After setting up the cage for your Guinea pigs, you have to list the items that you have to put in the cage. So, you may wonder, What do guinea pigs need in their cage?
Guinea pigs need cage liners, building materials, hay, hay feeders, water bottle, hideout, and other accessories. You have to choose the right products to ensure their safety and help them live a healthy and happy life.
Keep in mind that they are not the same as other small pets. Choosing the items for the cage is also different for them.
In this article, you will get a list of important supplies that the Guinea pigs require in the cage and the name of the best products.
12 things guinea pigs need in their cage
Here are the top 12 things that you should put in the guinea pig cage.
Bedding is one of the most essential components that you must put inside a guinea pig cage.
There are various types of bedding available in the market such as wood, paper, and fleece bedding.
Fleece and paper-based bedding are more popular options for indoor guinea pigs while wood-based bedding is the best for outdoor guinea pigs.
But, why do you need bedding for guinea pigs?
Guinea pigs can’t live on an open concrete or hard floor. Their bodies are delicate and their feet are so soft and sensitive.
So, they need soft and comfortable bedding to stay healthy and happy.
However, bedding for guinea pigs isn’t very similar to bedding for other small pets.
You have to ensure the bedding material is safe and healthy for your guinea pigs.
You have to be more careful while choosing paper or wood-based bedding. It should be free from dust and any harmful chemicals.
Fleece bedding is better in terms of softness while paper bedding has a better absorption rate.
You can wash and reuse the fleece bedding. On the other hand, you have to buy paper pellets or wood shavings on a regular basis if you choose one of them.
Our recommended bedding
GuineaDad Liner – Midwest Size, Blue | Guinea Pig Fleece Cage Liners
Also, check out other highly rated fleece, paper, and wood-based bedding with their pros, cons, and price in my other articles.
You need to put a lining material on the floor of the cage. This is important to make the surface smooth and flat so that your guinea pigs don’t get hurt or feel uncomfortable.
Coroplast sheet is the popular guinea pig cage liner.
Fleece is another great lining material as it also provides a softness that’s important to them. A combination of these two materials works the best.
Check out this article to know about the coroplast liner.
Our recommended liner
Corrugated Plastic Cage Liner Base
3. Unlimited hay
Hay is not only primary food but also the most essential thing that is needed to put in the cage for guinea pigs.
You also have to make hay available for them all the time because they need it in unlimited quantities to support dental health.
Without this, their continuously growing teeth will exceed the ideal length and cause various complications.
Hay gives them a lot of fibers which are mandatory to maintain their digestive system and health.
However, they can eat any type of hay of unlimited quality.
So, you should know about all types of hay. It’s also important to buy good quality hay.
Timothy hay is the most popular hay while orchard grass hay is a great alternative to timothy hay if you are allergic to it.
Learn more about hay and its alternative for guinea pigs.
Our recommended hay
Oxbow Animal Health Western Timothy Hay
4. A hay feeder or rack
As guinea pigs need unlimited access to hay all the time, a hayrack, bag, or feeder is the must-have item for the guinea pig’s cage.
You can’t put the hay all over the floor of the cage and think that your little piggies would eat them. If it gets dirty, they won’t. Even if they eat spoiled hay, it’s not good for their health.
So, to keep the hay fresh and clean, you have to use a hay rack or feeder. This also keeps the cage clean and well organized.
You should buy a good quality hay feeder, as some products such as metal ball hay feeders can be harmful to them.
Check my other article to know about hay racks in detail.
Our recommended Hay Racks
Mkono Hay Racks
5. Water bottle
Just like hay, guinea pigs need regular access to water in their cage.
This is essential for their health. So, you must put water inside the cage.
A water bottle is a better option than a bowl as they may not be comfortable drinking water from a bowl and it may get dirty quickly.
You have to give them fresh water every day and clean the bottle once a week.
You can have a plastic bottle. A no-drip water bottle is a better choice. Ensure that the water bottle doesn’t leak.
Hang the bottle on the wall of the cage and ensure that they can access it easily.
Our recommended water bottle
Choco Nose No-Drip Water Bottle
6. Absorbing layer
Dealing with moisture is one of the common problems that a guinea pig owner faces after putting bedding material in a guinea pig cage.
So, you may need to put an absorbing layer such as a puppy pad or towels under the bedding.
Many bedding materials and liners can solve this problem on their own as they can absorb moisture really well.
GuineaDad fleece and natural paper bedding have good absorbency.
However, you may also require an absorbing layer if you have a leaky water bottle.
Check out my other article on the best absorbent bedding material for guinea pigs.
7. Food bowl
You have to provide guinea pigs with a food bowl to offer them food, vegetables, and pellets. You should put the put on the floor to maintain hygiene. So, get a good food bowl for them.
However, while buying a food bowl, you need to make sure that guinea pigs can’t flip over it.
The reason for that is they grab the edge of the bow with their paws when they eat.
A ceramic food bowl can work great for this purpose instead of a plastic bowl.
The reason is a ceramic bowl is harder, durable, non-tip, and chew-resistant than a plastic bowl. This bowl also doesn’t tip.
The bowl should be wide enough so that they can use it easily and you can offer them an adequate amount of food.
You should put the food bowl far away from the toilet area to maintain hygiene and keep food clean.
Wash the bowl regularly and use a clean bowl to serve the food.
You have to buy at least two food bowls, one for vegetables and the other for pellets.
However, you may need more than two bowls if you have two or more guinea pigs.
Our recommended food bowls
Kaytee Paw-Print PetWare Bowl
8. Hide house
Guinea pigs need a place where they can hide. This is necessary for their privacy.
You also need to ensure a hidey in the cage for each guinea pig. They don’t like to share the same house with another pig and the space of a hide house won’t be enough for that either.
Without the hideout, they will feel scared and uncomfortable which is bad for their mental health.
A hide house allows them to hide under it when they want.
When you buy a hideout, ensure that it’s safe for them, especially be aware while buying a wooden hide house.
Check out the best DIY hideout ideas for guinea pigs.
Our recommended hideout house
Prevue Pet Products Wood Mouse Hut
9. A litter box or pan
Though it’s hard to litter train your guinea pigs, you can use a litter box or pan to keep the cage clean and help prevent the growing up of bacteria and fungus.
If you can’t litter train them, observe them where they like to poop or pee. They do it usually in the darker area of the cage or in the corner.
You can also put a litter box in the corner and make the area darker to allow them to use it.
Make sure that the litter box is safe for your guinea pigs. Use a plastic litter box that’s odorless, durable, and easy to clean. It should also be easy to put inside the cage, especially in a corner.
You can put some hay over the litter box to encourage them to use it.
Check out the best litter box ideas for guinea pigs.
You can also use alternatives such as puppy pads.
Our recommended litter box or pan
Ware Manufacturing Plastic Scatterless Lock-N-Litter Small Pet Pan
You can also put tunnels in the guinea pig’s cage sometimes as they love to run in and out of it. It’s fun for them.
A tunnel also helps them exercise as they run through it.
If you have a multi-level cage, you can tunnel on the ramps.
This can protect your guinea pigs from following down from the ramp while walking through it.
Use soft, comfortable, and guinea pigs friendly tunnels so that they can use them easily and safely.
Get more ideas about DIY homemade exercise toys.
Our recommended tunnel
TTANFY Tunnel Tube
11. Storage space
Storage space is an important item for guinea pigs to keep their food, bedding materials, and supplies in a safe place and arrange them properly. If the cage has storage space underneath, it makes the work so easy as well as saves the space of the room.
So, you can consider lifting up the cage and buying storage bins or building a cage that has storage underneath.
12. Toys and balls
Guinea pigs are so intelligent and love to play with toys and balls.
But, you can’t give them anything like other small pets. Balls and toys should be safe for guinea pigs.
You can provide them with wooden blocks or cardboard boxes. They like to gnaw on things like these. This aids in maintaining the length of continuously growing teeth.
You can also give them snuffed toys and homemade toys.
As they chew on these toys, they should be large enough so that they can’t cause choking problems if they decide to swallow.
However, you don’t need to leave those balls and toys in the cage always. Put these items once a day when they need to exercise.
Check my other article to get DIY homemade toy ideas..
Our recommended toys and balls
Kaytee Perfect Chews for Guinea Pigs
Niteangel Natural Chew Activity Hay Grass Pet Balls
If you have a multi-level cage, you need a ramp so that your guinea pig can go up and down the levels. They may not like to use it initially, but you can teach them to do so.
Besides, you have to make sure the ramp is covered with a soft and grippy cover to protect your piggies.
Check out how to make and use a ramp for them.
Other important supplies for guinea pigs
There are some other essential supplies that you need for the guinea pigs besides the items that I have already mentioned. You don’t have to put those in the cage, but they are very important.
Cage cleaners are one of the most important things that you need for them because you have to clean their cage every week. Make sure you use an ideal cage cleaner to keep them healthy.
Check out the best DIY and natural cage cleaners for guinea pigs.
Pellets and vegetables
Other essential things are their foods such as vegetables and pellets. They need those besides hay to maintain their health. They provide them with vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients.
You can’t put them in the cage all the time, but you should keep them inside storage to keep them fresh.
Things you should avoid in a guinea pig cage
Here is the list of things that you must avoid for guinea pigs.
Harmful bedding materials
You cannot put any type of bedding materials on the floor of the guinea pig cage.
Non-kiln dried pine bedding and cedar are harmful to them as they contain volatile oil. This oil spreads an odor that causes respiratory difficulty and leads to serious health issues.
Dusty bedding materials also cause breathing problems and respiratory diseases.
So, stay away from wood and paper beddings that aren’t dust-extracted.
Check out the best paper and wood-based bedding for Guinea pigs.
Avoid food that is not meant to feed your Guinea pigs. Food like hay that is important for them can go wrong if you fail to choose the correct product.
Don’t use alfalfa hay to feed adult guinea pigs regularly. Oat hay should also be offered as a treat.
You should also be careful when you buy pellets for their diet. All pellet foods aren’t good for their health.
Hamster wheel and balls
Small pets like hamsters love to play or exercise with a hamster wheel and balls. But guinea pigs’ bodies don’t allow them to do so.
So, never put those inside the guinea pig cage.
If you want them to exercise with those, they will get seriously hurt because their body can’t be moved or bent which is necessary to perform this activity.
This is due to their fragile spine and delicate bones. Forcing them to use those can also be fatal for them.
Metal hay Balls
Hay ball is a great product to serve hay for many small pets. But, metal-framed hay balls can be dangerous for guinea pigs.
Their head can get stuck in the wire grid which can cause serious injury and also be fatal.
Also, check out my other article about guinea pigs being noisy and keeping them calm.
You have to ensure a safe and good environment for your Guinea pigs in the cage.
So, you have to be aware of the things that they need in everyday life.
You have to put essential items which are important for feeding them and providing them comfort.
You should also stay away from those items that could be harmful to them.