Cockatiel Cage Size: All You’ll Ever Need To Know! 

Published by Joseph Calabrese on

A cockatiel’s cage is like their bedroom inside our homes.

Just like how children need a fun bedroom, our cockatiels need an appropriately sized cage. 

Too often I see cages that are far too small for cockatiels.

Just check the various bird pages on Reddit and you’ll find plenty of sad cockatiels living in less-than-ideal cages. 

My aim with this article is to help put a stop to that.

I want your cockatiel to thrive in a cage that is both spacious & comfortable.

In this article, you’ll learn EXACTLY what that means.

There’s a lot to cover, so let’s just get started!  

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Minimum Cockatiel Cage Size Requirements

“How can we determine the minimum cage size requirements for a cockatiel?”

First, we need to understand their wingspan length.

Cockatiels MUST be able to spread their wings fully inside their cage.

The size of the cage must not hinder their ability to stretch out those wings.

If it does, the cage is too small.

So, before I explain how big the cage should be, let’s discuss the wingspan length & height of a cockatiel.

Wingspan Length Of a Cockatiel

So, what is the wingspan length of a cockatiel?

To find this out, we need to sedate a cockatiel, stretch out its wings entirely, and then measure from one end to the other. 

Sounds like a lot of work, right?

Luckily, NaturalInspirationParrotCages have already done it for us!

They measured the wingspan length of 8 cockatiels and found that the average length is:

19.5” long. (or about 49.5 cm)

That’s the length of their wingspan when fully spread out.

Cockatiel cage size
(Image Credit: Pixabay)

Average Height Of A Cockatiel

You can easily find the average height of a cockatiel on the Wikipedia page.

Here’s what the Wiki page says about cockatiel height:

They’re about 11 – 13 inches (30 – 35cm) tall.

This height includes the cockatiel’s long tail.

This info will be useful when we calculate the minimum cage size requirements for a cockatiel.

When determining a good cage size, we must consider the bird’s height.

How Big Should a Cage Be For 1 Cockatiel?

Now that we’ve established their overall size, we can start to look at what an appropriate cage size is for a single cockatiel. 

But it’s not as simple as ensuring the cage is as long as their wingspan.

Cockatiels need to comfortably spread their wings out inside the cage.

Otherwise, the cage is too small.

For this reason, the cage length should be no less than 1.5x the length of a cockatiel’s wingspan.

But the height of the cage should be twice the bird’s height.

Considering all of this, here are the minimum dimensions for a good cockatiel cage:

29” L x 19” W x 26” H 

(73 L x 48 W x 66 H cm) <- Same dimensions, except in centimetres. 

You should aim to get a cage that is no smaller than these dimensions for your cockatiel.

Cockatiel cage size outside

Some Examples Of Good-Sized Cages For Cockatiels

With the size requirements for a cockatiel cage covered, I want to offer some suggestions.

The cages linked below are 100% suitable for a cockatiel.

All of these cages meet the minimum size requirements mentioned above.

Your cockatiel will be happy and comfortable in any of these spacious cages:

A&E Cage Company Flight Bird Cage & Stand (Chewy) 

YAHEETECH Open Top Parrot Cage (Chewy)

PREVUE Large Stainless Steel Parrot Cage With Play Top (Amazon)

Or, you can check out some more cockatiel cage options here!

Cage Size For 2 Or More Cockatiels

The more cockatiels you have in 1 cage, the bigger it needs to be.

But don’t get the wrong idea…

A cage for 2 cockatiels does NOT NEED to be twice the size of a cage for a single cockatiel.

In fact, 2 cockatiels could live comfortably in a cage as big as the minimum dimensions mentioned above.

They would still have plenty of room.

But they would be much happier in a cage that provides a bit of extra space.

Maybe 3 – 5 inches longer on all sides.

Image source: Kroon78 on Wikimedia

“But What If I Have More Than 2 Cockatiels?”

If you have 3, 4, or more cockatiels, it’s best to get a second cage.

This way, all your birds will have plenty of cage space to play, forage, and be birds.

You could even get 1 cage for each bird if you can afford it.

Another solution is to get a HUGE indoor aviary.

This is ideal if you have over 4 – 5 cockatiels.

Check out this absolute unit of an aviary:

cockatiel cage size minimum requirements

This is one of the biggest bird cages on the market today.

It’s the perfect home for a small flock of cockatiels as they’ll all have heaps of space.

There’s even plenty of room for short flights!

Here’s a general rule to follow with your cockatiel’s cage size:

Go as BIG as you possibly can!

If you have the room in your house, I’d even suggest building your own huge aviary.

Or purchase the one mentioned above.

The more room your cockatiels have inside their cage, the better.

Inappropriate Cockatiel Cage Sizes

Unfortunately, there are many cages out there that are inappropriate for ANY bird.

Here are some images to give you an idea of what they look like:

Not even the tiniest birds would be happy in these cages.

A cockatiel would definitely go crazy living in one of these mini prisons.

They would be fine as a travel or temporary cage.

But not as a cage for them to live in.

There’s virtually no room for a cockatiel to move, let alone spread its wings.

The only reason people buy these cages is because they’re cheap.


Avoid putting your cockatiel into one of these cages at all costs.

(Even if you need to spend a little more on a bigger cage.)

The Importance Of A Suitable Cage Size For Cockatiels

Cockatiels are generally unhappy in small cages.

In order to forage, destroy things, climb, jump, eat, and generally thrive, cockatiels need a spacious environment. 

Just look at wild cockatiels.

Are they confined to a tiny area?

Absolutely NOT!

They have the whole open wilderness of Australia to explore.

Cockatiel cage size in cm
Image source: Jim Bendon on Wikimedia

Of course, we cockatiel owners can’t give them an entire continent.

But we can certainly provide a good-sized cage for them to live in.

Cockatiels tend to develop various behavioural problems due to being stuck in small cages.

A common issue is the bird becoming “cage-bound”.

Basically, this means they’ve grown so used to being in a small cage that they have no more desire to explore a larger environment.

I think that’s pretty sad. 😞

And it’s one of the many reasons why cockatiels require a large cage.

“Do Cockatiels Prefer Tall Or Wide Cages?”

I get this question a lot during my cockatiel consultations.

And there’s really only one answer I can give:


Cockatiels prefer both tall and wide cages.

They need tall cages so their long tail feathers don’t brush against the floor and they need wide cages to spread their wings out and do other activities.

The ideal cage for any bird is tall, wide, and long.


Providing a good-sized cage is one of the most important things you must do for your cockatiel.

It’s also one of the biggest one-time purchases you need to make.

Most decent cages cost anywhere from $150 – $300.

But once you have a high-quality cage for your cockatiel, you will never need to buy another one ever again.

(Unless it somehow breaks)

Before ending this article, let me summarise how big a cockatiel’s cage should be.

Here are the minimum size requirements for a cockatiel cage:

29” Length x 19” Width x 26” Height | 73cm L x 48cm W x 66cm H

These measurements take the cockatiel’s wingspan length and overall height into consideration.

You can find great cages that meet these size requirements in this post:

14 Most Spacious Cages For Cockatiels In 2023 (+ Travel Cages)

Here’s my cockatiel’s current cage:

Do cockatiels prefer tall or wide cages?

Although it’s a good size, we’re planning to upgrade soon.

Do you like his cage setup?

Learn how to set up a beautiful cockatiel cage here.

Hopefully, you found some value in this article.

Thanks for reading.


Categories: Housing/Cage


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