Guinea Pigs Won’t Leave Cage

Emilymaexx

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Hi!

So, I have had my guinea pigs for 3 years now. For the first year and a half of having them I had carpet in my bedroom. The Guineas absolutely loved floor time and would squeak to be let out for floor time. Since I have changed to laminate flooring (due to the amount of floor time the pigs enjoyed we purposefully changed to laminate so that it was easier to clean) the pigs Will no longer leave their cage. I try every day to get them out onto the floor by picking them out myself, leaving the cage open for hours and by leaving their fresh greens as a motivation however they will not leave there cage and will always jump back ASAP when being cleaned out. I really don’t know what to do because it makes me sad that they’re in their cage all the time that is slightly too small for them but is the biggest one we can fit into my bedroom, but I have no idea how to get them out for more floor time now they hate it.
We have 2 dogs in the property as well so we are very limited as to where we can take them in the house (they’re border terriers and would kill the guinea pigs in a heart beat so the risk is 100% not worth it). Any advice is really appreciated!
 

alpacasqueak

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Yes definitely put a blanket/towel down where they come for playtime! The smells as well as the feel on their little feet will be very different so probably a big change for them!
And to be honest, much easier for you to clean really with piggy pee and poo, just wrap it up and the puddles etc don’t get everywhere, get soaked up a bit with the fabric!
 

Free Ranger

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We have a flat-woven cotton mat next to the cage which was from the bargain corner in Ikea. It's absorbent and their claws don't get caught in it. It gets swept daily and washed weekly when it gets too whiffy. Mine can come in and out at will but rarely venture off the mat onto the tiled floor... whether it's too cold/hard/shiny I don't know. In the past one pair used to come round the corner to where the fridge was but if startled they tried to speed away and skittered all over the place because they couldn't get any purchase. It was like a cartoon: the legs start running full pelt but the pig didn't seem to go anywhere! I think mine must realise this and just stay near the cage where they can dash to safety. I reckon your piggies are wise to this too.
Quick tip: If you go to a carpet shop like Masterfloors (if they're still in business!) you can ask if they have any old sample squares to get rid of. We've had some free in the past - they clear out any old colours or stock that isn't going to be in store any more. They're not washable but if they don't cost anything it's worth a shot to see if changing the surface helps. Failing that, stores like B&Q sell carpet tiles individually for about £3 each.
 

alpacasqueak

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It was like a cartoon: the legs start running full pelt but the pig didn't seem to go anywhere!
Yes my sister has recently had flooring put down in her living room, used to be carpet, the poor 8 year old dog has been doing similar! Think the nails clicking and the noise put her off even more too!
New things are scary sometimes!
 

Emilymaexx

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Thank you for the replies everyone! I have tried blankets and towels, they usually love to cuddle on a towel with us however it doesn't appear to work on the floor. I have left their cage open for hours at a time with towels around and they don't entertain it, we also have a flat-woven cotton mat too from IKEA! They don't seem to like the material of them. I just feel so guilty because they won't leave their cage! When they are out for cleaning, they don't tend to leave their hides for the duration (unless it's to try and sneak some hay).
 

Free Ranger

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Only other suggestion is to have a sort of 'holiday home' that isn't out in the piggy room all the time. We got an old cat-box from my mum to take pigs to vets 2 or 3 at a time. It's a big plastic thing with a removable wire grid at the front. We put fleece blankets/snuggle tunnel in and found that the pigs move between cage and cat-box quite freely (luckily they didn't seem to associate it with the vets like her cat did!) and on cage-blitz day they just take themselves off into the cat-box until we're done. Perhaps a sturdy thing like this put out for floor time might encourage them to explore... and for the rest of the time it can be stacked under/on cage? You might have to try leaving a trail of veggie treats to lead them into it first time. Good luck with your efforts :)
 

Shelley anne

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Have you tried vinyl flooring/lino on top of the laminate. Mine will happily run all over this.
 

YvonneBlue

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We put fleece blankets (only cheap ones from IKEA) on top of our tiles and the pigges seem happy with this. There are also plenty of hidies for them which are just cardboard boxes with holes cut into them. 😀
 
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