When selecting the litter, you must, however, exercise extreme caution. Cat litter alternatives include compressed wood shavings, newspaper shavings, and hay, among other things.
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Can you use cat litter for guinea pigs?
It is not safe to use cat litter on guinea pigs; in fact, if you use the wrong litter, it will be detrimental to their health.
Guinea pigs and cats are two entirely different species, and cat litters are not intended for use with guinea pigs; instead, they are intended for use with cats only.
However, there are several different types of cat litter that can be used by guinea pigs; however, the majority of them should be avoided.
Use of inappropriate cat litter, which is common in guinea pigs, can have a number of negative consequences, some of which are listed below.
When compared to cats, guinea pigs are more likely to consume cat litter. However, cats have been known to eat their litter on their own occasion, which is considered a behavioral problem.
Guinea pigs, on the other hand, chew on their litter as part of their natural and expected behavior. As a result, when setting up the litter box for your guinea pigs, you must take this into consideration.
When designing a litter of cats, it is important to keep the possibility of ingestion in mind. When guinea pigs eat cat litter, they run the risk of ingesting harmful substances.
When ingested, many cat litters can cause digestive system problems, and in some cases, they can even result in life-threatening conditions. Cat litter containing clay or silica can cause blockages in the intestines of your guinea pig, so be cautious when using this product.
Also read: Gastrointestinal problems in guinea pigs
Similar to intestinal obstructions in humans, guinea pigs are also at risk of developing digestive problems.
Although digestive problems are minor in comparison to blockages, they still pose a threat to the health of guinea pigs.
Also read: All about constipation in guinea pigs
It’s also important to mention that people are suffering from respiratory illnesses. When compared to cats, the respiratory system of guinea pigs is more susceptible to infection.
Several types of dust particles, including crystal and clay particles, can be found in some cat litter.
Dust particles can cause respiratory problems in animals when they are inhaled by them. This is especially true for guinea pigs.
Cat litter bad for guinea pigs
Several of the cats’ litters are harmful to guinea pigs, but some of them can actually be beneficial to them as well.
The only way to find out which type of cat litter is good or bad for your guinea pig is to experiment with it.
Below is a list of different types of cat litter that you should avoid using:
Crystal cat litter is not suitable for use with guinea pigs, whereas other types of cat litter may be considered a more dependable option in some cases. Crystal cat litter is the most toxic of all the different types of cat litter that can be ingested by cats.
More than that, crystal cat litter contains chemicals that help it maintain its crystal-like appearance. It is possible that your guinea pig will be poisoned if he or she consumes certain formulations.
All types of clumping cat litter are toxic to guinea pigs, and they should not be used. Furthermore, clumping cat litter is a type of litter that is extremely hazardous to your guinea pigs’ well-being.
When the moisture is absorbed by the clumping cat litter, it expands to 15 times its original size.
Because of the ingestion of clumping litter, a guinea pig’s abdomen can become significantly larger.
Additionally, this will cause blockages, which can cause the entire digestive system of your guinea pig to shut down. As a result, avoid using any type of clumping cat litter on your guinea pig.
Even though clay does not cause physical damage when compared to clumping litter, it is not safe for guinea pigs to consume when they are young.
This type of litter can also cause digestive problems, as well as blockages in the digestive tract. No matter whether your guinea pig consumes the clay or not, the dust particles from this litter can be hazardous to its health.
In addition, breathing in the dust particles of clay litter can cause respiratory illness in susceptible individuals.
Cat litter safe for guinea pigs
What factors contribute to the safety of guinea pig litters? Following are some of the considerations that should be made when selecting an appropriate litter or brand for your guinea pigs:
Should be toxic free
Guinea pigs are constantly attempting to bite on their litter. That is normal and collective behavior, but improper litter is detrimental to your guinea pig’s health because it can cause health complications.
In order to avoid exposing your Guinea pig to toxic materials when purchasing litter for him or her, make sure that you purchase only toxic-free litter whenever you are purchasing litter for them.
Natural materials will be an excellent choice for toxic-free articles, but this does not imply that all of nature’s elements are toxic-free in and of themselves.
Consider doing some research on certain materials before purchasing a litter so that you can determine whether or not it is toxic to your guinea pig.
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Must be super absorbent
Guinea pigs will always avoid litter boxes that have a strong smell to them. As a result, it can produce a foul odor throughout the house, as well as messy guinea pigs.
The ammonia that emanates from the boxes of dusty litter is responsible for the distinct smell they emit.
Ammonia is produced when you fail to clean the area where your guinea pig’s urine has been left for an extended period of time.
As a result, in order to avoid the distinctive and unpleasant odor, it is necessary to use litters that soak up moisture, particularly urine.
Should be chemical free
Guinea pigs always stick to the materials according to their natural behavior, and they will frequently start chewing on their litter.
Whenever you buy a litter, don’t try to have the combinations which have additions. It can be dangerous for your guinea pig when you try to add and mix these substances to make it more spongy or easy to clean.
When you buy litter, always try to check the list of ingredients on a packet of litter. And if you see any risky mixes or additions, then do some research to make sure that these mixtures are safe for your guinea pig or not.
What is the best litter for guinea pigs?
Many litters of cats are not safe for guinea pigs. But, there are some of the litters of cats that can be safe for your guinea pig to use:
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The most suitable litter to use for guinea pigs is paper pellets. Paper is naturally free of chemicals, free of toxins, and capable of being decomposed by biological activity, eco-friendly.
Also, papers are useful in absorption. It is a safe and good choice for other kinds of kitty litter. And it is digestible by both guinea pigs and cats, so it is also reliable when ingested.
The Commercial litters of cats that use this material are made up of recycled paper, which is free of chemicals and toxic-free. And also completely eco-friendly.
Natural wood fibers are an excellent choice as it is most of the standard material for the litters of guinea pigs.
Most of the wood fibers are comfortable for guinea pigs to eat or consume, and absorbent.
For example, paper, these are capable of being decomposed too. Also, some of the woods deliver a nice aroma that you and your guinea pig can enjoy.
Cedar and pine are most of the common woods which are used in the litter of cats.
Both of the woods can cover the urine smell of your guinea pig with its aromatic scent. However, it is less beneficial than those litters designed to absorb urine and odor.
It must be pointed out that some of the owners of guinea pigs are unwilling and hesitant to use the wood as a litter as there are some statements which say that wood can cause liver diseases.
In the laboratory, it is founded on how scientists prevent the softwoods because of its side effect in the liver.
However, papers are more beneficial at absorption as compared to wood. Also, wood shavings can be rough for the feet of guinea pigs.
If you don’t want to use wood shavings, either it is because of its ineffectiveness or the liver disease statements, but still, there are different choices for your guinea pig.
Guinea pig litter alternatives
Many commercial litters are designed for small creatures, which cannot be fit for guinea pig’s desire.
But this is not an issue, as breeders and owners can pick the litters from many different types of stuff that are obtainable to them.
Some choices to think about when you want to choose the correct litter for your guinea pig are given below:
- Newspaper shavings: It is a great choice to choose guinea pig litter, which is made up of paper.
- As they are toxic-free, free of chemicals, and biodegradable.
- Most of the commercial litters are made up of paper.
- However, you can also make it yourself with newspaper shavings.
- Compressed wood stove prills: You can use compressed wood stove prills for litter, as a choice to wood shavings.
- It is also named as wood fuel prills, as these woods can be available in hardware shops.
- Hay: Hay is always used as a guinea pig’s food, but you can also use it as a litter of guinea pig.
- Guinea pigs know that they do not have to eat dirty hay.
- However, you need to make sure that there should be enough clean hay in your guinea pig’s litter.
- Aspen: Except cedar and pine, there is another standard wood product which is aspen.
- However, it can be harder than cedar and pine, but aspen can be the right choice in touch.
Guinea pig litter box setup
The most common problem with guinea pigs’ behavior is that they do not want to use a litter box, which is understandable.
It all boils down to this: how will you make sure that your guinea pig uses their litter box? That could be accomplished by arranging your litter box in an appropriate manner.
Here are some of the steps you should take to properly set up your guinea pig’s litter box:
The chewing behavior of Guinea pigs is associated with willingness to perform a task. If there is litter in the box, placing a bunch of hay in it will increase the likelihood that a guinea pig will use their box.
It will also reduce the likelihood that your guinea pig will consume or eat the litter that has been provided for them to eat.
Don’t be concerned if you have to add the hay to the litter by yourself. As guinea pigs, they will not consume the stained hay, but they will enjoy the hay that has been set aside for them to chew.
Consider adding the hay, which should be 1 inch thick, to one section of the box. This hay must be used to fill at least one-third of the litter box in order to leave enough space for the litter.
Move the hay to one side
You can cut a piece of cardboard to fit around the length of the litter box to separate the hay from the litter for your guinea pig’s litter.
Clean the hay in the first section of the box with your one hand, using the cardboard, and then restore the other section of the box with the litter that you have been selected as the best of the bunch.
Remove the cardboard box from the measurement and allow it to settle evenly.
On the other hand, you can also place hay on top of the litter to keep it moist. It is possible that this will make the cleaning process more difficult because the hay will easily mix with the litter.
However, if you do not have a lot of space, placing the hay on top of the litter can be a lifesaver.
Add the litter
Put the guinea pig litter that you’ve chosen for your pet in this container. In addition, the litter must be spread to a thickness of at least 1 inch.
Those guinea pigs who enjoy digging can easily increase the thickness of the bedding by 2 to 3 inches. Because of this, the litter for your guinea pig must fill nearly two-thirds of the box’s capacity.
Also read: How to litter train your guinea pigs?
How to change guinea pig litter in the litter box?
In the event that you have chosen a new litter for your guinea pig, how will you differentiate it from the previous litter? For the most part, simply swapping out the new litter with the old one will not work for the guinea pigs.
Guinea pigs become accustomed to the sensation of litter, as well as the smell and sight of it. Changing the new litter with another can cause your guinea pig to become confused, and they will lose interest in using the litter box as a result.
What changes will you make to the new litter to ensure that your guinea pig continues to use the litter? The following are some of the steps to take when switching from one type of litter to another:
- Mix the new one with old: Start with a small rather than changing the litter completely.
- Add a new litter coating very lightly on top of the old one.
- Also, it is not compulsory to coat the old litter as you may need to have some of its aromas to come from it.
- You will need to exchange nearly 10% old litter with the new litter.
- Put more of the new litter: Later on, you can clean the litter and put some more of the new litter.
- Again interchange it more nearly 10% of the old litter from the original material.
- Exchange more of it after following the clean-ups.
- Keep an eye on your guinea pig: After the litter’s exchange, assume that whether your guinea pig likes the change or not.
- Guinea pigs have their preferences and personalities as some of the guinea pigs may not even like the fresh material.
- You should remove the new litter if you find your guinea pig is not using their litter box with any sign of change.
Setting up a litter box, selecting a litter, and switching out the new litter for a different one can take a significant amount of time.
You can unwind simply by realizing that your guinea pig is happy, safe, and comfortable, regardless of how long it takes to complete the task.