Small Animal Enclosures and Housing

In: Management of Animal Care and Use Programs in Research, Education, and Testing. 2nd edition. Boca Raton (FL): CRC Press/Taylor & Francis; 2018. Chapter 21.


The selection of small animal housing enclosures for laboratory facilities is dictated by a multitude of factors. Design of the actual facility and the configuration of the caging system can significantly affect the health and well-being of the rodents used in research, as well as the research results. In general, the preferred housing environment is comfortable for the animals and allows them to engage in species-specific behaviors, while allowing scientific study. This chapter reviews the primary considerations in the selection of an appropriate housing environment for small animals, predominantly rodents. Additionally, it reviews the importance of selection of appropriate bedding, feed, and environmental enrichments, with considerations for operational efficiencies and animal well-being.

Publication types

  • Review