Guide to using fleece liners for guinea pigs

Fleece bedding for guinea pigs has become the biggest trend in the piggy community, with piggy parents showing off their brightly colored liners as part of their interior design. But what is all the fuss about? Can you use fleece as bedding for guinea pigs without causing cage stink? What are the pros and cons of fleece bedding for guinea pigs? And how do we find out how to wash fleece bedding for guinea pigs?

We’ve taken a close look at the fleece cage liner for guinea pigs and how to use fleece bedding for guinea pigs to bring you this ultimate guide to your floofers’ comfy bedding!


What are fleece liners for guinea pigs?

If you’ve kept piggies for many years, or you’ve seen photos of piggy cages from 20+ years ago, you’ll know that there was only one single guinea pig bedding option for a long time: wood shavings. They were easily available in shops, cheap to buy, and absorbent. Ideal as a guinea pig bedding, right? Sadly not.

For piggy parents, wood shavings have always been a very messy affair. Unlike a fleece cage liner for guinea pigs that’s washable and reusable, wood shavings have to be thrown out with every cage clean. Plus, long before we remove the shavings, our piggies usually make a big mess of things by throwing the bedding out of the cage and into their food and water bowls. It turns into a big mess all around!

But, much more importantly, wood shavings are actually a hazard for our floofs’ sensitive respiratory systems. Most wood shavings - unless they’re dust extracted - contain a very fine dust that lodges into our pigs’ airways. This can then lead to injury and infection, leaving the poor piggies with breathing problems. Plus, it can even turn into a problem for the hoomans if they have allergies!

Like other guinea pig bedding options, wood shavings can also contain chemicals that irritate your piggies and even make them sick. Traditional piggy bedding is just too risky for our pigs’ wellbeing, so many piggy parents have ditched wood shavings in favor of an option that’s better for their pets and the planet: fleece bedding for guinea pigs!

The fleece cage liner for guinea pigs is a type of fleece bedding for guinea pigs. Unlike other kinds of litter, the liners are reusable and washable, which makes great for your pets and the planet. They’re made of several layers of fabric, with the top layer being a cozy fleece, followed by an absorbent layer underneath. Because fleece does not hold moisture, any pee will soak straight through the top layer and be trapped in the absorbent layer. That way, your piggies’ precious paws are protected and soggy bottoms are a thing of the past. Guinea pig fleece bedding is a true all-rounder for your piggy palace!

Guinea pig on a bed of wood shavings on the left and guinea pig on a Kavee gray fleece liner on the right

What are the pros and cons of fleece bedding for guinea pigs?

A good fleece cage liner for guinea pigs should, first and foremost, absorb their pee quickly. This is super important because the piggies’ little legs are short and their bodies are so close to the ground. If the guinea pig bedding is soggy, it can make them sick. And a fleece cage liner for guinea pigs (if it’s good quality!) is as absorbent as a sponge.

The right fleece cage liner guinea pigs will also go through many washing machine cycles without disintegrating, shrinking or clogging - with the right care, of course. The cherry on the cage is to have cage liners that are super comfortable to your guinea pigs when snuggling on them. And you can even choose an adorable print that’ll make your cavies’ cage feel like a home!

Guinea pig snuggling up in a Kavee cuddle cup over a cow print fleece liner, next to the cow print Kavee hay bag

Fleece bedding for guinea pigs is easy to clean

Did you know that guinea pigs can poop around 100 times a day? Yes, really! But don’t panic -  cleaning is actually more straightforward when you use a fleece cage liner for guinea pigs. Just keep on top of spot cleaning (removing those adorable little poops and hay and leftover food daily), and then all you have to do twice a week is whip off stray strands of hay before chucking your used fleece bedding for guinea pigs into a Kavee laundry bag and popping it in your washing machine. 

It’s important to prepare your fleece cage liner for guinea pigs before its first use by washing and drying it to activate the fabric’s wicking properties. Generally, fleece liners should be changed around every four days but liners can last longer between washes with the right cleaning routine.

More on how to wash fleece bedding for guinea pigs in a little while! 

Guinea pig fleece bedding is super snuggly

Guinea pigs are cozy little snugglers at heart. After a busy day of popcorning, scampering around the cage, and foraging for tasty treats, they love to cuddle up on a padded fleece cage liner for guinea pigs for a well-earned snooze. It’s worth considering that fleece liners are much softer than wood shavings on your piggies’ sensitive little tootsies, reducing the risk of them developing nasty ailments like bumblefoot.

Fleece bedding for guinea pigs is cost effective

We’ll hold our hands up here and say that, right at the beginning, guinea pig fleece bedding may seem like a more expensive option than other bedding. But bear in mind that fleece liners can be washed and reused time and time again. Being able to reuse your guinea pig’s cage liner repeatedly makes perfect financial sense, unlike using wood shavings which have to be replaced regularly. 

Put simply, you’ll have to buy wood shavings on repeat for as long as you have your guinea pigs, but you’ll only need to buy each fleece cage liner for guinea pigs once. Fleece liners can save you an average of a whooping $545 every year in bedding cost - just think about all the treats, toys, and even entirely new cages you could get your floofers for that money!

Guinea pig over the Kavee unicorn cushion and the Kavee unicorn fleece liner

Guinea Pig fleece bedding is hygienic

As we’ve already learned, so long as you keep on top of spot cleaning all those tiny poops, fleece is a really great way to keep your pet palace clean. By comparison, poops tend to get buried underneath wood shavings, so it’s nearly impossible to keep the cage clean until a full change of bedding! Nasty whiffs will be a thing of the past with guinea pig fleece bedding, too, because it’s so efficient at absorbing urine. That way, piggy mess doesn’t get the chance to grow harmful bacteria that could make your beloved floofs unwell.

Fleece bedding for guinea pigs is a real all-rounder!

Guinea Pig fleece bedding is hypoallergenic

If you or your family suffer from allergies, the dust from wood shavings - even the dust-extracted kind - can cause respiratory flare ups and skin irritations. Guinea pigs are also prone to nasty dust-related infections that make breathing painful. Apart from our poor floofs suffering, this can also end with a pretty steep vet bill and long-term treatment.

With fleece liners, you’ll minimize dust in the air, meaning that it’s an excellent allergy-conscious choice for you and your piggies. Fleece liners are also odor-free and non-toxic!

A fleece cage liner for guinea pigs is eco-friendly

If you want to make the world a better place for your pets, fleece bedding for guinea pigs is the right choice for you! You can reuse a fleece cage liner for guinea pigs for years and years, so they produce much less waste than disposable bedding options, including wood shavings. It’s also better to dry your liners naturally on the line if possible because tumble-drying can shrink the fleece, which means that you’ll be using less electricity. 

So let’s save the planet, one fleece liner at a time!

Guinea pig on top of the Kavee burger fleece liner

What are the different types of fleece liners for guinea pigs?

There are many types of fleece bedding for guinea pigs, and some of them are not at all made of fleece! Typically, we find two main types of cage liners:

Padded fleece liners

This type of fleece cage liner for guinea pigs combines several materials to create a comfortable experience for your piggies. The top and bottom of the liner are made from soft fleece, while the middle part consists of absorbent material. Pee is directly captured by the padding and stored in the central part of the liner. Since the bottom layer is also made of fleece, padded liners can be used on both sides.

Guinea pigs appreciate these liners very much as they resemble mini-mattresses. Note that the padded fleece liners are not waterproof, so small leaks of urine may reach the bottom of the cage, but this would be minor leaks that disappear with a quick wipe of the cage base.

Waterproof fleece liners

Waterproof liners are thinner than padded liners. They’re made of fleece on top, lined with a waterproof material underneath. While they’re great at keeping the cage bottom dry, they’re harder to wash efficiently in the long run. Piggy parents have reported that the waterproof fleece liners smell more quickly, so they need to change their guinea pig fleece bedding more often. Also, they can not be used on both sides, unlike padded liners.

With a waterproof liner, you may have less work when wiping down the cage, but washing is more difficult and you’d also have to do a full cage clean more often. In the long run, padded liners are more convenient for piggy parents and more comfy for the cavies.

Not all fleece liners are the same, and we’d recommend you look closely at the guinea pig fleece bedding you want to get. Only the best fleece bedding for guinea pigs is good enough for our cavy cages, right? After all, they’ll spend most of their time on the bedding.

Now that you know how to use fleece bedding for guinea pigs, let’s find out where to buy liners!

Where to get the best fleece bedding for guinea pigs

 Buying the best fleece bedding for guinea pigs

You can buy a fleece cage liner for guinea pigs from lots of different manufacturers. If you own or plan to buy a C&C cage, you can get fleece liners that fit inside your cage perfectly. At Kavee, if you buy a 4x2 C&C cage, you can choose some 4x2 liners to go with them. And the real treat? Our liners come in lots of adorable, funny, and stylish designs. Perfect for making your piggy palace match the rest of your decor!

So, really, once you’re sure the liners you’re looking at are cavy-savvy, the choice is yours.

Guinea pig on the Kavee red veggies fleece liner in a Kavee guinea pig cage

 How to make fleece bedding for guinea pigs

It’s absolutely possible to make your own fleece bedding for guinea pigs with a sewing machine and the right materials. Not quite sure how to make fleece bedding for your guinea pigs? Let us give you an overview!

There are different materials you can use to create the absorbent layer in the middle of your liner:

  1. U-haul blankets
  2. Mattress protectors
  3. Old bath or beach towels
  4. Disposable options such as puppy pads or incontinence pads

If you sandwich it between 2 layers of fleece, you can use different patterns or colors on the top and bottom, and have two different cage liners in one.

Keeping you fleece liners clean

Important info! Even before you start using your fleece cage liner for guinea pigs, it needs a good wash. And to make your fleece bedding for guinea pigs look its best for longer, there’s a few things to know about how to wash fleece bedding for guinea pigs. 

Let’s find out about the right type of wash and temperature, as well as the best drying technique for your liners!

Don’t miss that step: the first wash

Before first use, it’s super important to wash your fleece cage liner for guinea pigs. This removes any coatings or water-repellent treatment on the fabric and improves its wicking properties. Wicking is the process of transporting liquid through a layer, so your piggies’ pee doesn’t sit on the surface (alongside the piggies).

After this first wash, any liquid - piggy pee or spilled water - moves through the top layer to the absorbent layer, where it stays until the next wash.

Guinea pig on the Kavee daisy fleece liner next to the Kavee daisy hay bag

Tips to wash fleece liners

At Kavee, we’ve trialed and errored many times before figuring out how to wash fleece bedding for guinea pigs to make them last longer. Our perfect recipe for long-lasting liners that look and smell fresh is this:

  1. Get rid of the loose mess, like hay, poop, and food, before putting the fleece cage liner for guinea pigs in the wash
  2. Use a laundry bag to keep your washing machine clean and stop any stray mess clogging up the pipes. Simply pop your fleece in the bag, zip it up, and pop it all in the machine. Your options include the Kavee laundry bag, horse wash bags, a duvet cover with a zip, or nylon bed sheets closed with a broad elastic band.
  3. Choose a laundry detergent made for guinea pigs. Their sensitive skin doesn’t deal well with human detergents, so it’s best to use one made for piggies specifically.
  4. Add some laundry sanitizer in to get rid of any harmful bacteria and odors. Your options include laundry sanitizers for guinea pigs, or a bit of white vinegar. Do not use bleach as this may discolor your liner.
  5. Wash your fleece liners at 86°F (30°C). That’s sufficient to clean it thoroughly, without damaging or shrinking the fleece cage liner for guinea pigs.
  6. Take care not to overload your machine as this can make it challenging to rinse appropriately and get rid of excess water in the final stages of the washing cycle.
  7. After a wash, air dry the fleece outside or on a drying rack. Don’t tumble dry the liners and do not iron. It’s also important not to hang them over a radiator or heat source, as this could shrink the liners.
  8. If you use the same machine for your liners and your clothes, run a short rinsing cycle on an empty machine after you have washed the liners. It will help to get rid of any remaining hair.

Keeping your fleece liners in good condition

Fleece bedding is a big investment, so, of course, piggy parents want to make the most of their liners. To keep them in tip top condition for longer, you can start by following the instructions on how to wash fleece bedding for guinea pigs above. And we’ve got some extra top tips for you below!

Keep your washing machine clean

Every now and again, run a rinse cycle to clear out any detergent residue and avoid a detergent build-up on your liners. If there’s leftover detergent on your fleece, it can get smelly in the long run - and the same goes for your own clothing.

Air dry your fleece bedding if you can

Take the opportunity to air dry your liners as often as you can, for example, when your guinea pigs are having some out of cage time, in a playpen or in the garden, even for a few hours. This will allow the liners to dry and will reduce the frequency you need to change them.

Your guinea pigs should always be kept in a clean cage. A minor cage clean like removing poop and airing the liners should be done every day, ideally. However, changing the liners too frequently may trigger some guinea pigs to scent mark the entire cage as quickly as possible. This is particularly true if you use scented detergent to clean the cage or the liners (which is not a good idea to begin with!).

One trick to avoid that is to not to change all of the bedding in the cage at the same time. When you remove the fleece cage liner for guinea pigs, keep some of the pee pads in certain areas to try and make sure the pen still smells familiar to your guinea pigs.

Two guinea pigs playing with toys on top of the Kavee rainbow fleece liner

Conclusion

Now that you know everything there is to know about how to use fleece bedding for guinea pigs, how to make fleece bedding for your guinea pigs, and also where to get the best fleece bedding for guinea pigs, we hope you feel ready to make the jump to the new guinea pig fleece bedding. You and your pigs won’t look back!

Guinea Pig Fleece Liners FAKs - Frequently Asked Kavees

How long do fleece liners for guinea pigs last?

A fleece cage liner for guinea pigs of good quality is sturdy and will last for a couple of years with the right care.

How many fleece liners do I need for my guinea pigs?

We recommend three sets of fleece bedding for your guinea pigs. That way, you always have one available while the others are being washed.

How often should I replace my guinea pig’s fleece bedding?

On average, every 3 to 4 days. This number is influenced by many factors, such as the numbers of pigs and cage size. If you can air dry your liners a few hours a day while your guinea pigs are out of the cage, this can significantly increase the number of days you can keep them. Plan for a full cage clean once a week at least.

Do I need to put something underneath my guinea pig’s fleece bedding?

Not if it’s good quality bedding, since most liners are absorbent enough. Make sure to choose liners that are very thick to prevent urine leaks. However, if you really want to protect your cage base from leaks, it would not hurt to place a towel, or even a few sheets of newspapers under the liners.

Do guinea pigs like fleece liners?

They love it! You will often see guinea pigs snuggling on their fleece liners, even making use of humps as pillows. Adorable!

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