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Thread: How important is floor time?

  1. #21
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    Re: How important is floor time?

    You may have room to make an extention. C&C cages can you build up! You can add a few square feet with a loft and ramp. You can buy padded soft, *not steep* ramps at guineapigcages.com

    I really think your guinea pig is lonely. She needs a friend.

  2. #22
    Cavy Slave kirsty91's Avatar
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    Re: How important is floor time?

    It isn't my entire choice to keep her. He has to live with her too. When I got her I had done a lot of research but I didn't know how important it was to have a friend otherwise I would have gotten 2 and not just the 1. He doesn't understand so it's hard for him to know it is important for her to have a friend. We really don't have the extra room for a larger cage. She is on a medium sized desk now and it would have to be 3 or 4 levels up.

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    Cavy Slave HannibalLecter's Avatar
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    Re: How important is floor time?

    What is it that makes him dislike this small animal to such an extent he cannot live with it?
    What has this cavy girl done to make him unhappy by just existing in the same living space? I really don't understand.

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    Cavy Slave SurfingPigs's Avatar
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    Re: How important is floor time?

    Did you have her prior to you guys moving in together? If so, she was part of the package that comes along with moving in with you, and he needed to understand that going into the situation.

    I wouldn't dare dictate how my girlfriend cares for her cat. Why? Because she loves her cat, and I love her, and just want the best for us and our happiness. Being accepting of her cat's "needs", even though I would much prefer he didn't sleep in bed with us because it disrupts my sleep, is important because it makes my girlfriend happy, and I can live with a little less space in the house and whatever other minor consolations I may have to make. In the grand scheme, its our happiness, so why let a little physical space get in the way? When she decides to get a second cat as a friend for her cat, I won't complain one bit, even knowing that I will probably need to buy us a bigger bed

    Perhaps you could discuss with him how the happiness of your loved one, even though it might just be a furry rodent in his eyes, contributes to your happiness? Any boyfriend worth moving in with should put your happiness high on his priority list. I am definitely not bashing your boyfriend or your situation, nor am I saying you aren't high on his list. I am merely saying that perhaps he doesn't see how much your pig's happiness relates to your own. And, when you are happier, your relationship is happier and healthier. Food for thought, if nothing else.

    "He doesn't understand so it's hard for him to know it is important for her to have a friend."

    Have you tried to inform him of this so that he can understand how important it is?

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    Cavy Slave Onetwo's Avatar
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    Re: How important is floor time?

    I live in a 700 sqft apartment with my 2 little boys (human) a very needy cat and 4 male guinea pigs. My cage is a 3x7 grid. My ex husband hated the guinea pigs and became allergic 3 years after we started living together. It got so bad between us that I ended up getting rid of him. Sure it ment my kids didn't have their dad everyday, sure it ment we were no longer verbally and physically abused anymore, sure it ment that we could finally pay rent without him drinking it away but it was a hard decision none the less... haha

    Anyways one thing I found is that dressers are a BIG waste of space. Its more effiecent to hang pants on hangers and get an under bed storage thing for underware... As for the piggy cage I would get rid of the desk and build a stand that way you can have some really great storage under neathe AND you can expand it as much or as little as you want.

    A great source for organizing tips is clutterdiet.com sign up for the free weekly emails and check out her youtube videos. Her voice is a bit grating but the info and emails are great motivation.

    Good luck.

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    Cavy Slave kapowilicious's Avatar
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    Re: How important is floor time?

    Well, I hope you figure this all out. I just wanted to say that demanding to get another guinea pig could make your boyfriend feel less valued and like he is not as important as your animal. I love love love my pets but my spouse comes before they do, and I want him to be happy in his own home- so every decision we make has to be mutual.

    My advice would be- if you find a way to expand your cage so that you can make room for a second pig- just mention it once in a while to your boyfriend. "Oh look at the CUTE picture of this guinea pig. Wouldn't you know, she's available at such and such shelter." Whatever you do, don't turn it into an argument that one of you has to win! The "loser" of such an argument is always going to feel some resentment to the "winner." My husband has actually always gotten on board with anything I've wanted to do when I approach it this way. He's gotten me on board with things he wants in the same way. Over the course of a couple weeks the other person sees how much it means to the one person, or how happy it would make them, and we cave and encourage the other to go ahead with it.

    I did this exact thing to get my piggies We had rats who passed away. My hubby said "no more animals!" (I have a parrot and some fish.) Then a couple weeks later I started mentioning guinea pigs. He looked at me like I was possessed and said "NO WAY. No more animals." Then I began finding the cutest pictures I could of guinea pigs and saying "Oh look at that!" and showing him cute youtube videos. Two weeks later I found 2 baby pigs for adoption, I showed him the pictures, and HE pressured ME into getting them THAT DAY!!! Funny how what I wanted suddenly became what he wanted. At that point I wasn't even convinced I should do it and he talked me into it!

    So, there may be a way to get what you want without him feeling like you went against his wishes, it just might take a little time, tactful words and batting of eyelashes. LOL.

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    Cavy Slave SurfingPigs's Avatar
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    Re: How important is floor time?

    Quote Originally Posted by Onetwo View Post
    one thing I found is that dressers are a BIG waste of space.
    That is a really great point. We just got rid of the dresser that was in our room. Everything is now either hung up or stored in cubes I made from extra grids, and the tv that was on top is now wall mounted. Since removing that, we added a 4x2 for the foster pigs to live in the same room as our other pigs, and it still feels so much more spacious in there.

    I seriously doubt we will ever own another dresser.

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    Cavy Slave kathlaaron's Avatar
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    Re: How important is floor time?

    May I just add a valid point that you can discuss with your partner ?

    Having two piggies is honestly does not cost that much more then having one piggie. The only difference is in Vet bills. It will cost at a minimum only 25 % more. Given that they are a highly social species, adopting/rescuing a friend will ironically mean fewer Vet bills, because the happier they are the healthier they are too ! As said in this cavy spirit excerpt below:

    "Many people think that if you have two guinea pigs, you will spend twice as much in time, cleaning, and maintenance. Not so. It just doesn't work that way. One might experience a cost increase of maybe 25% by adding one guinea pig.

    Another cost that might occur, which is very hit and miss, is vet care. You do increase the chances that you may have a medical problem down the line. And while some vet expenses can be significant, most are not. However, if you travel down the ill-advised path of breeding, count on more vet bills. And if you happen to buy or adopt a pregnant guinea pig, be aware that you also have an increased likelihood of required vet care. In general, a non-breeding pair of guinea pigs does not cost much more, in time or money, than a single guinea pig."

    I believe that if you calmly, and practically explain these things to your partner, as well as print the information out for him to look at, would be most beneficial. I am also confused as to why getting a second piggie would be that big of a deal to him. I agree that there might be more to it, than that on his part. HEAR HIM OUT. LISTEN to "his" side for you not getting another piggie.

    Ask to sit down and rationally discuss this with you. DON'T be on the defensive. Let him give you some practical reasons for not wanting you to get another. Then, share your practical, reasons for wanting to get her a friend. That is my "two cents worth" of advice ! Hope things work out !

  11. #29
    Cavy Slave kirsty91's Avatar
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    Re: How important is floor time?

    I love all the advice you guys give but unfortunately I've tried most of it =/

    I didn't have her before we moved in together I got her a few months after. I did have a dog who is pretty crazy but he has worked with me on my dog. He knows she makes me happy and that's why he let's me keep her. He knew people next door who had 2 and they were very noisy and he doesn't really want that especially since she lives in the living room. He is also worried about the smell even though I clean the cage daily (he's sensitive to smells).

    We don't have a dresser, our apartment came with a closet to hang all of our stuff up in. Also we use the desk drawers so we need it and it's not a very large desk.

    He's not worried about the money with her though. He doesn't like all the poop and stuff as it grosses him out. (he's a clean freak) Even with the dogs when they have to poop I usually take them because it doesn't bother me.

    I've also tried showing him pics of pigs and stuff and when at the pet store I'll say how cute they are. But eventually he got mad about it because he said I knew he didn't want another and that I should be happy with what I have.

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    Cavy Slave kathlaaron's Avatar
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    Re: How important is floor time?

    Quote Originally Posted by kirsty91 View Post

    I've also tried showing him pics of pigs and stuff and when at the pet store I'll say how cute they are. But eventually he got mad about it because he said I knew he didn't want another and that I should be happy with what I have.
    I know it's nearly impossible to really understand your situation with your boyfriend through an internet screen, and glean a balanced perspective, in order to give you some sound advice, but he sounds demanding and rather bossy to me. I am so sorry ! Keep us posted, I wish all the best !

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    Cavy Slave sfrangu's Avatar
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    Re: How important is floor time?

    I'm so sorry to hear that, but as kathlaaron said... he's bossy, controlling and hard to live with.... Wish you luck though!

  14. #32
    Cavy Newbie Wildcavy's Avatar
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    Re: How important is floor time?

    @kirsty91, what troubles me in this thread is the way that you frame your conversations with your partner -- the language of him "letting" you do things or the statement that he almost "made" you get rid of your cavy. Beyond the issue of your lonely pig, I am worried about you. As someone who was in an abusive relationship, I can tell you, no manner of reasonable negotiation is going to make an impact on someone who is determined to be in control. Abuse doesn't have to be physical. If he is threatening to take away a companion animal because the animal doesn't suit him, that is a controlling feature. And what starts as that kind of control can lead darker places.

    You are right that just because you give 50% doesn't mean that you can have whatever you want. But at the same time, just because he gives 50% to the household, he doesn't get to make unilateral decisions either.

    I can tell you that me "before" in the other relationship used the words "he let me" or "he says I can" and so forth a lot, and that it took me a long time to realize that a true partner would never create in me the need to use those sorts of words. With my husband, I can say "we decided" and "we chose," on matters that affect us as a couple. There is a difference between consulting and getting permission.

    My husband doesn't particularly agree with or want everything that I want. But after the understandable moment of "argh, really?" he is the sort that will say, what am I really giving up, if I agree with my wife on this? And before I ask, I will think, what am I asking him to give up? In this case, getting a 2nd pig, it would be adding to the joy of your current pig and frankly as someone with 4 pigs, the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th didn't really add much labor- or cost-wise.

    I hope for you that you can think, even beyond your piggy, and ask yourself "do I not deserve someone who thinks, how can I bring this person joy" and not settle for someone saying "how can I rein in this marvelous spirit and tell her that she can't do the right thing?"

    The language of control starts quietly and only gets uglier. Count how many times a day that you say or think "he lets me..." or similar language. You deserve to be an equal partner of a person that truly regards you as equal.

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    Cavy Slave Dee_E's Avatar
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    Re: How important is floor time?

    I would like to echo what others have said. Your wording makes me upset. I was in an abusive relationship as well. The verbal/emotional abuse is worse(to me)than the physical abuse. Everyone here is expressing their honest concern for your physical and emotional well being.

    I have a lone pig as well. (won't bond with others) I give him about 2 hours of floor time a day. He eats his veggies crawls back into his cage sleeps for a while and then comes out an just sits. Maybe that is your Piggies nature.

    Also, I do in my heart of hearts believe that critters can feel our emotions. I know when my ex would abuse me my horse was extra loving. Imagine a 900LB critter almost giving me a hug.

    I have Epilepsy, as a result of the abuse at the hands of my ex. I had a small seizure when sitting with Poppy a couple of months ago. When I came back to the real world he was looking at me intently which he normally does not do. I, as I said, KNOW that they can feel our emotions.

    Please, please take care of yourself.

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    Cavy Slave sfrangu's Avatar
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    Re: How important is floor time?

    Tight hugs from me, Dee-E! And for your piggy.

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    Cavy Slave Dee_E's Avatar
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    Re: How important is floor time?

    Quote Originally Posted by sfrangu View Post
    Tight hugs from me, Dee-E! And for your piggy.
    Very true!

  20. #36
    Cavy Slave Onetwo's Avatar
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    Re: How important is floor time?

    Hmm well I cannot remember if your guinea pig is a male or a female nor what kind of bedding you use... BUT I know with males the worst thing you can do for smell is to do a complete clean everyday. Because then they have to rescent everything. Its best to (if you are using fleece) to change the beds/hidies one day, clean dishes and water bottles another, change the fleece another etc that way there is always some that smells like them to make them comfortable. Also the bigger the cage the less smell there will be. Its ok to spot clean 1-3 times a day (clean up the poops and extra wet spots) but to do a complete change is stressful. Its not going to hurt the dog any if you allot a time where your SO takes the dogs into the bedroom so the piggy can have freerange of the living room (provided that hiding places where he could get trapped are blocked off). You can also use old grids and zip tye them together to make a flexible little guard to block of certain spots of the living room/kitchen area. If the cage is under a 2x5 for one guinea pig then I think having a large floor time (I generally recommend a space that is twice the size of their cage or more) is very important to your guinea pig. I defianately agree with others that another guinea pig will DEFINATELY improve her life and make floor time more enjoyable.

    I also agree with others about the language and excuses/reasons that you are using. Almost 2 years ago I had my (now ex) husband arrested for assaulting me, our infant son and our perschool age son. He also treated me like how you are describing. I also justified his actions for the previous 5 years like you do. You might not think it is abuse because you haven't been in a healthy relationship or seen one. I know I haven't been in one or seen one. I've seen them now and know now after 2 years of theripy the things he did were controling, manipulative and wrong. Now I've striving towards finding someone that I can have a healthy relationship with. Unfortionately men in their 30's who have never been married before usually arn't married for a REASON! Also men that are divorced are usually divorced for the same reasons. Haha but maybe I'll find the right person some day.

    Guinea pigs are vocal noisy creatures. It would be like living in solitary and not being able to talk. Half the fun of a guinea pig is the sweet little cherbles, chuts, and wheeks they make. As many have said he will be happier and healthier with a buddy.

    Please whatever you do though don't have kids with this guy. It sounds like he might be similar to my ex and if he is things will get REAL bad when you have minor disagreements on parenting styles (and most relationship do go through this but if they are not healthy then things can get very abusive.)

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  22. #37
    Cavy Slave kirsty91's Avatar
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    Re: How important is floor time?

    I guess I didn't do my wording quite right. He was fine with the guinea pig when we got her but as he said he didn't do the research before like he should, then we wouldn't have gotten one at all. He puts up with her because it makes me happy and he tries to be supportive. He is an extreme clean freak so the poop and all that stuff really bugs him. Plus not just him but his family in general isn't a big animal family, they had a dog but even then it wasn't as much as a "person" I guess you could say as I treat my dog. Don't get me wrong they treat the dog fine and love it but just not quite to the extent of animal lovers I guess you could say.

    Like you Dee_E I too have a horse so I know what you mean. I can assure everyone this is not an abusive relationship, I was in one as a child actually. My grandparents raised me and my grandmother wasn't the most accepting so it has followed me into my adulthood a bit. We have a good relationship though we usually agree on most things if not we are able to compromise. The guinea pig was a bit harder because we were both trying to figure it all out.

    My guinea pig does get floor time I just wasn't sure if it was that effective since she spent most of it sitting.

  23. #38
    Cavy Slave kathlaaron's Avatar
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    Re: How important is floor time?

    Quote Originally Posted by Wildcavy View Post
    what troubles me in this thread is the way that you frame your conversations with your partner -- the language of him "letting" you do things or the statement that he almost "made" you get rid of your cavy. Beyond the issue of your lonely pig, I am worried about you. As someone who was in an abusive relationship, I can tell you, no manner of reasonable negotiation is going to make an impact on someone who is determined to be in control. Abuse doesn't have to be physical.

    You are right that just because you give 50% doesn't mean that you can have whatever you want. But at the same time, just because he gives 50% to the household, he doesn't get to make unilateral decisions either.

    I can tell you that me "before" in the other relationship used the words "he let me" or "he says I can" and so forth a lot, and that it took me a long time to realize that a true partner would never create in me the need to use those sorts of words. With my husband, I can say"we decided" and "we chose," on matters that affect us as a couple. There is a difference between consulting and getting permission.

    My husband doesn't particularly agree with or want everything that I want. But after the understandable moment of "argh, really?" he is the sort that will say, what am I really giving up, if I agree with my wife on this? And before I ask, I will think, what am I asking him to give up? In this case, getting a 2nd pig, it would be adding to the joy of your current pig and frankly as someone with 4 pigs, the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th didn't really add much labor- or cost-wise.
    Even though kirsty91 has now shared with us, that she is not in an abusive relationship, for others who are going to be reading this thread too, I wanted to just say I completely agree with everything you said in your response to kirsty91. I just didn't want to quote the whole thing for the sake of "space" on her thread.

    Wildcavy, I am incredibly impressed with how you worded everything , you were so articulate, and you gave some very wise advice !!

    The wording she used concerned me too,( that I highlighted in bold print in your quote) but I am always hesitant to give any "personal" advice to someone through a computer screen because I think it is really tough to truly understand someone's situation when we don't know them personally, or the other people involved with that person, in order to get both sides of the equation, you know ?

    However, at the same time...if she is not, nothing is lost ....but if she is... in a controlling and unhealthy relationship with her boyfriend...you have eloquently given her "pause" and "food for thought" and ultimately may open her eyes and save her from a lot of pain, misery, and destruction in her life. Others too...that are in an abusive relationship-- who have read your response, may indirectly benefit from your wise words of caution, and that is worth the risk of any hurt or misunderstood feelings, in my opinion.

    kirsty91, honey your responses do raise some red flags... if we are wrong, and have misunderstood, I am sorry....we all just care and some of us that have been in abusive relationships, feel compelled to reach out and address something as important as this subject is, you know ? I really wish you well...and do hope that you can still get a cage mate for your piggie, for they really do need at least one friend, that they can to "talk" to...

  24. #39
    Cavy Slave kathlaaron's Avatar
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    Re: How important is floor time?

    Quote Originally Posted by kirsty91 View Post
    My guinea pig does get floor time I just wasn't sure if it was that effective since she spent most of it sitting.
    Sometimes, it just takes time for them to get use to the idea of "floor time" and are often intimidated by it at first. Just give her time, and try to stick to a certain time of day, for guinea pigs thrive on "routine" and it will make adjusting to floor time that much easier. However, having a pal, would also encourage more active play from her too.

  25. #40
    Cavy Slave guineapiggymom's Avatar
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    Re: How important is floor time?

    When I first put mine in his play area, it seemed like he was terrified. All he did was cower in one corner and he didn't move unless I was there. I introduced it to him slowly being there all the while. Slowly he got interested in the bigger area and now I put him in there and he'll popcorn, chut and run around excitedly. But, he still gets the most excited when I'm in there.

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