How Big Should a Cockatiel Cage Be?

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cockatiel cage size
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Are you planning to adopt a new feathered friend? Cockatiels are a popular pet among bird owners—and for good reason. They’re known for their unique feathers, affectionate personalities and fairly low-maintenance needs. The size of a cockatiel cage makes a big difference to their happiness.

But to give your bird a long, happy life, you still need to consider every aspect of cockatiel care. That includes choosing a cage big enough for them to move and fly.

In fact, studies show that the more freedom and autonomy your bird has, the happier they’ll be.

That’s why we put together this guide on choosing the perfect cockatiel cage size. Keep reading to learn about cockatiel cage setup, major pitfalls to avoid and our recommendations on the best cage for cockatiel happiness.

Choosing the Right Cockatiel Cage Size

Within just a few minutes of starting your search, you’ll find quite a few different-sized cages for cockatiels. If you feel a bit overwhelmed looking at the features and options, you aren’t alone. But don’t stress—we’ve listed our top picks at the end of this guide.

For now, just know you should choose the largest cockatiel cage that’ll comfortably fit in your space. Cockatiels are happiest in cages that allow them lots of room to roam, whether they’re flying, hopping from perch to perch, or both.

Keep in mind that while cockatiels start out small, they usually reach about 12 inches in size as adults. This is why your cage needs to be at least 18 inches deep. The best cage for cockatiel happiness should also be at least 24 inches long and 24 inches tall.

Anything smaller will negatively affect your cockatiel. You could find yourself dealing with a depressed, sluggish cockatiel who isn’t interested in eating if the cage is too small.

The horizontal segments of the cage are another crucial, but easily overlooked, detail. The spaces between the bars should be no larger than ½″ to 5/8″. Larger gaps are a no-go because your bird could accidentally injure themselves.

Lastly, don’t forget these birds tend to be very social. Many owners find that providing the best cockatiel care means getting them a companion at some point. So, it’s a good idea to choose a cage large enough for two birds instead of one.

Setting Up a Cockatiel Cage

In addition to size, you also need to consider the ideal cockatiel cage setup. Seemingly small details like this can have a major impact on your bird’s health and mood.

Make sure the food and water dishes are easily accessible. Because predators lurk on the ground in the wild, cockatiels feel uneasy if these dishes are on the cage bottom. It’s best to choose options that attach to the cage bars instead.

You’ll want at least three different types of perches for your bird to stand on. This “pedi-perch” is a good choice because it also helps file your feathered friend’s nails.

Cockatiels do like to look at themselves and they’re very playful too. So you’ll also want fun options like a mirror and a stimulating toy you can load up with snacks.

Choosing a Sleep Cage

Your cockatiel will sleep 10 to 12 hours each night. And because they tend to be light sleepers, you might want to add a separate sleep cage in a quiet area—away from the main activity in your home.

A sleep cage doesn’t need to be as big as a regular cockatiel cage. Your bird will actually feel more secure in a smaller sleep cage because it feels like a nest. So, your sleep cage just needs to be large enough for your pet to move around a bit. You should also cover it at night to add even more comfort and security.

Maintaining a Cockatiel Cage

You’ll probably be happy to hear that cockatiel cage maintenance isn’t a huge ordeal—for the most part, it boils down to common sense. In order to keep your cockatiel healthy, you need to keep their cage clean. Simple as that!

Do a basic cleaning of the cage’s tray every single day. Most cages have a removable tray bottom, so this will be easier than you might expect. Water and food bowls should also be cleaned, rinsed, dried and refilled daily.

Once per week, give everything a good scrub-down with non-toxic soap and hot water. You’ll need a separate standalone perch for your cockatiel to hang out on during these weekly cleanings. Deep clean the cage itself, tray bottom and any other non-porous items using water and mild, non-toxic soap.

If possible, you should put the empty cage in direct sunlight until it’s dry. Then you can move your cockatiel back into its squeaky-clean enclosure!

Finally, remember that cockatiel care requires more than just cage clean-ups. To keep your new pet happy and healthy for years to come, you have to meet its dietary and social needs too.

Editor’s Choice Cockatiel Cages

Now you know how to pick the best cage for cockatiel comfort, plus all the important details related to cockatiel cage setup and maintenance. All that’s left is checking out our top choices below and choosing the best one for your space.

BestPet Bird Cage with Rolling Stand and Open Top for Cockatiels

cockatiel cage size

This bird cage is great for cockatiels because it provides plenty of space to spread their wings. It’s extremely easy to assemble and it includes both a swing and perches for your bird to enjoy. Another unique feature is the open-top design, which means the top of the cage can be locked or unlocked for your bird to come and go as you allow.

Yaheetech 64-in Open Top Metal Cage

cockatiel cage size

With a rolling stand, this bird cage is extremely versatile and easy to move. It also features easy-open doors to access the feeding area, so you don’t have to fully open the cage just to feed your birds. The locking mechanisms are also very difficult for escape artist cockatiels to figure out, making it a top-notch cage in terms of bird safety.

Prevue Pet Products Large Bird Cage

A slightly smaller cage option, this bird cage works well for single cockatiels. It comes with four, sturdy, stainless steel cups that even the feistiest cockatiels struggle to tip over, which means a cleaner cage overall. Best of all, it has a convenient perch on top so you can easily socialize with your cockatiel anytime.

HCY Open Top Standing Cage for Medium Small Cockatiel

cockatiel cage size

The HCY Open Top cage is a good-sized cage for two adult cockatiels or a few juveniles. You can’t beat the price, but you also don’t have to worry about sacrificing quality. Bird owners with this cage love that the bars are spaced perfectly for keeping cockatiels safe, and you can assemble it fairly fast. Its rolling stand even has a small shelf for storing food, treats or anything else you’d like to keep near the cage.

You & Me Standing Cockatiel Cage

With an appealing design shape, this cage features great vertical and horizontal space for cockatiels. Also included are a decorative metal wheeling stand, two perches, two feeding dishes and multiple cage doors with top-notch locking mechanisms. The one thing to keep in mind is that this cage isn’t ideal for traveling with your feathered friend—its shape makes it a bit awkward to transport.

Takeaways on Choosing the Best Cockatiel Cage Size

All in all, the best cage for cockatiel comfort is one that’s at least 18″ deep, 24″ long and 24″ tall. But since many cockatiels are happier and healthier with a companion, you might consider a slightly bigger cage—around 24″ deep, 24″ wide and 36″ tall.

With a roomy cage and daily cockatiel care, your feathered friend can provide you with companionship for 10–15 years!

About the Author

cockatiel cage size

Shelby Dennis

Shelby Dennis has been a passionate pet owner her entire life-- whether furry, feathered, or fishy, she loves them all. She started writing both fiction and website content as a teenager, and still enjoys both today. When she isn't researching and writing about the best pet products, she can be found curled up with a good book and a cat in her lap.[...] Author Details
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