View Full Version : Litter Training How to litter box train..?

02-09-10, 10:16 pm
I have recently started trying to litter box train my piggies..'cause I figure that would make cage cleaning alot easier. I read in this book I have about guinea pigs to put some of their poo in the box so that the smell will make them want to poo there & to put some hay in it because most piggies will eat & poo at the same time. It's been a couple days now since I started that..but it still seems like the majority of the poo is not in the litter box. Any tips that I can use to get them to use it better?

Thanks! :)

02-09-10, 10:32 pm
Make sure that their largest hay supply is in the litterbox. Put all or most of their water bottles in there, as well as their pellets. Pigs like to poop while they are consuming. It will also help if the litterbox is covered or has a hidey house in it. Be sure to use a plastic one so that you can clean it easily.
As for the whole "they will poop where it smells like poop" theory, I doubt there's much truth to that. In my experience, ginea pig poop dries out pretty quickly and after it does, it doesn't really smell like anything.

02-09-10, 11:27 pm
I will try to do that. Thank you! :)

02-10-10, 12:10 am
Mine does not strictly poop in any given area as I think it the case with most "litter box trained" guinea pigs. They can't hold every individual poop in to make it to the box.

HOWEVER, I pick like, an average of 6 poops up off of her fleeced area a day. 2/3 of her cage is fleece. I think that is success even though technically she doesn't have a litter box at the moment.

What I did was I started by putting a piece of fleece down in her pigloo. She almost NEVER pooped in her pigloo when I did that. Then I expanded the fleece slowly from a little piece to like.. roughly 1/4 of her cage.. Then half.. She is at about 2/3.

All this time I kept moving "old" litter or placing some poop in the corner of her cage. I found if I spot clean and put the decent litter over to where I want her to go and fill where I don't want her to go with clean stuff it works out to be even easier for me and still effective for the purpose.

After starting this I have gotten to the point where a couple times a day I take a couple scoops out of the corner and I'm pretty much done spot cleaning. I am hoping, and assuming, that very shortly I will be to the point that I can put a corner litter box in that corner and use fleece for the whole cage. I think her smell did have something to do with it as I can pick almost any corner and sway her to go there. I also agree her food needs to be close to the area I want her to go. Her hay and food bowl are in the corner she uses. Her water is a little farther away but still very close.

I feel like she has a VERY strong urge to keep "her space" clean however. She HATES the idea of say, going potty at lap time if I don't get her back in time. She is very picky about how thing are and the least common area I find poop is in her pigloo as that is her favorite place. With this said, I think some guinea pigs don't really care as much and don't really have a problem pooping in the same places they have to be. With that said she kind of naturally has trained herself. I just have gradually guided her natural urges to where I want them to go.

02-10-10, 01:43 am
You can't really litter train guinea pigs. That method you are describing works for rabbits but not pigs.

02-10-10, 04:13 am
I think their called pigs for a reason.

02-10-10, 04:45 am
I feel like she has a VERY strong urge to keep "her space" clean however. She HATES the idea of say, going potty at lap time if I don't get her back in time. She is very picky about how thing are and the least common area I find poop is in her pigloo as that is her favorite place. With this said, I think some guinea pigs don't really care as much and don't really have a problem pooping in the same places they have to be. With that said she kind of naturally has trained herself. I just have gradually guided her natural urges to where I want them to go.

This is how I managed to train Gizzy as well - I just placed her litter boxes in the areas where she pooped most often and just guided her in the direction her natural self was taking her anyways. Anyone can walk into my house at any given time as my floors are always clean and they will find her three litter boxes with poops in them. I am YET to come home and find a poop or two laying elsewhere. That being said during lap time she will poop now and then but never pee - she tends to become very restless and wheeks really loud and if you put her down she makes a bee-line for the closest litter box.

I do think though that if a piggy did not have an in-clinging to keep their living area clean you are going to be hard pressed to train them!

02-10-10, 05:34 am
I've heard that piggies like to use corners for their potties, and have seen evidence of this with my boys. Going with that, I put a small rectangular Pyrex pan filled with Carefresh in a corner, covered with one of those $2.50 step stools from Target. They do all of their peeing in there, as well as a good amount of pooping. However, there are stray poops throughout the cage which I spot scoop during the day. I have a similar set up in their floor time area. It seems to work well for them. And for me when it comes to clean up time.

Good luck!

02-10-10, 08:30 am
Thanks everyone for all your advice! :)

02-10-10, 09:07 am
I've heard that piggies like to use corners for their potties, and have seen evidence of this with my boys.

I found this to be true with my girls even in the few days I've had them, I still find stray poo's here and there all over, but for the most part I've notice they tend to stick towards the corners for their business.

once I get the C&C Cage I plan I getting them a litter pain, and see if they will use it mostly, especially since I plan on using fleece.

02-10-10, 09:15 am
Thanks everyone. Last night, after I put their litter box in a corner & next to their food, water & such..then when I woke up this AM there were BARELY any poos anywhere else! Thanks for all your help. :)

02-10-10, 10:01 am
I'm sorry Sekhmet and Rabbitsncavyluv I COMPLETELY disagree. I think there are a rare few that cannot be litter trained (this is the case with every species) but I think a majority of guinea pigs are completely capable of being encouraged to go in a spot that is preferable to the owner. I have had 14 guinea pigs in my life and every one of them has been encouraged to go in a spot. Many are not 100% but most of my guinea pigs have been about 90% pee and 80% poop in their box. The previous advice was EXCELLENT and exactly what I do to encourage my boys to go in their boxes. They do have days as well where they dont feel like going in the box (especially if I put a new toy/hidey in the cage!). But I think there is over whelming evidence that guinea pigs are very smart and can be directed to go in one spot.

02-10-10, 10:59 am
When my (huamn) sons were small, there was a mom in our playgroup who insited that her babies were potty trained at a year old. I was impressed by this, at first, until I spent an afternoon at her home, and watched. Every half hour, like clockwork, she'd swoop the babies up and put them on the potty, reading to them, talking to them, until, eventually, the baby, oblivious to what Mom was trying to accomplish, happened to pee while it was sitting there. The baby wasn't potty trained at all. Mom was trained to "catch" it.

The same is true, in my experience, with pigs. The reason a "kitchen" area works (which is essentially what you have set up when you have the food, etc, in the litterbox) is that pigs will naturally potty while they are eating. It's a neat trick, and if it makes cleaning your cage easier, than go for it, but...

02-10-10, 11:07 am
I tend to agree with Rabbitsncavyluv, guinea pigs are not really litter trainable. Since they don't have dens, guinea pigs never developed the same denning instincts. I've fostered probably 200-300 pigs over the years and while some would tend to pick a corner, I've never had one that would exclusively use a box. To me, being litter trained is being able to consistently use the same area. Just as you would not consider a cat who peed outside the box once a day to be litter trained, I also don't consider the pigs litter trained. I do use boxes underneath their hayracks, however, as it does catch the majority of their poo since they poo so much while eating anyway, and serves the double bonus of keeping hay off my fleece.

02-10-10, 11:11 am
My piggie doesn't potty when he's eating, does this make him unnatural? He has learned for the most part to only go potty where his shavings are. There are 'oops' as we like to call them, he seems to have trouble making it to the shavings after just waking up, kind of like a puppy, but for the most part we only go on the shavings. So I would say he has been trained enough for me!

02-10-10, 11:15 am
Yeah I understand what you guys are saying. They're not actually litter box trained...but pretty much tricked into going in a certain place.

& Dresscode, I don't think that makes him unnatural. All piggies are different.

02-11-10, 01:40 am
Like I had said, I am simply guiding her urges to where I want them to go. I don't really consider my guinea pig trained. I think I just kind of took her personality/preferences and worked with them to encourage her to go in a selected area.

However, with that said, I kind of just assumed that when Jazlyn asked, that was what she was going for as many posts on here claim kind of the same concept.

I think Maggie, like Gizzy, prefers to go potty on bedding so naturally they try to go potty in their litter box. That is totally personality and availability based but it kind of works LIKE litter training. Maggie isn't THAT good but you can tell she opts to use the litter box at floor time if I can have her out for an hour and have 0-3 poops to pick up and a little box full of them. Which, by the way, for floor time her litter box is NOT at her food as she still prefers to do her business in the "shadows". Heehee..

I really don't care if she were to change tomorrow and poop everywhere. I just put her in her new cage so who knows if she will start pooping everywhere. I am just talking from my own observations.

I totally understand the whole 1 year old magical potty training story. I have actually witnessed a similar story. However, even if it is the same concept, we don't have to sit there with our guinea pigs waiting for them to go potty so why not "catch it" instead of letting it spread all over so to speak. ;)

02-11-10, 02:32 am
I never tried to potty train Gizzy - she just kinda always went in the same corner when she was in a smaller cage. When I moved her to a bigger cage she again chose a corner to potty. I then moved her to free range with a swimming pool in the middle of the living area - in there I placed her "kitchen/litter box" and had it in the darkest spot with a cover over it and she only went there.

Now she has a humungo cage (it is open on one side - she comes and goes as she pleases) with a litter box area in the one corner next to her hay rack and a litter box in the corner next to the sofa under the table that she just loves and a litter box in the kitchen under the counter where she can watch me make dinner for me and her.

I am not claiming that I potty trained her - I have said it before and I will say it again - she trained herself. I think it has a lot to do with her personality - if she has something stuck to one of her paws (a piece of poop or some food or something) then she will fake a limp till I wash the paw. When her butt hair gets long and she sits too long in her cucumber (I have no idea why she likes sitting in cucumber) and it gets soggy and jucky then you can see she is not happy cause she cannot seem to get herself comfortable and I will do a quick butt wash and blow dry and the popcorning and kisses are a true sign that she is happy.

I guess Gizzy is just a true "Lil Girl" my next pig might be the total opposite - and that too would be perfectly fine as long as he/she gives just as much kisses and popcorns! :-)

02-17-10, 02:59 pm
Mine poop in the corners mostly but not just any certain corner. I notice when we have them out to play and put them back in the cage they make a beeline for the corners to poop and pee. They're still small so I don't know if they'd climb into a litter box yet. Also yesterday I put their hay in the middle instead of on the side and they pooped all in the middle, where they weren't pooping when it was just their pellet and veggie bowls there. I've just been observing their habits to figure out how and where to put their litter boxes. I don't care if they hit it every time but every little bit helps! The rarely poop under the water bottle. I'm definitely thinking hayracks on the sides with litter boxes underneath, maybe put the water by the hayracks too so it drips into the litter box? I'm new at this. I'm kind of thinking it's more of a matter of putting the litter box where they poop, rather than teaching them to go to the box, if that makes sense.