Guinea pigs are probably the cutest pets out there (okay, we’re biased), but new owners can be surprised by the guinea pig cage smell. Our furry friends are the masters of mess-making, but don’t worry - we’ve got the best tips to keep your guinea pigs’ cage from smelling. Read on to learn about hacks for a wheek-y clean cage regime and the best bedding for guinea pigs for smell!
1. Why do guinea pig cages smell?
First-time piggy parents are often surprised by the amount of waste their small pets make. And rightly so! The fluffy animals have a bathroom break every fifteen minutes and they poop around 100 times a day - incredible, right? Dogs, by comparison, only need three to five bathroom breaks a day. So even though piggies are small pets, they have a lot to answer for when it comes to the guinea pig cage smell.
If you’re wondering, ‘Does guinea pig pee smell?’, there is no simple answer. Guinea pig pee generally shouldn’t have a strong odour but if the bedding is left too long, it can get unpleasant.
And that’s where the problem with smelly cages lies - if the cleaning is left too long, your piggies are literally stinkin’ cute.
Have you ever heard that some guinea pigs are messier than others? Let’s find out why!
2. Do male or female guinea pigs smell more?
We don’t want to offend any pig, but the truth is… Male guinea pigs smell more than females. This has to do with the grease gland near their bottom which is more active in boars. Male guinea pigs sometimes need a bit of extra care to stay clean, but your cage cleaning routine can stay the same for all pigs.
Your pets may also smell differently depending on their age. Senior piggies have a slower metabolism, meaning they may eat a little less and therefore poop less, though a significant change in weight always calls for a vet visit. While this can mean less mess, the senior pig may also stay in their favourite snooze spot for longer and get dirty there. You can keep the guinea pigs’ cage from smelling more easily, but now the pigs need more cleaning - what are the chances?
Find out more about care for the elderly pigs here!
3. Love (and Piggy Smell) Is In The Air
A simple, yet effective weapon against a stinky guinea pig home: ventilation. Fresh air in your piggy room is one of the best ways to keep your guinea pig cage from smelling. But remember your little friends don’t like draughts, so they should be in a sheltered area when you let the fresh air in.
Some air purifiers can also help get rid of unpleasant smells, and they’ll remove dust from your piggies and their hay from the air. After all, they’re guinea pigs, not dust bunnies!
4. How to Keep your Guinea Pig Cage from Smelling
There is one way only to a wheek-y clean clage: a rigorous cleaning routine. If you remove any mess and leftover food daily in a quick spot clean and change out the bedding in toilet areas every other day, the only thing that’ll stink are your stinkin’ cute pets. Make sure to clean the whole cage and all toys and accessories at least once a week with a guinea pig-friendly cleaner and detergent, and you’re all set. Between spot-cleaning and full cage cleaning, your cage won’t have a chance to get smelly. It’s the best way to keep a guinea pig cage from smelling.
Check out our cage cleaning hacks!
It’s worth noting that your piggies’ cage may need extra cleaning during the warmer months. The cage can get smelly quicker, and may even lead to flystrike if left untreated.
5. The Best Cleaning Products for Cavies
Guinea pigs are super sensitive when it comes to chemicals and strong smells. If you’re on the hunt for the best cleaning product for your cage and cavies, make sure it’s safe and approved for your little friends. Kavee has designed a line of cleaning products that are tough on dirt but gentle on their paws, featuring a cage cleaner, cleaning wipes, laundry detergent, and sanitizer. They’re all made with naturally derived ingredients and contain no added scents!
Or, if you’re after a homemade and eco-friendly option, simply mix three parts of water with one part of distilled white vinegar. It removes smells, has antifungal and antibacterial qualities, and it’s inexpensive. It’s one of our top tips to keep guinea pig cages from smelling!
6. What’s the Best Bedding for Guinea Pigs for Smell?
Bedding should absorb any moisture and keep your pigs smelling like a fresh meadow - in theory at least. If you’re not sure which bedding is right for your pets, take a look at this blog!
When it comes to environmentally friendly bedding that keeps your piggies happy and healthy, fleece liners are the option more and more piggy parents lean towards. The fleece layers capture any moisture and can simply be put in the washing machine when it’s time for a full cage clean. They keep your piggies' feet dry and are great for preventing bumblefoot.
But here comes the real game changer: pee pads for toilet areas. Most guinea pigs go to the bathroom in a few select areas of their home. Often, their hideys and houses are popular spots for this. If you put pee pads in these areas and change them out every other day, the cage will stay nice and dry - and so will your guinea pigs!
Fleece liners are our clear winner when it comes to the best bedding for guinea pigs for smell.
7. How to Keep Fleece Liners from Smelling
If you’ve picked fleece liners for your pets, you can keep your guinea pig fleece liners from smelling with a simple cleaning routine. Fleece liners and accessories absorb moisture, so they should be changed regularly to stay fresh. Kavee cuddle cups have a removable pee pad you can swap out every other day, and you can also use pee pads in the cage and simply pop them in the wash with the other fleece.
How often you change your fleece interiors depends on your cage size and the amount of piggies you have. A simple rule of thumb: if your guinea pig cage smells, you’ve left it for too long. But don’t worry, you’ll soon figure out the right routine for your little herd and against the guinea pig cage smell.
8. How to Wash Fleece Liners for Guinea Pigs
Wondering how to wash fleece liners for guinea pigs? It’s easier than you think! Follow these simple steps:
- Put your fleece liners in the washing machine, ideally in a laundry bag.
- Add our Don’t Furry Laundry Detergent and Furociously Clean Laundry Sanitizer - or alternatively, a splash of white vinegar.
- Turn the wash on at 30°C (86°F) and 1200 rpm.
- Play with your piggies while you wait - and don’t forget their treats!
- Take the washing out of the machine.
- Hang it on a drying rack for a few hours.
- The fleece liners for guinea pigs are ready for action.
Find out more about fleece liners here!
9. Washing Machine Hacks for a Fresh-Smelling Cage
If you wash your Kavee fleece accessories at 30°C (86°F) and 1200 rpm, you’re almost there! A splash of white vinegar or our Furociously Clean Laundry Sanitizer neutralises the liners’ smell, so they come out of the wash (almost) ready to go. Plus, both products also help keep your washing machine clean!
The real hack - are you ready?! - are laundry bags. They keep all your guinea pig laundry in one place and protect your washing machine at the same time. Hair and hay stay inside the bag and you can simply shake it out after the wash. Your washing machine stays unclogged and can keep your fleece liners smelling fresh for longer. A guinea pig cage smell hack that will pay off in the long run.
10. Larger Cage, Better Smell
It probably won’t come as a surprise that a bigger cage prevents smelliness. After all, if many guinea pigs live in a small space, they’ll go to the bathroom in all the same areas. With a larger cage, the bedding gets a chance to dry and work its absorbent magic. Plus, more space means more room to popcorn - a win-win situation for your piggies.
Read our C&C cage size guide for more info!
11. What to Do if Your Pig is Stinky
Now, in the unlikely event of a smelly pig, rather than a smelly cage, there are a few things to consider. Why is your guinea pig smelly? Are they older, so they don’t move as much? If so, a simple bum wash can restore your piggy’s former glory - bathe your guinea pig when they most need it by using our pet-safe shampoo.
If you’re not sure why your guinea pig smells more than their cage, a vet visit may be in order. The furry potatoes can be vain, so they groom themselves thoroughly. A healthy pig should be a clean pig - in theory!
12. How to Keep Your Guinea Pigs from Smelling
Some simple hacks can keep your guinea pigs smelling fresh and fight the guinea pig cage smell. A good diet, consisting of a mixture of high-quality hay, fresh foods, and nutritious pellets will keep your piggy healthy.
A poor diet, on the other hand, can cause gas or even diarrhoea - you see where this is going: Good diet = clean pig. Clean pig = less smelly. Add in some fresh, guinea-pig-safe herbs every now and again, and you may soon pick your pigs up simply to get a whiff of the good stuff (we’re not judging!).