Guinea pigs are smart and fluffy pets that provide owners a whole lot of unrestricted love and ridiculous amount of feces. As a guinea pig owner you may be facing this issue and considering this as a downside of guinea pigs. But there is a solution to this. You can make things easier by training your pet to use a guinea pig litter box. This will reduce the amount of droppings guinea pigs leave for you to clean around the guinea pig’s cage. The main thing you need to have is patience and you also need enough time and treats to make this attempt to be a success. It will take some time but eventually they will pick up the trick.
The Advantages of Guinea Pig Litter Training
There are several benefits of training your cavy to use a litter box.
- Less time to clean the pet’s cage- teaching your pig to poop in a litter tray or litter box will save your time as you need to spend less time cleaning it. Also it will make things easy for you.
- A tidy cage- the most noticeable advantage is you will have a nice and cleaner guinea pig cage that doesn’t have bad odors.
- Save your money- when you train your guinea pig to poop in a specific area you don’t need to change guinea pig bedding too often and that will save your money.
- Sanitation- most guinea pig owners use fleece bedding and paper bedding and the droppings can make them dirty in no time. Wet and dirty bedding can make your pet sick so training them to use litter tray or litter box will stop the spread of germs around bedding.
How to Choose a Proper Litter Box
Guinea pigs are small creatures and they have small legs. So when you choose a litter box choose a box with low entry way. The idea is if your cavy can’t get into the box it won’t use it. So a clear path is a must. The popular cat litter boxes and rabbit pans are way too high for cavies so do not use them for your pet. If you are considering ferret litter boxes, that can be a good choice as they consist a low entrance to the box.
If you are trying to purchase a litter box on internet you would make a wrong decision as the photos can be misleading. Even though the photo shows a low entrance to the box, actual entrance could be too high for your furry friend.
You can also try making a litter box by yourself. Here your skills and imaginations can come in handy and you never know you could end up making a better one than you purchase from outside. The easiest litter box is not really a box, it’s a paper sack twisted on its side with few layers of paper towels placed inside and some hay kept at the back.
If you use a paper bag as litter box it will be very easy for you to clean it and guinea pigs will receive the privacy they prefer. When cleaning you can simply toss the soiled litter and replace the bag and or you can recycle if pet waste recycling is available in your neighborhood.
For a durable litter box, you can purchase a rigid plastic dish pan and prepare an entrance in it. You can do this by cutting a corner of the pan or cutting a low entrance in short end of the pan. You can do it by using a high speed cutting tool and if you don’t have one, hacksaw will also do the job for you. After you cut the pan there could be rough edges that can harm your pet so smooth them using a sand paper.
Another good idea is to use a rigid plastic storage box which has a lid. Make an entrance as you did with the dish pan then close the lid and your guinea pig toilet area is ready. This storage box makes an exceptional litter box as guinea pigs like to their thing in a personal dark corner.
If you are making a litter pan you can simply make it personal by placing a towel on top like a draper and make safe the towel with binder clips.
Simple 5 Step Method for Guinea Pig Litter Training
1st step– Monitor your pig and realize where your cavy likes to urinate
As you are aware guinea pigs always watch out for their predators as they are very vulnerable. They don’t want their predators to know where they are so they will be very watchful when they pee. If the cage has any shelter they will choose that place to do their task. These are very natural behaviors as guinea pigs do not want the attractions of their predators.
2nd step– Setting up the litter box
Choose the right spot and place the litter box and corner litter box could do the trick. Then place the bedding in it and use different bedding than you have used in the rest of the cage. This would make the training more practical as guinea pigs can feel a difference. Paper bedding or special bedding is recommended to place inside the litter box.
You need to keep some food in the exact dark area you hope to use. The reason is guinea pigs love to poop near their eating places. When you complete all these requirements you are done with the ideal setting for your pet to litter.
3rd step– Reward your pet with treats
In puppy or dog training or even in overall you can say all domestic pet training, the key is to reward your pet when they behave the way you want them to behave. Guinea pigs are no different as they will do anything for a sweet treat. So give them a treat when they pee in the litter box.
4th step– Make an effort to train outside the guinea pig cage
Training your pig to use the litter box in the guinea pig cage would be difficult at the beginning as they need to pee every 15 minutes. Monitor your pet’s behavior and identify its need to urinate. If you piggy is wriggling or backing up, it’s a sign that your pet needs to pee. If you think that your guinea pig is up for the task pick up your pet quickly and set your pet in the litter box. When your cavy is done give him a treat as an appreciation. Repeat the same for few days and your guinea pig will learn to use the litter box every time.
5th step– Have patience, don’t be too harsh to your guinea pig
Never blame or get angry if your pet fails to use the litter box. Blaming will only stress your guinea pig and if you scold he or she won’t be able to understand the reason for blame. Also blaming would not encourage your pig to use the litter box.
👉 Important: Always avoid physical abuse or any other kinds of punishments.
Guinea Pig Litter Training Tips
Remove bad odors from the litter box
Your pig will not like do its task in a dirty place so make sure you don’t give any chance to your pet to avoid the litter area. Maintain the cleanliness of the litter box to the maximum. You can also add an extra dry bedding layer so your small pet will have a decent surrounding to perform its task.
Keep the potty area unchanged
When your guinea pig gets use to a specific potty area, do not make sudden changes to potty area. If you change its familiar environment too soon your pet will confuse and all your potty training could go in vain.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
How Much Do Guinea Pigs Poop?
Usually cavies poop a lot. As a guinea pig owner if you are a new comer to the rodent world, first you will be surprised by seeing how many droppings guinea pigs leave a day. One cavy could leave as many as 100 droppings a day and if you have few, well you know the calculation. This simply means you need to clean the cage several times a day.
Can Older Guinea Pigs Be Litter Trained?
Potty train on older or adult guinea pig can be tricky as it would take a little longer. If you are training your guinea pig to use a litter box, use the same bedding material as you used for the cage. Also using of the slightly soiled bedding will make your training easy as the bedding would encourage the guinea pig to do its thing.
Is It Necessary To Keep Litter Boxes Clean?
Yes, you should keep the litter box clean otherwise your pets won’t use it. Cage cleaning depends on the number of guinea pigs you have, how often they use the potty area and the number of litter areas you have provided to your pets.
Never stress your cavy to use the litter box and make it a fun activity. You will have to use many treats during the training period and you need to maintain a positive attitude to train guinea pigs.
You may be planning or looking forward to train you piggy, if so you can use our simple tips. We hope this article will guide you along with your journey on training your pet to use a litter box.
Hello, my name is James and I’ve been caring for tiny pets for over 14 years with a passion. I enjoy passing on my expertise to other individuals in order for them to have the same amount of enjoyment as I do.