I am very confused about bedding.

Post Reply

Post   » Thu Jun 05, 2014 8:25 pm

Yes.... I am very aware there are tons of sites about bedding. What I am looking for is ideas on something quick and easy.

I started using Yesterday's News litter today (per a million web sites that recommend it). I filled up the whole bottom of the cage. Now half the bag is gone. I cannot imagine people buying this every week. Clearly I am doing something wrong here. Then I dont see how i can spot check with this. It is hard to find poop.

O want to stay away from shavings - i am tired of sweeping every few hours. I have no washing machine in this apartment, so i am not sure about fleece.

Please help me. I have three puggies I bought last week. First time owner. Also, does yesterdays news hurt their feet???

User avatar
Supporter in '12

Post   » Thu Jun 05, 2014 9:04 pm

Disposable bedding can be very expensive but sometimes buying it in the biggest bag possible will save you a bit and buying knock off brands also.

You don't really need to spot clean when using bedding daily. You just would scoop out a really solid area between full cage cleanings as they appear. It would be easy to spot a really wet/poopy spot that you can literally scoop out and put a handful of fresh bedding back.

If you don't have a washer in your apartment and don't want to take fleece to a laundry mat, then it definitely won't be for you. It is more work for spot cleaning daily but might be cheaper if you only had to pay for washing it once a week, rather than buying a bag of bedding a week.

User avatar
Supporter in 2019

Post   » Thu Jun 05, 2014 10:44 pm

You might find this helpful:


Post   » Mon Jun 09, 2014 1:41 am

I have to say that piggy bedspreads are the best and easiest to use. You can learn more about them if you google it.

The system they have setup and the products they make are by far the best that I have ever used. I have used every type of bedding (except cedar) that you can think of and tried it all and nothing really compares to the quality and price in the long-term.

Otherwise I used to use fleece blankets by themselves and that works but many pigs try to burrow and make the coroplast all messy and it just takes more time to clean.


Post   » Mon Jun 09, 2014 10:50 am

i use wood shavings on the bottom of the pigs cage and have never had a problem with it.
as long as its dry there's no issue with using it.
just don't get pine shavings or ceeder shavings as those ones can upset the pigs breathing system
they are very sensitive creatures guinea pigs. At least, that's what i've found.

User avatar
pig wrangler
Supporter in '13

Post   » Mon Jun 09, 2014 12:01 pm

A few tips from my experiences:

How many pigs do you have, and what size of cage?
The more pigs and the larger the cage, the more cost effective fleece becomes.

Do you have a Washer and Dryer?
If yes, then fleece is the best answer in the long run for cost. If not, then CareFresh or Yesterdays News or other bedding is the answer.

Spot Cleaning:

If there is not a clumpy wet spot, or an obvious poop pile, you will not need to spot clean. The idea of this type of bedding is to keep the smell, moisture, etc. down by mixing the droppings around. You will still need to clean the entire cage on a regular schedule, but spot cleaning is just to get obvious messes cleaned up to prolong the need for a full cage clean.

Using fleece definitely reduces dust, so you and your pigs will be less likely to get respiratory problems, let alone needing to clean your house more often.

Supporter in '11

Post   » Mon Jun 09, 2014 9:14 pm

Do you get a lot of junk mail, or can you bring used copy paper from work? if so, think about investing in a paper shredder. We shred our non-glossy junk mail, old documents, drafts of the kids' term papers etc and use it as bedding. We then compost it.

My piggies have an area of fleece and also fleece beds, but they nap right on the shredded paper sometimes, so it must not be that bad to sleep on.

User avatar
KV Nin
Supporter in '14

Post   » Mon Jun 09, 2014 9:23 pm

I have recently been trying "Green Dreamzzz" paper litter and I find it's too lightweight and not absorbent at all. I have been buying the gigantic "store use only" packs of kaytee clean and cozy (like Carefresh Ultra but cheaper) and using that. It absorbs well. I managed to hit Drs Foster and Smith when they were having a big sale on the 56L size and it was a great buy.

My 0.02. I have a washer/dryer but it's shared with the apartments in my building. After shaking out the bedding in the yard, I'm doing about 2 loads of pig bedding a week, so it's not too bad.


Post   » Tue Jun 10, 2014 11:50 am

I can understand the confusion on all the bedding choices out there.

One thing I have to say is that there is no bedding that is going to be truly quick and easy. Guinea pigs are little eating machines and produce a lot more waste than most people think. With 3 pigs, there is not going to be a scenario where you clean the cage once a week and have it fresh smelling in between.

Here is a little run down on bedding:

Shredded paper - No! Paper is not absorbent AT ALL and makes terrible bedding for guinea pigs.

Pulp Paper Products (like Carefresh) - This is very absorbent and comfortable on the guinea pig's feet. The downside is that it is very, very expensive and not cost effective for a large cage.

Aspen/pine shavings - This can be purchased in bulk at stores like Farm & Fleet and can be spot cleaned every few days. Not bad for cost. However it can be kicked out of the cage easily and might bother someone with allergies (dust). Also can present a problem when going in the trash (especially if you are limited to how much trash you can dispose of).

Wood stove pellets - Available in bulk and super cheap and super absorbent. Really heavy though and not suitable for the whole cage. Nice for in a separate hay bin area.

Fleece and towels (or blankets sewn with fleece) - Soft on the feet and makes a cage change fast. The initial cost can be minimal if you purchase used fleece blankets and cotton fabric from thrift stores or salvation army. Poos need swept up with a small broom and dustpan. These will not work in a pet store cage and they need changed out MORE OFTEN than a loose bedding. Hay sticks to fleece and you will need to shake it off outside before washing. You also need access to a decent washer and dryer and will be doing an extra two to three more loads of laundry per week.

So you can see that there are pros and cons about every kind of bedding. I personally have always liked using sewn fleece blankets for the main cage and then use wood stove pellets for the hay bin (a removable kitty litter pan). I presently have only ONE guinea pig left. The stove pellets last about a week, but I scoop out any wet areas daily when I'm refilling the hay.

I layer several smaller fleece/cotton blankets (over the main ones) in the two areas where my pig pees the most (under her hidey and in front of her hay bin) and I remove these on the second day. In other words I do a full cleaning every second or third day.

You would have to consider the pros and cons and decide what might work for you. But just keep in mind, there is no truly EASY method in the long run. All animals take a certain degree of upkeep and no method is perfect.

User avatar
Randall G Pig

Post   » Tue Jun 10, 2014 10:03 pm

I'm not fond of the Carefresh bedding because it seems harder to "fluff" and clumpy. I like the Kaytee brand Clean & Cozy - easy to fluff, however I find that it really sucks up the pee. I tend to stay away from the colors on paper bedding just because I'm paranoid about any dyes they may have. (overprotective mother)

I am curious about the use of fleece like Carriegyrl83 is. I like the idea of sweeping up the poops - numerous as they are. I don't use my washer for the cuddle towels or when I give Randy a bath, so I suppose I would use the laundromat for the cage fleece (or is that a breach of laundromat etiquette?)

User avatar
pig wrangler
Supporter in '13

Post   » Wed Jun 11, 2014 12:23 pm


We have no problem doing multiple loads of fleece/towels in our own washer/dryer.

I always do an extra rinse on each load of fleece to get any remaiming soap out of the fleece and to flush out any leftover furr/hay or other piggy remains.

When we are ready to do human laundry, (about 1 in 15 loads) we run a tub clean cycle and have no problems with smell or hair on our clothes.


Post   » Sun Jun 15, 2014 2:26 am

Buy a piggy bedspread or 2 and you will not regret it. No messy coroplast, it lasts about 1 week with daily poop sweeps with 3-4 piggies in a 2x5 cage. It absorbs all the moisture and I could probably go longer with the fleece moisture wise but it looks dirty after a week so I change it. No smell either and washes easily. They even have a sell for fathers day and also sales throughout the year if you are a newsletter subscriber.

User avatar
Supporter in '14

Post   » Sun Jun 15, 2014 3:40 pm

I wash my piggy fleece in my washing machine. I make sure all the hay and hair is swept off and wash on hot with an extra rinse. I add a little vinegar to the wash cycle.

I haven't had any problems with hair on our clothing and it is really no different than washing diapers when my children were babies. Back in those days diapers didn't come from a package.


Post   » Tue Jun 17, 2014 8:43 am

Do your piggies have litterboxes? If so, you could just put bedding in there.
I think cardboard bedding (clean, dust free, absorbent & good odour control) & kiln dried pine shavings or other types of bedding that can be bought in large bags could work out cheaper.
Kiln dried pine shavings are fine to use:clean, absorbent,good odour control), but:- choose medium to large flakes, not fine which are very dusty, store with bag open, make sure the pine smell is low to nil, & the cage must have good ventilation.
Just do what another poster said (sorry, forgot name) - spot check, fluff the bedding about to shake poos down to the bottom, remove any wet spots, refresh just those spots, do complete change once a week.
Having a thick layer of newspapers at the bottom can make changes easy. Just roll the top layers of newspaper with the bedding & dispose in rubbish.


Post   » Tue Jun 17, 2014 9:08 am

Sorry, meant to delete first sentence. I use loose bedding in the litterboxes & fleximats in the rest of the cage (google'trial thread for foam bedding'. It's an old thread in the guineapigforum) which are super easy to clean. The girls have hay bags, hay boxes & hay in hanging toiletpaper tubes as well as a handful of hay in the litterboxes which will need more regular spotchecks & refreshes.

But the idea of loose bedding in the whole of the cage is what other posters have said- you don't have to clean daily except for obvious poo&pee spots.


Post   » Sat Dec 02, 2017 1:14 am

Hi, I am confuse about the bedding of my pets and here in Australia I am not able to get the exact size bedding like coverlet. Could I use https://www.aushoppinghub.com/product-category/blankets-coverlets/ they seems okay but size is the problem. Now I think that I will cut it in two pieces!

And got the T-shirt

Post   » Sat Dec 02, 2017 1:33 am

Those are awfully expensive for guinea pig bedding!

Can you find fleece, either locally or online? Fleece over an absorbent layer works very well, and you can cut it to whatever size you need -- no hemming needed. The absorbent layer can be towels, mattress pads, wood pellets -- whatever will absorb the urine.


Post   » Sat Dec 02, 2017 8:56 pm

I use fleece, towels, and human pee pads. All of my fleece are throw blankets (not the fluffy fuzzy kind). I got them at Walmart for $2.50 or hand me downs. Towels were either hand me downs or the cheapo ones at Walmart. I was surprised how many people had old towels they were willing to give up. As for cleaning we just throw on a vinyl glove and steal poop by hand. Usually do a full change twice a week. I got a stiff plastic bristle scrub brush at the Dollar Tree that is great for getting those tiny bits of hay off the fleece. Cage stuff goes in a separate hamper til we go to the laundry mat.

User avatar
Thanks for the Memories

Post   » Mon Dec 04, 2017 3:47 pm

Is fleece not easily found in Australia?

We got some fleece throw blankets at the thrift store and they also came with several yards of just standard off the bolt fleece from a craft store. The under layer is a furniture pad like this: https://www.uhaul.com/MovingSupplies/Protective-Stuff/Furniture-Pad?Id=2670 We brush the fleece off daily using a small dust pan and hand broom. In our case, the poop and hay go into a small trash can and that goes into our compost when it's full. The fleece gets a good shake before going into the washer. I don't cut the fleece to size. I tuck it under the under layer wherever it's too big. That also keeps them from digging under it.

I used other bedding with my previous pigs, and find this to be as easy or easier to maintain. It also seems to be easier for my daughter, who is only 9. Shavings can get heavy, especially if you use several layers of newspaper underneath (and we no longer get a daily paper so...less newspaper on hand). Which is not to say you shouldn't use it if that's available, but if you can find fleece I think that might suit you best. Does that help?

Post Reply
19 posts • Page 1 of 1