Litter training your guinea pig might not seem possible, but it is definitely doable with time and patience. Once you're ready to begin, follow this simple five-step process:
- Figure out where he or she likes to urinate. Guinea pigs will typically urinate in the same spot most of the time. If you have any type of shelter in the cage, that's probably where they'll do their business. These behaviors are often done instinctually to avoid attracting predators.
- Set the litter box in that spot. Since the smell will already be in the area where he or she urinates most often, this is where you'll want to set your litter box. You can pick up a litter box made for rodents at your local pet store, or you can make your own.
- Reward your pet. Like all domesticated animals, the key to training a guinea pig is to reward him or her when your pet behaves the way you want him or her to. In this case, give your pet a treat when he or she urinates in the litter box. After several days of this, your guinea pig should learn to go in the litter box every time.
- Attempt training outside the cage. Training your guinea pig to only use the bathroom in the cage can be tricky since they have small bladders and must go every 15 minutes. Look for signs of your pet needing to urinate such as fidgeting or backing up. When you think he or she is going to pee, quickly pick your pet up, set him or her in the litter box, and reward your pet after the successful act.
- Don't scold your guinea pig! If your pet takes longer to catch on or has an accident outside the cage, never scold him or her. These critters won't understand what's wrong. Instead, work harder to notice the signs that indicate when he or she needs to go.
For more expert advice on litter training your guinea pig or other concerns about your beloved pets, contact the friendly pet lovers at United Pet Group.