Midwest Guinea Pig Habitat Cage Review & How to Expand

Posted by guineapiggles on 16 Jan 2021
Cheeky guinea pig

The Midwest Guinea Pig Habitat Cage is one of the most popular cages with guinea pig owners. With so many unsuitable cages being sold for guinea pigs, we are passionate about educating people about which cages are best.  

So let’s take a look at what you get with the Midwest Habitat cage, what it offers your guinea pigs including advantages, disadvantages and ways to expand the cage to make a better space.

Features of the Midwest Habitat Cage

The Midwest Guinea Pig Cage is a wire cage which has a base made from canvas with a leak proof PVC lining. The canvas base is secured inside the cage sides by several Velcro straps that fit all the way around.

You can safely use the Habitat as an open cage (without a top) if you have no other pets which makes interacting with your guinea pigs much easier. If you choose to use the cage top, it is easily removed which also makes it more accessible when you clean the cage.

There are two side doors for additional access. You can set the cage up so they are either at the short ends or along the longer sides of the cage. These doors open downwards and can double up as ramps if you expand the cage by joining two or more Midwests together.

How big is the Midwest Habitat?

The cage measures 120cm x 60cm (4ft x 2ft) which equals 8 square ft. This meets the minimum size requirements for one or two guinea pigs housed together. Many cages including most plastic cages are much smaller than this and completely unsuitable for housing guinea pigs.

The fact that you can expand the cage opens up many possibilities with multiple creative configurations. An expanded Habitat gives your guinea pigs a much better space than most standard guinea pig cages.

Midwest Guinea Pig Habitat Cage Expanded Square

Differences between Midwest Habitat and Midwest Habitat Plus

These cages are exactly the same size and look the same too but the “Plus’ version has extra parts.

  • The Midwest Habitat cage includes the basic cage sides and the canvas base. 
  • The Midwest Habitat Plus also includes a top panel, divider panel, ramp plus covers for the ramp and divider panel. 

How to set up the Midwest Habitat and Habitat Plus

No special tools or DIY skills are required to assemble the cage and it takes around 15 minutes to put together.  Here are the steps to setting up the Habitat:

  • Before you begin, make sure you are setting up the cage in the place where it is going to stay as it will be difficult to move once it’s assembled.
  • Connect each end of the cage by slotting the hooks at one end into the eyelets on the other end. (If you’re just setting up one cage, the Midwest badge should be on the outside so the side doors open outwards. If you’re connecting 2 cages, the badge should be on the inside so the ramps can descend inwards.) Make sure the badge is the right way up.
  • Place the canvas base on the inside of the cage.
  • Starting at a corner (this helps line them up properly), secure the Velcro tabs with the lower strap going under the lowest bar and the longer strap going over the third bar up from the bottom (this is the most time-consuming part)

If you have the Midwest Habitat Plus, you’ll have a dividing panel with a ramp plus a cover for both. You’ll also have a cage top. Here’s how to add these:

  • Place the ramp cover over the ramp slotting the bottom of each ramp into the ramp cover pockets.
  • Fix the divider cover over the dividing panel using the Velcro strips in the same way as you did for the cage sides.
  • Put the divider into the cage making sure the hooks on each end of the divider fit over the cage bars so it’s firmly fixed in place. You can fix it at any point along the length of the cage.
  • If using the cage top, place it on the cage and fix the clips around the edge on to the cage sides.

Is it better to use the Habitat cage without a divider?

Using the Midwest Habitat without the divider is better because it gives your guinea pigs a bigger space to run around. As this is the very smallest a guinea pig cage should ever be, it’s important you maximize the space to give them as much area for exercising as possible.

Expanding the Midwest Habitat Cage

We recommend you expand this cage to give your guinea pigs more room.  A larger space contributes to your guinea pigs wellbeing. 

There are many different ways you can expand the cage to make it fit the space you have in your home. Here are some of the configurations you might like to consider:

  • Extra long with 2 Habitats each sitting end to end
  • L-shaped with 2 Habitats which will fit nicely into the corner of a room
  • Square shaped made with 2 Habitats and the long sides next to each other
  • U shaped with 3 Habitats and the 2 additional cages placed at each end of the main cage

How to connect the cages

You can use the side doors as ramps between each cage (always use the ramp covers to protect your guinea pigs feet) but even better is an open plan layout without having to use ramps and without any divisions between the cages. This provides your guinea pigs with one continuous space. 

Midwest Guinea Pig Habitat Cage - Extended End to End

We especially like the extra long expansion idea as it gives an 8ft length for them which is a fantastic space for them to exercise.

What bedding is best in the Midwest cage?

You will need some kind of safe absorbent bedding to line the cage. The type of bedding you choose is a personal choice but many guinea pig owners love to use fleece liners

GuineaDad make good quality absorbent fleece liners specifically to fit the Habitat cage but these do need regular washing and there are also many disposable bedding options to choose from such as kiln dried pine shavings.

Is the Midwest easy to clean?

As the base of the Midwest Habitat is PVC lined, it is leak proof and can be put straight on to a table or flooring without the need to place anything underneath. 

It is easy to wipe clean so on clean out day you can use a damp cloth and warm water as well as a pet safe cleaner (or white vinegar) and just wipe it down afterwards with a dry cloth. 

Every now and again, the canvas cage base will benefit from a more thorough wash. Machine washing isn’t recommended but it can be hand washed using warm water with a mild detergent and then dried flat. 

You might find it useful to have a second canvas base so you can simply switch them over while one is being washed.

Pros and cons of the Midwest Habitat Cage

Here is a summary of the advantages and disadvantages of the Midwest guinea pig cage:

Advantages

  • Larger than most guinea pig cages and meets the minimum size requirements
  • It can be expanded
  • Can be used with or without a top
  • Easy to store flat without taking up much space
  • The divider can create separate areas
  • Easy to set up
  • Good looking cage compared to most plastic cages

Disadvantages

  • Not easy to move once it’s set up because of the canvas base
  • Using the divider with just one cage significantly reduces the space your guinea pigs have to run around

We think the Midwest Guinea Pig Habitat Cage is a really good cage and good quality too. But we STRONGLY RECOMMEND that if using this cage you buy two and join them together so your guinea pigs have a bigger space. 

You might also like to check out C&C cages which are a modular option and you can make to the exact size you require.

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