If you are considering purchasing an iguana, you need to know upfront that iguanas need special attention and maintenance because they are exotic. They take a lot of time and can be costly. However, if you do decide to take the time necessary to raise a healthy iguana, you will need to make sure you purchase a well built iguana cage.
Iguana Cage Types
The two basic types of cages are:
- Wire Mesh Iguana Cages
It is important to understand that iguanas need heat. Many times, glass and plastic terrariums will filter the UVA and UVB light that the iguana needs for a source of vitamin D3, which will help with calcium absorption. When they do not receive vitamin D3, they become at risk for skeletal problems, such as metabolic bone disease. A wire mesh iguana cage may not be as elaborate; but it will help with the needs of your iguana. While a wire mesh iguana cage may be a good source for UVA rays, it can also be drafty, where you cannot control the temperature in the cage.
There are beautiful and elaborate terrariums available. If you choose to buy a terrarium, there are different things you will need to include in your terrarium to ensure they receive what they need to survive. Just make sure your iguana receives a diet rich in vitamin D3, since they will not receive it from the sun. It is best to purchase a terrarium made from glass rather than plastic, as your iguana can scratch.
How to Choose
When choosing an iguana cage, you will first want to decide what type you want. Next, you will want to decide on the size. It has been said that if you put an iguana in a small cage it will not grow into its full length. This is a myth. If cared for properly, your iguana could grow to five to six feet, regardless of its habitat.
If you choose a terrarium, there are tons of designs and styles you can choose from. They can be simple to extremely elaborate, where it almost looks like you brought a piece of the forest into your home. Here are some things to look for in an iguana cage:
- Make sure the cage contains large amounts of heated water to provide humidity.
- Make sure if it has pool areas, that they can be drained or flushed for easier cleaning.
- Ensure it is made from real wood, as opposed to particle wood.
- Make sure it is made from glass and not Plexiglas to reduce scratches.
- The interior base should be lined with a rubber membrane to preserve the wood cabinet’s life.
- The cage keeps the heat and humidity in to allow the iguana to thermo-regulate.
- Cage should have an air flow ventilation system to prevent respiratory problems.
- Includes a fountain made from real rock.
- Cage has stable vines and branches for iguana to stretch and climb.
- Cage should have substrate, such as carpet or artificial turf.
- Cage should have a heat source.
The cage itself may not come with a heat source; however, there are some very high quality iguana cages that will come with everything you need for your pet iguana. Just be sure the cage you purchase does not have drafts and is very durable. You can always purchase items needed separately.
Care and Maintenance
Whether you choose a wire cage or terrarium, make sure there is a place for your pet iguana to get shade. Iguanas are cold-blooded and need warm and cool areas to move to so they can regulate their body temperature. The daytime temperature should be between 80 degrees and 88 degrees Fahrenheit, with a basking spot at 95 degrees Fahrenheit. During the night, temperatures should be between 75 degrees and 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Place a few thermometers within the cage to monitor all areas.
Where to Buy
Iguana cages can be found in pet stores, online, and through stores specifically dedicated to building iguana cages.
Iguanas are interesting creatures that can live a long time if their habitat has the right conditions.