I was not familiar with the flying saucer type wheel that you mentioned so I googled it. I guess I can't envision a guinea pig using it in the way it was meant to be used. They might hide under it. If they did jump up on it and find out that it moved, I think they would jump down and never get up on it again, as they like to stand on something sturdy. Also I thought you mentioned about staying away from plastics.
It's my experience that most guinea pigs don't really play with toys all that much. The best thing seems to be to provide them with another guinea pig and room to dart around and do "zoomies." Sounds like they would have plenty of space in the area you are envisioning for them. If you have cats, though, you may need to have an enclosed cage with a lid to keep them safe.
- Catie Cavy
- Supporter 2011-2018
In mid May after losing one of our girls to a URI we switched to Fleeces called Guineadads due to concerns about dust. They have a Quilted Fleece top with a bamboo core (supposedly antibacterial) and a waterproof backing (which doesn't help if they manage to pee down the side of it so it gets under the whole thing). They also have a fleece pocket at one end that the piggys can burrow in to.
In some ways they make cleaning easier as you can just sweep up the poop with a dustpan and brush or carefully fold them in half and lift them out and then kind of use the fold to shake out the poop and any other debris in to a bag for disposal. You can then take them outside and give them a good shake to get rid of any stuck bits and pieces. They do seem to wick any liquid away quite quickly but can still feel slightly damp if there is a lot of pee in one place. The Manufacturer suggests that you spot clean like this at least twice a day and then wash the liners once a week (Free and Clear detergent on a cold wash).
While we like them we have found that the fleece pockets can get a bit smelly and if they pee and poop in there a lot (which they tend to do as that is the only place they can hide in our current set up at least until the "discover' the loft) it can get quite a strong urine smell. We have found that in practice we have to change them out (we have two sets) about every 2-3 days just to be safe. We typically wash them on a pre soak wash with detergent and then a rinse and spin cycle with no detergent followed by at least two 90 minute cycles on cool in the dryer. I have seriously considered removing fleece pockets or at least folding them back on themselves so they are no longer usable and using hideys instead or moving the fleece forests down from the loft. The manufacturers has also now suggested that you soak them for a couple of hours in cold water at least once a month before washing them to "unlock" any dried in pee in the liner core. I had been doing that every wash for the last 4-6 weeks and it did seem to help get them cleaner and less smelly but will be doing it once a month from now on as soaking them every 2-3 days for two hours is time consuming and I think it got rid of the worst that had built up over the previous 2-3 months.
There are other types of fleece out there that use a Uhaul blanket (or two) as the liner. We have a few for the loft but the girls haven't gotten the hang of getting up the ramps and using it yet so i cant say how good they are in comparison.
I should also add that we have still had URI issues with the girls since switching to the Guineadads so it wasn't much help there
Hope that is of some help. Others may have better advice on other Fleece solutions.
- Supporter in 2018
We are currently folding the pockets back but if we continue to see the improvements we have so far with them not using the pockets we may cut the off so the liners lie a little flatter.
The other thing with them is that they tell you to wash them in cold water each time and use the cool setting on the dryer. There are others out there (like those on Guinea Pig Market) that you appear to be able to wash with hot water and warm or hot dry which may help keep them cleaner. We may try some of those when our finances recover a little.