Product Type: Ferplast dog accessories
Newest Review: ... 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 us... more
A home fit for my little princesses
Ferplast Rabbit 120
Member Name: sandemp
Ferplast Rabbit 120
Advantages: Decent amount of floor space, easy to clean, secure
Disadvantages: The hideaway, only one bottle and hayrack
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.
Summary: A great cage for a pair of guinea pigs, with plenty of space for them to play, but not for rabbits
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