Adding a patio to closed C&C cage?

OriDgsl

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Hello!
I have a homemade C&C cage with a closed top as we have other animals, the dogs are very sweet to them and are in a different room anyway when we go to work due to the youngest chewing on everything and scratching walls 😅 but the cat likes to lay in their hay and we've seen her hiss and paw them when they tried to keep eating it 😳. But she doesn't jump in unless the top is wide open. And also when friends come with their kids I'm very happy that I can close and LOCK it! We also close it when friends with dogs visit. So the top grids are connected with each other, with the exception of 3 grids in the front which are tied together and to the back with plastic ties, so we can flip it back.
So my problem is: how can I add a patio while keeping a system that'll allow me to close my cage in a second if needed?
I would like to avoid these patios where you only have like 10cms left under of it, as I'm planning to add a litter tray very soon and then I wouldn't even have room for their hideys and store, which they love! At the beginning I just wanted to add grids on the left or right, and add a third grid to make room for the ramp access (I tried to draw a pic on word but I'm not sure it makes it clearer 😅). But then I wouldn't be able to flip the "door" back, it would always hang in the air and we would need to tie and untie it everytime 😕
Has anyone figured out a good system for adding a 1rst floor to a closed top cage?
Thanks 😊
 

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Piggylove82

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I wish I could help but c&c cages aren't a topic I have any knowledge on. My pigs live outside in a double storey hutch. Lots of members do know about these c&c set ups, I hope one of them can help you shortly.
 

AMMAH

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When you say patio, do you mean an upstairs? I think we call them lofts here.
I think it would be difficult to add a ramp and an upstairs whilst still keeping the cage secure. I imagine you would have to build the sides up quite high all the way around and then put a roof on. This would make it very awkward to clean the piggies out or to pick them up.
If you want to add more space, the easiest way would be to just increase the floor space in the existing level, then the set up you already have will work!
Good luck
 

OriDgsl

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I wish I could help but c&c cages aren't a topic I have any knowledge on. My pigs live outside in a double storey hutch. Lots of members do know about these c&c set ups, I hope one of them can help you shortly.
Hello, we are actually planning on making them live outside in the future, we're hoping we can have the outside padlock done by summer next year - we live in a countryside area with plenty of predators so we'll need a buried chicken wire under the padlock (for rats) and a concrete slab all around the padlock with a more solid L-shaped wire (for foxes and dogs). But I really hope we can have it done by summer next year as my oldest is turning 3 this spring and I'm not sure about a guinea pig older than 4 starting living outside 😕
 

OriDgsl

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When you say patio, do you mean an upstairs? I think we call them lofts here.
I think it would be difficult to add a ramp and an upstairs whilst still keeping the cage secure. I imagine you would have to build the sides up quite high all the way around and then put a roof on. This would make it very awkward to clean the piggies out or to pick them up.
If you want to add more space, the easiest way would be to just increase the floor space in the existing level, then the set up you already have will work!
Good luck
Hello, oh ok sorry I'll edit my post to make it more clear then! I would like to have one because my peruvian boar loves to climb on stuff, when I use wood houses he's always on top 😊 Having a larger C&C is unfortunately impossible now, we have a small living room but it's the only room their cavy fits in (we just bought a house that was built in the late 70's, the two bedrooms are only 3x3m so we actually had to split the bedroom in 2: one with the bed and one with clothes, bedsheets and such...! Plus the house's only heating system is a woodstove in the living room and there's no isolation yet...). That's why I try to give them plenty of floor time ☺
I made a post because I know sometimes something seems impossible and then someone will say 'but you just have to do this and that!', but if it turns out it's really impossible, well, it'll just stay the way it is 🙂
 

alpacasqueak

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I wish I could add a loft to mine too as there’s definitely no more room across in the living room now! But I’ve got a pair of cats so need the lid too, although tbh the cats really aren’t fussed with piggies after 10years of them! No idea how I’d even attempt it!
 

PigglePuggle

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Our C&C cages are 2 grids high all round except where they are up against the wall, we dont have lids but we could have a lid plus the loft because its so tall. We have a champion high jumper piggy, and also a 5-year-old boy with ADHD who visits often and can't be trusted, so I feel safer with the extra height! You can just clip another layer of grids all round on top of the first, cable ties to secure it, if you use the proper C&C grid connectors plus cable ties its very sturdy :)
 

OriDgsl

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Our C&C cages are 2 grids high all round except where they are up against the wall, we dont have lids but we could have a lid plus the loft because its so tall. We have a champion high jumper piggy, and also a 5-year-old boy with ADHD who visits often and can't be trusted, so I feel safer with the extra height! You can just clip another layer of grids all round on top of the first, cable ties to secure it, if you use the proper C&C grid connectors plus cable ties its very sturdy :)
Thank you! I've thought about it, but doesn't it make it hard to catch them when necessary, or to refill their hay dispenser?
 

OriDgsl

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I wish I could add a loft to mine too as there’s definitely no more room across in the living room now! But I’ve got a pair of cats so need the lid too, although tbh the cats really aren’t fussed with piggies after 10years of them! No idea how I’d even attempt it!
I'll update with a picture when/if we manage to make a secure and practical loft 😁
 

Black piggies

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You can have a loft that's only half a grid high, in a c and c with a lid. Consider then loft to be a 2x1/3x1 size loft as opposed to a 2x2/2x3 which may be harder to clean under.
 

Mikknu

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I second the idea of a half-height loft from @Black piggies . Mine is lofted about 20 cm. up the grid wall. I also have cats in the house, and a... unique lid(fiberglass mesh and bungee cords). My boys have no issues running around beneath it, and enjoy running circuits up and down the ramps. Sometimes they'll even hop up and down the ramps! At the bottom are a few pictures of the half loft.

With 20 cm. of space, I'm able to fit cuddle cups, cozy sacks, and even a custom fleece forest I made beneath the half loft with ease. I noticed in your original picture you have log hides and few fleece items- tunnels work great for under a long loft in my opinion! I think the additional cover also helps guinea pigs feel more secure. Despite having nearly 5 other spots to hide, I nearly always find my boys in their fleece forest or under the loft somewhere when they're asleep.

A small, horizontal hay rack or hay bag would fit under it as well. I used a few extra pieces of chloroplast to make extra legs(zip tied to the grids) for the loft due to it's odd shape, and it's held up about 20 pounds to date with ease so far. Eventually I'd like to replace these coroplost legs with bent grids I can shove hay and treats into. Maybe you could employ something like that in your cage from the get go if your piggies are adults?

Here's to hoping you find a solution that works best for you! 😊

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OriDgsl

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You can have a loft that's only half a grid high, in a c and c with a lid. Consider then loft to be a 2x1/3x1 size loft as opposed to a 2x2/2x3 which may be harder to clean under.
Hello, that's an option I'd rather not take because my boys take every occasion to pick fights and narrow spaces are a big no for them... One always tries to corner the other one to pick a fight... The cavy was actually split in two for almost a year, they were only together during floor time. Last month I had the feeling they were nicer to each other during floor time so after a cleanup we removed the separation grid - they were a couple of fights but nothing too serious, now it's mostly been teeth chattering but for instance I can't have closed cosies, only tunnels and such 😕 Having a 1x2 or 3x2 loft would make it so easy for them to corner each other 😓 And like you said anything bigger will make cleanup difficult...! But thanks anyway!
 

OriDgsl

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So yesterday I kept googling things like 'closed cavy cage with loft' (aaaah lockdown...) and found the website guineapigcages where people post pictures of their diy cages, and then I found an entry for 'closed, multilevel' 😱 so I hit next for like an hour saving all the interesting ones and actually found a couple of ideas!

1. Having the ramp going directly to the loft floor through a hole (the blue one, only we would make it 2x2)
2. Having the ramp going to the side of the loft, maybe even easier (no need to make holes in fleece 😅)
3. Having the loft in L shape, though this is the one I like least (loss of space, and would also favor this 'cornering issue' my boars have)
4. Wouldn't work for me (cornering issues...) but still a good idea. With a side ramp like picture n°2 the front part of the cage would be easily closed with a lid flipped to the front

@alpacasqueak maybe one of these setups would work for you!

I'll talk to my husband about it (he's the worker, I'm only the manager 😁) but I'm pretty sure we'll end up with something like n°2!

I'll update with pictures when it's done (might take a while though, we're not sure we have all the materials).
Thank you everyone! 😊
 

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Black piggies

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Hello, that's an option I'd rather not take because my boys take every occasion to pick fights and narrow spaces are a big no for them... One always tries to corner the other one to pick a fight... The cavy was actually split in two for almost a year, they were only together during floor time. Last month I had the feeling they were nicer to each other during floor time so after a cleanup we removed the separation grid - they were a couple of fights but nothing too serious, now it's mostly been teeth chattering but for instance I can't have closed cosies, only tunnels and such 😕 Having a 1x2 or 3x2 loft would make it so easy for them to corner each other 😓 And like you said anything bigger will make cleanup difficult...! But thanks anyway!
Ah ok sorry I thought a patio was a loft. To prevent any territorialism about hay I think a puppy pad laid flat on the fleece is good, no entrances, no sides..
 

alpacasqueak

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Thanks for the info everyone and thanks for popping those pics on @OriDgsl. With my cage being a 4x3 it’s having something stable for me with a porky pig and an old lady (although I’m not sure she’d use stairs much at her age now, might surprise me!) and something that’s completely covered to make sure Daisy the cat doesn’t think it’s a new bed! The lid was annoying enough with just me doing it at that size so will have to rope my sister in to help me after all the craziness is over! Needs a bit of planning with what I’ll need I think! :) Good luck with yours, can’t wait to see pics :)
 

OriDgsl

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Thanks for the info everyone and thanks for popping those pics on @OriDgsl. With my cage being a 4x3 it’s having something stable for me with a porky pig and an old lady (although I’m not sure she’d use stairs much at her age now, might surprise me!) and something that’s completely covered to make sure Daisy the cat doesn’t think it’s a new bed! The lid was annoying enough with just me doing it at that size so will have to rope my sister in to help me after all the craziness is over! Needs a bit of planning with what I’ll need I think! :) Good luck with yours, can’t wait to see pics :)
If that's any help for your old piggy someone sent me this on a guinea pig facebook forum, if you put the house farther away and use a large and non slippery ramp instead of these wood tunnels I guess you could have something stable and not too stiff! Good luck! 🍀

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