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View Full Version : Litter Training My Fully Litter Trained Piggies, And How To Do It



PigPandemonium
06-22-12, 01:01 am
Hello again,

So a while ago there was a post, I think about coroplast alternatives, and I happened to mention the fact that I don't use any waterproof barrier at all, just fleece, two layers of towels and then my carpet, and people got on my case about it xD So I thought I would do a test now that I have split cages, to show you all how they don't go to the bathroom on the fleece at all, and surprisingly, I never trained them at all to do this, they do it on their own, I will tell you why at the bottom.

So basically, my three girls at the moment have a 3x4 with the 2x2 bedding litter pan area. Normally they have the full 3x7 with that same 2x2 area and a loft, however I have a boy I rescued and am rehoming at the moment, so the cage is split, giving him a 3x3 with a loft.

For this test, I fully cleaned out both of the cages, and laid down new everything, then put them in at the same time. The girls had their 3x4 cage with some toys and such, and their 2x2 bedding area with a hiddy hut, and their hay. My boy had his cage with fleece and some toys, plus a loft and a litter pan with some hay. This is what both of the cages look like after a week with no spot cleaning

Sorry the flash makes them look odd, I turned it on so that the cage wasn't so dark, and you can clearly see the mess that is/isn't in the cages. This was also right before cleaning, so it explains the lack of hay piles, though I think you can see where it would normally be. In the girls' cage, on the right side of the hiddy hut, and in Nova's cage, next to the pellet bowl in the litter tray.

The girls' cage

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Nova's Cage

2904729048

As you can see, after a week, the girls' cage looks as if it has just been cleaned, not counting the spare hay they leave behind here and there, however Nova's cage looks like it was hit by a poop tornado! So what's the difference, and how did I do this? Don't they both have "Kitchen" areas? Why is the result so different?

Well to explain it, you first have to get into the mind of a cavy. Guinea pigs typically go to the bathroom the most where they eat and sleep, therefore many people have "Kitchen" Areas, as seen in Nova's cage, that does help somewhat, however not much, since he will still go to the bathroom where he sleeps, and this also causes him to not have one place that he knows of as his "Bathroom" Therefore he will also go randomly around the cage.

The girls' bathroom area, is made up so that it's the place they eat since there is hay, and it's also the place they love to sleep, since it's right behind a large hiddy, so it's dark and they feel safe, it's also right next to hay, so they don't have to walk a mile every time they wake up and want a snack. xD Therefore this also gives them an area that they know is their place to go to the bathroom, so they will also go there while playing if they need to go potty.

So how do you do this? Basically you can take the knowledge that guinea pigs like to have an area where they can both sleep and eat to make their litter area, and use it in your own cage. To make them want to eat there, you simply just have to add a hay pile or two, that step is very simple. Making them want to sleep their however is slightly harder. First you are going to need an area big enough for all your pigs to sleep there together, typically my three sleep all behind the hiddy hut, or one pig will sleep in it, with the rest behind. You'll want to make it the best place for them to sleep, so even though you have other hiddys in the cage, they love that place so much they just want to sleep there.

Hope this helps some people, if you have any other questions, feel free to ask away! :D

Thanks,
The human, Fus, Ro Dah, Godric, and Nova

pinky
06-22-12, 04:26 am
How about doing photos of day by day instead so we can see the changes?

spy9doc
06-22-12, 07:28 am
I never trained them at all to do this, they do it on their own

Everyone says that you cannot litter train cavies. And yet, you and I are both claiming that we have done just that........well, partially true. To some degree we both just got lucky. If you have a piggy who is naturally tidy, then you can provide the right environment AND encouragement to use the toilet in a specific location. And, placing the piggy in the toilet area when you know he has to go is helpful as well.

Chester spent much of his life in a large pet store cage, but he knew that litter was for toilet and fleece for sleeping and relaxing. He almost never ever used the toilet on the fleece. We weren't sure that he would make the connection in the big cage, but he makes the trip up the ramp and into the litter box for almost everything.

Just about a month ago, Maya (3 mo old Texel sow) came to live with us and we were hoping that Chester would train her by example. He has done a pretty good job of that, but we're still working on it. She pretty much uses the litter box to poop, but hasn't as yet learned to go there to urinate.......which is the most important insofar as cage odor. Of course, there are always a few stray poops around the cage, but, for the most part, the cage is generally pretty clean.

We spot clean the litter box and vacuum the fleece 2-3 times/day, so their cage is always kept pretty clean. They are accustomed to living in a tidy cage which I believe encourages them as well. Perhaps I'm guilty of attributing human qualities to two rodents, but hey, it works for us. :cheerful:

Xeygwyn
06-22-12, 07:54 am
Here is my Radar in mid-litterbox use: 29051 :D Peek-a-boo!

PigPandemonium
06-22-12, 10:02 am
@pinky (http://www.guineapigcages.com/forum/member.php?u=15081) I'll do that this week, I'll take a photo every day at feeding time. :D


My first two pigs I got were Godric and Phoenix, and I just dropped them in the cage, and they know what to do because of the way I had it set up, The I got Fus and Ro Dah, and they were used to just going where ever they please, but the second I put them in the cage with Phoenix and Godric, they never went on the fleece. xD I never actually expected it to happen, when I first made my cage, I just wanted that bedding area to keep the hay off the fleece so it wouldn't stick, however it turned out like this. I wondered why, and then I did a few tests to figure it out. First I took away the hiddy, and they didn't sleep there anymore, therefore only going to the bathroom there when they ate, and also randomly around the cage because they didn't have a set bathroom area anymore. Then I put the hiddy back, but moved the hay pile to another area, with the same result, they would go there when sleeping, but other than that they would mostly go where they eat or play around.

northernflicker
06-22-12, 10:21 am
My little skinny boy Harry is almost fully litter trained as well. He has a kitchen tray and a bedroom tray (with a cuddle fleece hat and a little curtain). ALL of the pees end up in the trays, and the vast majority of the poops. It's sooo much easier! His werewolf brother William arrives today (after some foster care for an infected eye), so we'll see if he's as tidy!

SamanthaT
07-02-12, 08:59 am
My abyssinian, Aby, kinda litter trained herself. Just like PigPandemonium ... my pig likes to use the corner where her food and water are. She will purposely back into the corner, do her business, and then go on. Her favorite house is on the opposite side of the cage. I did that on purpose so she would exercise. It's also the only other place she pees and poops.

NarwhalsRock
07-03-12, 11:04 am
I think that my guinea pigs poop EVERYWHERE just to annoy me! :) They especially like to poo where their hay is, like most GPs. But they especially like to poop in the pigloo and right on the sides, so I have to lift up the cubes a bit to get it all! :P I will definitely try this very soon! Does anybody know if it works during floor time?

PigPandemonium
07-03-12, 11:06 am
What do you mean does it work during floor time?

Kelly9
07-07-12, 09:57 am
Poop tornado! LOLOLOLOL I am reading because Cupcake is good with using a little box, but the little Flickers like to leave poop everywhere as proof of her escapades. ;)

NarwhalsRock
07-07-12, 01:19 pm
I meant that if I made a kitchen/sleepytime :D area and designed it to be detachable, if I put it down during floor time even without a hidey, would they use it just like normal? I probably should have been clearer... I forget that people can't read my mind! :D

PigPandemonium
07-07-12, 01:20 pm
Hm, I'm not sure about that, sorry, maybe you could test it out and see? I would tend to think that it wouldn't work the same way, but you never know. :)

NarwhalsRock
07-07-12, 01:50 pm
I'll find out after they're (hopefully) trained! :D