View Full Version : My GP's don't like free time / floor time

09-26-09, 10:50 am
I have had my two male GP's, Dudley and Roy, for about 4 months now, which means they are about 6 months old. They are skittish when I try to handle them, but once on my lap with a treat they do settle. The problem is they hate floor time. If I put them down on the floor they will run straight back to their cage and jump in. I tried closing the cage door but they just started throwing themselves at the bars in a panic trying to get in. I have tried sitting with them and leaving them alone but nothing helps. Once they are back in their cage they start popcorning about as happy as Larry. I'm not too concerned because their cage is massive and they can run around like a couple of nutters in it, but I wish that they would run around the lounge a bit as there is so much floor space for them to enjoy. Any tips please. Thanks

09-26-09, 11:19 am
Could you maybe put some of their favorite treats in certain spots? Like romaine, or maybe a piece of apple, so that way they have something to do and look for? It could kind of be like a game for them, or even maybe some hay?

JD In Van
09-26-09, 01:46 pm
Mine got stunned with floor time. I now give them their meals on the floor and they've started warming up to it.

Also make sure you put a hidey out or they won'e feel safe. They'll hide in it at first but might warm up.

09-26-09, 01:48 pm
Give them floor time away from their cage so they can't see the cage. Give them tons of places to hide and lots of treats. It might take a little while, but they'll get used to it.

09-26-09, 02:23 pm
Thanks, I will try all of the above. I guess food is always the way to go! Eating machines! This is the first time I have had GP's, all my life I have had rats. I guess I expect them to act the same or similar and they are not. My rats couldn't wait to get out of their cage!

09-26-09, 03:09 pm
Do you have hiding places for them in their free time area, or is it all exposed? I found my guys would freeze until I set out tunnels, hideys, etc., and I encouraged them to go explore it with sprigs of parsley and cilantro out where they could see them. It took several weeks for them to get comfortable with floor time, and even then I wouldn't say they just go running amok. It's still a valuable change of pace.

09-28-09, 11:42 am
My guinea pigs used to be totally afraid of floor time - mostly because it's so open. I started to have a lot of tunnels, cardboard boxes, and other things that they could hide in. They felt more comfortable after that. Maybe you could try that, too?
I also like to hide some of their favorite treats - a spinach leaf behind a box, a strawberry in the tunnel, etc. This might make them more excited about floor time because they have to find the treats. Try this, it may work.
Do you have a large room for your floor time area? If so, try exercising them in a smaller area. I used to exercise my guinea pigs in my bedroom, but the room was too large for them. Now, I exercise my guinea pigs in my bathroom, which is smaller but still a large area for them to run around.
You should remove the cage from the exercise area so that they can't get back into their cage. That may ease the anxiety a little bit.
With time, they will just get used to exercising during floor time and they'll start to enjoy it. Good luck!

09-29-09, 12:07 am
My Gizzy also likes to have some hiding places so she has her pink tent that she can run into and hide when she feels like it. She has been a lot more active during floor time since the introduction of her pink tent. There are no other hideys but a bit of an "obstacle" course for her to play around and over with.