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Desperate to go back to their cage!


Well-known Member
Cavy Slave
Jan 4, 2011
Hi everyone! :)

I am new here and new with Guinea pigs. I got two female guinea pig, 4 weeks old, as a Christmas present from my best friend two weeks ago so I've doing some research and trying to do my best.

I've started to give them floor time some days ago. Unfortunately I can only use the space next to the cage for the floor time. I put some old news paper in the top of the carpet and I put them one of their wood houses, hay, the water bottle and some treats all over the place. (as I read in several blogs)

After I struggle for some time to take them out of their cage and put them in the floor they just run back to the cage (which is closed and they can't entry) and try to force themselves to get inside trough the spaces of the cubes (but they don't fit).

They just stand there next to the cage and make a lot of noise (I have problems trying to recognize the different kinds of noises) and then they bite the metal wires of the cage, smell the cage and run from one side of the cage to the other trying to get inside somehow. They even take a run up to jump high to see if they can make it is to high for them. I am afraid that they might even injure themselves by doing all that.

Is it normal that they behave like that? Is there something else I can do to make them feel more comfortable in their floor time since I can't give them floor time anywhere else.

BTW I apologize in advance for my english in case I've done many mistakes. I am Colombian but I live in Germany. :)
They're babies and scared. Give them time to get used to you and get used to floor time.

For my guys it's helped to give them things like tunnels made out of sections of drainage pipe, and things like this: (broken link removed) covered with a piece of cloth, in their "playpen." They seemed to feel just too exposed when they were new here and were happier if they could run under or through things.
Mine struggled with the being picked up and put out on the floor part when they were younger, so I cut a little door in the coroplast for them so when I give them floor time, I just open the door and they can go back and forth between the floor-area and their cage as they please.

I don't know your cage layout, or whether it's on a table or not so whether this is possible for you I don't know. (And it's kindof the lazy way out, as mine still HATE being picked up because they never got used to it)

But it's just an idea, that way they could go out on the floor on their own terms and get used to it.
It's only been two weeks - give them time. :) My first cavy didn't enjoy being picked up for months, it just takes time for them to get used to you/your scent/your home.
Try keeping their cage open and letting them explore on their own time. They are still so young and everything is so new for them, even you. My pigs got free roam in the beginning and it worked well for me.
They are looking for a place to feel secure in so something covered would be great and they will come out when they get more comfortable. :)
Thank you for all the advices. I tried today to put something for them to hide and a ramp so they could go in and out of the cage and actually they looked more comfortable :). They even went into the cage to do their business and back outside to eat some treats and run a bit ;). However they went to lay down inside their cage after a while...
I hope with time they get more use to it and to me. But I feel much more better after all the replies lol
For the cage, since I live in Germany I haven't been able to find the coroplast yet. Hopefully a friend will bring it to me from the netherlands so I can make the C&C cage and a second floor!!
If you can't find coroplast right away, you can use other materials that are easy to clean and impermeable to water. For a while I used a big piece of floor linoleum. The main disadvantage was that the lack of a low barrier around the inside of the grids made it too easy for hay and even poops to fall out of the cage. It was always messy around the cage. It was a little better after I put a 3-inch border of cardboard around the outside of the grids except for the grids that I disconnected for floortime (like a big door). I couldn't put the cardboard inside the grids, or they would pull it down and chew it. When I changed cage shape I cleaned and rolled up the linoleum and put it back in the garage in case I need it again some day. Really thick plastic works too and is far easier to cut to size than linoleum. Coroplast is not strictly necessary, but it just happens to have the most advantages for making a cleanable cage bottom with an integral low barrier along the grids.
I thought I would also mention the advantages of having two grids that easily separate so that you can give your babies floor time in an area right next to their cage. I unclip my two center grids that are clipped together with binder clips, and open them wide, into a protected area. The piggies gradually got comfortable with exploring the new area. I made it small at first and gradually made it bigger. They head back into their cage when they get tired or want to go munch hay.
Our pigs have free roam for play time, we just open the cage and they run around our living room for a while, buck like little horses and chase each other and after 15 min or so they run back and plop down in their pigloos, play time over. Then we close it and open it later if we're home and they're awake. They go back to the cage if they need to poop or pee, yours may be too young and too small for this. But yeah, play time doesn't last very long..
:eek:hmy: it is good to know that the play time doesn't last long... I was worried thinking that my babies were too lazy!
I think the idea of opening the grids for the floor time is great! Yesterday when I was covering the carpet with newspaper for the floor time vanilla was popcorning all around the cage and then she was desperate in the door waiting for me to open it!!! lol
When I did open it she went outside so fast and was so happy looking for the treats. I am so excited about her progress. Even though chocolate is still a bit scare to leave the cage and takes her more time I think it is going much better. Thank you all!
It could be personality, too. I set up a floor time spot with hiding places galore for them to run in between and they do, but one of my pigs for as long as I've had her (almost 5 years) struggles to get back in the cage when I pick her up and will jump out of my hands into it if I'm not careful putting her back. She's a timid one and I think the cage is where she is most comfortable therefore she doesn't like leaving it. People have their own "comfort zones," why not guinea pigs?
Haha my piggie does that too. she is a little "rascal" and she tries running under my bed. I take her out everyday and she is beginning to get used to that. I'm so glad! :)
But still, she stars at the cage like:" Put me back in there! Where am I and I wanna be put in the soft and warm fleece!"
It is too cute but still: good luck with your english :)
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