About Cagetopia

How “C&C” Came To Be

In 1998 (25 years ago now), Teresa Murphy of the San Francisco Bay Area in California, started doing guinea pig rescue -- CavySpirit.com -- after making the same mistakes that many of us do by ending up with too many from a pregnant guinea pig purchased at a pet store. As her cavy population grew, she realized that even multiples of the largest cages available in pet stores were just too small, creating crowded, hard-to-keep-clean messes without enough space for exercise. "Necessity being the mother of invention" led to Teresa's quest for a better living environment for her special charges -- one that was easy to replicate by her adopters. It needed to be good-for-the-guineas and easy-to-clean for kids and adults alike.

After much trial and error, she discovered that by combining two materials, Cubes (wire storage cubes) and Coroplast® (a brand name of corrugated plastic), she could create a flexible, configurable, colorful, modular, relatively inexpensive, procurable, easy-to-clean, and properly-sized cage for her guinea pigs -- success! The original C&C cage concept was born. In her experimentation and observation of guinea pigs' behavior in various cage sizes in her rescue, she was able to determine the sweet spot of cage sizes for various pairings and groupings of guinea pigs. She published her new Cage Size Standards and advocated strongly for them in the early days of the internet.

Teresa created CavyCages(.com) which later became GuineaPigCages.com in order to share detailed instructions on “How To Make” a C&C cage, along with a community-sourced directory of where to find materials. She included a forum (still one of the largest and most comprehensive forums for guinea pigs today), photo gallery, and more. Her new guinea pig cage size standards, put forth in 2000, continue to be the generally accepted standards to this day. They have been adopted by the HSUS (Humane Society of the United States), ASPCA, and virtually all guinea pig experts around the world.

Teresa was making and selling her cage kits locally in the San Francisco Bay Area to her adopters and others who wanted this new C&C cage. Her popular rescue had multiple families coming and going in her home every week and especially on weekends for years. She always required a 2x4-grid sized cage for all of her adopters and provided them the cage components to take home with them. Her adoptions were typically a two-visit process. The first visit was to get acquainted with the piggies and the care needed and take home the C&C cage to get it assembled and ready to receive the piggies. The second visit was more info and education and bringing the new piggies home to their new C&C Cage. She had a lovely home with a room full of big, nice-smelling, easy-to-clean cages and set a standard for proper care that was both easy and enjoyable. Success grew and the word spread. Her advocacy for these cages continued unabated.

Over time, Teresa partnered with Sue Galanto on the East Coast to make the kits available for sale on the internet on her established cages website. As Teresa grew her web presence and network of guinea pig-related internet properties, more and more people were discovering this new cage design. It was so fulfilling to hear the stories of people walking into sign shops all around the country and the world asking to buy a sheet of Coroplast. Many sign store personnel were noted of asking, "for a guinea pig cage?" LOL. Corrugated plastic sheets are most commonly used to make outdoor signs. So, a request for just a sheet out of the blue at a sign store was unusual and more often than not, was for someone looking to make one of Teresa's C&C Cages.

C&C cages were becoming very popular. In 2010, Teresa created the GuineaPigZone website: as a one-stop-shop, so to speak, for all things guinea pig -- a central directory for guinea pig rescues, guinea pig vets, resources for cage materials, and adoptable guinea pigs as well as the cage kits for sale and more. As the creative juices flowed, the cage designs evolved, and the product line expanded to include lofts, ramps, kitchens, stands, cubbies and more. This prompted the need for a separate, e-commerce only website: the Guinea Pig Cages Store, with the same attention to detail of care and caring about guinea pigs. 

In 2012, Teresa then partnered with Jenny Sawyer, an established seamstress extraordinaire of small pet cozies, bedding, and toys, and the sister store, Guinea Pig Market was established. All cage products and designs being sold on the Cages Store could now find top-quality and gorgeous bedding and cozy products to match and fit. 

All products sold on the site are guinea pig tested for an extended period of time with Teresa's rescue guinea pigs to ensure they are truly beneficial and healthy for the animals as well as being easy to manage and easy to clean for their owners. Her high standards of care have been an integral part of all products promoted on her site.

After many years working together, in 2023 Sue and Teresa embarked on independent business paths. The Guinea Pig Cages Store is now partnered with a new production company with enhanced production capabilities that will allow us to introduce new fun products, new looks, and new functionality in the coming months. In addition, we're now more centrally located in the US for faster, more economical shipping to more parts of the country. While we aren't selling into the EU, we can now ship to any other country. Canada, New Zealand, and Australia are available at checkout. If you need any other non-EU country, let us know, and we can probably add it.

Our 25-year commitment to the guinea pig community continues today. Stay tuned. A significant upgrade to one of our sister sites, Guinea Pig Finder, is coming in September as well!