How To Litter Train A Guinea Pig is a post that contains affiliate links. If you click through and make a purchase I make a small commission at no cost to use. That money helps keep the lights on here at Charlie and The Pips, we thank you for your support!
If you have a Guinea Pig chances are you are looking for ways to cut down on the mess. I’m going to show you how to litter train a Guinea Pig so that you can do less cleaning and have more fun with your piggies.
First things first: you should know going in that it’s almost impossible to get a Guinea Pig litter trained to the point where they will never poop or pee elsewhere in their cage. I’m going to show you how I set up my cages and habitats to litter train my Guinea Pigs with food and hay.
How to litter train a Guinea Pig
You will need to be patient and you will also need some supplies. I’ll share the set up that I use below. This won’t be for everyone and maybe you will find a better system. That’s entirely up to you, I’m just here to share what has worked for me and how it has cut down on my cleaning time each day/week.
Can you litter train a Guinea Pig?
You are probably wondering if you can litter train a Guinea Pig and the answer is yes! You can definitely litterbox train a Guinea Pig just like any other animal so that there is less clean up to do and a more sanitary living condition for your pets.
What you will need to litter train a Guinea Pig:
Here are the things that I use to set up my cages and habitats for my Guinea Pigs when using this litter training method.
- Plastic container (I use these dish pans)
- Absorbent Litter (I like paper or pelletized wood bedding)
- Hay Rack (I like this one but I use DIY C&C Hay Feeders)
- Feeding Bowls (I use heavy crock bowls that can’t be tipped easily)
After you have gathered those items you can begin immediately! It’s not too hard and it works almost instantly. Be prepared to be shocked and delighted by how much clean up this saves you from!
How to litter box train a Guinea Pig with food:
I’m going to share my tips and the process I use to litter box train a Guinea Pig with food. This works in both habitats that we have here. One C&C cage and the other is a set up with a few Midwest Guinea Pig Habitats.
First you need to place the dish pans or other similarly sized plastic containers in the cage somewhere that you want to feed your piggies. I put them at one end or the other of the cage. Two of these dish pans will fit side by side in a C&C cage that is 2 panels wide or more, in the Midwest cage I put one long ways and one short ways to make a sort of “L” shape and they fit perfectly that way.
Next I add in my bedding of choice. I use pelletized horse bedding from Tractor Supply because it is absorbent without being too smelly and it is very economical. I also like that it’s wood so it’s not producing a lot of waste that is harmful to the earth. Ours bins get emptied into our compost pile in the yard once each week so it’s nice to have a natural option!
I add just enough bedding to cover the bottom by about 3/4 – 1 inch deep. You don’t need too much, they’ll be getting emptied once per week (more if you have more piggies / they fill up or get very messy).
Up next we have to attach our feeders for hay and pellets or veggies. I like to set my hay feeders up so they’re sitting on top of the edge of the plastic bins. The piggies will sit or stand at them and pull out the hay they want and any excess falls into the trays!
I use heavy crock bowls so they can’t be thrown or tipped easily. You can also use bowls that attach to the side of the cage if you like!
Finally, I put the water bottles in so that they’re hanging over the edge of the plastic bins too! This is super useful if you have dripping bottles or if you have a sloppy drinker…Bella is a mess and holds the bottle open to drink from it, she’s smart but it floods the cage if not for the kitchen area set up.
Now you can be finished. Since I use fleece bedding in all my cages I put a nice fleece pad (learn how to DIY these fleece pads) at the edge of the bins so when they hop out any stray mess gets left in one spot. Then I can quickly and easily swap out that pad if the cage gets messy between cleanings!
How to litterbox train a Guinea Pig without hay:
Guinea Pigs are easy to litter box train because they mostly do their business where they eat. If you are finding that your piggies don’t do this or they drag their food to another area of the cage to eat it and then do their business there, just set your litter box area up in that location.
You don’t need to use the food area to litter box train your Guinea Pig but it will definitely help. Another method is to wait and see where your Guinea Pigs go to poop and pee. After they’ve established a routine you can put their litter box in that same spot.
If there are multiple corners where your piggies go to potty you can use corner shaped litter pans for rabbits! They usually attach to the side of the cage and make cleaning easy.
Another tip that I used when first starting out is to scoop up some of the poops and put them into the litterbox. The piggies will smell them / see them there and they’ll start to recognize that this is where they belong when doing their business!
Can I use cat litter in a Guinea Pig litter box?
No, I would not suggest you use cat litter in a Guinea Pig litter box. Cats go into their litterbox to do their business and they leave. Guinea Pigs are going to spend a considerable amount of time sitting and standing in their litterbox to eat and drink.
Not only that, cat litter is very dusty and Guinea Pigs have very sensitive lungs. Stay away from anything too dusty when choosing a litter pan material.
Can I put down absorbent puppy pads in my Guinea Pig litter box?
I hate to be the constant barer of bad news, but no. Don’t put down puppy pads in your Guinea Pig litter box because they will chew them and they will end up with intestinal blockages. The pads are made from absorbent materials and plastic that can swell up once inside in your piggies and make it hard for them to pass them through the stomach and intestines.
They may seem like a smart choice but piggies will chew on just about anything, so use caution and avoid them if at all possible.
When should I replace my Guinea Pig litterbox?
If you mean when should you replace the litter, I do that once per week. My male is living solo at the moment so his isn’t usually too messy. My females (three currently) are a little more of a mess until the end of the week. If I notice that their boxes are getting full or messy I just swap them out a day or two early.
If you are talking about the plastic bins themselves you can see in the photos I’m sure that mine are pretty rough looking. We have been using them for about a year and a half so they have seen some serious use. There is nothing wrong with them other than a bit of staining since they are bright white!
I’ll replace mine when they have a defect or something that keeps them from being safe and useful. Otherwise I’ll keep using the stained ones so as not to create more of a single use plastics problem in the landfills / oceans / etc.
Do you have any other posts about Guinea Pigs I can check out?
I sure do! I love posting about my Guinea Pigs and the ways that I make my life easier with clean up, cage prep, maintenance, etc. Here are some other posts about Guinea Pigs that I think you will enjoy and find useful.