contain any holes within the panels like a wire fence, there is no chance that a guinea pig’s head gets stuck in it.
However, it may not provide enough ventilation like a c&c or wire grid playpen.
So, you have to ensure that the top of the playpen is open and provides enough air ventilation.
Guinea pig cage with playpen or run
There is another playpen available for indoor guinea pigs which provides you a prebuilt cage and a playpen at the same time.
You have to connect both parts and your guinea pigs can enjoy the environment.
Though rarely do people use this enclosure for indoor piggies, a similar type of enclosure is widely used for outdoor guinea pigs.
For the outdoors, you will get a guinea pig hutch with a run.
Guinea Habitat by Midwest
Midwest habitat is a very popular item for guinea pigs. This is made for use as a cage as well as a playpen.
The structure of the cage is durable and safe for your piggies.
Moreover, the size and height of the enclosure are absolutely perfect for them.
Furthermore, you can extend it if you want. Just add another cage and connect them both.
You get leaf-proof and durable PVC canvas bottom to line the floor.
Playpens that should be avoided used as a guinea pig cage
You should avoid the following types of playpens as a cage for guinea pigs.
Polyester fabric playpens
The polyester fabric playpen doesn’t have any criteria to use it as a cage and so, it’s not recommended to use it like that.
It cannot be used as a guinea pig cage because it is small in size and not so durable to keep your guinea pigs for days.
Moreover, it does not offer enough air circulation which can be dangerous for their health.
A small enclosure also stresses your guinea pigs out. They can get sick fast.
And other important factors you cannot put any essential stuff in a fabric playpen.
Finally, I want to say that this playpen is not made to use as a cage and you should never think of doing so.
Foldable playpen made of thin wire mesh
A foldable thin wire mesh playpen is great if you use it only as a playpen. But, it’s not suitable to use it as a cage.
It’s so small as a cage. Your guinea pigs can’t live there comfortably for a long time.
You cannot even arrange any bedding materials or put any essential things inside the playpen properly.
Even though you enjoy all the stuff, your guinea pig cannot walk or move there freely. This is not good for their health.
Don’t choose a small playpen for a permanent cage because Guinea pigs need a large space inside their enclosure.
Playpens with big wire spacing
You should stay away from using a playpen that has wide wire spacing in it. This can be dangerous for your biggest because their head can get stuck in the holes.
Things to look for using a playpen as a guinea pig cage
Here are the important factors that you should be looking for while getting a playpen to use as a cage.
Large open space
Guinea pig cages need adequate space for accessories, bedding, and their free-roaming.
They are not like other small pets that can live in a stacked or small cage.
Even after placing those accessories, they need enough open and flat space to walk and run.
So, you must ensure that the playpen you choose as a cage offers enough space to serve the purpose.
Room for exercise
As you are using a playpen as a cage, it should also allow enough room for the exercise of your piggies.
A playpen is usually used to encourage a guinea pig to exercise.
Daily exercise is important to maintain their mental and physical health.
So, if you can pick a good playpen they can exercise inside it every day and become healthy.
Ease of access and cleaning
It should also be very easy to access and clean, as you need to perform these activities regularly.
It should have a wide door that allows you to access the enclosure easily and perform all maintenance work.
Adequate air circulation
Guinea pigs need sufficient air on the floor through the enclosure.
So, a playpen should also provide enough ventilation if you are looking to use it as a cage.
This will help your guinea pig to stay healthy and happy.
What are the benefits of using a playpen as a cage?
If you can have a good playpen to use as a cage, you can get a lot of benefit from it.
Encouraging daily exercise
The playpen is good for the daily exercise of your Guinea pigs.
So, it can allow them to do it more regularly when you choose it as a cage.
This enclosure helps your pig to be active every day.
Being lazy can be bad for their health and cause weight gain and various diseases.
Improving physical and mental health
When you choose a playpen to use as a cage, it often ends up being a large enclosure.
So, it becomes much easier to provide the piggies with a healthy environment.
Moreover, it allows them to exercise every day and be active. This enhances their physical and mental health.
Saving the cost
If you have a small cage, you must buy a big playpen for them.
As you can use this item as the playpen and cage at the same time, it saves you money.
What are the drawbacks of using a playpen as a cage?
If you use a playpen that is not good enough to use as a cage, you will have to face a lot of problems in the future.
A playpen that’s made of thin mesh wire or fabrics can’t offer enough space for various cage items and free movement.
Moreover, it doesn’t provide proper ventilation, and a healthy environment for guinea pigs to live there permanently. This is also stressful for them.
Can guinea pigs live in a playpen?
Guinea pigs can live in a playpen that’s made of metal grids such as a c&c cage and offers a recommended amount of space.
However, you have to ensure that guinea pigs can’t escape the playpen and it provides all the benefits that an ideal guinea pig cage should have.
You can use customizable DIY metal yard fences or, C&C types of playpen as guinea pig cages, because they ensure more open space than many traditional cages, and meet other requirements as well. However, thin mesh wire and fabric playpens aren’t recommended to use as a cage.