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Thread: Real-world feedback on fleece cage lining, please!

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    Real-world feedback on fleece cage lining, please!

    Hello...new member here (I just introduced myself in the introductions thread). I am about to upgrade Pebbles' cage to a C&C cage, and I have spent a lot of time reading threads on this forum to decide on the best cage set-up that will make the cage easier to clean and provide a more sanitary home for him. Does using fleece instead of another type of bedding material help accomplish this? Is this the main reason many use fleece?

    In every-day practice, how does clean-up work with a hybrid fleece play area + kitchen/litter area with bedding? I'm assuming the piggies will still pee and poop on the fleece. Doesn't this mean they will be walking around on wet fabric unless it is changed multiple times per day? Do you put bedding underneath the layer of fleece?

    It does seem like it would be easier to clean up the poop from the fleece vs. other bedding material. I am currently using paper bedding on the entire cage bottom, and I find it impossible to scoop up the poop without removing most of the bedding. I probably end up removing about 1/3 of the bedding each day while cleaning, and it is getting expensive. I am willing to consider fleece if it will be easier and more economical.

    I'd appreciate any other habit cleaning tips you have to offer!

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    Cavy Slave Soecara's Avatar
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    Re: Real-world feedback on fleece cage lining, please!

    The way fleece works is it acts as an upper dry layer that allows liquids to pass to a lower bedding layer that is absorbent. The fleece itself doesn't get wet so they aren't in a constantly damp cage as that is the whole point of the fleece. This works because fleece is a polyester fibre so it is pretty much just woven plastic and plastic doesn't absorb liquids.

    Some people use uhaul recycled cotton moving blankets sewn into their fleece (otherwise it breaks down in the wash if you leave it loose), some use other absorbent materials sewn in/under their fleece. Others use wood pellets under the fleece, the wood pellets last a long time and the fleece keeps the poops out of the pellets. I use a combination of second hand towels and a large microfibre sheet under my fleece and it stays very dry.

    Fleece allows you to sweep up the poops daily, helping keep everything cleaner. Fleece is meant to be washed and reused time and time again meaning much lower costs in the long run.

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    Cavy Slave 4boipigs's Avatar
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    Re: Real-world feedback on fleece cage lining, please!

    Quote Originally Posted by lattelove View Post
    make the cage easier to clean and provide a more sanitary home for him. Does using fleece instead of another type of bedding material help accomplish this? Is this the main reason many use fleece?
    I use fleece as a combo of cheaper to maintain (high initial cost but never have to buy paper bedding ever again) and easier to clean.

    In every-day practice, how does clean-up work with a hybrid fleece play area + kitchen/litter area with bedding? I'm assuming the piggies will still pee and poop on the fleece. Doesn't this mean they will be walking around on wet fabric unless it is changed multiple times per day? Do you put bedding underneath the layer of fleece?
    The fabric won't be wet, assuming the fleece is wicking correctly. There is a middle layer (u haul mats or some other absorbent layer) that sucks up the pee. Of course it isn't magic, if they keep peeing in the same spot then it will get soaked quick. For example, my boys like to go in their houses a lot so I have smaller pieces of fleece that I use under their houses and switch out every couple of days.

    I change the fleece usually twice a week. It depends on whose cage, and which fleece. I have fleece from different sellers, and they all act differently. My smaller cage also gets dirty quicker (I have a 2x4 and 2x5 c&c).

    In regards to the separate kitchen...I tried the paper bedding in the kitchen for a while. I even had a cavy kitchen (which you can find on this site). The paper bedding tracked everywhere. I switched to washable dog pee pads, and keep those in the kitchen. They get dirty fast so they get switched every couple or days, or sometimes even sooner if they get bad enough.

    poop
    I pick up poop twice a day or more with fleece.

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    Re: Real-world feedback on fleece cage lining, please!

    Thank you for the replies! I'm definitely going to try this. Does the fleece have to be relatively new to work well, or can it be older fleece? I have a couple of older blankets that I'm thinking of cutting up and repurposing for this.

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    Cavy Slave Soecara's Avatar
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    Re: Real-world feedback on fleece cage lining, please!

    As long as when you test it water passes through it to an absorbent material then it is fine to use. New fleece usually has a coating on it that prevents the water from passing through so it instead pools on the surface, it usually needs to be wash several times to strip this coating. If you use fabric softener it will re-coat the fleece meaning liquids won't pass through again.

    To test some fleece lay a towel on a table, lay the fleece on top, then pour a little bit of water onto the fleece and see what happens after a minute.

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    Re: Real-world feedback on fleece cage lining, please!

    Hi! I have used fleece over wood pellets and wood pellets in the litterbox and love the combo. There is no smell for months, except for soiled hay which I remove nightly. A nightly quick brush with a small broom into a dustpan takes care of the poops, and if the GP pees in one spot you can put a pee pad with fleece and uhaul blanket there. You can get a large bag of pellets at Tractor Supply or Home Depot, hardwood or pine with no fuel accelerant added, and that will last for 3 months or more. If you have a digger you will need to have it go over the edges of the bottom and use binder clips so the GP can't get under. IF you are luck and don't have a digger you can just lay the fleece on top.

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    Administrator bpatters's Avatar
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    Re: Real-world feedback on fleece cage lining, please!

    Actually, two bags of pellets in a large cage (pellets 3-4 inches deep) will last a year without changing the pellets. Ask me how I know this.

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    Re: Real-world feedback on fleece cage lining, please!

    The tracking information shows that my new C&C cage will be here on Monday! The kids and I are looking through old fleece blankets to see if any of them will be appropriate to repurpose as cage liners. Looking forward to getting it all set up!

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    Re: Real-world feedback on fleece cage lining, please!

    I've found that the plush anti-pill fleece works best for me. It's a little silkier in texture so the hay doesn't get imbedded in the fabric. It's a little thicker, hold it's color longer, and washes better. If you use fleece blankets, they should be good quality with a smooth texture. The cheaper ones are just hay magnets and you'll end up throwing the whole mess out.

    You don't need to have the fleece attached to a backing. I layer fleece over washable incontinence pads. It's easier to wash when everything is separate.

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    Re: Real-world feedback on fleece cage lining, please!

    Thanks for those tips. I do have a couple that are pilled up pretty badly, but the others do have a smooth, silky texture. I will use those as a practice run before deciding if I need to buy a better quality.

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    Re: Real-world feedback on fleece cage lining, please!

    For my C&C setup, I personally have some Kavee fleece liners. Generally for fleece you will need to do some spot cleaning each day to help keep it fresh for your guineas, but this task takes no time at all ). I find fleece is much more sanitary compared to other bedding as the fleece wicks away liquid from the top layer, in order to maintain a dry surface for your guinea pig to walk on. I do not put any additional bedding under the fleece. I have a waterproof correx base so the fleece is perfect as is. For additional absorbency, you can also use pee pads in high traffic areas such as under their hideys. I hope that helps! I made the switch from wood shavings and have never regretted it.

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