What we considered when choosing the best degu cages
Firstly, as degus are quite new rodents in the UK, there isn’t much professional advice out there to go by. So, we have used our knowledge of other small pets as well as advice from animal charities such as the RSPCA to find the best cages.
As a prey species, degus can get frightened by movements over their head. Birds are their main predator in the wild. Therefore, the RSPCA recommends a cage with a solid roof. These can be hard to come by, so bear it in mind. You may prefer to opt for a flat roof that can be covered by a separate lid, or plan ahead and buy a fabric covering.
Avoid placing their enclosure at ground level as overhead movements would be more likely. Opt for something waist height. You can buy a raised cage, or purchase a suitable stand for their cage.
Like all rodents, degus have particularly sharp teeth that grow continuously and so they will often gnaw and chew on just about everything to keep their gnashers in tip-top condition. Unfortunately, this includes their cage.
It’s therefore incredibly important to avoid cages constructed from plastic or wood that can be easily gnawed through. Go for a metallic wire option that will resist their chompers and prevent unwanted escapes!
Bar spacing needs to be 2cm or under for a degu cage, as otherwise, they may be able to squeeze through the gap. This means that cages for birds or rabbits may be inappropriate.
Degus are energetic and active rodents who need plenty of space to thrive and their enclosure needs room to be filled toys and tunnels. You need a pretty big cage and general advice is that their enclosure needs to be around 70 L x 70 H x 45 W cm to sufficiently house two degus.
We’ve found cages that meet these limits. For every extra degu you have, you’ll need another 100 sq cm of room to accommodate them.
Remember though, these are just the minimum dimensions required by degus. Therefore general advice suggests that you simply purchase the very biggest cage you can fit inside your home.
As degus love to run around and explore their environment, it’s always best to choose a cage with lots of platforms or levels for them to get more exercise and enjoyment out of their enclosure.
Although not many cages are specifically designed for degus, you will often find that rodent cages designed for rats or chinchillas are tall and multi-levelled in design and so usually do perfectly. Don’t go too tall though as there could be a risk of falls or injury.
Something that’s often overlooked when people purchase cages is the flooring, which can occasionally be made up of wiring rather than solid, smooth flooring. Wire flooring is painful and uncomfortable for a degu’s feet and so it’s best to avoid cages which don’t provide solid footing.
Make sure to watch out for ramps and platforms that are solid too! These are admittedly a lot rarer and so if your cage doesn’t come with solid ladders, consider purchasing specialist degu platforms or customising the ladders with something like cardboard and felt to help make them comfier.
Unlike a lot of pets, degus thankfully aren’t a very smelly creature, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t messy. While their poop should be firm, odourless and easy to clean up, their urine is less so and if you don’t clean regularly and allow it to build up, your pets can get ill and your nostrils will eventually take a beating!
Deep bases can help keep bedding and faeces from flying out from between the bars while degus play and expansive access doors can help you get into every nook and cranny during clean-ups.
Features such as pull-out cleaning trays can also make things much more simple. Cages which featured wide doors and other easy to clean functions made our list over their competitors which were less so.