How to poop, potty, or litter box train your guinea pigs?
Poo Poo time...
Ah, nice and comfy...
Ever try to bathroom train guinea pigs to control the cleanliness of the cage? Those that were able to try will understand that it might take some time for that to happen. Rodents are not like canines or felines, they do their business where they sleep, eat, feel comfortable or even where they stand. They are not going to bark or purr at you for attention to use the bathroom. Dogs will bark to be let out, and you will understand what they need, when they need it. Animals that can semi communicate with people will make pet-to-master understanding a lot easier. There are no potty training pads for guinea pigs that other animals have hence it is harder to potty train them.
Most animals have a safe area that they use to eat, sleep, or whatever else they do. When we go out and need to use a toilet, of course it would feel more comfortable at home, same exact thing for animals. Guinea pigs or other animals normally use the same location to potty and eat. Training a guinea pig how to potty in the right area is possible but may take some time, effort and understanding. It all depends on how fast your guinea pigs pick up the hint you are giving them. Smaller animals usually need more time to adjust to the environment they will live in including their owners. When they are in the wild, they will move to different areas but usually they try to stay in one location for as long as they can. Change does not come easy to anyone, whether it be for human or animals.
What? no lights?
Guinea pigs have little to no defense in the wild. If you startle them they will just freeze and pray for their life. They will not attack and cause a blood bath with their twenty or so teeth. Because of their inability to escape predators, they have a limited resource for survival. Guinea pigs do most of their business in the dark hence they potty in areas where predators can’t track them, or they try to. They are very easily threatened, but they still love to run around and play. Guinea pigs that are domesticated have a lot less ability to survive in the wild but still maintain their instincts of survival no matter how little it is and no matter where it is.
Guinea pigs in general are so vulnerable. They are very cautious where they pee because they don't want their predators to know where they are. Their urine is also used as their means of communication to other guinea pigs that is why they prefer it to be in an area that is safe for them. Hence they have this idea in their heads that it is safer to be in a dark area. If it is dark, they think there is lesser chance for predators to find them. One way to train them to potty in the area you want them to go is designating an area which is covered on all sides to keep it dark for them. The darker the area the better it is for the guinea pigs. If you noticed on the first picture, the night lamp was strategically placed to keep the playground or the place where you don't want your guinea pigs to poop or pee on nice and bright while keeping the bathroom provided for them nice and dark. This will create the illusion that it is “safe” even though the whole area is fine. Another thing is to place the food that you are giving them to that exact same dark area you provided them because they also love to poop where they eat. By doing these, you pretty much created a perfect safe environment for your guinea pigs and rest assured, you will no longer have issues on your guinea pigs poop and pee all over the cage. That way they slowly begin to build an understanding that the area to potty would be inside and only inside the dark area that was setup for them.
Bedding, Bamboos, Hay
Bedding for guinea pigs is usually used for the litter box to help "train" them. But this is really not the case. If you follow the instructions in the previous paragraph, then the bedding will work like a charm for you. Other than that, if you are someone that loves fleece for your guinea pigs, the method of potty training mentioned above for guinea pigs will give you the option to use both fleece and bedding at the same time. It is a lot easier to clean out the bedding in a litter box than using cloth such as fleece throughout the cage with poop all over it. Some people clean their cage twice a day which means changing the fleece and washing it. When your guinea pigs are potty trained, there is no need to do it because their poop are contained in one area which is where the guinea pig bedding is. This is how you set up a guinea pig bedding inside the dark or covered area mentioned in the previous paragraph, first, you need to have a litter pan or a small or medium sized container built for your guinea pigs to poop on. Then you just add a piece of old newspaper underneath the bedding and add a guinea pig wood tunnel or igloo for them to sleep in. When you need to change it, just remove the whole potty box or litter pan and take out everything that is on it and put another old newspaper underneath the bedding and you’re done. The detailed instructions on how to properly clean the guinea pigs cage is coming out soon.
Ta Da, and we are all done...
Once they have adjusted to using one area to potty, try not to make any changes too soon. When their environment changes, what they learn becomes unlearned. Changes meaning moving their potty area to a different location, not changing what are inside the area.
When they have an area to potty, it makes life a whole lot easier having them. Cleaning becomes easier, and you can start making the cage a bit fancier if you so desire to do it. It helps with expense as well, or shifting expense from buying litter material to toys for them.
After they are use to it, they will do most of the pooping in that area. The “outside” area will still occasionally get some of their trash but it is a whole lot less.
More on guinea pigs...
- Cleaning the guinea pigs cage the fast and easy way
Cleaning a guinea pig's cage is a lot easy than what most people think. It is never easy to clean if they use the entire cage to poop and urinate but when all that is in control you will be surprise how easy it can be. Here I will show you how I clea
- How to build a guinea pigs cage?
Having guinea pigs are fun but what about its cage, the ones that are sold is quite small and it gets even tighter as they grow. The C&C cage would be ideal but not everyone know how to. So, read on for more info.
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. It is not meant to substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, or formal and individualized advice from a veterinary medical professional. Animals exhibiting signs and symptoms of distress should be seen by a veterinarian immediately.
© 2012 Dave Rogers