Every guinea pig owner wants to litter train a guinea pig. Guinea pigs urinate and eliminate every few minutes. Thus, if a guinea pig is not litter trained, they will be peeing in all the corners of your home.
It gets tough to spend some floortime with them without cleaning a lot. But how do you litter train a guinea pig?
Guinea pigs are hygienic, and they have a particular spot in their cage for urination. Put a tray to that location, filled with soiled hay. As guinea pigs have a good sense of smell, they will follow the scent and pass it at that spot.
Litter training is not an overnight process; litter training requires time and patience.
Some guinea pigs misunderstand the litter tray as their bed, and others dig at it always.
You should make sure that the tray must be of the right size and shape, and the litter should be safe.
In this guide, we will discuss every minute details regarding litter training your guinea pig.
Right from the best litter choice to process and tips to follow, we have everything covered. Make sure you don’t miss out on anything.
Can you litter box train a guinea pig?
Yes, you can Litter Box train a guinea pig. But you will have to give your time and patience as this is not an easy process.
Guinea pigs are smart creatures and they will learn it with time. Although you must remember that every guinea pig is different and have different capability. There is a possibility that your guinea pig might not get trained.
However, with most guinea pigs, if you give your time and patience in training your guinea pig, you will be successful.
Is it hard to litter train a guinea pig?
No, it is not hard to train your guinea pigs if you do it properly. You will have to remember that it is not an overnight process.
Litter train is a long process that can be done if you give your time and patience.
What is the best litter tray for my guinea pig?
Before you begin to litter train your guinea pigs, you will need to select the appropriate equipment. Litter tray itself is an essential item.
What size you are picking up is crucial. If the tray you select is too small, your guinea pig will not like to use it.
The litter tray should be big enough to hold your guinea pig and hay comfortably. Guinea pigs enjoy eating when they are urinating.
The average size of a guinea pig can be comfortable with the litter tray that measures 12 x 10. If you have a long-haired breed of guinea pig, this must be taken into consideration.
It would help if you always thought about the height of the litter tray before purchasing it. If it is too low, the urine will dive down the guinea pig’s leg and lead to scalding.
But there are always exceptions, in the case the exception is the guinea pigs with mobility issues.
Older guinea pigs might face a lot of problems to reach the height to poop in their tray. If this is the case with your guinea pig, select a litter tray with one low side.
You may find that the guinea-pig specific litter tray does not meet these criteria. In such a case, you can use storage crates and plastic bowls that make an appropriate litter tray for our guinea pigs.
What is the best litter for guinea pigs?
As soon as you get the appropriate litter tray for your guinea pigs, the next process is to choose the best litter for our guinea pigs.
You cannot rush into the decision. Before taking your choice, you should consider these factors into consideration.
- Your guinea pig will try to nibble and eat the litter out of excitement.
- Your guinea pig will spend most of the time in the litter tray.
- Guinea pig’s urine smells exceptionally potent.
That concludes that you will require a litter that is edible, comfortable, and have qualities of masking smells.
- Please do not use any litter that is made from pine or cheddar shavings as these products can damage the liver of our guinea pigs.
- Please stay away from a clay-based litter as this can lead to respiratory issues in our guinea pigs.
Paper bedding, aspen bedding, etc are some safe products that can be used for guinea pigs litter.
Your guinea pig can fall sick if they overeats any of these products.
Some of the guinea pig owners bypass litter and fill the litter tray with only hay.
If you try to do this, put a layer of newspaper beneath to absorb the urine. Just make sure that the paper used is safe for your guinea pigs.
But we will suggest you use urine pads and put guinea pigs litter in the tray as it is more beneficial for our guinea pigs.
You should clean the litter tray of guinea pigs daily because your guinea pigs like to poop when they eat hay.
Can cat litter be used for guinea pigs?
No, we will advise you not to use cat litter for your guinea pig as it can be very harmful to our guinea pigs.
As if they eat this litter, it can lead to blockage in the stomach. Thus it can further lead to significant health issues.
Many cat litters contain clay, which is very harmful to our guinea pigs.
Guinea pigs have a sensitive respiratory system, and clay litters produce dust clouds into the air, causing extreme harm to their lungs.
Instead of going for the cat litter, you can purchase special guinea pig- centric products.
How much litter should I put in the tray?
Guinea pig’s litter tray must be filled in a balancing manner. If you fill it excessively, they will have to struggle to identify between the tray and their general area. And if you fill it with too little, then they might feel uncomfortable.
So you can begin with around 1 inch of litter and see your guinea pig’s reaction.
You should also put some fresh hay for them to eat while they poop. If you discover that your guinea pig is unsatisfied with their litter tray, add a little more litter, which should be around half an inch at a time.
It is also essential to include some lightly soiled litter or hay in the beginning. Your guinea pig will get attracted to its smell. Guinea pigs will always choose to be eliminated in a familiar location if it is available.
Time and patience play an important role in such a case as it is not an overnight process. You will have to execute the trial and error method. Once your guinea pigs adopt the routine, maintain consistency.
How do you train a guinea pig to use a litter box?
When you are all set to train your guinea pig, the most important thing you will require is time and patience.
You will have to notice your guinea pigs for several hours, so hold on until this is an option.
The process of litter training your guinea pigs are as follows:
- Keep an eye on your guinea pig and find out where they are urinating. You will discover that they are peeing in the same place every time.
- Once you understand your guinea pig’s elimination schedule, remove them for their cage and clean it properly. Their pen must smell normal.
- Hold a small piece of urine-soaked straw back, and place it in the litter tray of guinea pigs. Guinea pigs have a good sense of smell and they will follow their nose to reach the area.
- Return your guinea pig to their cage. It would help if you locked them for several hours. In the meantime, give lots of toys and hay feed to them so that they don’t grudge too much.
- As your guinea pigs like eliminating while eating hay, your next step is to place the urine-soaked hay in your guinea pigs litter tray. Place the tray in your guinea pig’s preferred location for urination.
- It is possible that some guinea pigs can get confused when they discover the tray, and aim to urinate somewhere else. Keep the tray wherever they hop to. Others will be attracted to the smell and will urinate in the tray.
- If your guinea pigs urinate outside the tray, clean up the area immediately. Guinea pig’s urine holds a decent smell. If you do not clean, your guinea pigs might get encouraged and will urinate in the same area again.
- Move the poop into the litter tray if your guinea pigs continue to excrete outside the tray.
- If your guinea pigs urinate in the tray, do not clean it up immediately. Leave it there for 24 hours. This way, your guinea pigs will learn that a tray is a perfect place for them to urinate.
Repeat the above steps until your guinea pig becomes habitual to limit their elimination to these locations.
But you have to remember that this is not an overnight process. Litter training stubborn guinea pigs may be a challenging and frustrating experience.
Never try to scold a guinea pig physically. It is possible that they may get scared of you for life. Instead, always apply the golden rule for pet training.
Always praise guinea pigs when they are doing good and ignore anything undesirable.
How long does it take to litter train a guinea pig
Typical guinea pigs will usually be perfect in litter training within 1-2 weeks. The week will be of intense hard work, though. You will have to keep an eyesight on your guinea pigs. If they refuse their litter box, you must continue with the training.
There are some possibilities of failure. You will have to stay calm if you face such a scenario. One accident can lead to drawbacks. If your guinea pigs refuse their litter box for a couple of days, you will be at square one.
Do not let your guinea pig roam around freely until you are sure that they have taken to their litter box. You will like your guinea pig to handle their business well before exercise and playtime.
If you let go of your guinea pig out of their cage before eliminating them, they will soon adopt it as their routine. They will assume that urinating in the house is normal. You will then have to undergo another training regime.
Guinea pigs not using their litter box
If your guinea pigs refuse to use their litter box, they may not just be stubborn.
There can be many explanations for their behavior. So before giving up, we will advise you to investigate the following possibilities:
- Is the litter box you are using is of appropriate size?
- Are your guinea pigs able to jump or climb over the sides of the litter box?
- Is there a draught near the litter box?
- Are your guinea pigs going through stress?
- Does the litter box hold some strange smell, there are possibilities due to some of the cleaning products?
Guinea pigs always need a clear delineation between their litter box and their cage in general.
If the sides of the litter box are too low, they may get confused. They will have an idea about their destination, but will not determine where the box begins and where it ends.
If your guinea pigs are going through some stress, you may notice them marking outside the box to make themselves comfortable.
It is common if there is a change in your guinea pig’s routine or location. They might be re-asserting their area.
Your guinea pigs can also poop outside the litter box. Even this counts on their normal behavior.
Likewise, an amateur, yet a potty trained guinea pig, can poop outside the box, reflecting towards their behavior.
Spaying and neutering will temper such behavior of our guinea pigs. We will advise you not to panic if such an act of your guinea pigs continues.
Guinea pigs can even eat their poop, which is called coprophagy. Clean up their waste if anything is left.
Guinea pig using their litter box as bed
Many guinea pigs prefer to sleep in their litter box. It seems unhygienic, but it’s a natural behavior of guinea pigs.
If you can well train your guinea pigs out of it, it is recommended to do so.
You can create a different place for your guinea pigs to sleep, which can also make it easier for them to get out of their natural behavior
Guinea pigs prefer to sleep for around 4-6 hours but in small laps, so providing them a separate bedroom will make them more comfortable.
You can use a cardboard box, lined with soft material to make a perfect bedroom for your guinea pigs.
You will have to make assured that your guinea pigs do not get confused and start urinating on their bed.
If your guinea pigs are comfortable in their litter box and continue to relax and sleep in their litter box, you can leave them to it.
Always remember to clean and change their litter to minimize the chances of urine scald.
Your guinea pigs bum must be cleaned when necessary, as feces may hold on to their bottom or get stuck in their fur.
Guinea pigs keep digging in their litter
Some guinea pigs have a natural behavior of digging. If you find your guinea pigs digging in the litter box, they are just enjoying themselves. Boredom and stress can also alleviate this behavior in your guinea pigs.
You can also find them cleaning their litter box, though. Guinea pigs don’t have a habit of burying their waste like cats. Some guinea pigs also dig out their poop to lay and relax in it.
Dominance can also be an explanation for a guinea pig digging at their litter. The litter placed in a guinea pig tray will hold a smell of human hand.
If the bond between a guinea pig and the human who has placed the litter is not strong, then guinea pigs will dig it out.
Your guinea pigs must be conveying a message that “this litter box is my area, not yours”. This is more common in female guinea pigs.
This is because the guinea pigs in the wild always have a competition for a territory to give birth and raise their babies.
You can also provide your guinea pigs some other place to dig, which can help to resolve this issue.
If it does not have a good result, then develop a high sided litter tray. You can even go with a closed box as any litter dug in it will remain inside the box.
It would help if you remembered it to clean constantly. It will turn irresistible as a sleeping area for your guinea pigs as it is dark and enclosed.
When your guinea pigs dig, they will be spreading soiled litter around their bed, which can be very dangerous if not taken into consideration.
Can two guinea pigs share a litter box
If two guinea pigs share a standard cage, they can use the same litter box. But the size of the litter box must be appropriate for both of them, as both of the guinea pigs may prefer to rest at the same time.
But we will advise you to stay on the safe side, which starts with two litter trays. You may let the guinea pigs pick one each for them. It is more likely that they will alternate. Either way that will have options.
If you find both of your guinea pigs moving towards the same litter tray, we will advise you to remove one litter tray. As long as your guinea pigs are happy in staying together, there is nothing to worry about.
We recommend you keep the second litter tray in the home, though, as it can be required in the future. If anyone of the guinea pigs fall sick, we will advise you to use the second litter tray.
It would be best if you never separated bonded guinea pigs unless it is necessary. Small steps, such as using the second litter tray, may help to prevent illness from spreading fastly.
How often should you clean your guinea pig’s litter box?
During the early stages, you can be slightly more relaxed in the cleaning regime. Your guinea pigs must be bonded with their little tray. You can make this easy by letting them familiarize themselves with the scent.
Once you begin the training, the cleaning frequency will depend upon the litter you are using.
It would be best if you always cleaned the hay daily, which will help to minimize the risk of urine scalding. Some guinea pigs have a natural digging behavior, so you may find them cleaning their tray themselves by digging.
If you use a guinea pig’s litter, cleaning must be done every 2-3 days. It depends upon the use of the litter tray by your guinea pigs. If they sleep in the tray, then it is advisable to clean it regularly.
You can also follow your nose, as the ammonia found in guinea pigs urine creates an unmistakable scent that cannot be ignored. If your piggies cage is starting to stink, we would advise you to do a litter change.
How do you clean a guinea pig litter box?
You should follow these steps when you clean your guinea pigs litter tray:
- Examine your litter tray thoroughly. If you discover any cracks or your guinea pig is chewing pieces of a tray, we will advise you to replace that as soon as possible.
- You can begin with a jet spray. This will help to clean any stubborn litter or waste that can cling to the tray.
- After this, you should scrub the litter tray properly with white vinegar. That will help to kill any bacteria in the grooves.
- If your guinea has been sick or has suffered from parasitic infestation, we will advise using bleach. Create a solution of bleach and water in the ratio of 6:1 and scrub it properly.
- Leave the litter tray to soak in water for approx 30-60 minutes. That will help to remove any particulars of toxic cleaning materials.
- Your last step is to dry the litter tray properly. If you can dry it in the sun, it will be more beneficial because the rays of the sun provide further antibacterial properties.
Cleaning a guinea pigs litter tray is not a fast process. So we will advise you to have at least two interchangeable trays for your guinea pigs. So if one is on cleaning your guinea pigs can use the other one.
It is not a fast process to litter train your guinea pig in a cage, but it’s a rewarding one. Litter training helps your house to get rid of the stench of ammonia and helps make playtime with your guinea pig more agreeable.
It will also be a pleasure for our guinea pigs as they like to be clean, and they typically move to a particular area for elimination. Providing a litter tray to your guinea pigs will make it easy for them to decide the location for removal.
Tips for litter training guinea pigs
Some tips to litter train your guinea pigs are as follows:
- Before starting with the process, you must know that it is not an overnight process. It is a long process that will take time.
- It may be possible that your guinea pigs are not using the litter box. In such cases, find out, there must be something wrong like stress.
- Your guinea pigs may be using the litter box as their bed. In such cases, create a separate bedroom for them as they prefer to sleep for approx 7-8 hours.
- You should add some soiled bedding and hay in the litter box. This makes training them really easy as they get attracted to the spot.
- If two bonded guinea pigs are comfortable in sharing a standard litter box, then do not separate them as it might upset them.
- You should never scold your guinea pigs if they are not doing well, as you can scare them by doing this. And after that, it will be more difficult for you to train them.
- It would be best if you littered train your guinea pigs by investing time and patience. If you become impatient during the process, it will become harder for you to train them.
So, these were our tips for you to litter train your guinea pigs.
Lastly, we would like to advise you to take care of your piggies and shower them with all love and attention that will help you to create an unbreakable bond with your guinea pigs.