Can Guinea Pigs be Litter Trained? 5 Steps To Adopt For Instant Success
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It’s not unusual for new guinea pig owners to ask themselves Can Guinea Pigs be Litter Trained? It’s actually very surprising to learn that most guinea pigs can be litter trained.
In this short article, we’ll explore 6 ways to little train your guinea pig so you can have a happier, healthier, and more hygienic cavy!
Remember most guinea pigs can be trained to use a litterbox, but not in the same way that a cat or rabbit can train.
Related: Best Guinea Pig Cages
Can Guinea Pigs be Litter Trained?
5 Steps to Train Your Guinea Pigs to Use the Litter
1. Identify Their Toilet Areas
While guinea pigs tend to go to the bathroom everywhere, there is usually a corner or place that they will tend to use because they feel safer. Depending on how many guinea pigs you have, there might be multiple spots.
2. Choose Your Litter Box
Pet stores will sell small animal litter trays, usually in a triangular shape to fit in a corner of a cage, but they are not the best choice for your guinea pigs. Their feet are sensitive and will tend to go next to these trays or change corners all together.
A litter box that is sold for a cat can be suitable, as long as the sides are not too tall, or the guinea pigs will not be motivated to get in.
Another good option is a plastic storage container, as they come in a variety of shapes and can usually be purchased for a dollar or two.
Cardboard boxes are a good option if your guinea pigs have a strong need to chew. The negative side of these litter boxes is that it will be a continual cost as you replace them as they become soiled. On the positive side, this litterbox is the easiest to customize, and you will not need to worry about cleaning out the box as often or needing to clean them. Cardboard litter boxes are easier to provide multiple of, which may be wanted, especially during training.
3. Find Your Litter
When choosing a litter, you want one that is highly absorbent but will not provide a choking hazard. Cat litter or other clay litters are not safe for guinea pigs, as they can cause air pathway blockages or digestive blockages. Cedarwood, corn cob and un-kiln-dried-pine wood are also not safe options, or anything scented.
Paper bedding, aspen bedding, kiln-dried pine bedding, and bedding made from recycled newspapers are all good options. You can also use their hay for litter, as it will attract the guinea pigs, but will raise the cost for care.
You will only require two to three inches of litter in their litter pan.
4. Set Up Your Litter Box
Your main litter box should be placed beneath their hay tray. If you are using paper or wood bedding for the rest of the cage, try to provide enough bedding so the edge of the litter pan is camouflaged in the bedding.
For fleece bedding, you may need to alter the litter boxes to be lower, so it is easier for them to get in. When you first place the litterbox in the cage it will get moved around, and you should check in regularly until they adapt to the new accessory and where it needs to be.
Smaller litter boxes can be placed in the toilet locations you found before in the cage. If they change to another corner, it will be easier to place another small litter box there. Eventually, they should grow to understand what the litterboxes are for, remove ones that are not used, and be willing to use the litterbox for floor time.
5. Keeping it Clean
Try to clean out the dirty portions of the litterbox either daily or semi-daily. Cardboard litterboxes will need to be tossed monthly if they mainly used for solid waste, or bi-weekly for both forms of waste.
For plastic base litterboxes, you will need to clean and disinfect them monthly.
So, can guinea pigs be litter trained? Somewhat. A guinea pig that is litter trained will not always use a litterbox, especially when dealing with solid waste, but should prevent you needed to clean and replace the entire bedding as often.
Giving them a treat for using the litterbox should help motivate them to use it, but never punish them as guinea pigs do not understand scolding or punishment.
Hi, my name is Ayana! I am an Algonquin College Professional Writing graduate. When I am not writing I’m spending time with either my cat, three guinea pigs, beta fish, or a foster hamster.