Guinea Pig Won't Enter His Cage After Floor Time

Lxxra

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Hello everyone,



I have a curious deal with our guinea pig boy as of yesterday, wanted to see if anyone else had a similar experience with this.

We've been upgrading our C&C cage setting since we're adopting three more guinea pigs. Our current boy (single but not for long!) was in a 2-story cage (2x5 + 2x4) all by himself, super loving the space, of course. Then, we had to downgrade him to a 2x4 + built a second floor with a ramp that is a 2x2. I note, we swapped rooms also, from my bedroom to a more social office room. He was relatively fine, chewing the cage understandably since it was a considerable downsizing of space-wise for him, so we gave him plenty of floor time, also while building the second floor.

This is where the unexplainable stuff starts to happen.

I washed his fleece bedding and ramp mat, dried outside, and brought it up soon after to put in his cage. After I set up his cage, he entered the new-built for the first time to have his dinner, a little unsure, chewed for a second, and then TOTALLY freaked out. Without finishing his veggies, he ran under the curtain hidie and refused to come out. His eyes we BIG. He was clearly scared. After closing the cage, he'd bite it constantly to get out, more aggressively also, so after a while of such chaos, I had to open the door and let him go under the sofa for his safe space because he'd act totally weird in his cage.

He walked up the ramp once but was very unsure of it, smelling it constantly. He'd then get upstairs and stay there frozen. I just sat on the sofa watching him. After a while of silence he dared to get downstairs but it was the slowest moving guinea pig I've ever seen. He'd smell the fabric on the ramp constantly. When he was mid-way, just lying there, I got up from the sofa and he flew in the corner of the cage downstairs and ran under the curtains again.

It's the first-ever time he has acted this way, so I'm totally puzzled about what caused it and how to make sure it doesn't happen again.

Poor thing!

I'm wondering if any of you have observed/experienced similar situations or guinea pig behavior?

The only things that were different were the way I washed his bedding. This time I had added a bit of vinegar since I read it makes the bedding cleaner. Also, I had dried it outside in the sun instead of inside on the clothes rack. We live in an apartment building, so my suspicions are based on the fact foxes walk around the fence and area below the clothesline, so could it be their urine evaporated from the ground and left a scent on the fleece? That's one of our theories, at least!

I look forward to what you guys think.

Thank you!



Laura
 

Piggies&buns

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I'm thinking it’s one of two possibilities - that it is a lot of territory change at once. He simply doesn’t recognise it as being his space. Its all changed and cleaned and no longer smells of him.
Or, their hearing is much more sensitive than ours and he may have heard something which has frightened him.

You say you are getting more piggies. What are the new arrangements going to be? Are you aware you can only keep boars in pairs, or one neutered boar to any number of females
 

Siikibam

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:agr: With above. If you have something of his that’s soiled I would put it back in for him.

And if you’re getting him a boar friend you will have to expand to 2x5 again.
 

Lxxra

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I'm thinking it’s one of two possibilities - that it is a lot of territory change at once. He simply doesn’t recognize it as being his space. Its all changed and cleaned and no longer smells of him.
Or, their hearing is much more sensitive than ours and he may have heard something which has frightened him.

You say you are getting more piggies. What are the new arrangements going to be? Are you aware you can only keep boars in pairs, or one neutered boar to any number of females
Yup, I think that might be about right! We put in the blanket he had in the old cage for one night until I got it cleaned, so he was alright apart from having less space. But after the totally new surroundings, he got spooked.

I am aware. We have a bonded pair coming who will stay in their own C&C cage (L shape 2x5), and two separate cages for the single boys until they get used to each other - if they do! One 2x5 for the new guy, and one 2x4 + 2x2 for our current resident. If they bond, we will unite the cages.
 

Piggies&buns

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Excellent. As long as the two singles are next to each other so they can interact though the bars to prevent loneliness If they don’t bond.
 

Siikibam

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Yup, I think that might be about right! We put in the blanket he had in the old cage for one night until I got it cleaned, so he was alright apart from having less space. But after the totally new surroundings, he got spooked.

I am aware. We have a bonded pair coming who will stay in their own C&C cage (L shape 2x5), and two separate cages for the single boys until they get used to each other - if they do! One 2x5 for the new guy, and one 2x4 + 2x2 for our current resident. If they bond, we will unite the cages.
Their behaviour living side by side isn’t an indicator of whether they will get on. Nonetheless I have 🤞🏾 that it works out for them 😁 they’re going to live it large when their cages are joined!
 

Lxxra

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:agr: With above. If you have something of his that’s soiled I would put it back in for him.

And if you’re getting him a boar friend you will have to expand to 2x5 again.
I've already given the piggies my entire office :lol: I'll post a photo here once it's finished. Thank you for your reply!
 

Lxxra

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Their behaviour living side by side isn’t an indicator of whether they will get on. Nonetheless I have 🤞🏾 that it works out for them 😁 they’re going to live it large when their cages are joined!
P.S. Worked like a charm. I put in the fleece he had before and the end towel - He's back to chewing away :lol: Thank you for the tip! I wanted to have it clean so to not overwhelm the new guys arriving tomorrow due to the smells in the room. I would never think it'd impact our Pudding this much. Wow, lesson learned!
 

Piggies&buns

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P.S. Worked like a charm. I put in the fleece he had before and the end towel - He's back to chewing away :lol: Thank you for the tip! I wanted to have it clean so to not overwhelm the new guys arriving tomorrow due to the smells in the room. I would never think it'd impact our Pudding this much. Wow, lesson learned!
Boars can be very territorial. Doing a thorough and entire cage clean can cause an increase in dominance behaviour in bonded pairs as well.
They will smell all the smells regardless - their noses are more sensitive than ours, plus having more boars in the room will produce a lot more manly smells so there won’t be any getting away from it once you have more in a room!
 
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