Adequate Set Up?

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violetgirl

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I just adopted a new 4 year old guinea pig named Violet and I'm wondering if the basic set up that she came with is enough. There is a small loft with a ramp on one side. There is a food bowl and water bowl attached to the wall of the cage at the height of the ramp so that she has to climb onto the loft to get to them. I plan to buy a hay holder and some hay as well as some chew toys. Is there anything else I need?
 

tabelmabel

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Hiya what size is your cage - is there a photo of it?

Hay is essential and you'll need to get that as a priority if violet is already with you
the hay holder can wait but not the actual hay!
You might find a water bottle is more practical but i think once you have posted a pic of your cage (or at least the measurements) it'll be easier to tell if it's going to be a happy piggy palace for violet.

Are you planning to get her a friend at some point?
 

violetgirl

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Her cage is around 14 inches wide and 26 inches long. I know ideally it should be somewhat bigger and I want a bigger cage at some point but I don't have space right now. I don't plan on a pal for Violet at the moment but I do live with someone who has another guinea pig and I hope that they can interact some.guinea cage.jpg
 

violetgirl

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I am getting plenty of hay today as I know that is a priority. I want a water bottle but it's not really in the budget.
 

mshappy89

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That cage looks like a hamster cage! I would say your piggie needs to be moved to something bigger immediately.
 

violetgirl

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I will say the picture makes it look much smaller than it truly is and that she has lived in this cage for four years with no issues. However I am reorganizing to allow for a larger cage as soon as possible.
 

mshappy89

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It's far below the minimum size required for a piggie. Guinea pigs are sociable creatures and like company of their own kind.
 

violetgirl

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I am certainly interested in looking out for Violet's best interests. However I feel that Violet seems fairly happy in her cage and she will be interacting with some other guinea pigs once she has settled in a little more.
 

Tigermoth

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You asked if your set up was adequate. I am sorry to be blunt, but to put it simply, no. It is not adequate.

It is not recommended to keep a pig alone. They are group animals and thrive with company of their own kind. Your cage is half the size of the smallest cage, that itself is described as unsuitable in the forum guide.

The pig may be healthy, she may have lived there with "no issues" that you as a human understands however at present it is like making you live in a wardrobe with no-one to talk to. Every now and again a massive scary person will come and shout in a foreign language and throw some food at you and take away your poo.

There is a phrase that I live by. "When we know better, we do better" (It's Maya Angelou). The previous owners perhaps didn't know better. You didn't do your research first but now you do know better because you have been told. So you need to do better. You owe it to the little life you have taken on.

I'm sorry if this isn't what you want to hear, but you did explicitly ask.

In the meantime you need to be reading this batch of threads as soon as you can " Starter Kit" Of Information Threads For New Owners
 

Claire W

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I am in no way making excuses and yes, the piggy is in dire need of a much bigger cage and a friend but I believe that @violetgirl is in the US? Sadly, the US do not have the same cage requirements over there than we do here in the UK so please be kind.

But yes @violetgirl, your piggy does need a bigger cage and she would also benefit from a friend as guinea pigs thrive by having company of their own kind.

Welcome to the forum by the way :)
 

violetgirl

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Thank you to everyone who responded. I certainly did ask and am glad to have received answers. It is a little upsetting to hear this of course because I defintly want Violet to be healthy and happy. I will get on a bigger cage and some piggy pals ASAP. Are there any cage/food brands that you especially like or any other advice for caring for Violet?
 

Cookies&Glitter

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Agreed, the US is far behind other developed countries in the way of animal care. At my pet store I wasn't allowed to not sell 1 piggy and that cage according to management but according the cage card they need same gender pairs and the minimum of a cage card. I spent ridiculous amounts of time "strongly" discouraging this but it was completely illegal. I constantly said that one piggy in that cage would be illegal in some countries. It's not fair that due to this lack of information piggies suffer. I would strongly recommend a bigger cage and a companion, most humane society piggy adoptions are under $30. If you can't get a bigger cage currently certainly ensure lots of floor exercise time. Also if you don't have a water bottle what on earth does your pig drink from? Amazon sells water bottles cheaper than chain pet stores
 

Tigermoth

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Whereabouts are you based @violetgirl ? (There is a way of adding location that someone can help you with, I can't remember!) An idea of where you are will help with recommendations as things vary from place to place. Getting her accomodation sorted (and a friend) will make your experience with her all the more positive as you will be hanging out with a happy pig!

(And thanks for taking the criticism on board, it's not easy when you get a wall of people saying things you might not want to hear)
 

tabelmabel

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Hiya the best thing about giving your pigs a really good environment to live in is that they will reward you will so many piggy vocalisations and you will have so much fun watching them interacting with each other and you will just know they are heaps happier

At least by posting your cage picture you now can get all the advice from this forum on how to improve things for violet. There are pictures of terrific cage set ups in the housing threads.

The trouble with keeping one pig in a cage like that, she will be quiet and likely sleep a lot. You will perceive that as happy and settled but it's more likely boredom and sadness.

I'm sure you will soon have it all sorted and then you'll know why a cage like that isn't ok. Happy pigs like to move about a bit!

All the best and look forward to hearing more about violet!
 

Cookies&Glitter

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Keiko The Pig

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Hi @violetgirl i know that cage. It's a petsmart or Petco cage and is terribly too small. I'm in Canada so I know how tough it can be to find a good cage. Walmart sells The Midwest Guinea Pig Habitat online if not in stores. This would be local to you and wouldn't cost an arm and a leg to ship. I use this cage for my boys (which is still a bit small for two boys but they get plenty of run time and I don't crowd it). I believe it sells for 40-60 dollars. It's extremely easy set up, no tools required just some Velcro to attach the liner, and your girl would adore the space! You would probably witness some popcorning once she has the space and zoomies! Both are happy piggy behaviour and a lovely sight to see!
 
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