How to reduce the smell of indoor guinea pig cages?

Beth-Joy

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I have 2 guinea pigs which I keep in a large indoor cage in the living room. I use a waterproof picnic blanket and towels as a cage liner. They tend to pee on the towels, so I put fresh ones down every day, while I replace the picnic blanket once a week as they only tend to eat off that and not do mess on it. I spot clean 2-3 times a day. However, they still smell very bad and the odour fills the whole living room.

Can you recommend any cage liners which reduce smell? Maybe anti-bacterial material or ones which just absorb the smell better, and can be washed over and over without losing their waterproof and anti-odour properties?

Thanks!
 

Free Ranger

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I'm not sure it'd be bacteria causing a smell - it might just be the pong of pee? But I've seen a lot of people talk about using 'puppy pads' under their fleece so maybe look into those? I use bedding rather than fleece but mine are kept by the back door so when I come down in the morning and do a spot-clean I have the door open 15 minutes or so just to air everything off. You don't have to leave windows open all day - just a quick blow through to freshen the place up!
 

rp1993

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I think it might be your towels holding the smell as towels dont wick away moisture, I used fleece liners and smaller pee pads with a puppy pad underneath and don’t notice a pee smell, I change the pee pads out every 2 days ish as they are in the heavy areas and the full liner comes out every 5 days. We get out liners from here: HOME | THE PIG STY CO. and there is also a member thread of recommendations of other places to get them from. I think the only place that offers a little more “technologically advanced” liner would be guinea dad however they are expensive!
 

anyar.dris

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Like the post above, it might be the towels that is causing the smell. I used old towels in the past in some parts of the cage and I usually have to replaced it 2x a day because it gets too wet.
 

Beth-Joy

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I think it might be your towels holding the smell as towels dont wick away moisture, I used fleece liners and smaller pee pads with a puppy pad underneath and don’t notice a pee smell, I change the pee pads out every 2 days ish as they are in the heavy areas and the full liner comes out every 5 days. We get out liners from here: HOME | THE PIG STY CO. and there is also a member thread of recommendations of other places to get them from. I think the only place that offers a little more “technologically advanced” liner would be guinea dad however they are expensive!
Interesting - so you use disposable puppy pads, then a liner, then pee pads? Which pee pads/puppy pads do you use? Thank you!
 

rp1993

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Interesting - so you use disposable puppy pads, then a liner, then pee pads? Which pee pads/puppy pads do you use? Thank you!
We have pee pads from the place I linked (Pringle is actually modelling them on the website!) we also have guinea dad ones but they are not worth the extra in my opinion!
We buy out puppy pads from pound stretchers I think they are £4.99 for 36!
 

Piggies&buns

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You can just put puppy pads down on the base of the cage and then a fleece blanket on top. That’s it! You can then use smaller fleece pee pads in higher traffic areas as you can change them out.
I do agree it’s likely the towels causing the problem though.

also, you haven’t said what sex your piggies are, but with boars, the more you clean, the more they smell as it can cause them to scent mark more to make the cage smell like them again
 

PigglePuggle

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We like the Inconti-Pet washable puppy mats from Vetfleece under our fleecy flooring, you can buy then from Amazon or eBay- incredibly absorbent and odour free and they wash very well, soak up 3 or 4 days of wee (or today when our water bottle broke, almost 600mls of water!) no problem :)
They also work well just under hay I think, I believe @Betsy has them in her outdoor hutch too?
 

Beth-Joy

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We like the Inconti-Pet washable puppy mats from Vetfleece under our fleecy flooring, you can buy then from Amazon or eBay- incredibly absorbent and odour free and they wash very well, soak up 3 or 4 days of wee (or today when our water bottle broke, almost 600mls of water!) no problem :)
They also work well just under hay I think, I believe @Betsy has them in her outdoor hutch too?
I'm a bit confused about why people use both puppy pads and fleece flooring. Surely if the puppy pads need changing daily, so does the fleece flooring, because all the pee would have to travel through the fleece to get to the pads?
 

Beth-Joy

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You can just put puppy pads down on the base of the cage and then a fleece blanket on top. That’s it! You can then use smaller fleece pee pads in higher traffic areas as you can change them out.
I do agree it’s likely the towels causing the problem though.

also, you haven’t said what sex your piggies are, but with boars, the more you clean, the more they smell as it can cause them to scent mark more to make the cage smell like them again
Would you not then need to wash the fleece blanket every day?
 

Piggies&buns

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I'm a bit confused about why people use both puppy pads and fleece flooring. Surely if the puppy pads need changing daily, so does the fleece flooring, because all the pee would have to travel through the fleece to get to the pads?
Would you not then need to wash the fleece blanket every day?

because the puppy pads aren't a nice bedding. fleece is bedding, it wicks the urine through it into the puppy pads and then keeps the fleece nice and dry.

No. Fleece, when wicking properly, only needs changing twice a week. you wouldn't need to change the puppy pads daily either.

A Detailed Guide For Fleece Bedding
 

rp1993

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I am just cleaning out the boys cage, this is what the fleece looks like in a heavy area after 5 days we don’t change our puppy pads every day either! Although it’s stained it’s bone dry and it doesn’t really smell either! image.jpg
 

Hath

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The fleece is what keeps them dry (if prepared correctly), the puppy pad soaks the urine. Also, piggie can nibble on puppy pad, you don't want to leave it exposed...
You scoop poop at least twice a day. And high traffic areas get extra pee pads that are changed more often. In theory, you'll not need to do full cage clean daily because you're changing the pee pads from high traffic areas,so there shouldn't be that much urine elsewhere.
That's the theory, it doesn't work for all. I used to have two boys that would just smell constantly, not from marking.
Once I also made mistake by falling behind with washing cage liners and did shorter cycle and tumble dryer! What a mistake!
 

Piggies&buns

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Mine live in a hutch in my shed and I use aubiose with hay on top as their hutch bedding (year round). Their shed bedding in summer is puppy pads with fleece laid on top. I poop pick/remove wet hay definitely once a day, usually twice a day, but only do a full clean out once a week.
 

rp1993

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As I am cleaning the cage I thought I could show what we use ! I also gave all the dirty bedding a sniff and it’s not particularly smell!
Puppy pads in high traffic area - this is where their hidey lives
1017E182-ADBD-4E54-A845-8A582A82D2EF.jpeg
Then the fleece liner on top
image.jpg
And the we also have these little “beds” that are cat litter trays with bathmat/ fleece and then a proper pee pad on top they go in a EAF9715F-C035-4A9C-B0C4-1264C29D5D1C.jpegvery high traffic area so we take the pee pads out every two days.
 

Free Ranger

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I don't use fleece but I do have fleecy snuggle tunnels. It's the pee that makes them smell not the poop. I find back-2-nature (under hay) very absorbent for the bedroom area but it's pricey and not for every pig. It's a bit knobbly in texture and one old girl with tender feet used to get a bumble if she was kept on it, but generally speaking it's what we choose. You can get little bags to try before committing to a sack. You might even be able to wangle a free sample from a supplier occasionally!
 
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