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Cage Cage size, bedding


Cavy Slave
Jan 3, 2012
Hi Everyone - I'm new to the website and I have a few questions for all the experts out there.
1. I bought a large clear plastic bin 52 5/16 L x 20 5/16 W x 14 5/16 Height. It's looks like a great size to house 1 guinea pig - my question is - is that height tall enough and can the GP jump out?
2. Is everyone using fleece because of cost? I've priced the bedding and for a big bag it was close to $30 U.S. dollars. Pretty expensive if you are changing the litter often considering the bags aren't that big to begin with and considering the size of the bin I bought it will definitely cost a lot. What are other alternatives? Do they pee and poop in one area only? or all over the cage?
3. I had a guinea pig years ago and it smelled horrible - does anyone else have this problem? and what are some solutions to this. It literally smelled like being at the zoo and that was changing out the bedding 3 times a day - the cage was small so doing that wasn't a problem.
My son is asking for one and they are so darn cute that I'm having a hard time saying no to him but I want to do my research before getting one so I don't have that smell problem again.
TIA any help is appreciated!!!

Hi Goliath and welcome to the forum. the table outlines the sites recommendations. Bigger is ALWAYS better.

# of Pigs
in grids
in grids
Cage size, bedding
7.5 sq ftmore is better30" x 36"2x3 grids27" x 41"
Cage size, bedding
Cage size, bedding
7.5 sq ft10.5 sq feet 30" x 50"2x4 grids27" x 56"
Cage size, bedding
Cage size, bedding
Cage size, bedding
10.5 sq ft 13 sq feet30" x 62"2x5 grids27" x 71"
Cage size, bedding
Cage size, bedding
Cage size, bedding
Cage size, bedding
13 sq ftmore is better30" x 76"2x6 grids27" x 84"

I copied it because it's tedious to type it all out over and over again. (Mod's hope that is ok?)

Edited by bpatters: This chart is on the home page of this site at https://www.guineapigcages.com.

2. Some people use fleece, but factor in that you must wash HOT to avoid odour/bacteria build up. I wash my fleece at 90 degrees and it lasts me a week.

There will be a cost to keeping any bedding sufficiently odour free, whether it's puppy pads you choose, fleece, carefresh, aspen. I have tried 3 kinds of bedding so far and there works out to be no real difference in the end costs only in what you as a person prefer and what guinea pig likes to live on. Maximus von Lichtenwalder does not like our kiln dried pine - as it scrapes his feet so they look like they are peeling around the edges. If I put shavings in one side and fleece the other he stays on the fleece side more often. If I puppy pad and cover it in hay he loves that! and he loves fleece. It all costs.

3. The bigger the cage ( and the more air that can get to the bottom of the cage) the less smell there is. I can't imagine cleaning a cage 3 x a day and having it smell like a zoo at such frequent cleaning. I can't help you there, sorry. If your animals are healthy they should Not smell bad indoors. They may have their own odour but not stink. I change my single piggies house at least once a week, sometimes sooner if he has had no outdoor time. There is no odour that indicates a rodent lives in our house. I hope some else might be able to help you on this.

4. They are darn cute!!!! and worth the cost/effort every penny as far as I am concerned <3

Last edited by a moderator:
maybe that was the problem - I had my previous one in an aquarium and he had allergic reactions to almost all the bedding that I had tried so I used newspapers which was what the veterinarian had told me to use and it made the cage smell really zoo like. Does Maximus von Lichtenwalder use the bathroom everywhere in the cage or specifically on the fleece or hay?
Hi and welcome! I wouldn't recommend keeping a piggy in a plastic tub because they have very delicate respiratory systems. The build up of ammonia from urine can make a piggy very sick. Check out building a C&C cage, you can get a pack of grids for around $20 or less with coupons(Bed,Bath&Beyond, Sears and even CraigsList.com are just a few places to look).

The only time my 4 boys have any nasty smells is when they were establishing domince or when they need their perineal sac needed to be cleaned https://www.guinealynx.info/impaction.html

I use fleece and have extra little pads that I pull out and wash every other day, I do a full cage clean once a week and that's when I pull out the bottom layer of fleece.
Hi Goliath,

Your stink problem would more than likely have been the aquarium trapping the stale air, and heating the flooring to create a rank bacteria and ammonia rich environment I'm pretty sure! the allergies/ mucous membrane damage would then have been like stabled horses get, - ammonia melts the mucous lining and the dust that then gets trapped makes for low grade upper respiratory problems that become so prevalent they are eventually considered "normal". Also newspapers are the "worst" bedding type considered here on this forum, they just hold the pee, they don't wick it out from under the piggies feet and they ferment. Yikes not a pleasant situation you had going there, even though you did what was considered best. There are much better situations and solutions that you'll find here on this site.

Pee and poop
Maximus von Lichtenwalder seems to "go" in patterns. I know which puppy pad sections I need to replace before I even look at the cage. Some of them I check and mostly find a single dried pee that I can leave until more has occured I need to change the hay side of his cage roughly 3 times less than the grass clump side for instance. He poops when he popcorns - so I do get scatter poops which I can scoop up daily. When he poops where he sleeps those are in one area and when he eats those are in one area. It makes for easy cleaning.

Pooping on fleece vs hay
Maximus von Lichtenwalder Never pee's or poops on clean bedding... for this reason I always leave somewhere for him to "go". Once he has lain on a bed or eaten on a surface for 4 days in a row then only will I find the first poops. I used to clean his cage out all in one go, and I noticed that the pee's and poops were everywhere, then one day I cleaned only what portion of the cage I could manage, I noticed an immediate difference in the poop and pee patterning.

Some piggies poop only in their corner trays, I dont have one and haven't tried, there is one specific corner in the hay side that he leaves a proper pile of poops. For that pile he stands on the edge of a brick step and targets one spot. I think once I have his cage and his patterns sorted out he will be one of those clean sorts, because I see he hates being dirty - his personality gets snappy and he gets reclusive if he thinks his cage is over due... and it's the only time he ever has a wet butt - when there are dozens of dry clean pig-sized snooze spots left... if he thinks I am over due he really lets me know he's not happy.

I also like to let the sun shine on his empty cage once a day (usually when he is outside in his shady grassed play pen. I think the sun helps to evaporate the urine and keeps the cage fresh as possible.

When I was doing my research here, I made up my mind that hair, hay, pee and poop wouldn't bother me, but that I would try different beddings to see what worked for us best... I think it was a good decision.

1. for your plastic bin... It's a pity that you already bought it for the piggies... I'd suggest that you would be Far better off finding another use for it and building a c&c cage but if you don't I'd definitely suggest that you drill air holes on the sides? Otherwise it's a mini aquarium again with lower sides...

I like the puppy pads for soaking up the urine best. I like the hay for collecting the poops for the compost heap. I like the fleece for the beds because he sleeps so sweetly on them.
Hope that helps a bit?
KiwiCavyAdorer, unless Teresa says otherwise, it's fine to post that chart -- just post a link to it or the instructions on where to find it.

Goliath, you need an open cage with air circulation, and better bedding than newspaper. There are a ton of fleece fanatics on here, but there are a bunch that have tried it and didn't like it for various reasons. Some like aspen shavings, others carefresh, and there are a few of us diehards who love wood stove pellets. They're heavy, but they're the absolute best at odor control. If you decide to try them, you need to get the kind made for stoves, not for horse bedding, and they should have no accelerant added to them.
thanks everyone - I'm getting some great ideas from you.
Thanks BPatters, I don't know how to use links. Could you perhaps PM me on how to do it?
KCA, the easiest way is to open another window in your browser and go the site that you want someone to see.

Copy the URL from the address bar (highlight the whole thing if it doesn't highlight itself when you click on it), and copy it.

Come back to the message you're posting here and just paste it in.

If you can't get that to work, you can just say where you got the material -- in this case, the Home page of this site.
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