* Prices may differ from that shown
I have to admit were a family of animal lovers, we've had so many animals over the years I couldn't even count them all. Right now I've got 2 dogs and a guinea pig. Guinea pigs are social animals and usually like to be in a pairs, but mine doesn't, he likes his own company. This cage measures at 79X49X43.5Cm and according to pets at home is suitable for two juvenile guinea pigs but I definitely don't agree, I don't really think its suitable for 1 adult guinea pig either. The only reason I've kept this cage is because I separately bought a metal puppy pen which has 8 sides and can be fixed together which I put up everyday indoors for my guinea pig to have a run around for a couple of hours when the weathers bad. In the garden I also have a very large outdoor run which we built for our guinea pig for nicer days. So as he has time to run around and play in a large space all he wants to do is sleep when he's back in his cage. Although when he has a little burst of energy he loves to run around the cage in circles using the little house included to jump on and off whilst doing his laps. As he is nearly three now he's not quite as energetic and prefers to have a cuddle with me and doesn't run around as much now. I bought the cage for £40 in 2011 and it's still available for around the same price. As the cage isn't as large as others it doesn't take up too much space in my dining room. I decided on an indoor cage as I know that I would be constantly worrying if he was outside in a hutch every time it rained and over winter its too cold for guinea pigs so they should either be brought indoors or their hutch should be moved to inside a shed or garage, so an indoor cage suited me better.
The cage came in two parts, the bottom is plastic and blue then the top is a wire cage with plastic coating over the wire. The two parts fit together easily using the big plastic clips included. Also included was a big plastic home, its quite large and so this means there's plenty of space on top for the guinea pig to stand to eat from his bowl and in the summer when its warm he likes to sleep up there too where its cooler. Also included was a hayrack and a water bottle. The hay rack is a good size and can fit enough hay in to last the full day but you have to be careful not to overfill it as it only clips on by the top of the hayrack and not the bottom so when its too full it pushes the hayrack away from the cage making all the hay fall out of the bottom and onto your floor. The clips which hold the top half of the cage to the plastic bottom are quite large and take up a lot off space on the sides of the cage which means I have to keep the hayrack on the back of the cage otherwise there's a gap between the bottom of the hayrack and the wire cage where the clips in-between so hay falls out. I could move the hay rack higher up so its not resting on the clip but then its too high so when hay gets stuck at the top he cant reach it. As I have to keep it at the back it means that any hay which falls down goes behind the cupboard so every week I pull the cupboard forward to get out any stray bits of hay.
Its fairly easy to clean the full wired front lifts up so there's plenty of room to reach in and clean, as the whole wired top can come completely off simply by unclipping it then its easy to scrub the full cage clean too. The house can be quite difficult to get out though if your don't want to take the cage apart, I have to put my fingers underneath one of the wired bars and lift it slightly while using the other hand to pull out the house as the house has little plastic bit sticking out at the back which sits underneath the wired bars to hold it in place. Once you get the hang of it then it gets easier to remove.
My cage looks slightly different to the picture above but mine might be an older version. The cage has lasted quite well apart from the odd chew marks around. He's chewed the edge of the food bowl and a small section of the plastic coating on the wire bars at the front. The house is starting to look a bit scruffy now too as he will only go to the toilet at the bottom of the stairs on the house and no matter how many times I've scrubbed it clean it still won't come completely clean. Overall The cage is okay as a temporary one for one guinea pig or as long as you have another space which he can run around in for a couple of hours every day but I wouldn't keep a guinea pig in it all the time.
When we chose our two princesses (Sooty and Sweep) we were sold the Ferplast 80 cage on the basis of it being suitable for two juvenile Guinea Pigs. It didn't take us long to realise that this was anything but true, while this cage is suitable as a stop gap in an emergency, it certainly does not provide a comfortable long term home.
Although the Ferplast 80 is available in several colour schemes the only one available in-store had a blue base. The choice of colours is nice if you can get them (there's a pink for girlies), but the blue suited us as it is a fairly neutral colour. I'm assuming that if you buy this online then it is supplied unassembled, but as we bought ours in-store it was fully assembled. The cage comes in two parts, a plastic base and wire lid, with the bars being coated with plastic. The top section fits neatly into the base and is then secured by plastic clips. Along with the actual cage you get a few accessories, a hide-away is supplied that clips into place between the base and top, there is also a hayrack, water bottle and food bowl.
The cage itself is very compact, measuring in at 77cm by 42 cm and standing 42cm high. This gives a maximum, usable floor area of just 0.32 square metres, which is under half the recommended minimum of 0.7 square metres for one to two Guinea Pigs. The plastic base is easy to clean, with it's small size making it easy to carry from room to room or even outdoors for a good clean. There are no nooks or crannies for debris to collect in and it dries quickly when washed. The base isn't particularly deep though, being only approximately 13cm in height. This means that when the Guinea Pigs are running laps or jumping about wood-shavings will escape.
The top section of the cage is made from horizontal metal bars that are coated with what feels like plastic. This section fits neatly onto the base and can easily be removed for cleaning. The front section fully opens to allow access to the cage for spot cleaning, feeding and picking the Guinea Pigs up for cuddles and floor time. I did find that with regular use (over a couple of weeks) the clips holding this door closed loosened a little, but they did still hold it. The whole cage feels as if it is well-constructed and as if it would last for a good length of time, but it's still too small.
The supplied hide-away is made of easy to clean plastic and can be placed in several positions in the cage. It is held in place by some ledges that are secured between the base and top and when secured will stay put even when Guinea Pigs jump about in it. If it's not secured into place properly then it tends to move as the Guinea Pigs play and if it is secured then it makes getting to the Guinea Pigs and spot cleaning difficult. The hide-away is designed in such a way that there is only a relatively small hole for the Guinea Pigs to use, I would be concerned that larger Guinea Pigs would find it a little bit of a tight squeeze. The hide-away also has an indented bowl on it's roof and cut out steps for the Guinea Pigs to climb, but Guinea Pigs are not good climbers and I didn't see our pair ever attempt to climb in the short time that the hide-away was in place. The very worst aspect of the hide-away is that it takes up valuable floor space from what it already a small cage. The hide-away takes up approximately one third of the floor, leaving barely any room for Guinea Pigs to run laps. Because of this I removed the hide-away within two days and replaced it with a pig igloo and Chube.
The supplied bottle is a good size and holds more than enough water to last a full day. The main section of the bottle is made of transparent plastic and while it feels flimsier than a leading brand, but have proved to be fit for purpose. The feeder part of the bottle uses the metal ball valve common to this type of water bottle and so far we haven't experienced any leaks and the Guinea Pigs have had no trouble drinking from it. The bottle attaches to the outside of the cage by way of a holder that fits between the bars before being twisted to horizontal. I've read some complaints that this holder is not secure, but have personally not had any problems and far prefer this method of securing the bottle to the nasty, plastic coated wire utilised by other manufacturers.
The hayrack is made from plastic, clips neatly onto the cage bars and holds enough hay to satisfy a pair of Guinea Pigs for about half a day. Because of the way it clips onto the outside of the cage, if you overfill the hayrack it pulls away and then hay falls down onto the floor. I also find that a little hay tends to work it's way loose as the Guinea Pigs eat, which isn't a huge problem but does mean that the area around the cage needs regular vacuuming. The food bowl is a reasonable size and holds enough dry food to satisfy a pair of Guinea Pigs for about twelve hours, but being made of plastic it's quite light, easily tipped over and vulnerable to gnawing. So while I think that the addition of a bowl is a nice idea, in practise it will need to be replaced by two ceramic bowls (one for dry food another for fresh).
Simply taking the construction, design and accessories into account, this cage appears tick all the right boxes especially as it only costs £40. But it still is simply too small.
==Not A Piggy Palace==
This cage was purchased at the same time as a pair of baby Guinea Pigs (Sooty and Sweep) who were approximately seven weeks old and about half the size of adult Guinea Pigs. The cage was easy to set up, I started by cleaning it with pet safe antibacterial cleaner, then added a layer of newspaper, wood shavings, hay and toys. As this cage is quite small it doesn't take a lot of wood-shavings to create a good base layer, I'd say one and a half of those small blocks you can get for about £1. (I always buy my wood-shavings in bulk though). To start with we placed the hide away in the cage, but once we'd added the food bowls and some toys there really wasn't enough floor space left, so this was replaced within days by a pig igloo and Chube.
Once set up we placed the girls in their new home and it was immediately apparent that while it would do for the short term this cage was not going to be anywhere big enough for them. When it came to running laps (which is a favourite Guinea Pig past time) they often bumped into the sides and as the base is quite shallow sent sawdust flying. The water bottle was at a good height for them, as was the hayrack and they have both survived to be moved to the next cage, but the cage itself was simply too small, especially when one of the girls produced a pair of babies. All in all this cage was only used continuously for about a month before being replaced by a far larger one.
Cleaning this cage out is extremely easy, the large door allows access to the complete cage for spot cleaning and the whole cage fits into the bath for a good scrub. The plastic food bowl, hayrack and bottle are easy to clean, although you may want to invest in a bottle brush. The fact that the wire section can be removed from the base also makes cleaning a little easier. You may find a build up of white deposits in areas that the Guinea Pigs use as a toilet, but this is fairly easy to remove with a mild acid such as vinegar or lemon juice.
We have still kept this cage though and now use it as a temporary home when giving the big cage a clean out and will use it if we should ever need to separate one of the herd.
Although well-made this cage is simply too small to provide a permanent home for one let alone two Guinea Pigs. While I would perhaps recommend it as a spare emergency cage, I really think that it is verging on cruel to keep Guinea Pigs in a cage of this size. I am therefore giving the Ferplast 80 a solitary one star out of five and suggesting that you do not purchase it as a permanent home for your Guinea Pig, as even if you take them out of the cage for floor time it is still too small to provide a comfortable home. In fact I really can't understand why this was recommended to us in the first place, or why it is being sold as suitable for one juvenile Guinea Pig let alone two.
I bought this cage just over two years ago for our little piggy Barney. He had previously been living outside but when he got ill we wanted to bring him into the house so we could keep an eye on him and make sure he was warm.
At the time I paid around twenty five quid for the cage and thought this was very reasonable, especially compared to the 'Nero' cages that Pets at Home do. A quick google tells me that it is around the £40 mark at Pets at Home now (June 2011). I think I probably got it especially cheap because it was from Trago Mills which is a local shop known for good prices.
The cage is essentially made up of a plastic base and the wire bar top half. I used to remove the top bit to clean it out and filled the bottom with water when I wanted to give it a really good cleaning. I could then use the top bit to enclose Barney on the floor so he didn't have a free run of the house. I used to end up cleaning it out most days because as anyone with guinea pigs will know, they seem to poo constantly!
Included with the cage is a plastic hay manger which I never used to bother using, and a water bottle and the plastic thing that holds the water bottle on. Unfortunately my water bottle holder broke, making it really hard to attach the bottle. In addition there's a plastic insert which can be positioned in a few different places in the cage, it has little steps indented into it so your piggy can sit on a deck. No matter how much we tried Barney just really didn't want to go up the stairs and a lot of the time I didn't bother using this bit.
Size wise the cage was okay. I would not have been happy to keep more than one guinea pig in it though and even with one I felt it could have been a bit larger. Perhaps this is just me, but either way I used to let him out to run around the floor as much as possible and also out in the garden during summer.
The cage was well made and even when the bars were nibbled the coating on them didn't peel off. It served its purpose well and I was pleased with it. It would have been five stars if it were a little bigger and not recommended for two pigs.
*What is the Cavie 80*
The Cavie 80 is a small animal cage, made by Ferplst.
*Why I bought this Cage*
Last year a colleague's two supposedly female guinea pigs had a surprise litter of babies, I'd told him if there were any little boys I would have one of them. The idea was that I could pair "him" with my older piggy. I'd sexed "him" myself and if I'm honest I wasn't entirely sure, but I wanted this little piggy and I knew if I told my other half there were only girls he'd say no. So I got home and told him I was going to check an online sexing guide to make sure. Well I had to confess that I'd brought a little girl home and hope that he didn't say I couldn't keep her. The only problem being that I now couldn't put them together, as much as I love guinea pigs I didn't want any more than two. With Bailey (boy) being quite old I was scared about having him put under anaesthetic to be neutered, and Amber was too young to be spayed.
This is how I came to buy this guinea pig cage. My other half had said if I could find a cheap enough cage then she didn't have to go back. I don't have a garden, so I began the search for an indoor cage which whilst not too expensive, wasn't stupidly tiny either. A quick scout around the internet and I came across the Cavie 80 cage made by Ferplast. It was a reasonable price and it would arrive in a couple of days, so I made my order and waited for its delivery.
*The Cage and my opinions*
When the cage arrived it came pretty much flat packed, the metal bar cage part was folded down and in the plastic tray base, the clips which secure the cage to the base were also loose and had to be attached by myself. Also included with the cage were a plastic house, plastic food bowl, plastic hay rack and a drinking bottle.
Assembly of the cage was quite straight forward with two pieces of right angle plastic Ls which are supposed to keep the cage rigid when attached to the base. I found that these didn't quite do the job as sometimes the cage wouldn't stay in place, so I secured them with some cable ties too. The three clips then attach to each end and one at the front to keep the door shut.
The cage measures 80 x 48 x 40cm, but quite a lot of the floor space is taken up by the plastic house which is 42 x25 x 16cm in the photos I have seen of the cage they have this length ways in the cage but I feel space is optimised by having it widthways.
The door on the cage is the whole length of the cage, which makes it easier for taking my guinea pig, and for cleaning the cage. However the clip for the door doesn't feel very secure and if I had young children in the house I would look at other ways of making sure it was shut as it could easily be opened by a small child and you could then be faced with an escapee guinea pig.
I didn't bother with the plastic food bowl as I prefer to use a heavier ceramic dish which can't be knocked over quite so effortlessly and also a plastic one would probably be chewed and gnawed at. I think the drinking bottle lasted about two days before I threw it out and replaced it as it seemed to leak constantly.
The hay rack is brilliant though; it attaches to the outside and holds about enough hay to last for a day. The clips do seem a little flimsy so I always take extra care when removing or reattaching it to the cage to make sure they don't snap off. If you overfill it, it will move away from the cage slightly and sometimes drop hay all over the carpet.
Cleaning the cage out is easy enough, you can either do it with the door open or as I prefer remove the cage from the base as it is easier this way. I use newspaper and woodshavings, and so far I've not had a problem with the wet newspaper sticking to the base of the cage. When it comes to cleaning the cage I just roll up the newspaper and most of the woodshavings come out with the paper. Any left can then be swept up. Every few weeks I will give it a through clean with a white vinegar solution. This method has kept the base of the cage looking like new.
My problem with this cage though is the size now Amber is fully grown it just isn't big enough for her. I really wish that I had spent an extra £10 and got the next size up cage which would have given her some extra space. The Cavie 80 isn't tiny and she certainly isn't cramped in it but I just feel that a little bit more room would be far better for her. She does get time out of her cage but as I work 12 hour shifts, the days when I'm at work it isn't for very long. Because of this I will be buying the next size up as soon as I have the cash for it.
The Cavie 80 was a good size when she was still young, and would be ideal as temporary accommodation perhaps if you had to separate a group of pigs for quarantine purposes but in all honesty I wouldn't recommend it as a permanent home. My other piggy Bailey is a huge beast if a pig and it would cruel to put a guinea pig of his size in this cage.
The cage is also advertised as an indoor rabbit cage under the name Rabbit 80, but I feel it would be far too small for a rabbit, even a Netherland Dwarf as I'm not sure it would be tall enough for even a Nethie to stand up on its back legs as rabbits like to do.
*Price and where to buy* If you would like to buy this cage it is available from £33.99 including delivery on a few pet shop websites, but I have now found the next size up the Ferplast Rabbit 100 for £39.99 so I would advise paying the extra and going for that one instead.
If you prefer to buy in store 'Pets at Home' stock this cage for £39.99, the Rabbit 100 is £57.99 so it pays to shop around.
*Would I recommend this cage*
I have to say I would not recommend this cage.