Yes, cat litter can be used for guinea pigs, specifically as bedding. There are many choices when it comes to guinea pig bedding, but in case you run out of what you normally use, you can definitely use cat litter. To be more specific, kitty litter that is made of recycled newspaper is a great choice since it has great absorption and odor control.
If you have both a cat and a guinea pig and are wondering whether you can use kitty litter as emergency bedding for your guinea pig, keep on reading.
Is cat litter safe for other pets?
Multiple pet owners who have cats know how important it is to always have a supply of cat litter in the house. One question that has probably crossed their minds is, “Can I use kitty litter for my other pets?” But before we answer that question, we need to know the different kinds of kitty litter. Kitty litter can either be clay-based litters that clump, clay-based litters that are non-clumping, natural biodegradable and pellet-style litters, or silica gel/crystal-based cat litters.
The most popular kind is the clay-based litters, which make up around 80% of cat litter sold worldwide. Of the two kinds of clay-based litters, the clumping kind is much preferred by most consumers.
The natural and pellet style litters are the ones that are safe for almost any other animal, but do not sell as much as clay-based litters. This may be because they are more expensive to buy.
Silica gel litters use crystals to absorb urine, turning the crystals yellow. The color change makes it easier for the owner to know which part of the litter to scoop out to dispose and replace with new litter. This type of cat litter may be growing in popularity but it is still quite expensive and hard to find.
Perfumed or scented cat litters
Most cat litters are scented. This is added on by manufacturers to help control the smell of cat urine and poop. There is no sufficient evidence that says that the added scents are harmful to other animals that may use the litter, but if you are worried, you can use unscented cat litter alternatives.
What is the difference between cat litter and other pets’ litters?
Most cat owners use a clay-based clumping litter because it is absorbent and easy to clean up thanks to the clumping factor. This clumping characteristic, unfortunately, is the reason why it is not advisable to use it for other animals.
Because clumping litter is very absorbent, if the litter is ingested by another animal, it can swell up inside them and cause blockages in their intestines, which could be fatal.
The natural and pellet styles of litter can be made from various materials like wood, corn, or wheat. Generally speaking, these types of litter are safe for other pets.
There is not enough information regarding the effect of silica gel litter on other pets, so just to be safe, refrain from using it for your other pets.
What kitty litter is safe for my guinea pig?
Some guinea pig owners use recycled paper cat litter for the bedding in a guinea pig’s cage. As mentioned above, clay-based clumping litter is not to be used because the guinea pig may end up eating the litter. This could cause several health problems.
If at all possible, do not use any kind of cat litter for guinea pigs, but if you are in a bind, only use recycled paper cat litter. Make sure you can get bedding specifically made for guinea pigs the next day so you are able to replace the cat litter as soon as possible.
What can I use that is safe for my guinea pig instead of cat litter?
1. Cotton bedding
Cotton products like cloths and towels can be a soft and snuggly choice for your guinea pig. It is very comfortable for your pig, it absorbs liquids well, and it can be easily washed and used over and over again. This will save you money because it is not like bedding that you need to replace and buy again.
2. Fleece bedding
Fleece bedding has become very popular because it not only has many benefits, but the bright colors and patterns are pleasing to the eyes. This bedding is usually designed as a pad that fits the dimensions of the cage floor. The absorbent layer in the fleece bedding captures the pig’s urine well. It can prevent and control odor for several days before you need to wash it.
One downside is that it can be a bit expensive, but because it is reusable, it may be the cheaper option in the long run.
Hay is a cheap option for your guinea pig, but they will enjoy eating it. It also does not mask the smell of urine very effectively. It may entail a lot of work if you have to replace the hay everyday.
Paper is a good option since it is cheap and it absorbs the odor of the urine well. It is also quite comfortable for your pig to sleep on.
Paper bedding can come in several forms, such as granule paper pellets, natural paper shavings, unbleached shaved paper, and confetti.
There are several types of wood bedding for guinea pigs. It can be effective in helping remove odor. Some shavings may contain volatile oils that are bad for your pig when ingested. Other pigs may be allergic to it. Some wood pellets can also be quite uncomfortable to walk on.
Yes, you can use kitty litter for your guinea pig’s bedding if you use recycled paper kitty litter. Other types of kitty litter like clay-based cat litter may be dangerous to use in your guinea pig’s cage because they may end up ingesting it and causing blockages in their digestive system. If at all possible, refrain from using any kind of cat litter for your guinea pig and only use recycled paper cat litter when you absolutely need to. Replace it immediately with guinea pig safe bedding as soon as you can.
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