Cavy Tips - Housing
Contributed by Shireen Lim
If you house your guinea pigs in a C&C cage, below are some common floorings used. Click here to view how to build a C&C (Coroplast and Cube) Cage.
Bath Mats/ Non-slip mats
Typically made of rubber, these mats are like an open grid only that they are made from rubber. These mats can be easily obtained from stores in Singapore such as Home Fix, NTUC or Giant. If you choose to use these mats, you will be required to place a tray beneath them to catch all that pee and poo. Refer to common bedding page for bedding choices.
Advantages of using bath mats:
- The holes in them allow the pig’s poop and pee to drain through, keeping the guinea pigs dry
- Holes are not too large that a piggy’s paw would get caught in them (do check your piggy’s paws regularly and apply a moisturizing lotion or balm occasionally to ease any calluses.)
- Easy to keep clean (scrub once a week)
Disadvantages of using bath mats:
- Guinea pig's feet might experience some abrasions over time so do apply aloe vera gel on their feet regularly if they are on this flooring
- The bath mats can develop sharp edges when they are dismanted frequently for washing purpose. Replace the mats once the sharp edges are present to ensure your guinea pigs' feet are not injured by them
Daiso Drain Boards
Smooth plastic grid boards with round holes in them, can only be obtained from Daiso – a Japanese budget store common in Singapore. Available in various bright colours such as yellow, blue, pink and green. Like the bath mats, they come in a single fixed size and several pieces can be connected to form a larger base. Similarly to bath mats, if you choose to use these mats, you will be required to place a tray beneath them to catch all that pee and poo.
Advantages of using Daiso drain boards:
- Alllow pee and poo to drain through much like the bath mats
- Surface is smooth and therefore gentler on our piggies’ feet!
Disadvantages of using Daiso drain boards:
- Holes are fairly spaced apart so pee may gather on these flat spaces, resulting in wet bottoms. Therefore, it is always advisable to wipe down these drain boards daily with some vinegar solution and water. The drain boards should be given a thorough washing at least once a week.
FLOORING TO AVOID
Any flooring that is rough, abrasive, sharp or has the potential to cut into the delicate skin of your pigs’ paw pads are to be avoided. A classic example of a flooring to avoid is wire grids. Wire grids or flooring are simply too sharp and abrasive for the soft foot pads of a guinea pig.The wires would cut into the pads of the feet, eventually leading to the development of the extremely painful condition called Bumblefoot. If left untreated, bumblefoot may eventually impair mobility, lead to bone infection and death.
Regardless of types of flooring, please ensure the hygiene and cleanliness of the cage by wiping and washing the flooring regularly to keep it clean and dry.