Things To Consider
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 and go for a metallic wire option which will resist their chompers and prevent unwanted escapes!
Degus are sneaky and cunning little creatures when they want to be and if your cage isn’t up to scratch, you’ll find out pretty quickly.
You might assume any cage you buy is going to have the ideal bar space, but you’d be surprised how often brands can get things wrong. Especially when advertising their cages for every type of pet rodent imaginable – as they all have different needs!
Bar spacing needs to be 2 cm or under for a degu cage, as otherwise, they may be able to squeeze through the gap!
Degus are energetic and active rodents who need plenty of space to thrive and their enclosure needs room to be filled toys and tunnels.
This means 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.
For every extra degu you have, you’ll need another 100 square 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.
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.
If you ever need to travel or move your cage around, it can be helpful for it to have a wheeled stand or have features which allow it to easily collapse.
Obviously, it’s better to buy a cage which already provides you with most of the accessories or items needed to take care of a degu. These definitely should be things like food bowls and a water bottle, with exercise equipment or toys and apparatus being a bonus!
Easy to Clean
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 is 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!