Hi everyone this post is all about potty training in guinea pigs. whether it’s even possible and the steps that you can take to make cleaning up after your piggies much quicker and much easier. firstly if you are hoping to find proof that litter training guinea pigs are a hundred percent possible.
An average guinea pig poops around 100 times a day and they need to urinate at least once every 20 or 30 minutes. which equals about 48 weeks a day. personally, with four guinea pigs, I think that this sounds about right and it means I clean up 400 guinea pig poos a day.
So with all this pooping, we can’t really expect guinea pigs to be too bothered about making a mess. it’s kind of inevitable. so why bother trying to prevent it. sometimes they even poop without realizing it. however, they are more aware that they find a good spot to pee in. so if you’ve ever brought your guinea pigs out for lap time then maybe after 10 or 15 minutes.
You might notice that they start getting a bit agitated and maybe licking or nibbling at your hands and that’s them basically telling you that they need a pee and they’re not 100 comfortable with peeing on the fleece blanket in your lap and that’s because they don’t like peeing out in the open and in unfamiliar places. so for floor time, you might find that they’ll always we if you put out a covered box for them or a litter tray.
How to Litter train a guinea pig
first up use fleece one of the reasons why fleece bedding is recommended is because fleece is not a material that guinea pigs naturally want to pee on. they prefer to pee on natural surfaces such as paper wood or hay. so it’s a good idea to use these natural preferences by using fleece in the rest of the cage.
So number two don’t expect fleece to work perfectly on its own. you need to provide a suitable place for your piggies to go to the toilet in and for me I find a large size litter tray lined with newspaper and packed with hay works really well for this. you can use other absorbent bedding below the hay but newspaper works great and if you’re able to find a free supply of it even better.
make sure the litter trays you use are a decent size. so I’m sure you’ve all seen those corner ones which are just unstable and they fall over all the time and you can’t really even get one piggy in there. so avoid them because they just won’t do the job. at first, I used cheap cat litter trays the ones that have shallow edges so the piggies have to jump in them but now with even more guinea pigs, I like to adapt and use an under-bed storage box for their litter trays.
The great thing is all the piggies can fit in here at once so nobody is left out and filling the trays with hay also serves to encourage your guinea pigs to eat more hay as it’s readily accessible. whilst it might mean that you have to top up the hay throughout the day more often.
it helps keep the rest of the cage cleaner. also, you can use litter trays during floor time with the piggies. especially if you take them straight out the cage so they already smell a bit familiar to them your guinea pigs will instinctively go back to the litter tray to pee rather than doing it on the carpet.
Litter Tray Placement
Providing litter trays is one thing but the next step is thinking carefully about where you put them in the cage. as well as a natural substrate guinea pigs like to go to the toilet somewhere where they feel safe where it’s dark and maybe there’s a wall or a corner that they can kind of shuffle up against.
so by placing your litter trays in dark corners of the cage. maybe dark corners that you can make by draping over a pillowcase or a bit of fleece over the corner to shade them more is a really effective method to encourage your guinea pigs to use those litter trays even more.
and there’s another level after that which is using pads in the cage. so if you’re thinking using fleece and litter trays is great but my guinea pigs are still going to go in other dark places in the cage-like in hidey in other corners. where they just kind of naturally like to go. then waterproof pads are the solution.
I swear by using these so I’ll place them underneath the hidey houses under the water bottles and in any other areas where my pigs might have an accident. the pads are less bulky and easier to wash than the liner. but they also help the liner stay fresh for longer. so even when you do come to change it it isn’t horribly smelly and dirty and wet with urine which is just oh gross.
Spot clean often
we need to spot clean regularly this obviously helps keep the number of stray poops down and I also think it works to deter guinea pigs from pooping randomly all around the cage. so I’m pretty sure that when guinea pigs see poops building up all around them. they think it’s okay there’s mess everywhere I can just go where I want which obviously just leads to more and more mess. but if we keep on top of the spot cleaning. then this can’t happen as fast and even though you might not think it your guinea pigs will appreciate being in cleaner surroundings as well.
So that is my five top tips on how I keep the cage cleaner both on a day-to-day basis and extend the time between those bigger page changes. where I refresh the liner. so this involves changing the litter tray every day.
spot cleaning throughout the day, maybe changing waterproof pads every two to three days and then I only have to change the liner maybe every 10 to 14 days, and if this sounds like a long time to leave a liner in a cage for them. I recommend trying out some of these tips and you’ll see for yourself how well they really work.