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Thread: Cage Cleaning

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    Cage Cleaning

    Hi All,
    New to Guinea pigs and just trying to figure it all out. Lurking these forums was a great way to get started and basically the exact opposite of what the pet store told us! So glad I cam here.

    Anyways, I'm just wondering about general cleaning of the cage. Right now my daughter (10) and I use gloves and spot clean the cage to get the poop out. They generally poop in 1 corner, but it seems like its tracked all over the place. And they drag the hay everywhere! Is this normal? Every picture I see the cages are spotless! I have the cages lines with fleece and the one just keeps trying to burrow underneath it.

    Also, is anyone else's afraid of heights? Ours won't climb to their little loft and when I put them up there (which was where the pellets were until I figured out they were afraid) they would panick and then squeak and ROLL off the platform!

    Is there a beginner forum where theses questions are asked? Maybe I missed it! Thanks for any help and advice!

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    Cavy Slave ItsaZoo's Avatar
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    Re: Cage Cleaning

    Welcome! There are lots of experienced guinea pig owners out here so you’ll probably get lots of advice. As far as bathroom habits they tend to back into corners so they can watch for predators. And they go while they’re eating. I use pads about the size of placemats made from fleece and microfiber towels and place them in the corners over the fleece on the floor. It just keeps it easier to clean.

    Some pigs like to burrow and will find a way under fleece floors. I have my cage inside a wood frame and sitting on top of the fleece, but my GP isn’t interested in burrowing. She has a number of hiding places so she feels safe.

    They dig through hay to find the best pieces, then dig some more so eventually hay is everywhere. Mine seems to have high standards and eats about half the hay I give her. The rest is bedding.

    Guinea pigs don’t know about heights. The way their eyes are set, they don’t have good depth perception which is dangerous because 6 inches high and 6 feet high look about the same to them. The loft and the ramp should have sides high enough so they can’t fall. Even a short fall can cause serious injury since they are very fragile and they panick and run. Ramps need to be solid, not steep, and preferably covered with cloth so they have footing. If they feel exposed in the loft they won’t want to go there because they’re fearful of predators.

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    Re: Cage Cleaning

    Thank you so much for taking the time to respond. I didnít know they didnít know about heights, thatís interesting. I will definitely add sides to the loft and felt to the ramp!

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    Cavy Slave spy9doc's Avatar
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    Re: Cage Cleaning

    Using any type of cloth material is not the best idea for a ramp. It soon becomes soiled and odoriferous and will need to be changed frequently. You are better served to cover the floor of the ramp with stair tread material that can be simply wiped down when you do a cage clean. You can either glue the material onto the ramp, or attach it with heavy duty sticky-back velcro. Be sure to orient the treads in a transverse direction for maximum traction for your cavies.

    Here is a pic of the material. You an find it in the flooring section at Home Depot. It comes on a roll and can be purchased by the foot or yard.


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    Re: Cage Cleaning

    I have four guinea pigs in one cage, and it's fleece-lined. There is a LOT of poop and hay going all over the place. One thing I've found that helps, is we have an old 'soup ladel' type of kitchen utensil that we use to gather up all the poops and hay bits into one pile, then we scoop it into a bag (we use sometimes the dog poop'n'scoop bags, or just compost bags). With 4 piggies, I do this a few times throughout the day. But, once in the morning and once in the evening at minimum.

    We remove the fleece and give the whole thing a wipe, replace with clean fleece lining, and wash the dirty bedding, once a week.

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    Cavy Slave Candalalala's Avatar
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    Re: Cage Cleaning

    I use a small broom and dust pan to clean my cage on a regular basis

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    Re: Cage Cleaning

    We created a kitchen for our pigs. We made a potty box out of coroplast and fill it the paper shavings. Its important to have the potty filled with something that is different from the flooring in the rest of the cage so they can differentiate. In the kitchen you put their hay rack and water bottle this way while they eat and drink they do their business and there for it doesn't get spread around the cage as much. If you have a long haired pig use wood pellets as they won't get dragged around as much as the paper. Then you can just spot clean up the stray poops. Its not perfect but it certainly helps!

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    Moderator CavyMama's Avatar
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    Re: Cage Cleaning

    Guinea pigs are going to go where they go. The idea of potty training (i.e. going in one designated area 100% of the time) is a fallacy. Usually guinea pigs will pick 1 or 2 corners to use as their primary potty areas. But they will still go where they are as well including on you if you are holding them when they need to go. The best you can get is probably to notice which corners they have chosen and if you want to create a "potty area" with different bedding and whatnot, you certainly are welcome but do not allow yourself to be lulled into this false sense that they were only go in that area and nowhere else.

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    Re: Cage Cleaning

    I'm new to guinea pigs too! How long have you had them?

    When I clean my cage, the fleece lining has a wash almost twice every 'wheek!'
    Spot cleaning should happen almost every day, just a little bit every day.
    For the heights problem, my guinea pigs had that too but after 'luring' them up the ramp with a piece of spinach, carrot etc... they quickly learned that they could go up.
    Never give up on your piggies, remember if you got them a couple months ago, give them time to adjust they all have different personalities.
    Hope this was helpful in any way!

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    Re: Cage Cleaning

    I have to say when you see the spotless photos, it's is normally right after a cleaning. I found when I had a second story that they went up the ramp if the incline wasn't too bad. You can always put a brick under the ramp to make it less of an incline. And mine always had hay everywhere unless I used a hay rack. I also used two wonder bars that made the upper level at half grind height, they came with the patio. The best things ever for the c&c cage and the adjustments in it.Click image for larger version. 

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