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February 2024

How to Choose a Bird Cage

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Whether you’re after a small bird cage or an aviary, there are a few factors to consider when choosing a bird cage. From what type and size of enclosure you should purchase, to how to clean you bird cage and what accessories you’ll need, PETstock is here to help!

How Do I Choose A Bird Cage?

Blanket rule for bird cages: bigger is always better. Sure, you don’t want your pet to be lost in the thing – but the more space your bird has to roam and fly the happier they’ll be as this mirrors what they’d have in the wild.

However, most bird owners will be constrained by space and budget and will need to meet a realistic compromise. The important thing is to ensure the cage you choose is suitable for your pet bird. There are a few factors you’ll need to consider before deciding what type and size of the enclosure to purchase.

  1. What type of bird will you keep?
  2. How many birds will you keep?
  3. Will your birds be tamed to come out of their enclosure?

The sizing requirements for your bird cage change based on these factors – so it’s important to have these all worked out prior to purchasing your cage. Let’s start with what bird you’ll keep.

Types Of Pet Birds

There are thousands of different species of birds – all of which have slightly different care requirements. We’ve covered the main birds you’ll see as pets and their cage requirements below. Dimensions are given in width x length x height in centimetres.

Small Parrots

  • Popular pets include budgerigars, cockatiels, lovebirds, small conures and parrotlets – among others.
  • Most of these birds can be kept in small enclosures which are between 46cm x 46cm x 46cm to 61cm x 61cm x 61cm depending on the species – though bigger is still better. If you opt for the minimum-sized cage requirements, you must commit to training your bird so they’re able to come out of their enclosure to roam. Birds that will be spending the majority of their time in enclosures will require more space.
  • If you wish to keep two birds (which is generally beneficial to all birds as they’re flock animals but highly recommended with Lovebirds in particular), the sizing requirements for your cage increases.
  • As small parrots aren’t strong, thin metal bars are acceptable as they won’t chew through them like larger parrots will.
  • If you have space restrictions in your home, a small parrot would be the best choice for you but avoid lovebirds as they should be kept in pairs.

Cockatoos and Medium to Large Parrots

  • Popular pets include African greys, Amazon parrots, macaws, sulphur-crested cockatoos and galahs – among others.
  • Medium-sized parrots require minimum cage sizes of around 61cm x 91.5cm x 122cm– while larger parrots and cockatoos need closer to 91.5cm x 122cm x 152.5cm as a minimum. Research the specific requirements for your desired pet and ensure you have the space to cater for them.
  • You’ll need an enclosure with thick, strong wire that cannot be chewed through.
  • The wire of the cage should have ample space between the bars to allow larger birds to grip the wire with their beak and claws and roam around the enclosure (roughly 2cm to 2.5cm spacing for medium birds and 2.5cm to 3.5cm for larger birds)– though not so wide as to allow your bird to put their head through the bars.
  • Watch those tail feathers! Larger parrots can have extravagant, long tail feathers and you’ll need to accommodate these in their enclosure.
  • These active birds should be allowed out of their cages frequently to allow them to fly and roam.
Hot Tip

An important consideration when selecting your bird’s enclosure is the strength, thickness, and durability of the wire it is made from. Avoid cheap enclosures built from galvanized steel as they may cause zinc poisoning if your bird loves to chew.


  • Popular pets include Gouldian, zebra and star finches as well as blue-faced parrotfinches and canaries.
  • Despite their diminutive size, finches require larger enclosures than birds that are a similar sized, or even bigger birds, because they’re incredibly active and energetic.
  • With the exception of canaries who are happy on their own, finches need to be kept in pairs or small groups as they’re social birds. Pairs of finches can be kept in a minimum enclosure size of 46cm x 76cm x 46cm – but once you have more that two finches you’ll need an aviary rather than a cage.

Doves and Pigeons

  • Popular pets include diamond and ringneck doves as well as king, fantail and tumbler pigeons.
  • Doves and pigeons are flock birds and should ideally be kept in pairs.
  • Minimum cage requirement is 61cm x 91.5cm x 61cm for most subspecies.
  • They require a cage that has a solid base (rather than a wire mesh base) to permit them to forage on the ground (as they would do in the wild).

Types Of Bird Cages & Aviaries

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Once you’ve decided what kind of bird you’re going to keep, and how many of them, you can then consider different cage and aviary options.

Small Bird Cages

If you’ve only got space for a small bird cage, choose a small bird that doesn’t require a companion. While small cages are acceptable, they shouldn’t be so small as to prohibit your bird from moving naturally around the cage and must be large enough for your bird to fly fully extended from one side to the other. It should hold two perches, food and water sources and toys for mental stimulation and enrichment. Birds in small cages should be given regular opportunity to fly in a safe, indoor area that is outside their cage.

Large Bird Cages

Large bird cages are recommended for pairs of birds or medium-sized birds. Even if you’re keeping a smaller bird, don’t be deterred from buying a larger cage. The more space your birds have to fly and roam the happier they’ll be.

Bird Aviaries

Aviaries are the largest form of cage available – they’re ideal for colony housing and recommended for large parrots and energetic birds like finches – though all birds benefit from having plenty of space.

Need assistance choosing a bird cage? Head into your local PETstock to discuss it more with our friendly team.

Bird Cage Accessories

Once you’ve got your cage, you’ll need to equip it with all the essentials your bird needs. Aside from space to roam, they’ll need perches, a bird bath, food and water sources and toys for enrichment.

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Bird Perches

When purchasing a caged enclosure or aviary, you’ll notice it may include smooth surfaced perches for your bird to stand on.

While these types of perches are fine they may not help prevent overgrown nails and skin lesions on your bird’s feet the way other perches will, so it’s best to provide a few options.

Cement or wood perches naturally trim your bird’s claws. You can also add some natural branches – the rougher the better! Branches from fruit trees are a great choice.

Ensure you have at least three different sized diameter perches in your enclosure to mimic your bird’s natural habitat.

Bird Cage Flooring

Your bird’s enclosure will typically have a wire bottom and a tray underneath for easy cleaning. Covering the floor of the enclosure with some sand grit sheets will help mimic your bird’s natural habitat. These are great as they are relatively inexpensive and come in a range of shapes and sizes. They can also be cut to size and are quick and easy to remove.

Bird Baths

Generally, birds love water! Ensure you provide your feathery family member with a bird bath which is big enough for them to sit and splash in, but not so big that they can’t get out on their own.

Additionally, keep a spray bottle on hand to regularly spray your bird with some water. This is especially great in hot weather & your bird will love you for it! It will also help reduce feather dust to keep your bird’s feathers healthy.

You should clean your bird bath roughly two or three times a week, though if more birds are using it more frequent washing could be required.

Where Is The Best Place To Put A Bird Cage

  1. When deciding where to place your bird’s cage or enclosure, there are a few things you need to consider.
  2. Avoid areas prone to excessive dust or smoke as these can harm your bird’s respiratory system.
  3. Avoid areas that produce drafts such as open windows, doorways and air conditioning units. Drafts may cause your bird to catch a cold that may develop into pneumonia, which is life threatening. Enclosures and aviaries should have a place for your bird to escape cold, harsh conditions.
  4. Keep your bird’s enclosure away from your kitchen. Birds can be harmed by fumes produced by cooking and they also risk overheating when the cooking appliances are in use.
  5. The height of your bird’s cage is important – placing it too high will teach your bird they’re superior to you and putting them too low causes stress. Place your bird’s cage at chest level.
  6. Keep your bird cage in a room you use frequently – this is important for your bird’s social enrichment and mental stimulation.

FAQs for Choosing a Bird Cage

Which bird cage should I get?

It depends on what birds you plan to keep, and how many! If you’re still unsure, come to your closest PETstock and discuss your option with our friendly team.

What’s an easy bird to care for?

A canary is a relatively easy bird to care for. They aren’t required to be kept in pairs, require less social interaction with humans than parrots and are a diminutive size so they don’t take up a lot of space.

How do I clean my bird’s cage?

Cleaning your bird’s enclosure is easy and should be done regularly. Use a bird safe disinfectant to get rid of any germs and clean off any droppings and ensure you change the grit sheets in your cage regularly to keep them fresh.

Various sizes available