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Hello new and looking for info

Baloo

Member
Cavy Slave
Joined
Jun 11, 2012
Messages
4
Hello there from Toronto (Canada)

I'm thinking of getting a small pet like a guinea pig or a rat. I have a small place so the concern would be the noise and smell. I have had rats before and they are great but they seem very active at night and they wake me up.

I never owned a guinea pig and wonder if they are as nice as rats are and do they smell more? I will be asking some questions about litter in the bedding forum. Thank you very much
 
Hi, and welcome to the forum. You can post a bunch of questions at once in one post if you like, especially if you're just gathering information.

Guinea pigs are not smelly animals, with a few exceptions. Boars marking their territory produce "boar stank," which is very smelly, but doesn't last too often. Older unneutered boars may have problems with impaction, and cleaning them can also be smelly. But other than that, they're clean animals with no odor at all.

If you think even that much odor would bother you, then you should look for females. There no odor with them at all, unless it's a sign of illness, such as a urinary tract infection.

However, the size of the cage and the kind of bedding you use does affect the amount of odor associated with the urine and the feces. Some people swear by fleece, others hate it. Some swear by wood pellets, but they're hard to find in the summer time, and are heavy. A small cage will smell much more quickly than a large one. If you put hay down on the floor for them to play it, it will smell more quickly after it's peed on than hay that stays mostly in a hayrack.

If you want no smell at all, you might want to look for a non-rodent. But almost all animals except fish seem to have some odor associate with them.

They're wonderful pets, but they're prey animals, which means they'll likely always be a little skittish. Some seem to get over that, but most don't. If you want a pet that comes running to you to be caught, picked up, and snuggled, a guinea pig isn't it. But if you want something that's happy puttering around its cage, is gentle, and is endlessly entertaining, then you should look into them a little further. I adore my two, and wouldn't trade them for anything.
 
Well, you have certainly come to the right place to learn about guinea pigs! :) Welcome to the forum!

Okay, you mentioned you have a small place. Do you have room for a 2X3 C&C cage? It would measure about 7.5 sq ft of space. This is the minimum size recommended for a single guinea pig.

Now that's the minimum for one but guinea pigs are social critters so adopting a buddy for your pig would help him/her to thrive and keep him/her from getting bored when you aren't home. Adopting a bonded pair would be a great starting point.

The recommended cage size for two pigs is a 2X4 unless they are males. In that case a 2X5 is recommended since males need a bit more space to live peacefully with each other.

Speaking of males, forget what you may have heard about males never getting along and not being able to live together. Complete fallacy. Males can definitely live peacefully together, given a large enough space and an introduction on neutral territory.

You are concerned about smell. Having a C&C cage not only gives your pig more space to exercise, it allows for easier clean up and keeps the smell down, since it's a less compact space than those tiny store-bought cages.

They are also easier to build and less expensive to own.

As for the pigs themselves. I've never owned rats so my ability to compare the two is limited. But what I have learned about the difference is that guinea pigs are not as genuinely affectionate as rats are. They don't usually seek out your attention but they will sit on your lap and watch tv with you. They make sweet noises and are endlessly entertaining to watch - especially when they have a buddy to interact with.

I also know that one of the downsides to rats is their short lifespan. The average lifespan of a guinea pig is 5-7 years.

Guinea pigs are prey animals by nature so their instinct is to run and hide when approached. So they could be skittish for weeks after being in a new home but they are very food motivated and eventually will associate you with positive things.

They are not overly stinky. Males a little moreso than females but it's not a "hold your nose when you enter the room" type of deal. As long as you spot clean each day and do a full clean out each week of the cage, it should kee the smell down.
 
Welcome to GPC.

Guinea pigs are herd animals and would enjoy a company of their own kind. If you are planning to get one, please consider two instead.

You've mentioned having a small place, guinea pigs require a large flat space to run around vs. other rodents that like vertical space. The recommended cage size for two is 10.5 sq.ft. If you could find a space for the cage, they do make entertaining pets. I enjoy watching them run laps around the cage.
 
Well, you have certainly come to the right place to learn about guinea pigs! :) Welcome to the forum!

Okay, you mentioned you have a small place. Do you have room for a 2X3 C&C cage? It would measure about 7.5 sq ft of space. This is the minimum size recommended for a single guinea pig.

Now that's the minimum for one but guinea pigs are social critters so adopting a buddy for your pig would help him/her to thrive and keep him/her from getting bored when you aren't home. Adopting a bonded pair would be a great starting point.

The recommended cage size for two pigs is a 2X4 unless they are males. In that case a 2X5 is recommended since males need a bit more space to live peacefully with each other.

.

Thank you for the replies....someone wants to give me a 26x15x15 cage. It has a high plastic bottom with white wiring , the top comes off. Is that too small for one piggie?
 
That cage is too small. If you look at the Home page of this website, you'll see that the smallest size recommended cage for one pig is 7.5 square feet, and that more is recommended. A 26"x15" cage is less than 3 square feet, so it's not even half the minimum recommended size.

A small cage is much harder to keep clean, and smells much worse, than a larger cage. And the pig gets bored in a small one.

Also, pigs are social animals, and almost all of them will do better as part of a pair or a herd rather than as a single pic. So if you get a cage, you should get one large enough to be able to add a friend, or at least built so that adding on isn't a problem.
 
Thank you for the replies....someone wants to give me a 26x15x15 cage. It has a high plastic bottom with white wiring , the top comes off. Is that too small for one piggie?

That is much too small for one piggie. A recommended size for one piggie is 27x41 inches. For two is 27x56 inches.

Guinea Pig Cages, Your Cavy At Home
 
Thanks again Folks for the very detailed information, appreciate it. :)
 
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