Poopy guinea pigs are a common problem for guinea pig owners. It can be frustrating to clean up after your guinea pig and find poop scattered around the cage seconds later. So frustrating that it might make you wonder “Why does my guinea pig poop so much?”
As a general rule, guinea pigs poop so much because their diet is high in fiber. The fiber in their food is what makes them poop so much. Typically, guinea pigs poop more than 100 times each day. Ultimately, factors like health, exercise, age, and their diet dictates how many times they poop each day.
But, don’t let the poop problem get to you!
There’s plenty of reasons why the sight of so much poop should fill you with peace of mind…instead of abject disgust – and I’ve researched all of them.
Keep reading to find out some piggie poop habit information that’ll blow your mind.
Let’s get started.
What Does Guinea Pig Poop Look Like?
Guinea Pigs make two different types of poop and they have two different looks:
- Caecals are soft, sticky and packed with nutrients that your guinea pigs can’t wring out of their food the first time. It’s normally a lighter brown in color. These are rarely seen, because your fur babies normally eat them.
- Normal guinea pig poop (the kind we’re used to seeing) is oval-shaped, smooth, and plump. They’re medium brown to regular brown, harder and drier than caecals. And there’s very little smell.
Now, if the regular poops are teeny tiny, there’s a chance that your piggies aren’t eating enough food. If they come out in a tear drop shape, then your little friend might be dehydrated or have some digestive issues going on.
You ever notice your little friends dip between their back legs and pop up chewing like crazy? That’s because they’re eating their own poop!
Do Guinea Pigs Poop A lot?
The answer to this question is a resounding YES! Guinea pigs poop a lot. They’re e always eating and their digestive system moves very quickly. If you stick to the high-fiber diet that your piggies need, you can expect them to poop anywhere from 100 to 300 times each day.
Cavies live their lives in a never-ending cycle of eating and pooping. (And good for them, because who wouldn’t want to live that life?)
This is normal. Cavies need to eat and poop. The more they eat, the more they poop. This means that their bodies are healthy and working correctly.
But, don’t worry – there’s plenty of reasons why this should fill you with happiness (more on that later). In the meantime, let’s take a look at some of the basics of piggie poop.
Why Do Guinea Pigs Poop So Much?
Guinea pigs poop so much, because they almost constantly graze on hay and other fiber-rich, nutrient-filled foods. Then their digestive system moves quickly to extract what they need from their food and then poops out most of what hasn’t been broken down.
Pooping is a necessary part of their day. And like I mentioned before, the amount of poop that your little friend produces is directly related to age, health, diet, exercise.
Let’s take a closer look at the part these factors play into turning your guinea pig into a pooping machine.
1. Exercise & Guinea Pigs Pooping So Much
One of the biggest factors that determines how much guinea pigs poop is exercise . This may seem a little weird, but it’s true! The more your cavy exercises, the more they poop – and the less active they are, they less they poop.
Exercise makes cavies’ digestive systems work faster. The physical activity really gets *ahem* things moving.
This also means that guineas need to eat more often if they’re getting exercise every day – and the more food they have to process, the more poop you’ll find around your house.
But, this a good thing! You want an active, healthy piggie doing zoomies in their cage, rearranging their huts, and – of course – pooping like their lives depends on it.
(Actually, it does…but more on that later.)
The same goes for cavies that don’t get the exercise they need to stay healthy, too.
If your guinea doesn’t have enough space or opportunities to run around and move its body – it’ll poop less . And this means that your furry potato isn’t as healthy as she could be.
As a responsible guinea pig ower, make sure your guineas have enough space and things to do in their cages so that they can stay active.
And don’t forget about a daily floor time routine – taking them out for regular exercise will help them stay healthy and keep their bowels moving!
So, make sure your guinea pig gets plenty of exercise, and be prepared for the consequences!
2. Old Age & Guinea Pig Poops
As guinea pigs get older, they tend to poop a little less. This is because their digestive system slows down as they age and they can’t process food as quickly.
This also means that cavies poop less as they age. So, cavies poop a lot when you first get them (like for YEARS) and then – poof!
One day, they start producing fewer droppings than usual.
But this isn’t something to worry about: it’s just part of their natural aging process. As long as your guineas are still eating and drinking normally (and are reasonably active), there’s no cause for concern.
Just like with people, the efficiency of guinea pigs’ digestive systems change as they get older – and this affects how much they poop. So don’t worry if your guineas seem to be slowing down a bit in their old age. It’s normal and something to be expected.
3. Diet and Piggie Droppings
The guinea pig’s diet directly affects how much poop they produce. If you’re giving your guineas a balanced, healthy, and nutritious food plan – then don’t worry about it! They’ll be pooping exactly as often as they need to.
However, if you feed them an unbalanced diet or too many treats (or God forbid, not enough fiber and Vitamin C), they’ll start to poop less. This is because their digestive system won’t be able to process all the junk food and you’re piggie might get backed up.
No gut movement is no good for cavies.
It’s a first-class ticket into a horrific world of GI Stasis.
What’s GI stasis?
Cavies can’t go for a long time without food moving through their digestive system. So, if they stop eating or eat too little, then the intestines will slow down and stop working – that’s GI stasis.
If you don’t catch it in time, then your little friend could die.
Piggies get fluids from the veggies that they eat. But, plain water still plays a pig role in the digestive system of caviesand helps to keep things flowing.
So, your fur babies should always have access to clean water – especially in hot weather.
So, make sure you’re feeding your guineas a healthy diet with plenty of high-fiber guinea pig food and lots of hay.
And make sure you’re feeding your guineas a healthy, balanced diet with a variety of foods stuffed with plenty of fiber, nutrients, and vitamins.
Lay out a daily, piggie-friendly spread of Vitamin C enriched pellets, fresh veggies, and fruit in moderation. That’ll make sure that they stay regular (and keep those droppings coming ).
Oh, and a daily treat or two is okay – just don’t let them eat their favorite, tasty snacks all day long (can you say diabetes and obesity?).
If you do this, then your guineas will be pooping like champs…and they’ll live happy, healthy lives.
4. Overall Health and Pooping
Often a glaring sign that your piggie is sick is a lack of poop. Or a significantly smaller amount of poop.
This isn’t always the case, of course – but if your fuzz spud is usually a poop-machine and all of sudden he’s not pooping at all, it’s time to take notice (and I do mean quickly)
There are a few different reasons why a cavy might not be pooping, but one of the most common ones are:
- is that they’re just not eating enough fiber (or eating enough food period).
- a block in the intestine is another reason why your little friend might not be eating. (No poops are getting through if your fuzz spud is backed up like port-a-potty after the Superbowl)
- tumors can also cause guinea pigs to stop eating and pooping.
- ditto goes for dehydration, which can spring up out of nowhere if you’re not careful
So, if your little friends aren’t eating or leaving presents in the litter box…or cage…or your lap – then it’s time to see your vet immediately!
Piggies can only go without food for so long before their health starts to suffer. And yes, they could die from lack of food and water.
Reasons to be Excited About Guinea Pig Poop
There’s a few of the reasons why guinea pig poop should fill you with joy. Okay, well, maybe not joy, but definitely satisfaction and peace of mind.
Here’s a few of them.
- It means they’re eating and digesting food properly.
- It’s a sign that their diet is healthy and high in fiber.
- They’re getting enough water.
- It’s a sign that their digestive system is working properly and they’re getting all the nutrients they need to stay healthy and strong.
Is It Normal For Guinea Pigs To Poop So Much?
Although guinea pigs seem to poop a lot, it’s normal guinea pig behavior. Like I said before, it’s when your fur baby ISN’T pooping that there’s a problem.
So, if your guinea pig is pooping regularly (and I mean multiple times a day), then you can rest assured that they’re healthy and eating right.
Unless, you notice that their poop is very soft, mushy, and unformed. If that’s the case, then it’s time to call the guinea pig doctor (a.k.a., your veterinarian).
How Often Do Guinea Pigs Poop?
There are many things that can make your pig poop more, like eating more food, not having enough water or changing their diet. Guinea pigs are different, but most of them:
- Poop regular droppings about 100 times (more or less): These droppings are medium to dark brown and dry.
- Poop cecal pellets (loose, vitamin-rich stools) a few times each day: You usually won’t see these, because cavies eat them so quickly. Typically, they’re soft and light brown color.
Keep in mind that these are rough estimations.
Since every piggie is different, guinea pigs might poop (or pee) more or less than this.
Why Is My Guinea Pig Pooping More Than Usual?
Guinea pigs poop more than usual for a few different reasons. Here are a couple:
- Too many veggies. As pet parents, we sometimes fall into the trap of feeding our little friends too many veggies. The water content in the produce can cause diarrhea or just more frequent trips to the bathroom – which is basically ANYWHERE for most piggies.
- Change in diet. If you decided to add more fiber-rich veggies into your fuzz spuds’ diet, then guinea pigs poop more frequently. Your fur baby’s body becomes adjusted to a certain diet. So when you change it, they need time for their bodies to adjust as well, which is why guinea pigs poop so much in the beginning.
- Health problems. Tons of poop in the form of diarrhea or cavies that are pooping blood are signs of health problems like GI Statsis or some sort of viral infection. If you notice this, take your little friend to the vet as soon as possible!
Does Guinea Pig Poop Smell?
Typically, regular guinea pig poop doesn’t have a strong smell. As long as you have a healthy guinea pig (with no gut issues), then the poop shouldn’t smell overly strong.
Cecals, however, do have a more noticeable smell. But, since piggies eat them, you’re not as likely to smell them as you are their regular poop.
However, if you notice that your little friends regular poo is smelling really bad (and maybe softer than usual, then that’s a sign of trouble. It means that something’s probably a little “off” with their gut health.
Do the following to help your fur babies’ poop turn back to normal:
- stop feeding veggies for 24 to 48 hours (supplement with an Oxbow Vitamin C tablet if you want )
- offer a probiotic supplement (like Benebac)
- offer tons of extra hay for your little friends to munch on (and serve the same amount of pellets)
Do this until your piggie’ poops return to normal. But, be prepared to contact guinea pig vet if the poops don’t go back to normal in a couple of days or get worse.
Antibiotics have a way of messing with cavies’ gut health. If your little friend is on antibiotics for something else, be sure to supplement their diet with a probiotic.
Where Do Guinea Pigs Poop The Most?
Typically, you’ll find that guinea pigs poop in corners and places where they feel like they’re well hidden. This may be in a cage or underneath a piece of furniture (if you have guinea pigs that like to roam the house).
Also, guinea pigs will often poop where they eat. They have their meal, their food digests, and then they poop at the same spot.
Piggies prefer to be hidden while going to the bathroom because they’re prey animals. So, by hiding, they feel like they’re safer and can poop in peace.
Since – like I said before – they’re pooping machines, you can expect your piggies to do their business anytime and anywhere they please.
And I mean ANYWHERE.
Which bring us to the next question…
Why Does My Guinea Pig Poop On Me?
Guinea pigs poop on their owners when their owners are holding them and they have to go to the bathroom. Your guinea pig doesn’t mean to poop on you, it’s just a reflex, a normal function of their body (yes, gross, but normal)
Since piggies are poop machines (which is a sign that they’re well and healthy), then the more you hold your little friend, the likelier it is that they’ll poop on you.
There’s a few ways to deal with this situation:
- Pay attention. Cavies normally give you signals that they have to go to the bathroom and need to be put down – like nibbling, pacing, squirming around. If you see these signs, put your little friend down RIGHT AWAY.
- Don’t hold them for too long. Keep the holding time short and sweet – about 15 minutes max. This should be enough time for you to give them a good petting and scratch session (and maybe a treat or two).
- Avoid picking up your fur babies as much. After all, it’s impossible for your fuzz spuds to poop on your if you’re not holding them.
- Cover yourself up. Accept the inevitable. Wear old clothes or something that you don’t care about. This strategy will at least protect your good clothes from guinea pig poop.
- If all else fails, and your guinea pig still manages to poop on you while you’re holding them, then just have a good sense of humor about it and laugh it off. It could be worse, right?
Just accept that your guinea pigs poop like crazy. It’s perfectly normal, so don’t try to stop it. If you do, then you’re going to end up hurting…or even killing your fur babies.
How Do I Stop My Guinea Pigs From Pooping So Much?
If your guinea pig has regular, healthy-poops, then you shouldn’t do anything to stop him from continuing that behavior – even if the amount seems a bit excessive to you.
Cavies that don’t poop regularly can die from the gut issues that stem from guinea pigs not pooping enough (and vice versa).
But, if your guinea pig’s poop has changed in smell, texture, or frequency – then it might be a sign that they’re not feeling well and you should take them to the vet.
The only ways to really stop your guinea pigs from pooping so much include:
- stop feeding fresh produce (like I mentioned before, guinea pigs need high fiber in their diet to poop properly)
- limit their water intake (because dehydrated piggies don’t poop that often)
- reduce the amount of exercise that they get (their guts don’t move as well if your cavy is laying around like a potato all day)
I think you’ll agree that NONE of those are particularly great solutions.
In fact, treating a piggie (or any living thing) like this is likely to kill them. And I know that none of us want that.
So, just accept that your guinea pigs poop like crazy. Don’t try to stop it.
Instead look for ways to work around it and to make cleaning it up a lot easier on yourself.
So, let’s take a look at some…
Guinea Pig Poop Cleaning Tips
There’s a few things that you can do to make the clean up process a little less daunting:
- Spot clean daily. If you don’t let the poop pile up, then you won’t have to deal with a huge monster pile of poop when you finally do work up the courage to clean it up.
- Use a handheld vacuum cleaner. I’ve yet to find a handheld vacuum that can handle hay (the guinea pig’s favorite snack), but it definitely does the trick when it comes to picking up their poop.
- Install a fleece, guinea pig cage liner. There are a lot of different types and materials of guinea pig liners – some better than others. But, they all make clean up easier (and can be machine-washed).
- Schedule your cage cleaning. If you’re really not into the idea of having to clean your guinea pig’s cage every day, then you could always just increase the number of days between cleanings. Just remember that a dirty guinea pig cage can lead to all sorts of health problems for your little friend.
- Litter train your cavies. This is especially helpful if your fur babies like to poop in specific spots. Just fill up a small box or tray with newspaper and hay. Put it in their favorite spot. When they go, just scoop it out and replace and fluff up the hay.
How Often Should You Clean Guinea Pig Poop?
Guinea pig poop should be spot cleaned daily. That just means that you scoop up and remove as much poop as possible from your guinea pigs’ cage. It only takes a few minutes once you get a system down.
Many piggie parents do one spot clean in the morning and in the evening. That way, the poop piles don’t get too high and it’s not such an overwhelming task.
The entire cage should be cleaned at least every week (and maybe more) depending on how many fuzz spuds you have and how dirty their cage gets.
Again, this is something that can be easily done if you have the right tools (vacuum cleaner, correct bedding, etc) and if you stick to a regular cleaning schedule.
How To Potty Train A Guinea Pig
It’s not easy potty training cavies. In fact, I’d say that about half say that it’s impossible to do.
However, there’s many people who have trained their piggies to use their litter boxes 85% to 90% of the time. Which means there’s definitely hope.
So, I say that it’s probably worth giving it a try. I mean, who doesn’t want to have a guinea pig that’ll ACTUALLY use the litter box instead of sprinkling poop pellets around their cage like confetti?
But, if you’re willing to put in the time and effort just to see if it’s even possible, there’s a few things that you’ll need to do.
The basics are pretty simple:
- provide them with a designated spot to poop in (hopefully a spot that they’ve shown that they like to potty in)
- give them a litter box filled with hay and newspaper
- cover the area with a blanket or towel of some sort
- sprinkle in some poops, so that they get the idea (hey, we should poop here!)
The perks of successfully potty training your little friends (even if it’s just 85 to 90% of the time) are endless.
For example: no more guinea pig poop all over the place, so you won’t need to clean as often. And they’ll stay cleaner and be healthier since their cage will be easier to keep clean.
Let’s Wrap Up
When you put all this information together, it’s pretty clear that guinea pigs poop a lot! It’s just something that comes with the territory.
But, as long as they’re eating a healthy diet and getting enough exercise – you don’t have to worry about it.
In fact, you should be proud of your guinea pig for producing so much waste! It means that they’re living a healthy life full of zoomies and adventure.
So if you are planning to adopt guinea pigs, then one thing you need to think about is that they poop a lot.
Guinea pigs do not poop at specific times like other animals. They will poop when they feel like it – all day long.
Just be prepared to set up a rock-solid cleaning routine. I mean, piggies are worth it, right?
I hope this helped you understand guinea pig poop habits better.
Keep on cuddling those sweet guinea pigs of yours…
just don’t get too close to their backsides. =)