How to Clean a Guinea Pig Cage
This advice is directed at a guinea pig cage, but the same advice can be used for cages for other pets such as mice, rats, rabbits, hamsters and the like. Mice are the worst pets for having to clean up after, as (so I have been told) they have no sphincter muscles on their little bladders, so they pee anywhere and everywhere. This is why (a) mice are such unhygienic pests if they are wild and infesting your house (b) you can’t housetrain mice. Rats, however, have enough intelligence to be housetrained. Some people have even managed to train pet rats to help them clean the kitchen – they certainly do a very good job of getting rid of every single crumb.
Anyway, back to the guinea pig cage. You will need lots of old newspaper, some bedding, a scrubbing brush, some warm soapy water, and a dustpan and shovel. Do not use harsh cleaning products for cleaning pet cages, as these can irritate the skin and eyes of your pets. Use natural cleaning methods.
Start by removing the pets from the cage. You don’t want them in the way while you’re cleaning. Put them somewhere safe where they won’t escape. Larger pets can be put in a laundry hamper, but smaller ones (mice) may need to go in an ice cream container with holes in the lid.
Next, remove the old bedding and all the droppings, using the dustpan and shovel to scoop up as much as you can. This old, soiled bedding makes first-class compost, so don’t waste it! Also make sure that you get rid of any uneaten or spoiled food as well.
Now scrub out the bottom of the cage using warm, soap water. This is easier to do with plastic-bottomed cages. Wooden cages absorb a bit more smell and urine, so these may need to be turned on their sides and allowed to dry. However, if you are cleaning a rabbit or guinea pig hutch that is made of wood and is up on legs, this is less of a problem, as the air beneath will dry the wood out.
Put down a thick layer of old newspaper down the bottom of the cage once the bottom of the cage is dry. This will make the next domestic cleaning session much easier. Once you have put this in place, put the guinea pig bedding down. You can now return your pets to their cage.
You will also need to clean out food dishes and water bowls or bottles. Do this exactly the same way as you would clean your own food dishes and drinking vessels. Wash them by hand in warm soapy water, followed by thorough rinsing and drying. Alternatively, put them in the dishwasher, assuming that they are dishwasher safe, and again make sure that they are properly dry before re-filling the dishes with fresh food.
Make sure you give your pets a cuddle after you’ve cleaned their cage. It’s good for them and it’s good for you.