Using hay as a "litter box"?

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Post   » Sat Aug 26, 2017 12:28 am

I have two 6 to 8 week old female guinea pigs. I put their hay directly in their cage, but I have noticed that they are mostly peeing and pooping in their hay. They still eat the hay, but is this normal? And does this mean I could possibly litter train them?

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Cavy Comic

Post   » Sat Aug 26, 2017 1:29 am

Yep. They do know where the clean hay is, I have watched them.


Post   » Sat Aug 26, 2017 8:45 am

It is normal and it certain helped litter train mine! Don't expect them to just go there though. They WILL have accidents


Post   » Sat Aug 26, 2017 10:51 am

They always poo and pee the most where they sit and eat hay. So completely normal. But although some very tidy pigs will often do their business in one spot, mostly you cannot litter train them. Of course, you should never use anything like kitty litter in their cage. Wood stove pellets however work really great in a hay area.


Post   » Sat Aug 26, 2017 3:07 pm

I've had rodents of all sorts for over a decade. Mice are the only ones who really really don't litter train. The rest can be taught. Even my hamster was litter trained.

My boy, Binky, did litter train fairly quickly. I mean, it's not like a cat or dog, but 85-90% in one spot and not pooping on your lap = success in my eyes. First, I figured out where he went most. By the food, as others noted.

I never change the litter when I change the fleece. For whatever reason, that cuts down accidents.
Also, when training him, when I spot cleaned, I'd manually move the poo into the litter box. That probably sounds ridiculous. He does 90% of his business in the box... except when he's in the kitchen. He doesn't care about his box in my kitchen and pees all over my floor.
We're working on that.😉

He doesn't go on me, though. He did the first week, but now he nudges me when he wants to go back to his cage.

I suspect Bilbo will litter train quickly, too. His owner told me he wasn't trained, but he went straight for the box and seemed to know what it was about.


Post   » Sat Aug 26, 2017 7:34 pm

Thanks! As a follow-up, is there any thing more adsorbent than the normal paper bedding (or fleece once I make a few fleece pads) to put under the hay? My cage is fairly large (8 square feet) and I usually have to clean it JUST because the place under the hay is really wet, while the rest is almost like new.


Post   » Sat Aug 26, 2017 8:18 pm

I use wood pellets (the kind they use for horses) in a litter box under my hay. The rest of the cage is fleece bedding. You might find using a litter box or some sort of container as a litter area under the hay helpful. Bedding-wise, I'm not sure but I think wood bedding (aspen or kiln-dried pine) might absorb better than paper but it may depend on the brand you're using as well.


Post   » Sun Aug 27, 2017 10:24 am

Thanks, Greysome! I'll see about getting some kind of wood bedding.

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Cavy Comic

Post   » Sun Aug 27, 2017 10:33 am

I put a 100% cotton towel under a layer of fleece under it.


Post   » Sun Aug 27, 2017 11:09 am

I use towels, too. I find bamboo towels most absorbent. But they are $$. I get them (and fleece blankets) from the thrift store.

I like the really huge bath sheet towels best. It's a lot of towel.

Nuoc Mam

Post   » Sun Aug 27, 2017 11:59 am

I just got two boars myself and i use aspen wood bedding in my litter box. I am still waiting for the piggies to do their business in there. Right now their business is all over the place in the cage.😀 Cute little suckers!!!

Quiet Wren

Post   » Sun Aug 27, 2017 8:27 pm

The wood pellets control odor better than paper bedding, in my opinion. And pellets are far less messy than shavings or sawdust. Those both stick to fleece something awful. The wood pellets break down into crumbly stuff when wet, but for the most part it shakes off the fleece.


Post   » Mon Aug 28, 2017 9:09 am

My guinea pigs are allergic to wood bedding so I use Carefresh paper bedding under the hay in their litter box and I have to brush it all off with a wire brush every time I go to wash their fleece. It is a pain, but at least the pigs are happy!!!


Post   » Sun Sep 10, 2017 9:58 pm

Update: I got them a little plastic box for hay, but now it is starting to smell after just a day! I don't have 10-20 minutes to clean it daily. Does anyone have any suggestions to get a couple more days out of it? I tried finding wood pellets as Quiet Wren suggested, but my local pet store doesn't carry them and I don't want a big bag (as I have seen on Amazon) in case the piggies don't like them.

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Post   » Sun Sep 10, 2017 10:14 pm

You can buy a 40 pound bag of wood pellets from a feed store for about $7-$8. If the pigs don't like them, and it's extremely unlikely that they're going to care either way, you can just throw them away.

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Catie Cavy
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Post   » Mon Sep 11, 2017 8:35 am

If you don't have a feed store nearby, your pet store probably has Arm & Hammer Feline Pine Original in the cat litter section. I think it's the same as wood pellets, just more expensive but still relatively inexpensive.


Post   » Wed Sep 13, 2017 12:02 am

Thanks - there are no feed stores nearby but I can try the cat litter stuff. Until then, just cleaning the box every other day.

Coco-Pepe Mom

Post   » Wed Sep 20, 2017 2:32 pm

I keep their hay up in a rack, off the bottom of the cage so that it stays fresh. My fleece pads stop at the 3/4 point of the cage. In the last quarter, on the end where they have their hay and water, I use carefresh paper bedding over a layer of brown paper grocery bags. When it's time to change the litter, just roll up the bag with the carefresh on top and toss in the trash. This method takes a lot less bedding and they probably go 90% in the carefresh area.


Post   » Fri Sep 22, 2017 3:13 pm

If you have a pen for you pig like I do if you don't want to spend money for a hay dispenser Get like a medium sized cardboard box . Lay it upwards with a a side facing down .


Post   » Fri Sep 22, 2017 3:34 pm

It will keep your pig from soiling the hay

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