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Thread: How do I make my cage smell better

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    How do I make my cage smell better

    My cage smells after half a day since cleaning. I have two spayed females on Aspen shavings. I spot clean the cage when I get home every afternoon (around 4pm) and by the next morning it already makes my room smell horrible. Piggies are bathed around once a month and the cage is fully cleaned with dialuted vinegar water once a week. We have two boars that have been kept on both fleece and shavings and have never had a problem with them smelling bad. How do I fix this? Would fleece smell worse? Different kind of shavings? Different cage cleaner?

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    Re: How do I make my cage smell better

    Nothing really jumps out at me. You say, "my room"? Does this mean that they are kept in your bedroom? If so, are the boars also in that room? To my thinking, that is simply too many cavies in a small room. However, your cage shouldn't begin to smell that quickly. Do your females ever spray each other with urine? I would think that the boys cage would smell worse since they sometimes do scent-marking which smells atrocious!

    Some random thoughts. I would never keep boars on shavings! It's too easy for shavings to get stuck on his penis/penis shaft and become trapped there. In that case, he won't be able to retract the penis. For that reason, I feel that boars are best kept on fleece or litter as an alternative. I rather like the SoPhresh crumbled paper or paper pellet litter (Petco brand) as it is very good at suppressing odors and is pretty cost-effective. My boys are housed on fleece and have litter in a litter box along with hay.

    I suspect that an air cleaner would make a world of difference for you. I have one sitting at the foot of the cage that runs 24/7........and has run for at least 5 years. It is worth the investment and worth every penny. I bought mine at BBB with a 20% off coupon. You just brush the filter monthly and install a new one about every 6 mos.

    https://www.bedbathandbeyond.com/sto...cs+air+cleaner

    Perhaps others will come along and have thoughts/suggestions for you.

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    Administrator bpatters's Avatar
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    Re: How do I make my cage smell better

    The question I have is how old they are? If they're just coming into puberty, they may be scent marking the cage. That's a very different smell than peed-on hay and poop, which is generally the other reason for cages not smelling good. If you're cleaning that frequently, the problem isn't that the cage is dirty, so I'm betting on boar stank.

    One other issue may be cage size. Larger cages are easier to keep clean and odor-free than small ones are.

    The last thing I'd suggest is to switch to fleece over wood pellets. Wood pellets are the absolute best at odor control, but you need the fleece to cover them because they turn to sawdust and it can get caught in the penis sheath.

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    Re: How do I make my cage smell better

    The only thoughts I can offer is maybe it's the Aspen shavings? In my expierance with any animal and shavings is they don't control odor well. They're not very absorbent more than anything.
    My piggies are two boars... I've always used carefresh bedding, and never have a smell problem! We spot clean once every day like you ( except around 8am instead of 4pm ) and replenish the carefresh as needed. Once in a rare while they'll be a little musky, but very rarely, and it goes away soon as we clean.
    Maybe you can try switching to carefresh? I get the brand name, Carefresh, or Critter Care, which is identical. It's a nice dense/thick/papery material, like shredded condensed cardboard if that makes sense. Other brands are more thin and papery like tissue paper and don't absorb well at all--- also my boys like to try and eat those kinds They never nibble the carefresh though, and they love to root around and burrow a little in it! I've never used fleece because they like to chew on fabric and I'm afraid they would eat it, so I don't how good it is at odor control, etc.
    Last edited by MerryFriarTuck; 09-10-19 at 02:07 pm. Reason: Typo

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    Re: How do I make my cage smell better

    The two girls are kept in my bedroom, the boys are in another room. I've never noticed them spraying each other, one pig is mainly white so that might be noticeable if they were. The boys have been on fleece for around a year now, we had them on shavings for around 2 years before that. I'll look Into getting an air cleaner.

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    Re: How do I make my cage smell better

    They're just over 4 years old, we got them around 5 months ago. They've currently got a 8ft² cage but are going to be getting an upgrade in the next few months. I've never seen wood pellets in stores here but I'll take a look.

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    Re: How do I make my cage smell better

    I originally wanted to do a paper based bedding but its so expensive here. I have yet to find a brand that isn't ridiculously overpriced and have been checking everytime I go into a store that carrys pet supplies.

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    Cavy Slave MerryFriarTuck's Avatar
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    Re: How do I make my cage smell better

    Quote Originally Posted by Zinniapig View Post
    I originally wanted to do a paper based bedding but its so expensive here. I have yet to find a brand that isn't ridiculously overpriced and have been checking everytime I go into a store that carrys pet supplies.
    I usually get the Healthy Pet Critter Care bedding--- it's $10 for 30 liters at Walmart! If I had to guess I think it lasts us nearly two weeks. Carefresh is more expensive, especially in pet stores. The plain undyed color is also cheaper than the different colors...and it's easier to see the pee spots on the undyed one. I like to mix a tiny package of the color with the undyed color just for looks

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    Re: How do I make my cage smell better

    Quote Originally Posted by Zinniapig View Post
    They're just over 4 years old, we got them around 5 months ago. They've currently got a 8ft² cage but are going to be getting an upgrade in the next few months. I've never seen wood pellets in stores here but I'll take a look.
    Do they have a litter/kitchen area? That seems to be helping us with keeping the mess to one area of the cage. The rest is fleece. I just switched their litter over to wood pellets and I'm amazed at how much less it smells than Carefresh. And I have two boys! So they're already extra stinky!
    I know you can buy animal wood pellet bedding, but I just picked up the wood pellets you would use in a pellet stove (I'm in Canada, so it was $7 at Canadian Tire for a 40lb bag, which is a steal compared to any other bedding option I've seen). It's now been 4 days since I did a full litter change, and I don't smell them at all.

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