The Iguana Den





Cage Basics

Iguanas aren't called Giant Green Iguanas just for the heck of it! They are a large lizard that can grow in excess of 5 feet long snout to tail tip. This large lizard needs a large house to go with it!

There are no commercially made aquariums large enough to house a full grown Iguana, and most healthy Iguanas will outgrow any aquarium within the first year. A full grown Iguana needs a cage that is around 6 feet high, 6 feet long, and at least 3 feet wide. They don't just 'exist' in their cages, they need space to move around and exercise to maintain their health.

There are several manufacturers out there who build and sell Iguana sized cages, but the cost is usually prohibitive, often upwards of $400 for an acceptably sized cage. You are better off building your own if you have any skills with tools at all.

When building or buying a cage, keep several things in mind. You need to be able to maintain your basking and ambient temperatures, as well as your humidity levels. Iguanas are climbers and need vertical space with branches and/or basking shelves to climb on and bask from. Another thing to remember, especially if you build your own, is that no matter what size you make it, you need to be able to get it through the doors in your house! ;)

There are many different cage plans and materials available. Some people have used PVC and plastic coated wire to build large, inexpensive cages that are easy to break down and transport. The major downside with these cages is that it is more difficult to maintain heat and humidity levels in such an open cage. They make excellent outdoor sunning cages though!

Plywood and 2x4s are another standby of cage construction, and materials such as melamine or shower board make cleaning and disinfecting surfaces much easier. Glass or Plexiglas can be used, but Plexiglas scratches and discolors easily over time.

If you have the extra space, devoting an entire room to your Iguana is ideal. A spare guest room can be turned into a fantastic Iguana habitat with just a few modifications.

Some people also let their Iguanas free roam. If you choose to do this, it's a good idea to make sure that your Ig is potty trained, and that you conscientiously Ig-proof your house! In my household, with all of the cats and other hazards, I would never let my Ig free roam unsupervised. Remember that Igs love to taste test everything with their tongues, and something as simple as cat hair or excess carpet fuzz can sometimes become a problem, causing intestinal blockage. Don't forget to vacuum!



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