Iguanidae, such as the iguanas and the other related species, are known as some of the highly loved pets all over the world. When they start becoming familiar with their environment, iguanas tend to become really friendly. Plus, they have a unique and remarkable look, and not to mention that they are also vegan.
As a baby, iguanas are adorable and tiny at just six inches. However, once they are fully grown, they can be as large as six feet! Hence, it can be a bit tough to find a proper housing for them. But do not fret; we are going to help with that problem. If you are someone looking to get a baby reptile or feel like you aren’t prepared enough, then our buying guide will surely help you out.
Most of the iguana cages available in the market are designed poorly. Even though you can find decent options online and in your local pet shops, don’t ever try to fit your iguana inside a chameleon cage because they can grow massively up to six feet long.
There are a few things that needs to be considered to create the best enclosure for iguanas.
Essential Components of an Iguana Cage
Below are a few things you need to consider when setting up the best iguana cage:
1. Cage Size
An iguana’s cage must be large. The recommended minimum is 12 foot long, 6 foot high and 6 foot wide; the larger the better when it comes to iguana cages. However, it should be noted that this is not practical for all iguana owners, since different species tend to grow at various different lengths.
The enclosure or cage of your iguana should be chosen or constructed with the thought that they will grow really big in size. If their cage isn’t big enough for them to grow easily into, then you risk harming not only their comfort but also shortening their lifespan.
Baby iguanas can live inside a pre-made iguana terrarium. As it grows up, you will then have to assemble a new enclosure for your pet, one that is extremely big. The best pre-made available cage can fit a baby iguana up to a 4-year-old adult. But after 4 years you will have to find other options.
Ideally, the vivarium should be placed near to an open window, which would allow the iguanas to get the benefit of natural sunlight. However, the important ultraviolet rays from the sun will NOT penetrate glass. You should also bear in mind where the vivarium will be located; iguanas do not like to be disturbed by Aerosmith, cats, noisy children, Eastenders, etc.
3. Vertical Climbing Space
Because iguanas are classified as tree-dwelling creatures, they need something to climb on, and this is where you need accessories for the iguana house. Accessories include climbing structures that are strong and durable enough to withstand the weight of a full-grown adult reptile.
4. Secured Exits
Iguanas like other reptiles are natural escape artists. They will escape their cages whenever they find an opportunity. That is why you will need to buy a cage that offers great security and have locking doors. The cage also needs to be sturdy and constructed from a solid material.
5. Daytime Heating and Lighting
You will need to install a basking lamp and an ultraviolet tube for your iguana to stay healthy. These bulbs needs to stay on for about 13 hours a day and the temperature should be closely monitored using a thermostat. We recommend getting an automatic thermostat that will keep the ambient temperature of the enclosure at around 85 F.
5.1 Ultravoilet (UV) Light
Ultravoilet light is very important in the vivarium. UVA and B light is important for the production of vitamin D, which helps iguanas to digest calcium. If iguanas do not have access to plenty of sunlight each day, they will need artificial ultraviolet light in the vivarium, otherwise they WILL develop Metabolic Bone Disease – a very serious and life-threatening disease caused by a lack of, or inability to digest calcium. We recommend putting two “Repti-Sun” iguana lights (made by ZooMed) with 5% UV light across the ceiling of the vivarium. You will also need to replace one of these tubes every six months, as the UV light actually runs out after 12 months.
5.2 Basking Lamps
We recommend placing at least 2 green basking lamps above the basking area preferably a log. These needs to be fixed about a foot above each log, and keep these areas at 90-95 degrees F. Basking lamps help the iguanas get extra warmth when they need it – usually after feeding when the heat helps them to digest their food.
6. Night time Heating
Your iguana’s lights should go off completely at 11.00pm, as they sleep better in the dark. To prevent the vivarium getting cold, we recommend putting in a ceramic heater on a thermostat which keeps the nightime temperature at 75 degrees F. The heater only works when the lights are off. For safety, you should built a mesh guard around the heater so your iguana cannot climb or sit on it, as this could burn them.
7. Air Circulation
The vivarium should have adequate ventilation to allow the air to circulate. With wire cages this isn’t a problem. Glass vivariums, however, should have an opening or air vent.
Humidity can be important as iguanas take in moisture through their skin – particularly important when they are shedding. The humidity of the enclosure should be at least 60% (humidity indicators can be bought from most pet shops.). To achieve this, we place a couple of bowls of water in the viv every day. The water evaporates in the heat, and raises the humidity. You should also mist the vivarium at least once a day using an ordinary plant mister.
There are a number of materials which can be used as a substrate for the enclosure. We use Bark chip, mainly because it looks nice, is cheap and easy to clean. Iguanas like it too, as they can dig in it, bury their food in it, and throw it all over the carpet.
Branches are extremely important, as climbing’s what iguanas do best. Ideally, there should be one or two long branches across the vivarium for climbing, and a branch or log under the basking spots. Make sure the branches are wide enough for the iguana to sit or lie on. Please note: changes in the iguana’s territory can be distressing, so don’t change the branches too often.
11. Water and Food Containers
Food and water dishes are an important element of a good iguana cage. Make sure you provide the right size water and food dishes for your iguana. Make sure the water dish has fresh water in it at all times. You will need to clean the water dish very often as iguanas love popping in water.
12. A hiding place
Like most other reptiles’ iguanas also hide from time to time when they are stressed out or just needs some “me time” to chill. That’s why it is highly recommended to provide enough hiding places for your iguana where they can enjoy their privacy.
The Top 5 Best Iguana Cages
Below is the list of top 5 best iguana enclosures with detailed explanation for each cage and why we think these are the best iguana cages.
1. Zoo Med Reptibreeze IguanArium
This cage for your iguana is made from sturdy plastic materials that can easily accommodate your baby iguana until they reach adulthood at around four years old. The wires of this cage are PVC coated and strong enough to house a young adult iguana. Plus, your iguana can move comfortably so they won’t hurt their claws or snouts, and can safely and easily explore and climb around their home.
Furthermore, this cage comes with an attachment in the form of a removable basking tray that helps with easy cleaning. Even though, the decorations shown on the box aren’t included, you can still easily customize the inside of your cage using your own imagination and creativity.
The dimensions of the cage are 36x18x48 inches. This is the ideal size for your pet’s first few years. This cage can be assembled easily and should take about 25 – 45 minutes. Plus, this is an open-air cage that can have both benefits and drawbacks. However, due to the open-air cage, the penetration of UVA and UVB light is possible, and your pet needs that.
2. Exo Terra High Glass Terrarium
This cage was designed by a European herpetologist, and these cages easily show the amount of careful research and thorough knowledge that was used to construct these products. This cage is a lot more polished when compared with the other premade ones in the market.
These are glass terrariums that have a specially designed bottom that’s waterproof. In addition, they come with a screen top that allows the penetration of UVB light and also dual opening doors in order to prevent escapes. Plus, there are wire and tube inlets in order to easily install monitors, sensors, and several other features you would want to add.
The dimensions of the cage are 24x18x36 inches, which makes it ideal for young iguanas, size wise. However, when it comes to shipping, the glass construction can cause some issues. Plus, because of the glass, it doesn’t allow any UVB light, but thanks to the screen top, the UVB can easily penetrate the inside space of the cage without any filter. However, you should still be careful because direct sunlight can really heat up the cage from the inside.
3. Zoo Med ReptiBreeze Open Air Screen Cage
This is another great product of Zoo Med. This cage is tall and made with anodized aluminum and it has a lot of airflow due to its open design. Because of the anodized aluminum construction, this cage is extremely durable and not that heavy.
Moreover, all of the important hardware that is needed to assemble the cage is already included, and you just need a screwdriver to set up the enclosure. You can decorate the cage however you like. This cage comes with two front facing doors, where one is at the bottom in order to change the substrate and the other one is above it for main access.
Furthermore, just like various other premade enclosures, this one is also ideal for a baby iguana up to their young adult age. The bottom tray provides easy access in order to easily change the substrate and for cleaning. The screen enclosure is great, but it’s prone to ripping, particularly if there are other pets that are curious about this cage.
4. EXO Terra AllGlass Terrarium
This remarkable iguana glass tank is available in several dimensions and sizes, making it easier to pick the ideal enclosure according to the size of your pet. It consists of a special lock design that prevents your iguana from fleeing and any other pets or children from disturbing your lizard. This tank comes with a dual door, which helps with numerous issues, such as easy feeding, cage’s maintenance, and also retaining heat and humidity.
The patented front window can be removed easily, providing you with similar benefits just as the dual doors. Plus, in order to keep your iguana healthy, it also allows UVB and infrared penetration. Also, your pet will have plenty of air and light available to them to bask in all day, thanks to its top.
Furthermore, it includes a very realistic looking mock-rock background. Plus, there’s plenty of space and dimensions when it comes to climbing. There is also space for tubing and cord, where you can fix other accessories in order to keep your iguana healthy. It also consists of a waterproof base. Plus, a guarantee is given by EXO that all of their cages are thoroughly tested for any potential leaks. Also, because of the bottom glass panels, you can easily install the substrate heaters or any other suitable accessories in order to keep the bottom area ventilated so it suits the optimal temperature that is needed by your pet.
Keeping iguanas as pet could be challenging but they are still one of the most popular pets. If you have one of these amazing creatures, you can go for a pre-made iguana cage however these cages regardless of its high quality can still not fit a full-grown iguana of 6 feet long. Most of the pre-made enclosures can fit a baby to young adult iguana. After about 4 years you will have to search for other options.