Choosing the Right Bird Cage and Location

Yellow canary on perch in cage

Author: Dr. Veronica Pardini, DVM, CertAqVET
Published: May 10, 2024

Oh, home sweet home! Having feathered friends is such an amazing experience, but ensuring their safety and well-being is a big responsibility!

One crucial aspect of bird care that often gets overlooked is choosing the right cage and ensuring it’s set up in a safe and enriching location. 

In this article, we’ll cover all the important factors to consider when selecting a cage for your feathered friends. By choosing a cage and location that best fit your birds and home, you’ll help ensure their environment is safe and comfortable every day.

Two cockatiels resting in a cage

Choosing the Right Cage

Cage Size

Size definitely matters when it comes to purchasing the right cage for your birds. The correct size for the cage will vary with each species. I advise my clients to get the largest cage they can afford and fit in their home.

As a general rule, take the wingspan of your bird and multiply it by three. This will give you the minimum depth of the cage. For the minimum width, multiply your bird’s wingspan by 2.5x.

Cage Bar Spacing

When selecting a cage, it’s essential to consider the spacing between the bars. The gaps should be narrow enough to prevent your bird from squeezing through or getting stuck. This will help ensure their safety and prevent potential injury or even death.

Cage Materials

You might be wondering what your pet bird’s cage should be made of. Opt for cages made from non-toxic materials. Birds are naturally curious, and they often explore their surroundings with their beaks. Ensure that the cage is free from materials that could be harmful if ingested, such as lead or zinc.

Locks and Latches

Don’t forget that birds are escape artists! A secure locking mechanism is vital to prevent your clever bird from figuring out how to open the cage. Double-check that the latches are sturdy and can withstand the intelligence and dexterity of your feathered companion.

Cleaning and Care Considerations

Choose a cage with features that make cleaning and maintenance hassle-free. Removable trays and easy access to food and water containers simplify the cleaning process, ensuring a hygienic environment for your pet. 

Owner cleaning mirror in yellow bird's cage

Choosing the Ideal Location for Your Bird’s Cage

Avoid Drafts

Even though fresh air is great for birds, it is important to avoid constant drafts. Birds are sensitive to temperature changes, and drafts can be detrimental to their health. 

Avoid Direct Sunlight

While natural, direct sunlight is essential for your bird’s well-being, if not offered correctly it can cause overheating. Position the cage where your friend can enjoy gentle sunlight and ensure there’s a shaded area within the cage.

Kitchen Safety

The kitchen may seem like a central location, but it poses significant risks to your bird. Cooking with non-stick cookware, such as Teflon, or even having your oven self-clean releases fumes that can be fatal to birds. Keep the cage away from the kitchen to eliminate these risks.

Social Interaction

Birds are social creatures and thrive on interaction. Position the cage in a room where the family spends a significant amount of time. This will help foster a sense of companionship and prevent loneliness.

The Importance of Peace and Quiet

While socializing is crucial, birds also need a quiet and peaceful space for undisturbed rest. Choose a location where your feathered friend can retreat when they need a break from all the excitement.

Multiple Pet Considerations

If you have other pets, especially those with a natural prey drive, keep the bird cage out of their reach. Ensure a safe distance to prevent stress and potential harm to your bird.

Managing Different Smells

If someone in your household smokes, it’s crucial to position your bird’s cage away from areas where smoking typically occurs. Smoke can pose a significant risk to their respiratory health.

When it comes to ambient fragrances like candles and diffusers, opt for mild scents to prevent potential respiratory tract irritations. Specifically, refrain from using essential oils, as they can be toxic to birds.

Maintaining a clean and well-ventilated environment, choosing bird-safe cleaning products, and being cautious with indoor plants will further contribute to your feathered companions’ well-being.


Choosing the right location for your bird’s cage involves a careful balance between safety and stimulation. By prioritizing safety characteristics in the cage itself and selecting an ideal spot within your home, you create an environment where your feathered friend can thrive. 

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