Fleece is a guinea pig cage liner that’s used to make guinea pig’s bedding more than other bedding options today. But, what are the differences between fleece and bedding? Is fleece better than bedding for guinea pigs?
Fleece is better than regular bedding such as wood shavings or paper pellets because fleece is dust-free, softer for guinea pig’s feet, reusable, and cost-effective. It has almost similar moisture control capacity as bedding if you choose the right product. However, the drawback is that it needs more cleaning and maintenance work. Besides, fleece isn’t a choice for the outdoor guinea pig cage due to its nature.
Let’s find out why fleece is a better option than traditional guinea pig bedding and also know about the pros, cons, and cost of it.
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Why is fleece better than bedding for guinea pigs?
Fleece is so popular among guinea pig owners. The reason is that it’s better than paper and wood bedding for guinea pigs in many aspects.
Let’s take a look at the facts why fleece liner is considered better than guinea pig’s bedding.
1. Softer and more comfortable for guinea pigs
Unlike wood or paper shaving, fleece is softer. Guinea pigs love this softness. It’s so comfortable for their soft and sensitive body.
Aspen, kiln-dried pine and natural paper bedding are also soft and comfortable. But, it can’t be matched with fleece in terms of comfort.
2. Zero dust
Fleece has zero dust whereas wood, pine, or paper bedding may contain dust particles if you don’t find a perfect product.
Too much dust is dangerous for your guinea pigs. It causes breathing difficulty and may lead to respiratory infection.
Even, it can be life-threatening for them in some cases. Moreover, many people are also allergic to those dust particles.
So, if you or your family members are allergic to dust, you may have trouble with any dusty bedding. Fleece contains isn’t dusty and you can wash it and make it dust-free easily.
3. A good absorbent
Good quality fleece that’s specially made for guinea pig bedding works better than many bedding.
There was a time when fleece may not be able to absorb well like other bedding. But, nowadays, many popular brands provide fleece that offers the best absorbency.
Today, the fleece, specially designed for a guinea pig, has a multi-layer. It has three layers – the middle layer is for absorption, the back layer is waterproof and the other is the top layer.
Because of that, it can control the moisture from guinea pigs’ cages extremely well.
You can also use an extra absorbent layer to increase the absorbance. Puppy pads or towels can work nicely for that.
4. Reusable and cost-effective
Fleece is reusable whereas bedding aren’t. Though fleece costs you higher money initially, you don’t need to buy or replace that again in the future.
But, if you use wood paper shaving, you have to buy new products and replace the bedding regularly.
5. Not messy
There is no chance that a fleece liner will get messy if you use it as bedding. On the other hand, wood, pine, or paper shavings get messy over time, maybe within 1 or 2 days.
This can make the room and your house ugly and dirty. So, you need to be careful about getting things messy if you go for other bedding options.
6. Longer lasting
Fleece bedding lasts longer than other bedding because it’s reusable. However, you have to maintain it and do poo-picking regularly and sweep the wet moisture,
Otherwise, you have to wash it frequently. Wood or paper shaving doesn’t have to wash regularly like that but needs to replace it.
Sometimes, guinea pigs may have allergies to bedding such as pine, wood, or paper shavings.
Even a member of your family can be allergic to those because of dust and small particles. But, fleece neither causes any allergy to guinea pigs nor any human.
8. No added scent
Fleece contains no added scent and no volatile or aromatic oils. It’s made of fibers. On the other hand, wood or pine shavings may contain volatile oil if they don’t go through special processing.
Volatile oil spreads a scent that’s bad for your guinea pig’s respiratory system and also causes serious health issues, even may lead to death. But, you have to face any of these problems with fleece.
9. Making cage colorful
You will get fleece in different colors. If you want to give a colorful look to your guinea pig’s cage, fleece can be a great option for you. It’s available in various colors.
On the other hand, pine or wood shaving can’t have those colors. But, some paper bedding offers different colors. But, most of them are harmful to guinea pigs, if they decide to chew or eat the paper shavings.
Fleece is washable while bedding such as wood or paper shaving can’t be washed because of its structure.
This is a huge advantage as you can use the same fleece for a very long time. It also saves your cost in the long run. But, it can be a problem with other bedding.
11. More hygienic and effective to control infection
If you use good quality fleece, you can keep the bedding clean easily and maintain proper hygiene.
Moreover, fleece can control bacterial and fungal infection, as fleece absorbs moisture well. Other bedding may not be like that.
What are the drawbacks of using fleece compared to bedding?
Just like every product, fleece has its disadvantages. In many cases, pet owners consider wood or paper bedding more than fleece because of some drawbacks.
Here are the cons of fleece compared to the bedding.
1. Smell bad if not cleaned properly
When you use aspen, kiln-dried pine, or natural paper shavings, you can replace those shaving that gets moisture or have poop or pee.
So, it doesn’t get smelly over time. But, fleece may become smelly after a few days, if you can’t clean it regularly or don’t have a good absorbent layer.
However, it can be overcome if you become a little bit careful and use a better fleece with an absorbent layer.
2. Higher maintenance work
Fleece needs more regular spot cleaning than other disposable bedding. With disposable bedding like wood or paper shaving, you only have to replace shaving from that portion of where it gets poop or pee.
However, fleece needs more cleaning work frequently. Moreover, you have to change the fleece and give it to laundering at least once a week.
But, you can be more relaxed with other bedding, as you only change a part of the bedding after some time. You don’t need to change the whole bedding or wash it.
Even when you change the whole bedding, you don’t need to think about washing. Just spread the new shavings over the floor.
3. Higher initial price
The cost of the fleece liner is a lot bit higher than other cheaper bedding. But, you have to pay that money for 1 time only. After that, you can wash and reuse the same fleece.
4. Strict cleaning and washing schedule
You need to do poo-picking 1-3 times every day if you use fleece and wash it every 5-7 days to maintain hygiene and prevent bad smells.
But, you don’t have to follow these strict washing schedules for other bedding options. Other bedding don’t require any washing or cleaning. All you have to do is replace that.
5. Include maintenance costs
Washing and maintaining the fleece costs you regularly. Some owners may not use the same washing machine for the guinea pig’s fleece with poop and moisture.
If you are one of them, you need laundering and have to pay regularly for that.
6. Hard to maintain hygiene
Another disadvantage is that fleece won’t be hygienic if you don’t do poo-picking and or vacuum poop up daily.
On the other hand, when you use wood or paper shaving, poos get mixed up with the shaving and go into deeper layers.
This helps maintain hygiene as guinea pigs don’t come in direct contact with poos.
7. Bad for children
As fleece requires higher maintenance work, it’s hard for children to do all the tasks regularly. It’s much easier for kids to maintain other bedding options.
8. Possibility of decreasing absorption capacity overtime
After washing fleece so many times, it may lose absorbency property if you use a softener to wash it. So, it can be less effective over time.
Try to wash fleece without a softener to prevent this from happening. Besides, wash at a higher temperature (140 F/60 C). This helps prevent the growing up of bacteria, fungus, and bad odor.
Put the fleece inside a horse bag to prevent any damage to the washing machine from hair or any substance that comes from the cage. Also, know how to wash the fleece properly.
9. Not good for bedding for outdoor guinea pig’s hutch
If you live outside your home, it’s better to use aspen or kiln-dried pine shavings as bedding. It’s hard to maintain hygiene if you use fleece for outdoor guinea pigs.
Fleece vs paper bedding for guinea pigs
Both fleece and paper bedding are almost similar in terms of effectiveness as bedding for indoor guinea pigs. Fleece is softer and more comfortable for guinea pigs’ feet than paper bedding. On the other hand, paper bedding is more absorbent than fleece.
Though fleece includes a high initial cost, it is reusable. But, paper bedding needs to keep bought regularly.
However, fleece needs more spot cleaning and more maintenance work than paper bedding.
Also, find out the best paper bedding for guinea pigs.
Fleece vs wood (aspen) bedding for guinea pigs
Fleece is a better bedding option for indoor guinea pigs while wood or aspen shavings are the best choice for outdoor guinea pigs. Fleece contains no dust, scent, and added chemicals whereas wood shavings may contain volatile oils and dust which are harmful to your guinea pigs.
Moreover, fleece is softer and more comfortable for guinea pigs’ sensitive feet. However, specially made aspen shaving is safe and a good choice for guinea pig bedding.
Check out the best wood bedding for guinea pigs.
Fleece or pine shavings for guinea pigs
Fleece is a better and safer choice as a bedding option than pine shavings because most pine shaving isn’t processed well for guinea pigs. They contain high quantities of aromatic oils that are dangerous for them. On the other hand, Fleece doesn’t have these problems.
However, kiln-dried pine shavings with no aromatic oil can be used safely for guinea pigs. But, fleece is better than that in terms of softness, cost, user-friendliness, and availability.
Know more about kiln-dried pine bedding for piggies.
Fleece vs bedding: which one should you use for guinea pig’s bedding?
Fleece can be a great choice as bedding for indoor guinea pigs whereas wood-based bedding is the only choice for outdoor guinea pig cages. So, if you have an indoor cage, you definitely go with fleece such as Guineadad rather than bedding. In fact, fleece is more popular for indoor guinea pigs than other bedding options.
Paper bedding is also very popular for indoor cages. So, you can go with Carefresh natural paper bedding if you don’t like fleece.
Our recommended fleece
GuineaDad Liner – Midwest Size, Blue | Guinea Pig Fleece Cage Liners
Fleece is better than wood-based bedding and almost similar to paper-based bedding. The reason is fleece is softer, more comfortable, odorless, dust-free, reusable, and friendlier for indoor cages. However, aspen or kiln dried-pine shavings are better than fleece for an outdoor guinea pig hutch.