July 27, 2022 by Umair Shahid
Have you brought a new degu in your house and now thinking about how to house them?
You require a cage. Moreover, get some toys and other accessories to create a habitat for them.
If you love your pet, then providing them right environment should be your top priority.
Have you ever considered yourself living in a dirty, smelly, and small house? It will greatly affect your physical and mental health.
The same is the case for animals. They also get stressed when they live in a small and dirty cage.
Keeping degus means you have to provide them with a spacious enclosure. Moreover, consider providing space for at least 2 pets.
This is because degus are social animals and they cannot live alone. So you have to make the setup for two pets at least.
Degu Cage Setup
They are energetic rodents and they require a room to run and play. Even if you have only a pair, still the cage size should be appropriate.
A cage is a thing on which you spend a lot of money. So, get the maximum information before buying.
Some people end up buying hamsters or guinea pig cages. But their cages are not spacious for degus.
They need large enclosures to play and run around. If you buy the wrong setup for them, then taming them will not be an easy task for you.
So for your easiness, I have come up with the degu cage setup ideas. I will explain all the answers that you are looking for.
There is a mathematical rule through which you can find out how much space your degu needs.
If you have 2 or 3 degus, you need 18000 square centimeters. For each degu, you need 4000 square centimeters.
This means that when you add a degu in a cage, they require an additional 4 square feet of space.
It is not necessary to keep all the degus in one cage. You can consider buying more than one cage.
If you want to keep females separate to avoid growing their population at an exponential rate.
The best cage for degus is a vertical cage just like bird cages that have different levels.
Bar spacing of the cage
The bar spacing is very important to prevent them from escaping. As degus are small creatures, they need a cage that should be cross-hatched. Their cage shouldn’t have bars.
The spacing between each cross hatch should not be more than 0.8 inches.
If this spacing is large, young degus will come out of the cage and escape. Even when separate levels are used, you need to cover the floor.
This is because they can walk without the danger of slipping through.
Separate levels of the cage
Degus like to roam and explore their surroundings. So the cage itself should have two to three levels.
The ladders or ramps that lead to different levels should not too steep. Platforms should be covered with wood that has grooved grips. This will be used by degus to climb.
Platforms should be sealed to prevent degus from falling.
Cages come in all types of materials. They come in materials like plastic, wood, metal, and glass(vivarium).
Metal and glass cages are suitable for degus. But glass cages overheat so quickly. You need to regulate the temperature in that case.
Moreover, you have to provide them with good ventilation. Plastic cages are not suitable for them. They can chew plastic and can get sick also.
If they can chew plastic, they will escape and it will be very difficult for you to catch these fast critters.
Wood can also be chewed by degus. Wooden cages can be suitable for degus if the wooden part is attached to the floor.
It is a chewable item, but they can’t chew it if the wood is perfectly horizontal.
So, in my opinion, a convenient option is to buy a metal cage.
Degus need bedding that should be low in dust. This is because they are sensitive to dusty materials.
You can use wood shavings for bedding. But I would suggest you avoid cedar and pine. The pine bedding if used should be kiln-dried.
There are other alternative options like recycled paper materials. You can also use various hay or straw bedding.
This will be great for degus and they will keep on munching it all day. If you find bedding that is easy to clean and suitable for your pet.
Then I would recommend you to buy a bundle. This will save more on bedding costs.
Accessories Inside the cage
Degus love hideouts in their surroundings. They use it for hiding, sleeping, and safety. They can be constructed from wood that is edible for them.
Even hideouts made from hay are also a good option. They love gnawing on them. Structures made from ceramic are also a good option.
Fleece hideouts are also safe.
Food dishes should be present in the cage. If you have more than one degu in the cage, then you should place more than one food bowl.
Food bowls should be made up of ceramic, metal, or wood. The food bowl should not be made of plastic as they can chew it.
The best bottle of water for degu should be made up of glass. The plastic made bottle should be avoided.
These bottles should be hung outside the cage with a metal tube feeder inside the cage.
If you own more than one degu, consider placing more water bottles according to their number.
You should clean water valves regularly. There should be no water dripping from them. Moreover, no food should be stuck in them.
As you know, degus don’t take water bath. They take a dust bath twice a week. They do this to clear out the debris from their skin and fur.
You can put these dust bowls inside the cage. But it is better to train them to take bath outside the cage during a scheduled time per week.
Blanket and fleece
Fleece is the least threatening material for a degu. The fleece hideouts and hammocks can become smelly if your degu provides a mark on them.
These materials should be washed weekly because there is a chance that they will pee on them.
Hammocks are a safer option for degus. Degus mainly sleep at night so these space-saving nests can be clipped anywhere.
If you have a group of degus, you will notice that a group of degus combine into a hammock to rest together.
If you are worried that your degu has chewed the fleece too. They go for Timothy’s hay hammocks. Even if they eat hay, this will be beneficial for them in the long run.
Like other rodents, degus also enjoy the exercise wheel. So, if you are deciding to buy one. Make sure it shouldn’t be made up of plastic.
A good alternative is to buy a wooden wheel. Metal and Wooden exercise wheel will be a good option.
Do not invest in the type of wheel that is called a treadmill. It can hurt your pet. It does not protect the pet.
Degus are rodents and have continuously growing teeth. They love to chew anything that comes in their way. They will chew anything present in their habitat.
You need to give them wood chew toys that are safe for them. These chew toys include chewing sticks, cardboard, wooden toys, and hay.
The cheapest thing is cardboard tubes always. You can find them in your home also.
The best choices include Applewood, Hazelwood, bamboo, and coconut shell-made wood snacks.
Location is one of the most important things to consider while owning a pet degu. Take the following conditions before placing the degu’s cage in your home.
Exposure to sunlight
Degus are diurnal animals. This means that they remain active throughout the day and sleep at night.
They have maximum peak activity at dawn and dusk. In captivity, degus will adopt your schedule. But they use light to maintain sleeping habits.
Place the cage in the sunlight where they can see a normal day and night cycle.
Never place their cage in direct sunlight. Direct sunlight will heat the cage so quickly. Your pet can suffer from heatstroke.
Degus live in a region where the temperature gets too high. At that time they become less active. They remain in their cooler burrow.
Degu can’t stand low temperatures and can get pneumonia. High temperatures can cause heat stroke in them.
In captivity, they can’t hide under burrows. So if you live in a region where the temperature remains mild. Then there will be no problem.
However, if the temperature becomes high you have to keep them cool. Either shift them to cooler locations or use the air conditioner in their room.
During low temperatures, make sure to keep your pets warm. Provide them with enough nesting material to line their nesting square.
The best temperature for a degu is around 21°C. They can be kept at temperatures from 15 to 25°C but not for long times.
The final thing about cage location is the placement itself.
On waist level
Degus are prey animals. They are preyed upon by birds. Their natural phenomenon is to run from a predator to escape.
Rodents don’t have good eyesight and they can consider you the bird of prey.
As a result, they will get scared. So you should place them at the level of your height.
Away from ventilation, radiators, and direct sunlight
Degus are sensitive creatures. They can get heat stroke when exposed to high temperatures. They can also get pneumonia when exposed to cold spots.
People also ask
Where can you buy a good degu cage?
You can buy cages anywhere from a local pet store. Moreover, you can also buy them online. The size of the cage depends upon the number of degus you own.
The sights where you can find cages are
- Exotic Nutrition
The important thing to inform you is that most of the cages bought from pet stores don’t provide enough space for them for running.
So I would suggest you get an appropriate cage type, attach several cages or create your cage.
How often you should take your degu out of the cage?
How much you can handle them depends upon the training you have given them. If they don’t cooperate, then don’t force them.
Start with the scheduled timing and training. Once they get used to it, they will expect it every day.
So, the more you trained them, the more they will be tamed by you. And the more they will allow you to handle them outside the cage.
Should you cover degu’s cage?
I would not suggest you cover the cage under any circumstances. Even if you live in a climate where the temperature is cold.
Put a heating pad under their cage. Covering the cage will stop the airflow. The environment will become suffocating for them without fresh air.
Degu cage setup requires all the essentials. Each degu needs a space of at least four square feet.
So, you have to buy the cage accordingly. If you want to separate males from females then buy two cages.
I would suggest you own a metal cage. Don’t get them a plastic cage. They will chew it all. Moreover, this will also cause health problems.
A wooden cage is also a good choice but only if the wood is horizontal. Glass cages are not recommended because they can heat up quickly.
Cross-hatching should be less than 0.8 inches. Otherwise, your pet will escape.
The bedding inside the cage should be made up of fleece or other suitable material. Avoid using pine and cedar bedding. You can use wood shavings as bedding also.
The other accessories that you have to put inside the cage include hideouts. Again the hideouts should not be made up of plastic.
Hideouts should be made up of ceramic, fleece, or even hay.
Other accessories include a water bottle, ceramic food bowl, and chewing toys.
They also require exercise wheels. They love to run on the wheel. The exercise wheel should be made up of wood or some other material.
It should not be made up of plastic.
In addition to this, the cage should be placed where they can see the day and night cycle.
The cage shouldn’t be in direct sunlight. Otherwise, they can suffer from heatstroke.
Moreover, they can live in a mild environment. They can live at a temperature of 21°C. High temperatures can cause heat strokes.
Cold temperature can cause pneumonia in them.
I am a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine and have a keen interest in animal health care. Working as a veterinary content writer, I intend to stay with professional approach in producing quality content. I like research-based reading and currently seeking my veterinary profession. My hobbies are travelling to exotic places and observing nature to the fullest.