The 5 Best Hides for Your Pet Today

Written by Angie Menjivar
Published: August 29, 2022
© iStock.com/NathanClifford

This post may contain affiliate links to our partners like Chewy, Amazon, and others. Purchasing through these helps us further the A-Z Animals mission to educate about the world's species..

All pets are lovable, whether they’re scaly, as big as you, or so small they can fit in the palm of your hand. Pets have a way of calming your nervous system, bringing you into the present moment, and filling your heart with an almost unrecognizable, tender, all-encompassing love. You probably look forward every day to the moment when you get to interact with your small pet and enjoy some snuggle time and playtime. They eagerly wait for you as much as you look forward to seeing them at the end of your day (or if you’re lucky, during the day). But what happens when you come home one day, and your sweet little buddy is nowhere to be found?

We felt your heart skip a beat. The thing about small animals is that because they’re prey animals, they have an instinct to hide. No, they are not running away or trying to hide away from you. Simply, they feel safe when enclosed in a dark and comfortable space. It’s kind of like having an introverted friend. You know they can come out to play sometimes but you also know that they need plenty of alone time doing their own thing. Although we can’t attribute introversion to small animals, it’s comparable in that you may not initially understand it, but you’ll come to love it as a part of your small animal’s quirks.

To give a small animal (whether it’s a guinea pig, rabbit, or chinchilla) a perfect environment, you need to include a hideout for them. This can be something natural-looking like a tree trunk or you can get creative with something a bit softer, warmer, and fuzzier. There are different types of hideouts for small pets, some are made of plastic while others are made of fleece-like materials. Some are a little more expensive than others and some you can even use outdoors for your squirrel population. To help you decide, we put this list together of the top five hideouts you can find online. We created plenty of variety to make sure that you find something that works for your little one.

Product Reviews

  1. YKD Castle Chinchilla House - Small Animal Hideout
  2. YKD Castle Chinchilla House - Small Animal Hideout
    • Multiple entry points
    • No sharp edges
    • Tongue and groove format
    • Made from birch plywood
    Check Amazon
  3. Frisco Elephant Small Pet Cave
  4. Frisco Elephant  Small Pet Cave
    • Large entrance
    • Soft and comfortable interior
    • Lightweight
    Check Chewy
  5. MidWest Nation Cozy Rat & Ferret Cube
  6. MidWest Nation Cozy Rat & Ferret Cube
    • Easy installation
    • Cozy interior
    • Machine washable
    Check Chewy Check Amazon

Best Overall: Castle Chinchilla House – Small Animal Hideout

The best overall hideout for your pet is this small, ventilated wooden hut habitat by YKD Store. This little hideout is perfect for chinchillas, guinea pigs, hedgehogs, or even rats. It measures 7.08 inches in diameter, 9.44 inches wide, and 6.89 inches tall. It was designed to be the ultimate hideout for your small animal. It creates a cozy little house for them so they can sleep, relax, and hide. You can help make this into a playground for your small pet as well. Simply use the roof to place snacks, toys, or some wood chips so that your small pet is encouraged to hop around on top as well as use the indoor space to hide out.

It has multiple entry and exit holes so that your small pet can explore the habitat freely. Having these various openings makes sure that it never gets too stuffy inside. Instead, your small pet can enjoy an airy and well-ventilated wooden house that’s easy to access and tons of fun to play with. This small habitat was constructed from European imported birch plywood, which makes it super breathable and healthy for different types of rodents. It was built using the tongue and groove method without any nails, which would present a potential danger to small animals. Keeping safety in mind, this product is also sanded down to create smooth corners. You won’t have to worry about your small pet getting injured accidentally. Installation is super simple and doesn’t require glue or nails.

Customers who have purchased this hideout for their small pets rate it 4.6 stars out of five. One chinchilla owner purchased the extra-large version of this hideout for her two male chinchillas. She said as soon as she placed them inside, they were running around and jumping with tons of excitement. She says the assembly was quick and easy and comments that the hay feeder is huge. She has a cooling pad under half of it so they can decide if they want to sleep on cloth or if they want to chill out on the cooling pad. Another customer purchased these for her guinea pigs. She has three male guinea pigs that are slightly overweight, and they fit into the large version perfectly. All three of her guinea pigs are loving this hideout so she ended up ordering two more!

Best Overall
YKD Castle Chinchilla House - Small Animal Hideout
  • Multiple entry points
  • No sharp edges
  • Tongue and groove format
  • Made from birch plywood
Check Amazon

Best for Outdoor Use: Exotic Nutrition Squirrel Nest Box Small Pet Hideout

If you’re thinking of purchasing an enclosure for your outdoor squirrels, this is a great option. It’s not just for squirrels, either. It also works great for chinchillas, rabbits, sugar gliders, gerbils, hamsters, and more. This is made with durable, chew-proof material. The metal-rimmed entry hole is fantastic for grey squirrels and flying squirrels. The top has a hinged lid for easy access inside the box with a magnetized closure. Since the roof is slanted, any water slides right off. There are also some underside holes that drain any liquids to keep the box dry and comfortable.

This design has a built-in climbing ladder on the exterior to make access easy for your small animal. The manufacturer makes an important disclaimer that this nest box is made with bamboo. It is not a waterproof or weatherproof hideout. Durability can be affected by different conditions like rainy weather, pet urine, feces, and other debris. If you do intend to use it outdoors full-time, they recommend using DEFY wood stain or a similar product to help protect against water damage and make it more durable. This hideout goes great mounted on a tree or high up in your pet’s cage.

This hideout is rated four out of five stars. One customer says that it’s a nice nest box. She used it as a part of a wildlife rehabilitation release attempt for three rare baby squirrels. It worked as needed but perhaps a bit faster than she expected. All three of those baby squirrels were gone in one day. She comments that shopping with Chewy is always a pleasure because they really care. She is thrilled about the happy ending, and it was made even happier because after explaining her story, Chewy refunded her for the cost of the hideout and she was actually able to donate it to the wildlife rehabilitation organization.

Best for Outdoors

Best for Guinea Pigs: Frisco Elephant Small Pet Cave

Okay, some of these little hideouts are just too cute. This small pet cave shaped like an elephant is absolutely adorable and ideal for guinea pigs. It’s super cozy to create the perfect retreat for your little furry buddy. The interior is really soft and comfortable which is perfect for snuggle time. Your guinea pig will love lounging and taking naps in this environment. The entrance is large enough that you can spot your pet’s face and the design makes your little pet look like it’s wearing a tiny elephant costume. This design is so that comfort could meet cuteness.

The product measures 13 x 9 x 6 inches, and it’s made with polyester, faux fur, and synthetic fabric. It only weighs 10.40 ounces. Customers, on average, rate this 4.2 out of five stars. One customer says it’s a super cute and super comfortable hideout for your small pet. She purchased it for her ferret and both she and her ferret absolutely love it. The size of the bed is perfect for her, and the inside of the cave is lined. Although her ferret was a little bit hesitant to go into the cave at first, now she uses it regularly. This has become her new nap spot. As her adoring human mom, she loves watching her peek her little head out of the entrance because she looks ultra-adorable. She highly recommends it to other small pet owners for something that’s both cute and cozy.

Best for Guinea Pigs
Frisco Elephant Small Pet Cave
  • Large entrance
  • Soft and comfortable interior
  • Lightweight
Check Chewy

Best Budget-Friendly: Kaytee Small Animal Igloo Hideout

This igloo habitat hideout for small pets is made by Kaytee and is available in a couple of different sizes including mini, large, giant, and itty-bitty. This hideout is made from durable plastic, which makes it super easy to clean. It encourages that natural nesting instinct that small animals have and it’s one-piece construction, meaning no assembly is required. The plastic is translucent so you can always spot your pet and you’ll never have that moment when you don’t spot your small pet right away and your heart stops! Instead, you can peek in even when they’re napping and know that they’re nestled in safely in their hideout.

Customers rate this product 4.6 out of five stars on average. One customer has a funny story saying that she initially purchased this for her bunny, but her cats have taken it over. Any cat owner knows that you just can’t argue with them, so she has embraced it as a cute addition to playtime for her cats. Her rabbit ended up finding another hideout, but her cats have been crazy about it since it arrived. Another customer purchased this for her full-grown male guinea pigs. Although the large can fit two full-grown male guinea pigs, she felt it was too much of a tight fit, so she ended up getting one for each of them. Overall, she really likes this product.

Best on a Budget

Best for Ferrets: MidWest Nation Cozy Rat & Ferret Cube

If you have a ferret, then you know that it really enjoys a cozy hideout that hangs from the roof of the cage. Climbing animals like being able to access something higher and providing them with a hideout at the highest part of the cage helps them feel safe and secure. This hideout is really easy to install. Just attach the four clips to the top panel of your cage and let it hang. Maintenance is easy because this cozy cube is machine washable and dryer friendly.

Customers have rated this product 4.5 out of five stars. One customer who rated it with five stars says her ferrets love it and it’s definitely worth the buy. She and her boyfriend were out looking for more beds for their little fuzzies since they had just purchased a new cage extension and came across this product. It arrived quickly and she was surprised by how soft the material is. All four of her babies go and snuggle in it which is not something she was expecting. Installation was super simple—she just clipped it onto the cage! The only thing she would really suggest is that you have either one of the levels under it or some kind of another platform just beneath it. This way, it retains the cube shape. Another customer cut up a piece of cardboard and placed it at the bottom along with some bedding to create that cozy environment and allow it to retain its shape while hanging.

Best for Ferrets
MidWest Nation Cozy Rat & Ferret Cube
  • Easy installation
  • Cozy interior
  • Machine washable
Check Chewy Check Amazon

How to Choose the Right Hide for Your Pet

You’ve reviewed some of the different hideout options for your small pets and you probably already have your eye on the one you’re going to purchase. However, before you do, make sure that you’re considering all the different aspects of the right hide for your pet.

Size

Although some hideouts come in one size only, most of the ones we highlighted in this article are available in different sizes ranging from really small to extra-large. Make sure that you are double checking the dimensions as stated in the product description to ensure that you purchase a product that affords your small pet plenty of room to lounge, hide, and nap. If you have more than one small pet sharing an enclosure, you may need to purchase more than one hideout. Although some animals do enjoy cuddling with each other, most prefer to have their own space.

Material

Material is another important consideration. Where will you be placing this hideout? If you are thinking of something for outdoor use, remember the second option on this list could be ideal but you do need to reinforce it with some kind of a wood stain to protect the wood. If your pet enjoys a softer surface, then you’ll probably want to pick up a hideout that’s made from those really soft and cozy materials. Some hideouts don’t have a bottom, so you place them into the cage and let your small animal use the bottom lining as its bedding. If that’s the case for your small animal, then a hideout constructed with plastic could work perfectly.

Installation

Installation is another consideration. Most of these you just pop right out of the box and can place them into the cage. Others may require a little bit of time to put together. If you are not that handy with putting things together, you may just want to pick up something that arrives ready to use out of the box.

Clean-Up

The final consideration that most people forget is how to clean the hideout. Plastic makes it super easy to clean and is usually stain-proof. If you choose more of a softer cloth option, see if it’s machine washable and dryer friendly or if you’ll have to wash it by hand. Sometimes, you think you’ve found the perfect hideout, but the cleanup process makes it complicated. That would be a bummer to find out after you’ve already invested in the product.

How to Set Up Your Pet’s Hideout

You can set up your pet’s hideout inside its cage in any location that’s easily accessible to your pet. If you have a cage with ramps, make sure that you secure the hideout so that it does not topple over with your pet inside it. If you have a taller cage like those for ferrets or other climbing small animals, you may consider purchasing a hideout that hangs from the top of the cage. So long as your small pet has access to the hideout and can use it as needed throughout the day, you’re pretty much free to place it anywhere.

If the hideout is made with translucent material, you may consider placing a small, lightweight cover over it, especially during the winter months when your pet may need to preserve more warmth. However, even if you do place a small cover over it, make sure that there’s still an opening so that they can easily enter and exit and so that the space remains well ventilated. Since some hideouts are quite dark and limit visibility for you, make sure that you’re picking it up and checking the inside to ensure it’s kept clean for the comfort and health of your small pet.

  • Pet Mouse Guide: What You Need to Know – Although their lifespans are quite short, mice are incredibly social creatures and will need plenty of your attention. Find out everything you need to know to properly care for your pet mouse.
About the Author

Angie is a writer with over 10 years of experience developing content for product and brand reviews, focusing much of her time on animals of all types. A cat owner herself, she enjoys writing articles on beloved pets that both inform and entertain her audience.

The 5 Best Hides for Your Pet Today FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

Do guinea pigs need a hideout?

Yes. Guinea pigs are prey animals, and they have a natural instinct to hide. These small places help them feel safe and comfortable, allowing them to rest, lounge, or just retreat for a bit to decompress. They need a bit of time to be alone—whether it’s because there’s too much commotion in the environment or they just want to spend some time on their own, they need a hideout.

What can I use as a small pet hide?

You have plenty of fun, unique options to purchase online but you can also get creative by using some materials you may already have at home. If you own a cat or you’ve ever watched a cat video, you’ve seen that they enjoy paper bags. The same is true for small animals. You can try using a paper bag to shape a small hideout for your pet or something else a bit sturdier, like a cereal box.

How big does a small pet hideout need to be?

At the very least, it should let your small pet move around and rest comfortably inside. Some small animals are more social, like guinea pigs, and may need enough room for two or more to cuddle inside. If that’s the case for your guinea pigs, make sure you purchase a large enough hideout that allows for your piggies to snuggle together. You may also need to purchase a second hideout in case they prefer to have some alone time as well.

Thank you for reading! Have some feedback for us? Contact the AZ Animals editorial team.