Should You Use Fleece for Bedding in Your Guinea Pig Cage? - PetHelpful - By fellow animal lovers and experts
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Should You Use Fleece for Bedding in Your Guinea Pig Cage?

this is the fleece I chose for my c&c cage.

this is the fleece I chose for my c&c cage.

Should You Use Fleece as Bedding for Your Guinea Pig

Many guinea pig owners are beginning to discover the use of fleece in their cages rather than bedding. It sounds a little ridiculous right? Not as much as one may think. Fleece is a unique material, as when it is washed and dried several times, liquid can actually pass straight through the fabric rather than be absorbed into the fleece itself. This leaves the surface of the fleece dry and comfortable for several days, depending on how many piggies may be living together.

Benefits of Fleece Bedding for Guinea Pigs

There are many benefits that come from using fleece rather than bedding. Here is a list of some:

  1. Hello?! It saves money! Instead of buying bag after bag of wood shavings, buy a couple separate yards of fleece, and they can be washed and reused as much as desired.
  2. Fleece is more eco-friendly. Reusing fleece and towels means less waste overall, especially if you hang-dry it in warmer seasons.
  3. There are tons of different colors and patterns to choose from, and piggies enjoy the color it adds to their home, some even "popcorning" when their fleece is changed to a new design.
  4. Cleaning the cage will be much easier, as all that is needed is spot cleaning throughout the week, and a load of laundry at the end of the week.
  5. The cage will appear much more tidy and clean, not to mention stylish.
  6. The soft material of fleece is very easy on piggies' feet, and comfortable as well.
  7. If the fleece is properly cleaned and well maintained, it can reduce the smell of the cage altogether.

Happy pigs with clean fleece

How to Prepare the Fleece

One common misconception people make about fleece is that it can just be simply bought and placed in the cage without preparation beforehand. This is very untrue.

Once you have purchased your fleece, the first thing you need to do is wash and dry it at least three times with a mild detergent. Do not use fabric softener, as this will prevent the fleece from being able to wick moisture at all.

Now that you have washed and dried your fleece three times, you are ready to begin layering. As I have mentioned before, liquid will pass straight through the fabric leaving the fleece dry to the touch, but this doesn't mean the liquid disappears out of nowhere. You need to have something underneath the fleece to catch the liquid.

There are a lot of options for layers below the fleece. Many people use old towels, puppy training pads, mattress pads, or newspaper. I personally feel that using towels is the best choice. Old towels are free, and can be washed and reused as often as the fleece itself. Newspaper can tend to absorb the liquid too quickly and actually stick to the fleece, which will produce odor faster and leave you with a bigger mess. Puppy pads work great for absorption, but can get pricey. I have never used mattress pads personally, but I hear good things about them.

When you layer your materials in the bottom of your cage, use one layer of fleece, and at least 2 layers of towels, puppy pads, etc. Using two layers of fleece would not be a good idea, because you want the liquid to pass through the fleece quickly and effectively, which can prove hard if it has to pass through more than one layer. Start from the bottom laying your lower layers first, and then finally, your fleece on top.

The Liquid Waste Is Taken Care of, but What About the Solids?

Though it is rare, guinea pigs can be trained to use a litter box. If your piggie is not one of the lucky minority, having a litter box in the kitchen area is a good option. Find a small litter box or shallow rectangular bin that is big enough for the guinea pig to comfortably stand and eat, and place it under your hayrack on one end of the cage.

Guinea pigs generally like to do their business where they eat, as well as in corners. Most of the solid waste will be left in the box, which can then be cleaned out as often as desired. The remaining waste that is left astray throughout the cage can be spot cleaned once or twice a day.

Avoid These Types of Litter/Bedding:

  1. Cedar bedding. This is very dangerous. It can cause respiratory problems and allergies and is not good for the guinea pigs at all.
  2. Clay-based or clumping cat litter. Guinea pigs are very curious and like to eat everything, and once this type of litter gets wet, it sticks together or expands. It's not hard to figure out what that can do to a guinea's insides.
  3. Sawdust. It is very bad for piggies' lungs.
  4. Newspaper with a lot of print or ink. It is also too absorbent and can be smelly or messy.

Use These Instead:

  1. Paper-based bedding. Not only is it completely safe for the guinea pigs, it is eco-friendly.
  2. Pellet bedding
  3. Aspen or pine bedding (pine must be aired out or it can be dangerous)
  4. Make your own with shredded plain paper or newspaper with very limited ink.

Some Helpful Tips for Fleece

I've noticed a lot of the same questions coming up about using fleece. Below are a few helpful tips that will make your fleece experience only more enjoyable:

  1. For Static Cling - Add white vinegar to your load of wash. Not a lot, maybe a half cup. This will reduce static cling and acts as a natural fabric softener without altering the fleece's ability to wick. In warmer weather, hang dry your fleece and towels; you'll be guaranteed to have zero static cling, and you'll be saving energy!
  2. For Pesky Hair - All piggies shed, but if your pig happens to shed more than most or has long hair, buy a cheap lint roller at a dollar store to remove excess hair stuck to fleece during spot cleans and before washing the fleece.
  3. Binder Clips - My favorite thing. You will find endless uses for these, whether it be pinning fleece to the side of the cage to make piggy tents or keeping your piggy food bag closed. You'll also find yourself losing them as often as you lose a sock in the wash, so buy a couple packs in different sizes.
  4. S-Shaped Hooks - If you're using fleece you also most likely have a C&C cage. Hook these to the outside of your cage, and then hang your lint roller and hand broom from them. You're one step closer to being a master of organization.
  5. Leftover Fleece - Cut up leftover fleece into small squares to make piggy tents and hidey spots in the corners of your cage. Your pigs will thank you, I promise. Use leftover fleece to make small, flat pillows for your pigs to nap on (my pigs love their beds). A good tip for male pigs who like to scent after a routine fleece change? Keep a scrap of fleece in the cage at all times and never wash it. Your pig will be less likely to scent the cage if he can already smell himself. Still running out of ideas for extra scraps of fleece? Toss a scrap in the cage and see what your pig will come up with. You'll be surprised how much use they make out of piggy-sized blankets.

You're Done!

Now that your fleece is placed with the bottom layers in your cage, you are ready to start saving money and enjoying the clean and improved look of your guinea's home. This fleece can be washed as often as desired, but generally once a week is fine.

A good idea when using fleece for bedding is to buy a small vacuum or a hand broom with a dustpan, as they both work very well for spot cleaning the cage throughout the week. Enjoy!

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.

Questions & Answers

Question: If you use fleece as bedding for your guinea pig, won't the fleece eventually smell of pee and poop?

Answer: Fleece smells better than regular shavings would because the poop can be regularly swept and cleared from the cage; the fleece will stay dry if you prep it properly. Any bedding will eventually start to smell. With my two boars, I washed the fleece and cleaned the cage about once every one to two weeks.

Question: My issue is that my guinea pigs like getting underneath their fleece bedding. Do you wrap your fleece underneath towels or layer underneath?

Answer: For our guinea pig's bedding, we wrap the fleece around towels, same as you would tuck a sheet under a mattress. You could binder clip them in some spots together too, that might help.

Question: Why do you need to wash the fleece three times?

Answer: Because it takes about three times for the fleece to be able to let liquid pass through it rather than absorb. You want it to stay dry, so your cage doesn't get stinky, and your pigs' feet stay clean and dry.

Question: When buying fleece, should I buy more sheets, or can my guinea pig just have one that is washed frequently?

Answer: Yes, we used to buy three to four so that we could continually rotate them.

Question: Can this be a good alternative for rats as well?

Answer: I wouldn't think so. Rats are much smaller and might be able to squeeze through the cube openings. They also would probably chew the fleece.

Comments

Compueguy on June 11, 2020:

We use fleece for a top layer and reusable adult incontince pads (google reusable adult incontince pads) on the bottom layer. I have a couple different sizes but have settled into the 36x52" size. This fits nicely across the cage and allows for the edges to be rolled a bit. I use squeezable spring clamps to secure the fleece and absorbant layers to the c&c material. I cut small windows through the Coloplast to do this. For my large cage I use 12 clamps. Handles face out. We use a hand dust pan with a brush bought from the dollar store for daily cleaning. Our piggies are very clean and like the solids to be picked up 2 a day. We clean the entire cage every 3 or 4 days and wash the fleece and absorbant pads. This has proven to be very effective and easy to maintain. Our piggies are very happy and healthy.

Beth thompson on May 31, 2020:

Can you use fleece blankets

Gianna on April 29, 2020:

How often do you change out the towels and/or the puppy pads underneath the fleece? Daily?

Confused on March 26, 2020:

How often do you change out the towels/puppy pads underneath?

Vanessa on March 24, 2020:

Hi I’ve adopted 2 male guinea pigs 4 weeks ago and using wood shavings but I would like to try twitching to fleece, should I get waterproof backing fleece or double sided fleece?

i am trying on July 24, 2019:

wait so you said use white vinegar or something but since it needs to be washed 3 times when do you add the vinegar with the fleece and what about for kids and this was soooooo useful I love your websites

Ples answer on April 06, 2019:

I read something about fleece not being a good option for kids to take care of? Is this true?

S Muddy on January 07, 2019:

This website was sooooooo useful, thanks a heap!

Needles and Stitch on November 14, 2018:

I used 2 layers of an old mattress pad and sewed the the fleece to the pads, sewing through all layers. I clean the cage every morning washing the tray. I also sprinkle baking soda on the bottom of the tray. No odors. I had to wash my fleece 5 times. But it works. Hubby thought I was nuts. The kids rolled their eyes. But our pigs don’t smell and seem to enjoy it. I also bought a kiddie pool. For them to run around in while I clean. Then they feast on breakfast. I also bought 4 extra large washable wee pads for dogs. I cut them in half and made 8 waterproof lap pads. Nothing worse than the guineas peeing on us. All their laundry goes into a separate hamper. Walmart sells Non pill fleece in a 1.5 yard bundle or by the yard. I shake my fleece into the trash can before washing.

.

PokeyPie on November 01, 2018:

Something that has worked well for our piggies (boars) is buying a flat, twin sized, waterproof mattress pad, cutting a piece of fleece in the same size, wicking it, and then sewing it to the pad. (I was shocked at how quickly it came together, but it was literally just one continuous seam around the four corners for a 4' x 2' pad. It took less than 5 minutes.) My 12 year old shakes the poo and hay off the fleece into the back yard each night, and I wash a pad every week. We have two pads that we alternate, but we keep smaller pieces of fleece, so they'll still smell themselves after we change pads.

guinea pig lover :-D on April 18, 2018:

Thanks for all the useful info!

Stephanie on March 10, 2018:

Hi all. I'm a new GP owner and am trying to use fleece. I'm having a hard time with all the timothy hay and poops sticking to the fleece. I put my fleece in the washing machine and now the inside of my washing machine is covered in poop and hay! What methods do you use to free the fleece of debris before washing?

Tamar Ulmer on November 28, 2017:

This is very helpful, thank you for posting this information.

Nicole on November 12, 2017:

I’m in the same boat as Steph below me...I’ve washed the fleece 4 times and it’s still not letting water through. Washing it a 5th time now but I feel like I’m missing a step..?

Steph on November 11, 2017:

Hi, I find this page extremely helpful! As a new GP owner I'm very interested in giving the fleece method of lining a cage a go. I wonder if I could pick your brain with a query I have? I'm currently washing my fleece for the 4th time to allow the liquid to pass though it...I tested it after the 3rd by laying it on top of a towel and pouring a bit of water on it but it didn't seem to soak through... :/ shall I keep washing it and drying it until it gets to the point when the water will soak through or am missing something..?

Linda Lou on October 17, 2017:

Really good information, enjoyed reading , very helpful !

Anne laurie on October 17, 2017:

Very good article, thank you for the information.

kjtyfdtyr on August 11, 2017:

cool

Catherine on May 31, 2017:

I have found a website that sells waterproof fleece in precut and sewn rectangles to line your cage. Is this a good option rather than putting towels under normal fleece as I imagine what I save on wood shavings I'll be spending on washing bills - electricity and detergent!

Lena on May 30, 2017:

You can get it at Joann fabrics. there is a sale now, for 6 to 7 dollars.

sophie on May 28, 2017:

Etsy online sells fleece. it will be expensive at the beginning but it is very cost effective than wood shavings :)

Ella on April 28, 2017:

I want to give my guinea pigs fleece for their cage but I don't know what kinds of stores sell fleece for guinea pigs. can someone please tell me?

An on February 01, 2017:

My girls like to pee everywhere. Do I need to clean the fleece pads every day? Or less. I am afraid it will smell to much leaving the pads.

Trista on December 30, 2016:

Hi! I am getting a guinea pig in probably about 2-3 days. I have food, a watter bottle, hay, a good sized cage, and everything except for bedding. I finally convinced my mom to let me buy a guinea pig with all of my own money, and i only have so much. (I have been saving up for years now and have quite a bit) but i want to save money. I thought fleece would be better so i searched on the web and this site popped up. I read Every last word and found out good ideas. Although, my mom does not like guinea pigs and i share a room with my sister who doesnt like guinea pigs either so i have to keep my little friend outside. I searched for climates that guinea pigs can be in and where i live will be fine. occasionally it gets sorta cold so do u have any tips on keeping my pig warm? Also, is there anything else i can put under the fleece? Like an old blanket or something? Last question, can i create hideouts with old boxes as well has leftover fabric?

(Sorry this was so long) i appreciate everything you wrote on your website, thankyou.

Anja Philantrope on December 06, 2016:

I love fleece. Nothing better in my opinion. I have found a good way to control most of the poop. I got 2 disposable cat litter pans. They are very thick cardbord. I line them with a stack of newspaper and put the hay inside toward the front of the pan. They poop where they eat, so 80% of the poop is right behind the hay. I roll the paper up and throw away and line again. I do this once a day or more often as needed. Its really quick and the stray poops on the rest of the fleece get vacuumed morning and evening. For the hair issue, I shake the fleece outside against a tree really hard and most comes off. I also got super sticky tape on Amazon and that takes care of the rest. I regular lint roller did not work for me but that tape is amazing.

deb lyons on November 27, 2016:

do the pigs not chew up the fleece and swallow it?

Jessie Miller (author) from Buffalo, NY on November 01, 2016:

I don't really think it would help much, to be honest.

Jessie Miller (author) from Buffalo, NY on November 01, 2016:

It really is amazing, isn't it? Thank you for your kind comment!

Jessie Miller (author) from Buffalo, NY on November 01, 2016:

Isn't it magical?! I can't believe I had gone years without ever hearing about it before! I agree, I think they are happier too :)

PipPiphooray on October 27, 2016:

I have a couple of questions about sented shavings for guinea pigs. In my class we have two guinea pigs. The problem with them is they stink up the side of the classroom there 0n. My teacher wants to change their shavings to sented shavings. Do you think it is guinea pig safe?

Jackie on October 24, 2016:

I just recently adopted 4 guinea pigs, 2 males in one cage and 2 females in another. The cages they came in are so small (like 16" by 28" or something, so I'm saving up to get a couple c&c ones. They had wood shavings in them, but I read that was bad, so I switched to hay. Well that was a mess. I went and bought a fleece nightgown from a second hand store, and washed it a few times. I cut it up, and it was enough to line both cages (with towels underneath)...I also used the sleeves and cut strips and made hanging toys for them, and also had enough strips left over to make a little fleece 'ball' for them to drag around. I tested the fleece by pouring a little water on it on top of a towel, and was so surprised at how it seeped right in, and when it got to the towel, the fleece felt dry in that area. I had no idea!! Now just a sweep or two each day before feedings to pick up poop pellets in between washings.

PipPipHooray on October 22, 2016:

I agree that using fleece bedding is much better than wood shavings(way easier to clean cage). I sadly do not have my own pet guinea pig but I have had some practice with the pigs in my class.

Rebecca on August 16, 2016:

After adopting two guinea pigs, I really thought it would be easier and more sanitary to use disposable bedding. I quickly realized that I didn't like the smell and also felt bad that they were just walking around in their poo and pee. I started researching fleece bedding. Your site was so helpful! I immediately switched to fleece on top and towel underneath. I know it sounds silly, but I swear my guinea's are happier. There is no smell, I can wash as often as I want, it's soft and cozy and it's all reusable.

Jessie Miller (author) from Buffalo, NY on May 29, 2016:

I used to keep a separate "kitchen" area that would be a small litter box filled with yesterdays news. That's where their water bottle, food dish, and hay went. I helped keep the hay away from the fleece while still giving the pigs full access to it whenever they wanted ^_^

Secret person on May 26, 2016:

Anybody know where to get fleece?

Lindsey Whitney on May 16, 2016:

Thanks so much for sharing. I make and sell fleece liners and people often ask me questions about getting started. This is a great article to direct them to! (Find my at Etsy -- Fill Our Days with Fun).

mrspatwolf on May 10, 2016:

I tried fleece, once, and the timothy hay sticking to it drove me bonkers. Now I'm back to trying other forms of bedding. Any tricks or suggestions to conquer the hay sticking to it?

RoAnne on March 18, 2016:

What kind of fleece should I buy? I tried this a while ago and washed and dried the fleece several times just like the instructions said, no fabric softener and the liquid still pooled on top. Thanks!

crashbarry on June 02, 2015:

ok thank you, and never mind about the second-story. i saw in your other hubs how to do it. :)

Jessie Miller (author) from Buffalo, NY on May 31, 2015:

I always just washed them, if you change the bedding regularly it shouldn't be a problem. I would go 2 week with 2 boars sharing a cage and the towels would never be soaked you could wring them out.

crashbarry on May 30, 2015:

hi again. i want to make a second-story platform in my C&C cage. how would i go about that? thanks and i love your hubs!!!

crashbarry on May 30, 2015:

this is awesome and i have to try it, but what do you do with two pee-soaked towels? wringing them out would be kind of gross, and you can't exactly wash them, not filled with pee like that. how do you go about that? thanks!!

Jessie Miller (author) from Buffalo, NY on November 10, 2014:

So sorry I missed this comment! That's actually not in my are of expertise because I've only owned males, but if you visit guineapigcages.com there's a great forum where you can find an answer to any question under the sun! Best of luck with your new friends! :)

Alaina on October 17, 2014:

I was just given two albino "cavies". I hadn't the first clue as to how I needed to care for them, and I too am a clean freak! So Google led me to your site and thank you for it!! I have a male and female in a way too small cage. The previous owner was trying to breed them....oh gosh. I don't think she's pregnant but how would I tell?

Jessie Miller (author) from Buffalo, NY on September 21, 2014:

The first fleece that I bought for my pigs was actually from Walmart! Some work better than others, and I think the fleece that is actually on the thinner side and is usually less expensive works better anyway :)

lily&rose on September 21, 2014:

Hi, just wondering if any fleece fabric from Walmart or something would work for the fleece flippers.

Johne346 on August 01, 2014:

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Jessie Miller (author) from Buffalo, NY on August 07, 2013:

:o) No problem!

zach2011d on August 06, 2013:

A big help! Thank you so much! Onward to happier piggies! :D

Jessie Miller (author) from Buffalo, NY on August 06, 2013:

I'll try to just answer all of your questions straight out:

1) When you empty the litter box, depending on how often you're emptying it sometimes there will be some stuck to the bottom so what I do is wipe it down with a mix of white vinegar and water that I have made ready in a spray bottle, or really anything that won't harm the piggies will be fine.

2) Yesterday's news can be found really anywhere, I've seen it in both PetSmart and Petco, I've also seen it in Target.

3) It is totally fine to wash your fleece and towels all together, and I wouldn't wash them with your clothes because they will be pretty gross by the time you're ready to wash them, sometimes you might forget a poo here or there that will end up on the bottom of the washer and I wouldn't want my clothes mixing with that! haha, I normally put the dirty piggy laundry in a garbage bag and then wash it by itself with the washer set to a small load. Remember, no fabric softener!

Hope this helps, any other questions feel free to ask! And good luck! :)

zach2011d on August 06, 2013:

I have a couple of questions for the whole fleece bedding. I plan to start that here soon. For the litter box idea, since your putting Yesterday's News bedding in there, once you empty it, is there really any further cleaning that need be done with the litter box? Also, where do you find type of bedding?

My other question is with regards to washing the fleece and towels. Can you wash the fleece and towels together? And further than that, would it be alright to wash them in the washer with other articles of clothing? Or should you just have your own little guinea pig towel and fleece laundry day? Hahah

Jessie Miller (author) from Buffalo, NY on July 31, 2013:

ooh I have a feeling it will be too! :D

ashley on July 31, 2013:

Thanks! Definitely going to have to check into that. Discovered both piggies love to cuddle in blankets so hopefully fleece will be a great option.

Jessie Miller (author) from Buffalo, NY on July 31, 2013:

I use the cat litter box, just the bottom portion which can be sold separately. They actually come in lots of different sizes. Mine takes up almost 1/4 of the cage but it works great because the pigs have just enough room to both comfortably eat, and this way they don't get food all over the rest of the cage. It's also nice because you can point the water bottle there as well so if your water bottle leaks at all it won't make the fleece wet. I would visit a pet store or a walmart and check out the different litter pans they have. You might even get away with just using one of those mats that are meant for putting underneath dog and cat bowls to catch the water, they're just a shallow rubber mat.

Hope this helps, oh and a great type of bedding to put inside the litter pan is called yesterdays news. It's made out of recycled paper so it wont harm the piggies, and it doesn't create any dust to get caught in their nose. It's also great because it's rather heavy so it's harder for the pigs to kick it up and make a mess.

ashley on July 30, 2013:

Over the last six months I've taken two guinea pigs from people who no longer want them. Right now I'm in the quarantine period before introducing them. The pig I recently adopted came with a c&c cage with wood shavings as bedding. I'm thinking about switching to fleece since I usually use carefresh but for two pigs It would get too pricy. My question is how is the food arranged in a fleece lined bed? I keep reading a litter box but if it's a regular cat litter box wouldn't that be too high? I'm quite confused. Please help.

Jessie Miller (author) from Buffalo, NY on July 08, 2013:

The fleece won't make your piggy any more hot than shavings would, but I would definitely do something about the heat in your house because guinea pigs are very sensitive to temperatures. The fan is fine, but there are some things you can do in addition to help keep your guinea pig cool. Look up online for ideas for how to do so, I know a couple of ideas are wrapping a frozen water bottle in a towel and putting it in the cage for your pig to rest up against, or finding something cool and flat like a slab of brick for the pig to lay on. You could probably put the slab of whatever you find in the fridge from time to time to keep it extra cold before putting it in the cage. And make sure he/she has lots of water :o)

adriana on July 08, 2013:

will the fleece make or keep my guinea pig hot in the summer. I live in vegas and we recently had a heat wave, the temp. reached 117. I thought he might be hot so i turned the fan on. is a ceiling fan bad for guinea pigs on a low speed?

Jessie Miller (author) from Buffalo, NY on June 07, 2013:

Hi there! I don't see why not :)

Ellee on June 02, 2013:

Hi, I am going to build a c & c cage but I was wondering, can I put tile underneath the fleece? Would it still work? Thanks. Ellee

Kate on August 14, 2012:

You were smart on using a kleanex box for a hay holder.

Jessie Miller (author) from Buffalo, NY on June 22, 2012:

Lots of patience, slow movements, soothing calm voices, and treats :)

Love guinea pig on June 21, 2012:

Hey i had a quick question.

Actually my guinea pig they don't get along with me when ever I try to pick them up they just run away or get scared, they don't squeak either so I just wanted to what's the best thing to make them feel open around me.

Thank you

Jessie Miller (author) from Buffalo, NY on April 06, 2012:

Don't worry, there are tons of places to buy fleece! You can go to a craft or sewing store, such as JoAnn fabrics, Michaels, AC Moore, etc. You can also go to Walmart, as some of them still have fabric sections. I have also provided some links above to Amazon.com, where you can buy your fleece online. Buying online is neat because there are tons of options, and Amazon offers free shipping on orders of $25 or more on certain products. Please let me know if you have any more questions!

mcvey8 on April 06, 2012:

i don't know where to get the fleece please help i need to know

Honey bunny on April 02, 2012:

Well Cool my guinea pig loves it it's amazing

Jessie Miller (author) from Buffalo, NY on January 18, 2012:

Check your area for sign shops, that's where most people get their coroplast. If you're having trouble, find a small business that might use it, or a school, and ask them who makes their signs and that should point you in the right direction. When I bought mine, I just typed "sign shop near *****(my zip code)", and the first one that popped up was literally right down the street from where I lived. Went there, asked the guy if I could just have a sheet of coroplast, and drove home with it in my drunk within 10 min.

luke on January 17, 2012:

i cant find cloroplasat!!

Jessie Miller (author) from Buffalo, NY on January 17, 2012:

It's impossible to find a solution that will prevent a guinea pig from ever smelling. When done properly, fleece should not smell any worse than wood shavings. In many cases, people found that it smelled less, but if it doesn't smell less, it's still cleaner than using shavings because your guinea pig isn't laying around in his own waste all day.

One thing that helps a lot in my cage is to have a couple cat litter pans filled with yesterday's news in corners of the cage. Guinea pigs generally choose to use corners to do their business, but the majority of it is done where they eat. If you put a good sized litter pan in the cage, fill it with about 1 1/2 inches of yesterdays news, and put your pig's food bowl inside with its water bottle, you'll notice that your pig will make use of it. This should reduce the amount of urine that will be throughout the rest of the cage, and should help keep the small down. It makes it easier than using shavings because rather than have to scrub and refill a huge cage, you just have to empty and refill a small bin.

Other than that make sure you spot clean often, and change your fleece often. You might even want to start changing your fleece at least once a week or more. All pigs are different so you'll have to do some figuring out to find a way that keeps the smell at its minimum. I have two male guinea pigs (a recipe for odor), and I can usually go a week before I start to notice any odors, but I sweep their poop every day so it keeps it as clean as possible.

Hope this helped, and I hope everything works out for you!

Sean on January 16, 2012:

I tried it for my guinea pig. He isn't potty trained, so it stunk. Is there another way?

Jessie Miller (author) from Buffalo, NY on January 16, 2012:

Definitely. Most store-bought cages are too small even just for one guinea pig unfortunately. I've found that using fleece in a C&C cage is easiest, and your pig will definitely be happy with all the extra room! For one guinea pig I believe the smallest size recommended is a 2 x 3 C&C cage. One yard of fleece will be more than plenty for that size, and you can cut off the excess to use for blankets, make pillows, tents, etc.

I made an article specifically for C&C cages that gives you an easy step-by-step process with pictures from when I built my own. That should have any information you'll need, and if you have more questions feel free to ask away! Here is the url for my C&C cage site:

https://pethelpful.com/rodents/how-to-build-a-CC-c...

Since I have two male cagemates my cage had to be at least 2x4, so the tutorial shows how to make a 2 x 4 cage, but all you have to do is follow it the same way but make 2 x 3 instead if you wanted a smaller one.

I hope it all works out well, your piggy is going to be so happy!

Tally on January 16, 2012:

So a while ago i bought a young and small guinea pig but now that i think she is fully grown, i want to get a bigger cage. i was hopeing for an inexpensive cage. Would a C & C cage be a good idea with fleece bedding? (i've been using a store bought cage and only have 1 piggy)

Jessie Miller (author) from Buffalo, NY on January 16, 2012:

Great! Glad I could help Sam. Yes as long as you keep up with it, there's no reason why it would smell worse than shavings. The difference is that if you're using fleece and being good about spot cleaning, your piggy won't have to live in it's own waste, so not only will your cage look cleaner, but your pig will be cleaner as well.

sam on January 15, 2012:

Well I will defenitly try it! Thanks!

Jessie Miller (author) from Buffalo, NY on January 14, 2012:

It shouldn't smell if done correctly. I have two boars and they don't smell at all until it's time to change the fleece. I switch out my fleece once every 1-2 weeks.

sam on January 14, 2012:

Are you shure it won't stink?

Jessie Miller (author) from Buffalo, NY on January 14, 2012:

Try to think of some other ways to keep the fleece down. It might be chewing because the fleece is so readily available above the pig's head. Sometimes when my pigs are chewing something they aren't supposed to, I just do something to change where it is or how it looks and they completely forget about it lol. Here are a few things you could try:

1. Instead of pinning the fleece up to the top edge of the coroplast, fold it under itself so that no edges are visible but it makes more of like a mattress pad.

2. If they still pull the edges up binder clip the fleece to itself around the edges to hold it in place.

3. If they still somehow pull it up, take a sheet of something like extra coroplast or cardboard, just a tad smaller than the dimensions of the bottom of the cage, and pin the fleece around the cardboard before laying it back down. This will make it even harder to pull up, and it looks really nice and tidy too.

4. If folding the fleece under is helping but they're still chewing binder clips, use bricks in the corners of the cage to hold the fleece down.

I'll try to think of some more ideas. Make sure your pig has plenty of hay to chew on. Put another bin of hay somewhere around the cage, and it might keep the pig busy enough to start ignoring the fleece.

Lauren on January 13, 2012:

the top of the coroplast

Jessie Miller (author) from Buffalo, NY on January 12, 2012:

Do you binder clip the fleece to something on the very bottom of the cage or do you binder clip the fleece to the top edge of the coroplast?

Lauren84 on January 11, 2012:

i have used fleece ever since i brough mine home and it is wonderful and every thing i never had any problems with is and i never really washed it before putting it in the cage but it works good, but my problem is all the fabric that is in my cage (plus cuddle cup i made with fleece) he keeps chewing on and it scares me like every thing he chews scares me but is it okay if he chews on it?Also i have binder clips that hold mine up and he will chew them and it makes a loud shreaking/ nails on a chalkboard sound that makes me cring/wanna scream and do you have any idea how i could stop him or fix it (he has many things to chew on idk y he chooses those?

Jessie Miller (author) from Buffalo, NY on January 11, 2012:

Hi kd1110, I think that sounds like a great idea. I've known people who have made "mattresses" for the bottom of their cage, so that all they have to do is take the whole thing and throw it in the wash and they don't have to worry about having layers of this and that. I want to say they used something similar to what you're talking about, something like a feather mattress top of sorts. It also made the cage much cleaner-looking from what I've seen.

I have never used a vacuum to clean up droppings so I couldn't really tell you what kind. I know some people do use vaccuums though. A dustbuster would probably work, I imagine something with a medium to low suction that wouldn't just eat the entire fleece blanket. I use a small dustpan and handbroom, and it seems to do the trick. A lot of people love using a vacuum, but I've always worried that my pigs would get the daylights scared out of them every time I spot cleaned the cage, which is usually at least once a day.

Hope I helped, glad you've made the switch to fleece! Shavings are a pain, I can't believe I went years without even knowing the fleece method existed!

kd1110 on January 10, 2012:

Hi--you mention having a small vacuum to clean up droppings--silly question but what kind? I am just imagining a vacuum making a mess of things and being difficult to clean out but thinking the dust buster types without rollers may just suck up the mess and not make a mess.

I am currently washing and drying fleece for my son's two baby guinea pigs--after just 48 hours in the house I am already so done with the aspen shavings and shredded bedding material and even with trying to pick up the droppings, the floor of the cage looks filthy. I got a decent price on very nice printed fleece at Joann's--in the section with fleece blanket kits, which are on sale, and each kit comes with two large sheets of coordinating fleece. I can't wait to get it in place. I am thinking of making a bottom layer using a waterproof crib pad just to catch anything that the middle layer of towels doesn't absorb and keep the coroplast floor totally dry--any thoughts? Joann's also had waterproof PUL fabric but it is expensive, and would definitely need to be sewn to another layer to keep it from shifting (it is thin). The crib pads are fleecy on the outside with a plastic layer in the middle and have some weight to them, they don't' shift around on the bed.

Jessie Miller (author) from Buffalo, NY on January 09, 2012:

Use a lint roller to get the excess fur off before washing, should help quite a bit.

Some Dude on January 08, 2012:

My guinea pig sheds a lot. It gets all over the fleece. What should I do? =(

Jessie Miller (author) from Buffalo, NY on January 05, 2012:

Okay glad I could help. If this article helped I have another one on how to build a C&C cage that you might find useful.

https://pethelpful.com/rodents/how-to-build-a-CC-c...

Good luck with your pigs, they'll be so happy!

Nicole on January 05, 2012:

Thanks. Will do. I've got to go there for C&C cage info anyway.

Jessie Miller (author) from Buffalo, NY on January 05, 2012:

yes, I was so thrilled to have a half bale of it for free! It lasted me literally 2 years, and now that I am finally running out I have to buy some myself. A lot of people buy hay online, as you can get more hay for less $$. A site I've heard about a lot is kleenmama's hayloft, that seems to be a popular go-to site. I'll be doing some research on hay prices before I buy to find the best deals but I will probably opt to buy online.

Guinea pigs need as much hay as possible, you should always have hay in their cage and try not to let it run out, so unfortunately you'll be looking into a lot of hay. Thankfully those little bags actually last longer than you'd expect, I had to buy one at one point because I left my hay when I traveled and brought my pigs with me.

Check out a site called guineapigcages.com, I go there often for any pig questions I have. It has a forum filled with cavy crazed people, and I can guarantee you'll find hundreds of topics just on hay alone, best places to buy hay, best brands to buy, and different types you can give to your piggies. I'll definitely be checking out that site before I do any hay shopping :)

Nicole on January 05, 2012:

Thanks for the info about the cost. That really helps a lot. How much hay do they generally eat a day/a week/a month? I ask only because I know the Timothy Hay I've seen runs about $7 a bag for a bag about the size of a big loaf of bread.

Jessie Miller (author) from Buffalo, NY on January 05, 2012:

Great question Nicole, I actually own two pigs myself. It all depends on how expensive your food/hay/litter is. What I've noticed is that I spend most often on a litter called yesterday's news (I have a kitchen area in a cat litter pan in one of the corners of my cage, it really helps to cut down on excess waste and smells because they do most of their business where they eat).

Yesterday's news will sell at a pet store for around $8-9 for a small bag, and it goes higher as the bag gets bigger. A bag will usually last me a month, sometimes a little longer depending on how sparing I am with it.

Food lasts me longer, probably 2 months, I don't remember the last time I bought food. If you get cavy cuisine it is around $15 a bag, but there are all different prices of food, as cavy cuisine is a great kind, it is also pricey.

Hay I'm unsure of how expensive it is because I haven't had to buy any yet (I got free hay from a trusted local farmer).

I was say in all a rough estimate would be between $10 and $30 per month, $30 is really pushing it though, that would be if you weren't being resourceful and over filled your food bowls, etc. I would say $20 would be the most likely, and oviously some months you'll spend more than others depending on when your stuff runs out.

Generally guinea pigs are a very inexpensive pet. If you didn't have a litter pan in your cage that cuts out another $10 from your purchases. If you found a great deal on timothy hay that makes it all the better.

Hope this helps! I didn't spend a cent on my pigs all December, but I have just ran out of yesterday's news so this month I will be spending around $15 for a big bag of litter to last me longer.

Nicole on January 04, 2012:

Using fleece, how much should I expect to spend total to take care of two guinea pigs per month.

Jessie Miller (author) from Buffalo, NY on January 02, 2012:

I suppose your bathtub would do the trick. You'd handwash fleece the same way you would handwash clothing, just be sure to shake it out good before washing it.

Some dude on January 01, 2012:

How can you wash fleece without a washing mashine?

Guinea pigs ftw on December 27, 2011:

Okay, thank you, I am going to walmart tomorrow so i will show my dad :)

Jessie Miller (author) from Buffalo, NY on December 27, 2011:

There isn't a lot I can do for you here unfortunately, I would just keep stressing that you will wash it every time and that it will end up being less expensive in the long run (not to mention less wasteful). Tell them you can get plain yards of fleece for literally $2 at walmart, and unlike the plain paper you won't have to keep running to get more. You can get 2 separate yards of fleece and it will last years if you need it to. I hope your parents will come around, it's just a matter of them learning to trust you I guess :/ Good Luck and I hope this helps a little at least!

Guinea pigs ftw on December 27, 2011:

hi, i hav one pig, and i use just plain paper on the bottom, as the bedding is very exspensive in my area (i don't know why) and when ever i go to the US (every weekend) i go to walmart and i see fleece and beg my dad to get some but he says ask your mom and she says no, i hav told her all the benefits of it and she says my dad will have to wash it all the time, now wat?

Jessie Miller (author) from Buffalo, NY on December 26, 2011:

I really don't think you'll have to worry too much about smell with just one pig, but I think one thing that helps reduce the odor in my cage is that I have a cat litter box filled with yesterday's news (a brand of cat litter made from recycled paper). The guinea pigs' kitchen is in the cat litter box, so most of their business is done in there. If you don't have one I would highly recommend it.

Try out your cage the way it is and if you don't notice any smelliness than you should be good but I wouldn't worry about finding a solution to odor before you're even sure there will be a lot of odor.

Congrats on your new piggy!

Nandi on December 25, 2011:

I was just wondering how would you control the smell when using fleece bedding. I am getting my first guinea pig tomorrow! I have had to cut my fleece in half because it is too big for the cage. I have heard about putting baking soda underneath of the second layer (I'm using a waterproof mattress pad) would this work?

Jessie Miller (author) from Buffalo, NY on December 19, 2011:

Glad to help :) Good luck with everything!

misslia on December 18, 2011:

im new and your suggestions help a lot. thanks.

Jessie Miller (author) from Buffalo, NY on December 02, 2011:

Yes, it's definitely not a very common thing for pigs to chew fleece, neither of mine do and I don't read about that happening a lot. I'm sure your pig will be fine, if you're worried just make sure to tuck the fleece underneath so that there aren't any free ends for it to access easily.

My pigs are more interested in towels than fleece, and even then they only chew it out of curiosity like once a year haha.

Milly on December 02, 2011:

Hiya, I am getting a Guinea pig soon and I really liked the idea of using fleece but my friend told me that her Guinea Pig had started to chew her fleece, or is her Guinea Pig just a bit different???