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CARA Charter – What size cage for my degu?

The cage is a crucial element of your degu’s habitat. It must indeed meet their needs in terms of movement and territory management. Degus are social animals that require living together in the same cage. However, for this to go smoothly, it is important to adapt the cage to replicate a natural environment. There are many cage models available that are suitable for degus. Whether it’s aviaries, ferret cages, terrariums, or mixed cages, all can meet the needs of the degu as long as they are spacious enough and carefully furnished.

Octodon degus dans un hamac
Moment de détente familiale sur un hamac


In laboratories, cages are generally very small, with an area of only 2500cm², for a cage measuring 50cm x 50cm on each side and 20cm in height for 1 or 2 degus. This is, of course, absolutely not suitable for the species’ needs and can lead to numerous behavioral and health problems. As for rodents offered for sale, mainly in pet stores, the situation is even worse. Tiny cages, sometimes smaller than A4 sheets, without light, without medical care… These living conditions, along with uncontrolled breeding, lead to numerous genetic health problems, as well as significant behavioral disorders.

Rodent farm
Rodent farms for sale in pet stores

The degu is a highly active animal that requires ample space in its cage to easily expend its energy. Moreover, a large space is necessary for healthy social interactions within this species, as small cages increase the risk of serious injuries from fights. A minimum size charter is proposed by an amateur forum, significantly above the more basic standards01. This charter allows for the establishment of habitats of suitable size for degus.

CARA charter

The CARA charter is an ideal tool for finding a cage that meets the needs of the degu02. To verify the maximum capacity of the cage, simply measure any flat surface (including levels) to calculate the area and add up all the surfaces to determine the overall area of the cage.



Nomber of degu(s) Size in cm² Size in inch²
2-3 18 000 2790
4 22 000 3410
5 26 000 4030
6 30 000 4650

Starting from 6, for each additional degu

4000 620


Standard layout for degu enclosure

Degus cage layout


  1. CARA – Degus international community[]
  2. Handbook of Exotic Pet Medicine[]

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