House Hunting
by Debbie Ducommun
August 1, 2013
Retailers can offer customers a wide variety of cages and habitats for small animals, in wood, metal and plastic, providing everything pet owners want and need.



Finding the right habitat—whether it is for a human or an animal—can take a little trial and error. Luckily, today’s small animal-owners have many viable and cozy options at their disposal.

Cage manufacturers have gone to market with a variety of cage choices that offer safety, comfort and a number of helpful functions. Small-animal-pet owners have more options than ever to choose from, and retailers, too, can benefit from the growing selection of cages with which they can build a profitable and pet-friendly assortment.

Prevue Pet Products, based in Chicago, makes cages for all sizes of small pets, and according to CEO Rick Savitt safety and service are among the company’s primary considerations in the construction of cages.

 “We are particularly known in the industry for quality and service,” he says. “For instance, we have replacement parts available for all our products, so customers aren’t left out in the cold if a piece is lost or broken.”

He adds that the coatings on the cages pass all safety standards, the cages are put together using resistance welding, and the company makes sure there are no harmful additives in the welding materials. The solid-steel shelves featured in some of Prevue’s cage designs have rolled edges to ensure there is no risk of sharp edges to either the pet or owner.

In addition to safety, Savitt says the company also focuses on both attractive design and functionality. For example, Prevue manufacturers cages with pull-out trays that slide out from the front of the cage—not the side—to make cleaning easier, and the steel construction of its larger cages satisfies the demand for expanded space while still being attractive.


Italian Style
Marchioro USA offers a wide variety of small animal cages, from mouse to ferret, from single level “starter” cages to deluxe models.

“We offer elegant and sleekly designed functional cages, many with multi-level units that create more living space without consuming more floor space in the owner’s home,” says Brad Forgette, executive vice president of Marchioro USA.

The company offers a variety of designs, including a round cage for smaller rodents; a gerbil cage with clear plastic walls to allow burrowing; and multi-level cages with a deep pan for the upper levels as well as the lower level. Many of Marchioro USA cages feature the “C” system assembly, a collapsible system that allows for easy assembly as the wire structure comes partially assembled. This offers retailers the opportunity to merchandise a large variety of cages in a large selection of sizes without taking up a lot of shelf space.

 “Marchioro USA products are produced at our own facilities in Castelnova, Italy,” Forgette says. “We are a family-owned business dedicated to producing a quality product of the type U.S. pet owners want and demand. Marchioro produces one quality product under our own label. We don’t skimp on the quality of the plastic we use, or on the workmanship to hit price points.”


The Beauty of Wood
Advantek Marketing, Inc., based in Moorpark, Calif., offers an extensive line of wooden outdoor rabbit hutches, pens and houses, from simple to complex, in its GONEGREEN series of products. The hutches are made from fir wood, which according to the company’s website, repels insects, and is weatherproof, and therefore, virtually rot-proof. The wood is also finished with non-toxic, environmentally friendly wood preservatives. Asphalt roofs, which are also non-toxic and waterproof, help insulate the hutches. In addition, all hardware used for assembly is galvanized to prevent rust.   

Advantek is also introducing three large metal rabbit cages that can be combined with a water bottle and feeder for a rabbit care system. The stackable cages measure 24 by 24 inches, 30 by 30 inches, and 30 by 36 inches.

Another Advantek product, which was initially marketed for dogs, has also turned out to be suitable for small pets such as rabbits and guinea pigs. “We are fascinated by the variety of species our customers have been putting in our Pet Gazebo, everything from baby goats to chickens, rabbits and guinea pigs,” says Miles McMahill, Advantek’s vice president of sales. “There’s nothing else out there like it.”

The Pet Gazebo is a steel-mesh pen that is five feet in diameter and five-feet tall with a fabric cover for protection against both sun and rain. With the openings in the mesh measuring two-by-four inches, and with just a two-inch space under the door, this pen is suitable for all but the smallest grazers. The Gazebo is easily disassembled, so it is portable and can be taken along on picnics and vacations. It is also modular, so more than one Gazebo can be joined together to make a larger exercise area. McMahill says the company plans to offer new accessories for the Gazebo in the near future, including a wrap around windscreen.


Debbie Ducommun has a B.A. in animal behavior and has worked in the animal field since 1982. She is the author of the book Rats!, the booklet Rat Health Care and, her most recent book, The Complete Guide to Rat Training: Tricks and Games for Rat Fun and Fitness.