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New Bigger Cage, Piggie Refuses To Use Ramps. Need Advice.

Rapple

New Born Pup
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Sep 6, 2018
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#1
Hello, I am new to this site and in need of advice. My wife and I just decided to upgrade our Guinea Pigs cage and are having trouble transitioning her into it. The old cage was the Midwest Habitat Cage, and we purchased the Midwest Habitat Plus to add onto it. It has this divider to separate with a ramp to access it and we bought an extra ramp cover to combine the 2 cages together. However our piggie seems to want nothing to do with the using the ramps and will only stay in the section we set her in. we have tried putting carrots and lettuce to trail her into using the ramps and to explore the new parts of her cage (especially where her food, water, and hay is) but she will only stretch her body to the ramp to grab the snacks then back to her safe house she goes. Is there anything else to do to get her to be more comfortable with using the ramps?
 

Mother Hubbard

Forum Donator 2017/18
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#2
Hi and welcome.
Sounds like you are doing what you can be ensuring a safe environment with a tunnel cover and the tease of food. So I would ensure a heavier trail of food on the ramp so like a nose to tail and not leave any gaps between the food. We know pigs don’t have great eye sight and use their sense of smell and hearing for the most part.
With this in mind, can you try putting your pigs scent in the ramp? A new cage and new smells might be making it feel uncomfortable. Assuming the ramp has good footing?
Mine has carpet on.
It will take time and a bit of coaching but they do eventually get there.
 

Gia

Junior Guinea Pig
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Jul 20, 2017
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Elk Grove, California
#3
Hello, I am new to this site and in need of advice. My wife and I just decided to upgrade our Guinea Pigs cage and are having trouble transitioning her into it. The old cage was the Midwest Habitat Cage, and we purchased the Midwest Habitat Plus to add onto it. It has this divider to separate with a ramp to access it and we bought an extra ramp cover to combine the 2 cages together. However our piggie seems to want nothing to do with the using the ramps and will only stay in the section we set her in. we have tried putting carrots and lettuce to trail her into using the ramps and to explore the new parts of her cage (especially where her food, water, and hay is) but she will only stretch her body to the ramp to grab the snacks then back to her safe house she goes. Is there anything else to do to get her to be more comfortable with using the ramps?
Welcome to the forum! Do you only have one piggy?
 

Rapple

New Born Pup
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#4
Thank you, and I will try to make a heavier trail on the ramps and will try getting her scent onto it as well. the Ramp is the same material as the Midwest cage bottom is so I don't know how the footing is. We were more concerned on making sure she wasn't stepping on wire bars. And only one piggy yes.
 

HeatherW

Junior Guinea Pig
Joined
Feb 9, 2018
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#6
My piggies took a while to get used to the ramps and now they race up and down all the time!

I put hay and a water bottle (and their own scent) on both levels and left them on one level for a few days whilst they were figuring it out. They'd take a few steps, gradually getting bolder, but I think they were a bit nervous because there isn't much space for them to turnaround - and definitely not quickly!

After a few days on one level, I'd move them to the other, so they gradually got to map/connect their own territory.

Does your cage have a connecting level, i.e. floorspace, between the two ramps or is it one long ramp which crosses one way then the other? Having a "mezzanine" may help, so they don't feel trapped once they've committed to going up/down. For a guinea pig, there could be a snake waiting for them round the corner!

I hope that helps!
 

Rapple

New Born Pup
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#7
Once my phone is recharged I can post a picture to better show, but its just one level. the way the midwest cage works is the door to the cage hinges down and gets covered by the mat we bought and counts for half of the ramp, then you push the second cage right up against the first one and put its door down and cover with the mat to complete the ramp. We have her old house and castle divided between the two cages as I was hoping that would help a little bit too, but she seems to be too clever for her own good. She has resorted to grabbing the mat with her teeth and pulling on it to shake the snacks off the ramp. Thank you all for the advice so far, we really appreciate it.
 

Gia

Junior Guinea Pig
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Jul 20, 2017
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#9
Thank you, and I will try to make a heavier trail on the ramps and will try getting her scent onto it as well. the Ramp is the same material as the Midwest cage bottom is so I don't know how the footing is. We were more concerned on making sure she wasn't stepping on wire bars. And only one piggy yes.
Guinea pigs are herd animals and need a companion. I'd recommend reading this guide.
Companionship
 
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