The most important thing to put in a guinea pig’s litter box is soft and absorbent bedding. The litter box should be made of paper bedding, while the rest of the cage should be made of fleece.
What You'll Learn
Litter Box Bedding is Essential
When choosing to litter box train your guinea pig, the litter box bedding is an essential part of the process.
Choose an absorbent material like paper or a paper and shavings blend. Pick a material different from the lining in the rest of the cage so your guinea pig can learn to distinguish between the two beddings.
If you decide to go with a larger litter box with ample room, place your guinea pig’s food and water inside the box along with the bedding. This will allow your guinea pig to eat or drink and then use the bathroom immediately in the litter box.
If this is your first time litter box training your guinea pig, transfer semi-wet hay and dry feces in the box so your pet becomes accustomed to these scents in the litter box area.
Maintain a fresh litter box by using clean bedding and avoid leaving damp or soiled bedding in it for a long period of time. Your litter box should be cleaned daily.
What to Use For The Little Box
There are many options you can use for a guinea pig litter box, some of which you can probably find around your house.
Litter boxes should be easy to clean, heavy enough not to topple, and made of a material that won’t break easily when chewed or bitten.
Several examples include using a glass baking or casserole tray (which is also a green option), or just using a rabbit or ferret litter box from the pet store since guinea pig litter boxes can often be too small.
Multiple pet stores offer corner-shaped litter boxes that fit nicely into a guinea pig’s cage. If you prefer more space for your guinea pig, small puppy training litter boxes are also a good choice, especially if your guinea pig prefers their food and water inside the box.
What NOT to Put in a Litter Box
Cedar and Pine wood shavings should always be avoided as any bedding choice for guinea pigs.
These specific types of wood shavings can release phenols, which are harmful toxins that can negatively affect your guinea pig’s health.
Sawdust should also be avoided anywhere near your guinea pig’s litter box or cage because it is too dusty and can cause allergic reactions or respiratory issues.
Corn cob bedding is another unsafe choice because it molds easily, which can also cause respiratory issues for your guinea pig.
Clean out the litter box frequently, even daily, to avoid a build-up of soiled bedding that will make your guinea pig feel uncomfortable. Dry bedding is your best bet if you want to be successful with litter training.
Where to Place The Littler Box
Monitor where your guinea pig poops and pees the most, and place the litter box in that specific space. If your guinea pig does not have a certain spot to use the bathroom, it is always a safe bet to place the litter box near their food and water, or in the space they spend most of their time in.
The litter box area for your guinea pig should be a safe, clean, and quiet space where they will feel comfortable. You can even create a more enclosed set-up for the litter box to allow your guinea pig privacy.
Training Your Guinea Pig to Use The Litter Box
If your guinea pig has not been litter trained before, the first step is to locate the best location in their cage where you think they will feel comfortable spending time.
Once you place and fill the litter box with proper bedding and food, practice guiding your guinea pig into the litter box and reward them with a treat when they hop in. Repeat this multiple times throughout the day to encourage them into the space and keep rewarding them with positivity.
Transfer any accidents in the other parts of the cage into the litter box so your guinea pig can learn where its waste belongs. Be consistent in your training, and soon your little pet will use the litter box regularly!
The Benefits of Using a Litter Box
There are several benefits to litter training your guinea pig! When you have successfully completed the training process, you will find that the cage will appear cleaner, there will be reduced odor, and it can be cost-effective in the long run.
Once the guinea pig starts using the litter box, the rest of the cage will be free of feces and urine.
It is still necessary to clean the litter box daily and replace the bedding, but the overall appearance of the space will improve.
You only need to clean out the litter box instead of the whole cage, which takes less time and reduces odor more quickly.
Since the litter box requires less bedding compared to the entire cage, litter box training is cost-effective and a more affordable choice. Line the rest of the cage with fleece to further save on bedding.
Even if your guinea pig continues to have accidents outside of the litter box, you will still notice an overall improvement in their bathroom behavior.