Curious about how to litter train a guinea pig?
Yes, it’s possible!
With a little patience and the tips below, you’ll enjoy a cleaner guinea pig habitat in no time!
Take a look!
Don’t forget to also check our review on the best guinea pig bedding!
How to Litter Train a Guinea Pig
Guinea pigs, much like other rodents, poop around the clock!
Sometimes you feel like it never ends and you don’t understand where these little pellets are coming from.
The good news, you can save yourself from endless bedding changes by potty training your piggy!
Although it might seem impossible at first, and it will take a lot of patience, your little guy will eventually get there.
We’ll be honest though, it’s not an easy feat.
Especially since these little piggies do their business wherever and whenever they like.
Seriously, they even do it while walking around!
For how to train guinea pigs and cut down on at least some of the mess, just follow these steps below.
FYI, this post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase through these links, we earn a small commission at no extra charge to you.
Set the Location
Before you litter train your guinea pig, you have to decide where you want to place their potty area.
You can find where like most like to do it, but it can be tough since they go all over.
Sometimes you can identify their favorite little patch because their poop pellets tend to congregate there.
Since they are prey animals (sad but true), they spend most of their time hiding from predators in the wild.
Predators tend to track their prey by their scent, which is taken in from the feces and urine.
So naturally, guinea pigs will try to do their “doody” in a safe place because that’s when they are vulnerable.
If you can find a dark space for them in the corner of their habitat, it will help hasten the potty training process.
Putting in the Litter Box
Training them to “go” in one place isn’t just the space alone, you need to give them a “toilet”, which is a guinea pig litter box.
First, use their bedding to create a soft surface. Since they like to go in this specific place you have chosen, the smell should already be there, acting as an attractant.
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Litter boxes can be picked up at your local pet store or you can set out to make your own.
Now, if you’re thinking “I can’t fit a kitty litter box in her habitat,” don’t worry, it’s not quite the same thing.
You’re actually looking for something like this from Amazon :
- Scatterless Lock-N-Litter Pan That Locks to Prevent Messy Spills
- Made of Durable, Stain and Odor Resistant Plastic
- Locks to Cage to Eliminate Overturned Pans and Scattered Litter
- Plastic Guard and Wire Floor Keep Pets Feet Clean
- Attaches to Any Wire Cage, Easy to Remove and Easy to Clean
- Measures 12-3/4" Width X 9-1/4" Depth X 6" Height
When your little creature is eventually potty trained, it’s will just be a matter of switching the bedding in the litter box rather than a whole ordeal of changing everything in the cage.
That can be a messy and time-consuming job.
It’s completely possible that your little guinea pig will catch on quickly since he/she already likes to go in that space.
Remember, it takes consistency, practice and a whole lot of patience!
Make sure the litter box is easy for him to get in and out of.
Make sure to make his litter tray as comfortable as possible. Use hay, straw, or wood pulp. Steer clear of corn cob, it’s not good for your little guy!
Check out some of the best alternative bedding for guinea pigs.
Don’t use kitty litter
Right about now, I think it’s a good time to tell you that you WON’T be using kitty litter.
It’s dangerous for your piggy! Even low-dust stuff can cause respiratory problems AND it’s hard on their toes.
Just put your piggy’s regular bedding in the litter box.
Remember, the point isn’t to create something that resembles a cat litter box, but rather to carve out a section of the cage to use as a bathroom.
Don’t Forget to Reward Him!
Just like other domesticated animals (dogs, cats, etc), guinea pigs respond well to positive reinforcement!
Don’t punish them, that never works and only succeeds in instilling fear in your furry buddy.
When you catch him doing his deed in the right place, hand him a treat!
Choose a treat he doesn’t often get to enjoy, like bits of fruit, he’ll understand he’s doing the right thing.
In order to get more fruit, he will make sure he goes in the right place!
Maintenance of the Litter Tray
You don’t need to concern yourself too much with the tray.
He doesn’t need you to clear it out every time he goes, or even every day. Cleaning out his potty once every 2-3 days is good enough.
When you change out the litter every few days, replace it with new litter. The actual washing of the litter tray only needs to be done weekly.
You want to keep the scent of his urine in the tray in case he has little accidents in the future.
Here is a quick video guide that puts things into perspective.
We tell anyone and everyone training their pets to always be patient.
These little furry buddies do not have the brain capacity we do, so it will naturally take a bit longer.
That’s ok because he will eventually get it and that’s when you can sit back, relax, and enjoy an easier time taking care of your guinea pig.
Remember to always use positive reinforcement and do daily practice. Consistency and endless praise and love are the fundamental keys to success in domestic animal training.
Any animal can learn if its human is willing, and a guinea pig is no exception. If you keep at it, your little furry friend can eventually learn a plethora of impressive tricks. Who knows, maybe in time he can even become an Instagram sensation!
Have you tried to litter train your guinea pig? What worked and what didn’t work? Let us know in the comments!
Barry Stingmore is a British content writer living in Fuerteventura, Spain. An animal lover at heart, he shares his home with a dog and four rescue cats and has a passion for writing about animals big and small.
Barry loves finding answers to your animal-related questions, the more research involved the better! You can rely on him to find the facts.