The shrub-lands of western Chile are the natural habitats for degus. Though these cute brown rodents are considered pests by others, they are incredible pets.
They are social, playful, and curious animals that love being tickled. As a responsible pet owner, your first step when you bring a degu home is to get suitable housing.
Some people assume that a guinea pig or hamster cage will suffice for their degu. Even so, degus love running and jumping, so their enclosure should be large enough to accommodate these activities.
Moreover, they grow to adult lengths of 9.8-12.2 inches (25-31 cm) and weigh 170-300 g (5- 10.5 ounces). This means that degus will grow almost as big as ferrets, making the typical rodent cages unsuitable for their accommodation.
Also Read: How to Care for Pet Degus?
To ease your choice of a degu’s cage, below is a guideline on the five best cages and a buying guide for the cage.
Best Cages for Pet Degus
Though there are several brands now for degu cages, the following is a review of the five best ones on the market.
1. Midwest Deluxe Critter Nation Cage
The deluxe critter nation from Midwest Homes is an undisputed favorite among rodent enthusiasts. Also called Critter Nation 162, this cage comprises square tubing and metal wires with a shiny gray-quartz hammer-stone finish.
The enclosure measures 36 x 25 x 63 inches, including its four-wheel stand. Its ledges have three height adjustments giving you enough space to attach woodblocks, cotton ropes, hammocks, and other toys to keep your degu occupied.
It also has two full-width double doors as well as solid floors and covered ramps. To prevent slips and injuries, the Critter Nation 162 cage comes with a ramp cover that protects your degu’s feet while increasing floor traction.
- The hammerstone finish conceals defects and protects the wire against corrosion.
- You can interact easily with your pet through the double doors.
- Can be detached into two separate enclosures.
- Simple cleaning.
- Easy to move on its wheels.
- Large underneath supply shelf for storage.
- Maximum pet security with its ½-inch bar spacing.
- Easy to customize.
- The bottom tray is shallow.
2. Prevue Hendryx Pet Cage
Though the black feisty cage from Prevue Hendryx was initially meant for chinchillas and ferrets, it suffices for degus as well. It has most of the features in the Critter Nation 162 from Midwest Homes but is cheaper than the latter.
The enclosure measures 31 x 20 x 54 inches together with its stand. The Prevue Hendryx ferret cage is constructed using wrought iron finished with powder coats. Its bars have spaces of 2.2 cm, narrow enough to prevent your degu’s escape.
Unfortunately, the floors of this degu cage are made of wires, and its plastic ramps are slippery. The wire floors increase the risk of your degu’s cage getting caught up in them. Covering the ramps with socks increases their traction while fastening them with zip ties will boost their stability.
- Very strong construction.
- Powder coating protects the cage from corrosion.
- Can be detached to become two separate cages.
- Maximum pet security.
- Easy to clean.
- Easy mobility with its caster stand.
- Its assembly might be challenging.
- Ramps are uncovered.
3. Prevue Pet Cage
Its ramps are ridged and wide to guarantee that your rodent’s tiny paws have sure footing. The Prevue rat and chinchilla cage measures 31 x 20.5 x 40 inches which is more than enough space to accommodate two degus along with their toys.
With a spacing of 0.9cm for its wire bars, you are sure that your pet cannot squeeze through the cage and escape.
- A beautiful bronze finish that makes your cage stand out.
- Lockable casters for easy mobility.
- Extra storage space in the supply shelf.
- Sturdy construction.
- Solid metal platforms and ramps.
- Might not be leak-proof.
- Its small door makes cleaning difficult.
- Rattles excessively.
- Outgasses when unpacked.
4. AmazonBasics Small Pet Cage
The small metal pet cage from AmazonBasics closely resembles the critter nation from Midwest Deluxe. However, it is neither as durable nor as dense as the latter. This two-story enclosure weighs 85.1 pounds and is 36 x 63.4 x 23.2 inches.
Its horizontal bars are 1.2cm apart, making it escape-proof for a degu. There are no rough corners on the AmazonBasics’ pet cage because they are coated. As such, the risk of injury to your degu when it bumps into a corner of the cage is minimal.
The full-width cage doors on this cage will prove a godsend during cleaning since they allow full and easy access to all sections.
The three lofted platforms linked by ridged ramps allow you to divide the cage by closing a middle grate and house your degus separately if they do not get along.
- Maximum pet security.
- Easy to clean.
- Safe for your degu.
- A shelf for extra storage.
- Can be detached into two separate cages.
- Not very durable.
- The pans are shallow hence shavings might keep falling out.
5. Kaytee Multi-Level Cage
If you are on the market for an affordable and comfortable home for your degu, the multi-level cage from Kaytee should be among your first choices. The cage measures 24 x 24 x 41.5 inches and weighs 10 pounds.
It comes with chew-proof door latches and a one-inch space between the bars to guarantee your pet’s escape attempts are unsuccessful. Its stain-resistant plastic and coated wires make the multi-level cage from Kaytee strong enough to withstand biting or chewing by degus.
The cage is easy to move thanks to its caster wheels and has a deep base that makes cleaning easy.
- Easy to assemble.
- Comes in vibrant and fun colors.
- Strong enough to withstand a degu’s activities.
- Its three levels provide enough living space for a degu.
- Safe for your rodent.
- Textured ramps increase traction.
- Is not so durable.
- It is hard to clean the base.
Choosing a Cage for Your Degu
Even with the above detailed review to guide you on the best cages on the market, you should know the basics to look for when picking one for your degu to ensure your pet is comfortable.
Here are tidbits on some factors to consider when shopping for a degu’s cage:
– Number of Degus
It is advisable to keep at least a pair of degus for the animals to be comfortable. When buying a cage consider its size vis-a-vis the number of degus you are aiming for so that the animals are not cramped in their living quarters.
– Size and Space
The minimum cage size recommended by the RSPCA for a pair of degus is 100 x 60 x 60 cm with at least two levels. In general, a bigger cage is always better to give the animals enough space to play.
If you settle for a cage with bars ensure they are not more than 0.8 inches apart. If they are too far apart, a degu might squeeze through them and escape or get hurt while trying to do so.
– Features and Accessories
Owing to the animal’s playful nature, a degu’s cage should have several accessories to keep it entertained. Wooden corner platforms, a cotton rope nest, bath enclosure, feeding bowl, water bottle, and hideout are must-have accessories for a degu cage.
You can also consider getting a wheel, tree branches, and tunnels for the degu to use for exercise.
– Maintenance and Cleaning
Keeping your pet’s cage is important, and you will have to do it regularly in order to keep your degus healthy and avoid bad smell. This is why is important to choose a cage which can be cleaned and maintained easily.
It is tempting to settle for the most expensive cage on the market, believing it is the best. This is, however, not the case all the time. Base your choice on the features of a cage rather than its price to guarantee you are getting value for money.
How Many Degus Should You Keep?
Degus are social animals living in groups in their natural habitats. You thus should keep at least a pair of them if you want your pet to remain happy and don’t want to strain yourself too much spending time with it.
Can Degus Live In A Glass Cage?
Yes, degus can live in a glass cage. Even so, a wire cage is the better choice for housing a degu. This is because it offers your pet optimal ventilation and is easy to adjust so that you have multiple levels for your pet to play.
Can Degus Live In A Hamster Cage?
No, your degu should not be housed in a hamster cage. Degus love running and jumping. Therefore, they will need more space for their activities than the one that a typical hamster cage can provide.
Thanks to the facts above, you are now well-informed on how to choose the best cage for your degu. The placement of the enclosure will also affect your degu’s comfort.
Place the cage away from direct sunlight so that it does not heat up and place your pet at risk of a heat stroke. The cage’s location away from direct sunlight also ensures that the degu has a normal day/night cycle.