Author Topic: Convert Guinea Pig Cage ?  (Read 1168 times)

Offline Alex_Belle

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Convert Guinea Pig Cage ?
« on: June 23, 2016, 08:45:42 AM »
I am fostering 2 mamas and LOTS baby rats from a hoarding situation here in the Northeast.

I needed an extra cage and bought a guinea pig/ rabbit cage because of its larger size. I decided that the spacing of the bars was sufficient to contain an adult rat (the babies are way too young to scale the 4 inch high plastic sides)

I was wrong about Mama. She squeezed out.  :doh:  I HATE to just give up on the cage, and before I do, any suggestions as to how to make it suitable for a rat ?

Offline BigBen

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Re: Convert Guinea Pig Cage ?
« Reply #1 on: June 23, 2016, 09:10:18 AM »
Get a roll of what they call "hardware cloth."  It is a metal mesh that is too small to let small ratties through, and it is flexible enough to wrap around the cage and secure with cable ties.  Should also be cheaper than buying another cage.  Any hardware store should carry it.
What is a rat?  King-sized love in a pint-sized package.
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Offline Alex_Belle

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Re: Convert Guinea Pig Cage ?
« Reply #2 on: June 23, 2016, 09:16:26 AM »

Different than regular screen material ?

Offline Michael C

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Re: Convert Guinea Pig Cage ?
« Reply #3 on: June 23, 2016, 09:27:20 AM »
Standard screen material will be chewed through in a minute. Hardware cloth is a sturdy wire mesh. You want something with 1/2 spacing and I'd recommend getting the PVC coated. Uncoated galvanized steel is rough and it absorbs smells.

You can attach the hardware cloth with small cable ties.

Here's an old thread about modifying a ferret cage with hardware cloth. It's a different type of cage but there might be some useful info in there.

Good luck with the fosters!


Offline raindear

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Re: Convert Guinea Pig Cage ?
« Reply #4 on: June 23, 2016, 08:08:38 PM »
Be sure to get coated metal hardware cloth like Michael C posted. There is also an all vinyl version that will be chewed through in minutes. It's cheaper and could be an easy mistake to make.

Offline Vonda Z

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Re: Convert Guinea Pig Cage ?
« Reply #5 on: June 24, 2016, 10:39:45 AM »
Personally, I don't think I would recommend the PVC or vinyl coated hardware cloth for rats - at least not for any long-term use. I used it for finches and it is great because they don't chew and it is easier to work with than bare wire hardware cloth, but if you have any critters that are chewers, they will quickly chew through the coating, stripping it off the wire, exposing the bare hardware cloth anyway - and once the galvanization is exposed to rat urine, it will start to stink, too.

If this is just a temporary, short-term situation, then you can either just deal with the damage that the rats may do to coated hardware cloth, or you can use the uncoated hardware cloth in the hope that it will last long enough - and replace if it does not. For a permanent solution, I would paint the hardware cloth with a child-safe Rustoleum (I believe Painter's Touch has been recommended in the past). You will need a couple weeks for that to cure before it can be used, however - so you need some sort of temporary housing solution while you are waiting.

Offline raindear

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Re: Convert Guinea Pig Cage ?
« Reply #6 on: June 24, 2016, 11:46:04 AM »
I covered my 2 DFNs with pvc coated hardware cloth and had my rats in them for over 2 years with no issues, then I bought 2 DCNs. I don't particularly like or recommend covering a cage with hardware cloth. It's a lot of extra work, but when necessary it works and often works well for a long time.

Offline Alex_Belle

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Re: Convert Guinea Pig Cage ?
« Reply #7 on: June 24, 2016, 06:13:35 PM »
Thank you everyone. This a temporary situation, as I have 2 litters (15 2 week old babies and 18 3 day old babies) that will need to be split soon. Hopefully, we will be able to get them all adopted out!!