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Small pets

Hoping to get my first guinea pigs soon!

8 replies

Turnitupto11 · 24/02/2022 10:25

I live alone and have one older placid cat. I've always wanted guinea pigs, so am now looking for a pair! They'll live indoors.

I've contacted a local rescue (I'm in the East Riding) who have a pair but one of them is currently ill and they don't know how long it'll be until he's well. Anyone know of anywhere else on the east coast or in the east riding of Yorkshire? I don't drive much, so can't go further.

I'm looking for a cage, what is the ideal size? I've seen them on the pets at home website in 100 cm and 120 cm sizes, is that about right?

Will they be happy on hay or fleece? What toys do they like? How much exercise will they need a day?

Any other tips? Smile


OP posts:
maxelly · 24/02/2022 11:28

Congrats, can't help in your specific area but re your other questions, there's loads of info on this board if you read back through old threads.

Space, 120 cm x 60cm is really the bare, bare minimum, 100 x 60 although sold as suitable for guineas is too small for 2 adults and even in the 120 x 60 I would want them to have a run or play pen where they can spend the majority of their day, if the cage is where they'll mainly live I'd want something much bigger. Ours have one approx twice the minimum size as they don't go out in winter. I'd recommend looking at the C&C cages as these are the best for space.

Bedding-wise I use a fleece liner with paper pellets on the top for wee absorption, you can do just fleece and hay if you change and wash the fleece frequently but personally I would highly recommend some kind of litter from a smell management point of view (not shavings though as this is too dusty and can also hurt their little paws!). Either way they then need ample hay to sleep in and eat, this is really important, hay or grass should be the majority of their diet. Toys and exercise, they aren't, ahem, the most 'active' of creatures so toys are a bit of a mystery to them, they like to eat and sleep mainly although they do enjoy things they can chew and hide under so cardboard boxes and tubes are great and the willow/bark houses and hidey places are usually appreciated. Similarly they don't really go for 'exercise' as such, mine look at me in a dimly bemused fashion if encouraged to run around outside their hutch, the only way to keep them active really is to spread their hay and food over a reasonable area and get them to browse/graze, this mimics their natural behaviour hence the need for a large cage/hutch/run...

Turnitupto11 · 24/02/2022 11:35

they aren't, ahem, the most 'active' of creatures so toys are a bit of a mystery to them, they like to eat and sleep mainly

A bit like me then! Grin

Thanks for the advice, that's very helpful. I'll look at the cages.

OP posts:
maxelly · 24/02/2022 12:02

Exactly, that's why I like them! The only time of day mine get excited is when the fridge opens for dinner, just like me Grin. They're such sweet, placid little creatures, absolutely adorable...

MissRainbowBrite · 24/02/2022 18:59

Take a look at C&C cages, these can be built to any size and can have a lid just in case your cat decides to take a liking to your new pets. They are very easy to clean out and if you decide on fleece these can be washed easily in a pet bag.

70isaLimitNotaTarget · 26/02/2022 14:51

C&C are the most versatile , I bought some grids from Costco , couldn't fathom the fastening buttons so used cable ties (make sure there's no loose ends to scratch them)
You can do levels and ramps but mine were happier on one level . They had the small bedroom (one group in C&C , one group in a big cage ) at night in winter .

You can make a lid (I did when my DBro cat visited ) I used cable ties as the hinge and a padlock to secure it (so didnt have to keep cutting the ties)
It needed to rest on something , they had some solid boxes inside .
And C&C needs lined , I used thick cardboard , made boxes for hay /hiding spaces . Layers of puppy pads , newspaper , fleece

Fleece is nice but invest in a rubber brush ( like a Buddy Brush) and a PetBag (zipped up ,) to save your washing machine . Scenr free detergent and no fabric conditioner . Pigs are respiratory sensitice . Fabric conditioner stocks fleece wicking moisture .
The rough cheap IKEA ones were good (£1.50 ish , no pesky stiching to remove either )

Guinea pigs are lovely but take up a load of space . When the hutch advice says 4'x2' for 2 piggies that is a misertly size , Those hutches you see in Petstores have a living area/sleeping area . Add the bowls etc , it isn't enough .
If you want a hutch , look at rabbit hutches , more space .
They can use a ramp for a double hutch but it takes up space and some guinea-pigs have injuries falling down them.

If you get boars , they do need more space , two of everything and any hidey houses need 2 doors so one doesn't get trapped (though my sows were feistier than our boars Grin )

They are very untidy
The hay smells . Guinea pigs don't smell if you keep them cllean . Ours had daily , roll up the dirty bedding and replaced . Spot clean the floor . Proper full clean (everything ) probably 5-7 days .

They need hay 24/7 unlimited . Usually recommended a lump of hay their bodysize for eating . More if they use as bedding . You can use fleece as a base and put hay in a box to sleep in. It'll get dirty .
We gave ours hay in loo roll tubes or hay cookies in summer or if we didn't want them to sleep on it . ( Hay poke eye injury or post surgery )

You might gets ones that are meh to the cat . Or they might be terrified . The rescue will lnow if they're used to household noises etc

Can I just give you a Heads Up ?
I kept guineas as a child Then when my DD was 9yo we got a boar pair and had eight piggies over a period of time .
DH wanted some cats so after the last one died (old age) we got two young cats .

Cats are (whisper it) much much easier !

Thegiftthatkeepsongiving · 26/02/2022 15:01

I miss my cavies! CC cafes are great and the ramps are fine if they are nice and wide and not too steep (mine took up the length of my cage). I had fleece with mine but the trick is to have a towel underneath which absorbs the wee and the fleece stays dry on top. I would sweep the droppings every day and kept one small section solely with hay and some sawdust underneath as Guinea pigs will poomore where they eat.

A trick I found useful is also put an upside down tile by the feed bowl or top of the ramp as this naturally files your Guinea pigs nails down and saves you having to do it.

Enjoy them, they have so much character and are such chatty things Smile

Nomorepastry · 27/02/2022 17:55

Definitely have a look at c&cs, I have 23 guineas and I keep my boars in 4x2s. My sows are in one big c&c

BooksAndHooks · 14/03/2022 22:39

There are very few shop bought cages that meet the minimum and even the ones that do are still tiny. 8sqft on one level is the minimum but males will need 10.5sqft. Any extra levels do not count towards the min space. C&C are the best way to do an indoor cage.

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