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How to Clean Guinea Pig Cages

Eye Injuries, Guinea

The advantages of getting your guinea pigs big cages is that you don’t have to clean them as often and your pets have enough room to root around in and jump about. You can also often add ramps or little chewable nests that the guinea pig can jump on top of and thus a cage with a view. You should get the largest cage you can afford for your guinea pigs. At the least, one guinea pig should be housed in a 2 foot by 3 foot cage (with a solid bottom, please!)


It’s vitally important to have the right bedding to keep the guinea pig’s cage clean and smelling nice but also doesn’t put off any fumes that harm the guinea pig. These things should never be used as guinea pig bedding:

* Kitty litter (hurts the feet and can be eaten)
* Cedar shavings (guinea pigs are allergic to them)
* Newspaper (not absorbent)
* Sand
* Straw (often gives the guinea pigs eye injuries)

These things are okay as bedding:

* Aspen wood shavings
* Pine shavings ONLY if they have been kiln dried, otherwise guinea pigs could be harmed by pine oil fumes
* Towels or old clothes (not practical, though, but will do for an emergency)
* Recycled paper product bedding that resembles wood shavings
* Hay (expensive, though!)

The Cleaning Routine

Once you get into the routine of cleaning your guinea pig’s cage, it becomes more of a habit and less of a chore. This also is a way to interact with your guinea pig. You need to place the guinea pig in another cage or a play area while you clean. Please don’t clean with the piggy still in the cage.

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Once the guinea pig is out, scoop the bedding out with a regular dustpan and place the used bedding in a trash bag or paper bag (whichever is most convenient for you). There are some bedding marketed as being flushable, but you need to check if your septic system can take it.

Use the edge of the dustpan to scrape out the wet spots that stick to the bottom of the cage.

Have a spray bottle of half water and half vinegar. Please don’t use regular cleaners on your guinea pig’s cage. They are too harsh. The water-vinegar mixture should be enough. Give it a spray, wipe it out, get it as dry as you can (even wait a few minutes if you have to for this to dry.) At the very least, rinse with very hot water and then dry.

Then place a thick layer of clean, new bedding in the cage and return your piggy to it. They love to skip and play in new bedding! If you think cleaning your guinea pig’s cage is a chore, watching them act so happy with the clean cage will make the chore fun for you.

Clean the cage as necessary, before it starts to smell and before all of the bedding is soaking wet. One guinea pig in a 2 foot by 3 foot cage needs a cleaning at least once a week. If two guinea pigs are in the cage, then they need cleaning twice as often.


“Guinea Pigs.” Audrey Pavia, et al. Bow Tie Press; 2005.

ASPCA Pet Care Guide: Guinea Pig.” Mark Evans. DK Children; 1992.

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Seagull’s Guinea Pig Compendium. “Your Guinea Pig’s Home.” http://www.aracnet.com/~seagull/Guineas/home.html

Personal experience