_Why I bought It_
When I first got my two Guinea pigs Bailey and Miss Piggy I had been told by the pet shop I bought them at that a 100cm cage would be perfect for them. Now I'm not stupid or totally naive but these were my first Guinea pigs and this person in my eyes was an expert: I mean if your selling Guinea pigs surely you must be fully aware of all their living requirements mustn't you? Well as I soon learned the answer is no. Having soon found some good websites when I was looking into Guinea pig care I found the minimum recommended amount for two Guinea pig's is 120cm x 60cm x 45cm and as the weeks progressed I was seeing for myself how the girls were quickly outgrowing their cage. As I wanted them to have enough space I decided I would get them a new cage. At this point I wasn't even aware C&C cages existed, didn't fancy trying to build a wooden cage or hutch myself so off I toddled to the pet shop to buy them a new bigger cage.
One problem I have always found when buying cages for small animals is the total lack of cages that are the correct size and suitable for the intended animal so when I got in the pet shop I didn't have much choice but then I saw the 'Ferplast Rabbit 120'. At that point I was already using the smaller version (the 'Ferplast Rabbit 100') and although I had not been impressed by the size I had generally found it to be quite a nice cage so I thought I'd give it a go: it would hopefully bring all the aspects I had enjoyed from the Ferplast 100 combined with the bonus of an extra 20cm's worth of space making it near enough the perfect cage.
I bought my cage in the pet store chain Pets at Home for £75 which if I'm honest now I think about it wasn't such a good idea. On a spur of the moment thought whilst buying them some food I decided to get the cage then and there without looking for a better price and looking on the Internet when I got home there were plenty of places I could have got it for a cheaper price: 'Equine Canine Feline' are currently selling it for £47.95 and at the time Zooplus had it for a similar price. This is pretty good value for a 120cm cage.
Having bought it at P@H our cage came ready made so I have no idea how it would be to build if it came flat packed. The cage itself pretty much follows the normal rules of indoor Rabbit/ Guinea Pig cages: It has a plastic base and a plastic coated, metal wire cage that fits on top of the base and can be easily removed if needed. This gives plenty of opportunity for proper light and ventilation. The cage measures 118 x 58.5 x 51.5cm which just meets the minimum recommended requirements for two Guinea pigs, for this reason I highly recommend not trying to have more than two Guinea pigs in this cage and be cautious if you've got two boys as during their hormonal stage they can be prone to fall outs if they don't have a large enough space. It also advertises as being adequate for Rabbits and Ferrets but if I'm honest I don't personally think it is big enough for either. A dwarf rabbit it may just do but for a permanent home, from my experience, i'd defiantly go bigger for both dwarfs and normal sizes. Though I don't have experience with Ferrets I have always been told they do better with more height and more levels so outside of an elderly ferret who can't handle climbing anymore I'd generally look for a different cage.
The base being plastic I've found to be a positive as although it can lead to some cosmetic damage (if you have a pet that likes eating plastic) I've never meet a Guinea pig or rabbit (that is healthy and has a proper diet) that has been able to chew straight through. It also makes cleaning incredibly easy. One thing I have found is that wee stains do sometimes appear but these can be almost completely removed with the magic of some heated vinegar and a little scrubbing. The wire cover is made up of three proper sides and one double door made up of two separate doors that have to be opened or closed individually- as can be seen in the photo. For me these doors brought both pros and cons, it made for easy access of nearly any part of the cage to get the pet out but they could also be incredibly awkward and when placed up weren't that stable: to the point where they fell on me a couple of times when i was leaning in. Another problem I had with the doors was that they sometimes came out of place either partially or fully and although it wasn't too hard to clip them back in this became very annoying when I was trying to do something. It is made up of lines of smaller plastic covered metal wires crossing throughout so that the gaps are small enough to make it impossible for a Guinea pig or rabbit to escape through them. This also provides a good protection from any other pets in the house such as cats and dogs.
The actual structure and design of the cage is pretty good, after using it for a year it was still near enough as good as new (outside of a missing segment of the plastic where I dropped it once), still together. The large door and where it is positioned makes it very easy to access the cage to get the pet out or just for general maintenance and it also easily comes fully off (held on by clips which are easy to lock and unlock) which makes the cage very easy to clean or move about as separate parts. Putting it back on does take a little bit of skill and effort as it needs to be lined up properly but with help this is easy enough. The clips are pretty easy to use and aren't too hard to undo.
I used this cage for about a year and if I'm honest for my two Guinea Pig girls it was pretty good. They had previously been in a 100cm cage so they were loving the extra room. The cage also comes with either the small house seen in the picture or a longer piece of plastic that attaches into the cage with a smaller piece of plastic coming off (the stairs) making for a good hide out. My cage came with the plastic attachment parts for a hidey. It made for a nice spot to hide but for me took up to much space and the stairs were also too steep so neither of my pigs would use them: one would just jump up and the other who is disabled couldn't get up at all, so I ended up taking it out and putting two pigloos in.
As well as the hide the cage came with a water bottle, food bowl and hay rack. The water bottle I chucked straight away having found the one that had came with my last Ferplast to be absolutely useless: it leaked, broke easily and the part that was meant to keep it attached to the cage was far from stable so I'd often come home to find them with no water as the bottle had fallen during the day. The food bowl is pretty much an average food bowl: it is plastic and round, the shape/ size is purposely made to fit perfectly into the slot that come in/ on the hidey so that it can't be knocked over but as I wasn't using the hide this didn't matter to me. I was quite impressed with this bowl though and still use it now even though they aren't in a commercial cage anymore- it is a nice size, plastic so still in pretty good condition and because of the shape isn't easy for the little pains to knock over. The hay rack I was pretty neutral with as although it did do the job ( hold hay) and fit pretty easy onto the cage, it wasn't very stable and a couple times I came home to find the hay rack and hay all over the floor. These were all fairly easily attached onto the wire bars and all can be put into a place where it is easily reached by an average sized Guinea pig.
_Concluding it Up_
All in all I found this to be a very good indoor commercial cage compared to most of the other options, it is sturdy, well made and lasts quite a while if looked after properly. It should not be used outside regardless of the weather. The size is nice for two Guinea pigs but is a minimum so a bigger cage would probably be appreciated. However, I wouldn't try more than two Guinea pigs in this cage and be cautious with two young boys. Rabbits and ferrets I would say this is far from ideal and if I'm honest I wouldn't bother with it for either as for both this isn't really adequate length wise or height wise.
The Guinea pigs liked it with it's increased space and new features. Generally this is a nice first cage for any first time Guinea pig cage who wants a well made cage that is big enough to keep their pigs happy until they start looking at home made alternatives like C&C cages.
Although previous our cage was just about big enough for our pair of juvenile guinea pigs, when we had the surprise addition of a couple of babies we really felt that a bigger cage was in order. (The moral of the story here is that if you buy a girl piggy from a pet shop there's every chance she may already be up the duff). Taking the space we have available into account we wanted to get the very biggest indoor cage we could afford and ended up with the Ferplast Rabbit 120 Guinea Pig and Dwarf Rabbit Cage (henceforth known as the cage), which cost us £75.
The design of the cage is definitely functional rather than stylish, although it is available in a variety of colours should you wish to colour coordinate with the rest of your furniture. Having bought this in an emergency we didn't actually have much of a choice in colour and ended up with the blue base, which is fine by me. Our cage was already assembled so I can't comment on assembly, but from looking at the instructions it appears to be a case clipping the various parts together. As to the style, think hamster cage, only magnified umpteen times.
The internal dimensions of the base are 118cm by 58.5cm, giving a total floor space of 0.69 square meters, which means that this cage actually just about fulfils the minimum amount of available floor space for two guinea pigs I've seen recommended on various websites. The base is also pretty deep at 20cm meaning that a good layer of wood shavings and hay can be added to enhance playtime. Being made of plastic the base is easy to clean, much easier than a wooden hutch.
The bar section of the cage is attached by a number of locks that click onto the base. I do find that a little care does need to be taken to ensure everything is lined up properly, but one it is the locks hold the lid pretty securely. The front of the cage has two sections that open independently to allow access to the inside. These openings are pretty handy and I love that I can open one at a time if I wish, or both if I need more access. While the rest of the cage's construction is pretty sturdy, something I have notices is that if both doors are open the roof tends to sag under it's own (unsupported) weight. While we don't have any predatory animals (cats or dogs), we do have a very inquisitive toddler who has leant on the cage without damaging it and unsuccessfully attempted to open the clips.
The cage also came with a few accessories, there is a hide-away with a raised platform (with a moulded bowl) that fits along one end of the cage. The trouble with this is that the platform is simply too high for guinea pigs, so all it really does is take away valuable floor space. Luckily enough this hide-away is easy to take apart, so I've removed the vertical section, which leaves a ledge that provides a sheltered area for the girls and babies to hide. A plastic food bowl is also provided, which really is only suitable as a stop-gap, firstly because it is barely big enough to hold enough food but mostly because being made of plastic it is unable to survive being chewed on. A single, large bottle provides much needed water. I have read comments that this bottle doesn't fix securely to the cage and leaks, but we've had two of them now and no problem with either. The bottle uses the metal ball valve system and although well enough made, doesn't feel quite as sturdy as a better-known make. The final accessory is a hay rack that clips onto the side of the cage and holds enough hay to satisfy a pair of guinea pigs for about half a day. Personally with this size of cage, I feel it would have been better if two hay racks and two bottles had been supplied, but we've added the hayrack and bottle from our previous cage.
Even though we bought this cage new, there was no way I was going to risk the health of my girls and the babies so I cleaned it out with a pet safe disinfectant, which is something that is done during every clean-out. The first step in setting up the cage is to line the tray with newspaper, which provides an extra layer of insulation as well as making it easier to clean out. On top of this newspaper we place a layer of wood-shavings (not sawdust, as that can cause respiratory problems), as this cage is so large you do need a large supply of wood-shavings. One of this little blocks you can buy for a pound doesn't go very far, you'll need at least three of those. (It's much more economical to buy a huge bale).
Next comes the hay, which we use to fill both hay racks and pile under the ledge. There's then enough room in the cage for some toys, a pig igloo, three food bowls and some toilet roll inners with still lots of space for running around.
==Ease of Cleaning==
Being made of plastic rather than wood like a hutch, this cage is relatively easy to clean. It's sheer size does pose problems getting it through doors so it does need to be cleaned in situ rather than being taken outside. As we line it with newspaper, we find that simply rolling this up helps remove the majority of the bedding and then I simply use a dustpan and brush to remove any stray bits. The next step is a simple spray of pet safe disinfectant, a wipe down and I leave it to dry. This is, of course, the main clean out which is performed once a week, with daily spot cleans being carried out daily. From experience with the previous cage, there is a chance of white deposits building up in areas used as a toilet, but this is easy to remove with any acid such as lemon juice.
The water bottles are relatively easy to clean, I would advise investing in a bottle brush with a small head, which then cleans them perfectly. The bars are coated and easy to wipe and the bowl and hay rack I just wash up in a bowl of soapy water before rinsing and allowing to dry.
When we put the girls (Sooty & Sweep) and the babies (Zig and Zag) into the cage they spent a short time exploring before showing us how much they appreciated the extra space by running laps while wheeking loudly and popcorning. Although there's plenty of room for all of them to spend time during the day and to run and play, they do, obviously spend some time outside of the cage everyday. This cage is large enough for the piggies to play together but also for them to spend some time on their own, especially Sooty with her babies.
The hay racks are a good height for the adolescent girls, who can easily stand on their hind legs to reach to the top, but hay does drop outside the cage while they eat meaning that there is a need to sweep or vacuum daily. The water bottles are also at a good height for the girls and they certainly seem to be able to get enough to drink from them. Obviously the babies can't reach either the hayrack or the bottles yet, and won't be able to for some time. While they can reach everything they need to, the girls cannot climb onto the platform or out of the cage, although they do stand against the side and poke their little noses through the bars when they want to be stroked.
I think it's safe to say the girls love their new home, it's far more spacious than their previous accommodation, with plenty of room for running laps. Personally I would say that it's the perfect size for two piggies as long as they also have floor time and a far better option than putting them outside in a wooden hutch. In fact I would say that this is the minimum size cage you would need for two piggies (rather than the much smaller Ferplast 80 we were originally sold). I'm not convinced that it is big enough for any but the very smallest of rabbits though.
This is an ideal starter cage for those who wish to house a pair of guinea pigs indoors (and who wouldn't they are adorable, friendly animals who deserve a place in every home). It's reasonably large and so has plenty of room for them to run around and there's enough space for you to add toys and hideaways. It's also easy to clean, with there being enough room to herd the piggies to one end while you spot clean and not having any joins or nooks and crannies to hold debris. It also dries far quicker than a wooden hutch. I also like that it comes with the basics, such as water bottle, food bowl and hayrack, although you will of course still need to buy toys and extra hideaways. The two doors are also fantastic, if I only need to get to one end of the cage then I only need to open the one, but if I need full access I can open both. What I don't like is that the top grille tends to sag when both doors are open, the supplied hideaway is not really suitable for piggies and I feel that two bottles and hayracks should have been supplied.
All things considered I would probably give the Ferplast 120 Rabbit (And Guinea Pig) Cage 4 stars out of five and recommend it to those who want to bring a pair of piggies into their home.