C&C Cages Defined
What are C&C cages and what makes them so popular? Let's take a closer look at the C&C cage:
As far as we can tell, the original C&C cage design was developed (and made popular) a few years ago by an innovative guinea pig rescue organization. This cage style was developed as a matter of necessity so that the guinea pig shelter could efficiently house a large number of pigs in a cost-effective manner. For this reason, to this day, the C&C cage tends to have a very low cost per square-inch of living space -- in other words - C&C cages tend to offer a lot of cage for the money.
The mysterious name C&C originates from the two main materials used to construct this category of small animal cage: Cubes and corrugated plastic.
The frame and wire lattice portion of the cage is built from wire grids normally used in the assembly of wire grid storage cubes. These square wire grids are usually 14-inches long on each edge. This sort of shelving is often seen in stores or boutiques where clothing or other items are displayed in arrays of wire grid cubes or cubbies. Hence, the first C in C&C comes from the word cube.
The second C in C&C comes from the other fundamental material used in C&C cage construction -- plastic sheeting and is used to form the litter pan or bin in the bottom of the cage. This material is commonly used by sign-makers in the fabrication of economical weatherproof signage.
corrugated plastic has some remarkable properties that make it highly suitable for its application in the pet cage arena.
First of all, it is constructed of polyethylene. This material is chemically inert which means water, solvents, oils and other chemicals generally have no effect on it. What this means to the concerned pet-owner is:
a) it is waterproof and (more importantly) urine-proof.
b) soaps, detergents, vinegar and other cleaning agents will not harm it.
c) it is indigestible - stomach acids do not affect it. This means if your pig happens to be a chewer, the material will pass harmlessly through its digestive system.
d) corrugated plastic is non-toxic and it is certified to be safe for use in contact with food.
C&C have become very popular as a do-it-yourself type of project. However, in recent years, suitable wire metal grids have become increasingly difficult to obtain. National department store chains have carried storage cube kits for several years. Until recently, most contained 14-inch square grids with 9 openings on each side (9x9 array). These grids had openings of roughly 1.5 square-inches.
Youy can buy two varieties of 14-inch grids: grids with an array of 5x5 spaces (approx. 2.8-inch spacing) and grids with an 8x8 array (approx. 1.75-inch spacing).
CAUTION: Both of these grid configurations (5x5 and 8x8) are to be strictly avoided by guinea pig owners.
5x5 grids are way too large and are ineffective in containing many size pigs. 8x8 grids are only slightly too large and present a potential choking hazard. We have received bulletins from several guinea pig rescue organizations warning us to avoid 8x8 grids. They cited various strangulation incidents involving grids with these larger openings and counseled us to use only 9x9 grids in our guinea pig cage designs.
C&C cages are almost always built as do-it-yourself projects and tend to be very much larger (and therefore healthier for your pig) than standard manufactured "pet store cages." Generally one of three approaches is taken by do-it-yourself C&C cage builders. The skilled do-it-yourselfer creates the cage from scratch - designing the cage and buying the materials by themselves.
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