What is the Best Bedding for Guinea Pigs?

Print this pageEmail this page to a friend

Using the best bedding for your guinea pig is important to make sure they are comfortable, warm, safe and healthy in their environment.

There are several choices when it comes to deciding what the best guinea pig bedding is to use for your cavies and we describe the best options here.

We have created an easy online shopping list for you to buy the products below but if you want to read what we have to say about each, scroll further down the page.

Recommended: Our Top 5 Bedding Options

Take a look at these recommended bedding options. Click on the links to see what they look like, how much they cost and for full details.

Hay

This can be used in one area and one of the options listed below for another section of the cage.

https://amzn.to/2M8fd3a

Fitch

A paper-based bedding

https://amzn.to/2vXfye7

Megazorb

A wood-pulp bedding

https://amzn.to/2AU3Jej

Carefresh

A wood-pulp bedding

https://amzn.to/2ORTmuh

Fleece Liners

These are great for C&C Cages and can be custom made to fit your cage

https://amzn.to/2ATogiT

Sleeping Quarters

Whatever bedding you opt for, remember that your guinea pigs will always need plenty of hay in their sleeping quarters on top of whatever other bedding is used. They don’t make nests but they do like to burrow themselves in hay where they feel safe and secure. You can also buy “hidey holes” and fill them with hay too as they will love to curl up in those!

Guinea Pig Bedding Options

Choosing which bedding to use for your cavies can be a combination of what works for them and you as well as what might work best in the type of housing that you have for your pigs. 

Newspaper & Hay

Guinea pigs love hay for both bedding and food but make sure you keep the feeding hay separate (eg in a hay rack) so it doesn't get soiled.

Newspaper is great for soaking up urine. It will evaporate which makes for a hygienic hutch or cage. Line the hutch with several layers of newspaper throughout the cavy housing.

Once you have lined the floor with newspaper, you should cover it all with hay. 

Fitch Paper Bedding

Fitch Paper Bedding is a paper based bedding for pets. It is good quality shredded paper which is dust-free and very absorbent. We have previously used this for our own guinea pigs and it really does absorb any smells. 

It is biodegradeable which means it is environmentally-friendly. It is also nice and soft for your guinea pigs delicate little feet. Cover the floor of the guinea pig home with layers of newspaper and put plenty of the paper bedding on top. 

Megazorb

Megazorb Animal Bedding is made from virgin wood pulp. The advantage to using this over shavings is that it is dust-free and a lot more absorbent and doesn’t contain dangerous sharp or rough bits which can be a hazard to them.

This bedding is also environmentally friendly and easy to use. It is also lovely and soft for your guinea pigs to run around on or to lie on.

Put down a few layers of newspaper, then pile the megazorb on top. 

Carefresh Natural

Carefresh Natural, like Megazorb, is also made from virgin wood pulp. It is very absorbent and designed to eliminate any odours. Some people say they don't like the smell of it and others don't mind it, so it probably depends on personal taste.

Carefresh do also offer a coloured bedding which might look pretty but we believe natural is always better.

Fleece & Towels

Many guinea pig owners like to use fleece as bedding, particularly if they have an indoor cage.

The fleece gives a lovely soft area on which they can run around or lie down and you can use towels or puppy pads underneath to absorb the urine.

When buying new fleece, you should wash it several times first to shrink it down and improve it’s absorbency capabilities.

If you decide to use fleece, remember:

  • Fleece and towels will mean quite a bit of washing. We recommend a 60 degree wash to kill all bacteria.
  • Give the bedding a good shake out before putting in the washing machine as bits of hay may cause blockages and it could ruin the machine!
  • You will be doing a lot of washing and drying. This can be a lot of work during the winter months.

Fleece Liners

Fleece liners are a much easier option that simply fleece and towels (or puppy pads).

There's a lady in the UK who makes custom fleece liners for guinea pig cages and they are very reasonably priced. They are made with fleece top and bottom with an absorbent furniture removal blanket sandwiched in the middle. You can choose the colour/pattern of the fleece too! You can also buy them on Amazon in the Handmade sectio

A Note About Sawdust / Wood Shavings (NOT Recommended)

Although many guinea pig owners still include this as bedding for their cavies, it is not something we would recommend for the following reasons;

  • Guinea pigs are very susceptible to respiratory problems and sawdust or wood shavings tend to have a lot of dust in them which can contribute to health problems
  • Although it will soak up the urine, it doesn’t allow for it to evaporate which is unhygienic and more messy when you come to clean out their housing.
  • Bits of wood shavings can get stuck in their eyes or private parts which can be extremely distressing and dangerous.
  • Wood shavings can cause ulcerated feet and skin problems
  • Many contain oils that are poisonous to guinea pigs

Please think twice before using wood shavings for your guinea pig's bedding. Instead choose one of the alternatives above.

Summary

You should now have a good idea of what might work for you and your pets.

Remember that the bedding should be as dust-free as possible because dusty bedding can cause serious health issues for your guinea pigs.

Before putting the bedding into your hutch or cage, make sure the housing is cleaned (using a guinea-pig-friendly disinfectant) and fully dry.

You can find information on how to clean the hutch here.