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New GP Parent


Active Member
Cavy Slave
Feb 9, 2012
Hello! :) My kids wanted a guinea pig, so last week we drove an hour to Petsmart to get one... because I had read in an article that guinea pigs were good pets for kids vs lizards, etc. I don't know of any other clean pet stores any closer, so we went to the cleanest one we knew of. This is before I found this website and started reading about how people just give up on their guinea pigs after a while and so many need homes.... and the problems with pet stores. :( So sad! When we were at Petsmart, my kids talked me into getting two. I couldn't say no after I held them both... They are supposed to both be females. Of course we got 2 cages the same size.. the 2 largest ones they sold, and all of the supplies. We brought them home and have been feeding them lots of hay, pellets, veggies, and a little fruit. They are the sweetest most gentle babies ever! I have fallen in love with them even more than my kids have! I love my 2 dogs and small parrot, but now these 2 girls have stolen my heart. I sure hope they ARE both girls! I tried to look online to make sure, but it's not that easy for me to tell. I am keeping them separated until I can tell for sure. Now that I've read about C&C cages, I want to get them a 2 level cage for playtime and have them in that most of the time because I'm home during the week schooling my special-needs son, but want to put the pigs in the smaller cages (which are on a huge table) when we are not around to supervise. That way they are up off the floor and don't feel intimidated by the dogs or anything. So they would be in the C&C cage most of the time... is that reasonable or not? And has anyone else put one of those C&C cages on carpet? Our whole house is carpeted except for the kitchen area. Can I just get a piece of wood to go under it? Well, this morning when I held Sasha, I noticed that her belly fells bigger and tighter. Sadie is smaller now than Sasha, and Sasha was about the same size as Sadie last week. We have only had our babies for a week tomorrow... So I started thinking omgosh... I hope she's not pregnant. Especially after I read all those things on this forum about gp pregnancy... Scares me! Sadie eats, plays, sleeps, etc. Sasha eats and sleeps in her fuzzy bed most of the time. SHe still wants me to snuggle with her, but she is more inactive now than when we first got her. No signs of illness though. I don't want to take her back to Petsmart cause I'm not sure how they will treat her or anything. I think my best bet is to take her to the vet and see what the vet says. But then... what do I do with the babies if she IS pregnant? If people aren't committed to keeping guinea pigs, will I find good homes for them? I would keep the girls, but I don't want both boys and girls in the same house so we would never have to worry about pregnancy again. Any ideas? I am sorry for going to Petsmart now, but I didn't know and what's done is done. I do not have the heart to return them to the store! Advice is appreciated. Thank you ahead of time! :) God bless & Take care!
First off, Welcome! And do you have any pictures of your pigs yet?? People here love seeing them.

How large are the store bought cages? It would be better to just have them [living] in the larger c&c cage and forget about the store bought cages entirely. Maybe keep them in case of trips? Or try seeling on craigslist or something.
But until you get them BOTH sexed properly you should not be putting them together at all. So I guess the store bought cages will have to do until further notice. And if you do end up having one boy and one girl, you'll have to keep them seperated all together and not even allow play time together[unless you took the chance to get the oy neutered].
If Sasha is still eating and breathing normally[and her poops still look normal], I wouldn't worry about any illness. But you should definitely take them to a vet soon for sexing AND to see if the vet can xray Sasha for babies or see any other signs.

The fact that you're home most days is an excellent opportunity for floor time/ free range time for your pigs. Maybe set up a large, flat area right in front of the cage that they can spend most of their day. You can layer towels, mattress pads, uhaul blankets, etc on your carpet.

Inside your c&c cage, try finding a local supply of coroplast for the bottom of the cage. If you wanted to use wood, you'd have to finish it special so it can't absorb any urine/liquids or smell and then make sure you have enough layers to soak anything up underneath your fleece[if you decide to try that too].

Again though, I would just keep them completely seperated until you get them checked out. Good luck with everything!
My cages are on my carpet in the dining room. The coroplast protects the carpet so I don't have anything under them. I use double sided fleece pads with either uhaul padding or cotton batting in the middle over a single layer of uhaul padding. Each of my cages has two pads per cage so I can take out one side at a time to shake out in the trash while my pigs walk over to the other side. It makes it really easy to clean.
Welcome to the forum!

The best online help you're going to get on sexing is at Sexing Guinea Pigs: How to Sex a Guinea Pig -- more than you ever wanted to know about piggy genitalia. The acid test of a male is feeling the ridge of the penis when you rub your finger crosswise across the abdomen just above the genitals, and extruding the penis when you push down in that same area.

If you don't have a scale that weighs in grams and ounces, you need to get one and weigh them daily. Record the weights -- not only will that help you determine if one is pregnant, but it's often the best indicator you have that something is wrong with one of them.

Also, there is some good information at Guinea Lynx about pregnancy, labor, etc. Go to (broken link removed) and click on Index -- you'll be able to find them there.

I'd either incorporate the small cages into a larger design, or save them for travel or when one has to be separated because of illness, surgery, etc. Once they're together (assuming they're the same sex), you shouldn't separate them.

You can make very good cage lids out of closet shelving that will keep dogs out. And the pigs will get used to the dog. At first, our two pigs hid at the back of the cage when our dog looked in, but now they go nose to nose at the front of the cage, and do the same to any visiting dog. (And before anyone gets bent out of shape about their being in contact with other dogs, we don't allow dogs in the house who haven't been vaccinated against bordatella.)

I'd put a shower curtain or plastic tablecloth under the cage rather than a piece of wood. And yes, lots of people put cages on carpet. But I will say that your back will thank you if you put the cage on a table of some sort, or elevate it with grids. Cleaning a cage that's on the floor is a real chore, as far as I'm concerned.

Good luck, and let us know how the piggies are doing.
Thank you for the welcome! ...Am I allowed to reply to this? I am totally new to forums, so not sure since it said one post / intro. If not, I'm sorry. I will post pics if I can figure out how to do it. The store-bought cages are 28" x 17"... not very big I know, but the biggest they sold at the store. After reading more on the forum, I agree.. too small for everyday. I do not understand why they sell such small cages at pet stores, even online. I read more about c&c cages and there is no way I can build that on my own. I am not handy! Plus, we move every 3-4 years due to my husband's career, and I don't think a c&c cage would be easy to disassemble & reassemble over and over. Or is it?? ...I found this cage called midwest guinea pig habitat. It would fold up for moving, which would be great. I could get 2 of those and place them side-by-side (not connected) for now. And put the small cages up for moving. The midwest habitat is 24 x 47, but has a canvas (not solid) bottom. So I could put a tent tarp on the carpet and a cargo mat over that. THat should keep the carpet from getting stained or smell, right? I am definitely keeping the piggies separated until I find out for sure about their sex. I can't get into the vet until the following week. I figured it will be ok since they don't have signs of illness. If Sasha is pregnant, how do I find homes for the boys? I don't want to take them to a shelter or Petsmart. Also, my piggies won't eat the Oxbow Daily C I ordered them... Is it okay to use the vitamin C liquid drops on their food, then? And also, are towels & fleece that much better (cleaner) than aspen bedding? I have the fleece and towels now, but don't know if it will wreck my new washer doing that day after day... (cause hay sticks to fleece)... Sorry for all the questions! I DO appreciate input. :) Thank you!
New GP ParentNew GP Parent

Sasha top pic; Sadie bottom pic. :)
C&C cages are extremely easy to take down and reassemble, much more so than the guinea pig habitats. They're also sturdier. You can customize C&C to whatever shape you've got room for. All it takes to reassemble them is more zip ties.

Your washer filter may get clogged with hay, hair, etc, if you don't have a completely enclosed laundry bag to put the fleece in. One of the reasons I quit using fleece was because the filter on my washer is a complete PITA to clean out. I like aspen bedding better than fleece, but there are plenty of diehard fleece lovers on here who disagree with me.

My suggestion is to try the aspen for a while and see how you like it. It doesn't require any investment to use, and you can always change to something else. If you start out with fleece and don't like it, you've already put a good bit of money into bedding you're no longer going to use.

What city are you close to? A rescue or shelter might be willing to do a courtesy Petfinder listing for you for the babies, or you could list them at Guinea Pig Cages, Care, Shelters, Veterinarians - Guinea Pig Zone. Kijiji and Craigslist are also possibilities -- just be sure to screen any purchasers carefully, and ask a large enough rehoming fee to keep them from being used for snake food.
You're allowed to reply to any open thread you can look at!

That size Midwestern fits the minimum requirements for cage size so it would be ok.
But a C&C would be a lot cheaper. And it isn't as hard as it looks to make. And just as simple to take apart and put back together. I have a friend who changes her cages layout once a month!! [And only takes a saturday to set both of them up].

But yes, if you spring for the Midwesterns, they'd be find. And if you end up having 2 healthy females[or males] you can connect them together to make it twice as large for both of them to enjoy! =]

You can put whatever you want down on the floor to keep your carpet safe. You shouldn't need anything underneath the actual cages though, even if they're on the floor. But just keep an eye on the canvas.
Fleece[in my opinion] stays much cleaner, dryer and doesn't smell nearly as mush as aspen bedding if the proper layers are put down and the fleece is washed a few times without dryer sheets. Some people still like just regular bedding though. It's all just your preference.
You can vaccuum the fleece before throwing it in the washer after you grab any large items off of it. Take it outside and just spank the heck out of it before throwing it in the washer too.

If Sasha is pregnnat, you can post something on THIS website, guinea pig zone or a craigslist ad [asking for forever homes and a rehoming fee]. Either way, it's up to you to ask the right questions and get a feel for any potential pig parents about whether they'll take proper care of the babies or not
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Grid cages are very easy to make. I used cable ties instead of the connectors and that alone saved me a lot of headaches. Cable ties can easily be snipped off and the grids can be folded in on each other. You shouldn't have to snip spart the whole thing to break it down. I used clear packing tape to bind the sides of my base together. The tape can be removed and in theory (If you got the thinner coroplast (4mm)) then you should be able roll it if you need to. so packing this thing up in case of a move may not be quick and easy but it can be done. That being said, it would be great to hear from someone with experience moving with their piggies.
bpatters obviously types much faster than me, oh well.

And your pigs are adorable. It's awesome that Sasha is already comfortable enough to sleep with eyes closed AND let you get close enough to grab some pictures. You're doing well! =]
thank you for the input & info! :) okay from the pics on the link above, they are definitely both female. i put them together for some floor time (after making sure of the sex) and they just love being together. so much happier! they snuggle and play together, but sadie still is more active than sasha. sasha wants to just eat, drink, and laze around. loves snuggling the best. i appreciate the cage info too; i'm going to go with the 2 level c&c cage kit and hopefully i can get it together with my son's help. i have a scale: sadie is 300g and sasha 400g. going to keep a daily log to take to the vet. my son said he felt something move around sasha's belly, but i haven't felt that, ...so he may have just felt her breathing. maybe we should not pick her up anymore until we find out for sure from the vet, though. she is not an obvious pear-shape, but does have a larger belly than sadie. i guess i'll just have to wait and see what the vet says. until then i will make sure she gets extra nutrition just in case. after reading about people using baby guinea pigs for snake food, i am not sure i can re-home them if she is pregnant. don't know what my husband would think about that though... lol. does anyone know how to get them to eat the Daily C tablets? thanks again! :)
Mine won't eat the daily c vitamin tablets from oxbow either. I think they just don't like the pineapple flavor? There are just a lot of vegetables with vitamin c that you should be feeding to where you won't even need any suppliments. Green bell peppers, parsley, kale and many others can take care of that problem. And they'll probably be much more inclined to snack on the veggies.
Check out this super handy nutrition chart: https://www.guineapigcages.com/foru...y-nutrition-charts-poisonous-plants-list.html

One possibility is that Sasha could have been impregnated while at the pet store. Too many unknowns. lol Just keep an eye on both of their weights. Good to know they're both most likely females!!
You can crush the C tables and sprinkle them on some veggie they'll eat. Or you can dissolve it in a little water and syringe it to them.

You probably won't be able to feel the babies moving for a while. Generally, signs of pregnancy don't show up much until about the 5th or 6th week.

However, at those weights, yours are very young, and a pregnancy might be more noticeable. I'd line up a good cavy vet just in case she has problems delivering. Sometimes young sows will just have one large pup that's too big for the birth canal, and she'll need emergency help if that happens. If she has more than one pup, you're less likely to run into that kind of problem.

Don't worry about picking her up until the last 10-14 days of her pregnancy. By then she'll be obviously uncomfortable, and if you have to pick her up then, shoo her into a shoebox or something with a fairly solid bottom.

Give them unlimited alfalfa pellets, good hay, and all the veggies you can get down them.
dumb question probably, but what's a uhaul pad? like a moving blanket? trying to order a c&c cage and figure out bedding. :D
Most of the U-Haul stores/truck rentals have some supplies for sale inside, but you can order them online too.(broken link removed)

Are you ordering your cage from Guinea Pig Zone or making it yourself with just the supplies?
Sasha & Sadie are absolutely darling! I can't wait to see even more photos of the two!
Glad they're both females, haha. Good luck with the cage setup! :cheerful:
oh ok. thank u! so i put that down under the fleece and then just wash both? would army wool blankets work instead? have a ready supply of those... def ordering from gp zone cause... unfortunately, i am not handy at all. :( so how many pads or blankets do i use per cage? i got the fleece i ordered in today. 2 pieces 54" x 59"... do i use 1 fleece per cage?
Wool isn't absorbent -- in fact, unless it's been treated, it's water repellent. You need an absorbent layer under the fleece.
Welcome!!! It would be much faster if you went out and bought the supplies for your cage....soo easy! It only took me about 45 minutes to put mine up. The longest part is measuring and cutting the coroplast. I also use fleece in my cage. I have 2 layers of uhaul padding with a layer of fleece on top. I have a litter box under the hayracks (one upstairs, one downstairs). The girls do a lot of their bathrooming in the boxes...that makes things easier and cleaner! BTW, your girls are super cute! Good luck and have fun!
will washable under-pads for beds work instead of uhaul pads? does anyone else use those?

oh & thank u for complimenting my baby girls! i think they are super cute, too. :D
i've looked at pics on this forum and everyone has such adorable piggies!
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