Guinea pigs are cute little pets with very strange bathroom habits.
First-time guinea pig owners are very excited about bringing home a pair of guinea pigs but when it’s time to clean the guinea pig cage, they are astonished to see that the whole cage floor is covered with guinea pig poop and pee. Besides worrying about cleaning the whole mess, they also start to worry about their furry pals and wonder, if it is normal for guinea pigs to poop and pee this much.
If you are a new guinea pig owner and have been concerned about the strange guinea pig bathroom habits, you are in the right place. In this article, we are going to address all your concerns about guinea pig pee: How often do guinea pigs pee? Why do guinea pigs pee so much?
To learn why guinea pigs are a poop machine, check out our following post: Why Do Guinea Pigs Poop So Much?
How Often Do Guinea Pigs Pee?
Healthy guinea pigs pee and poop every 15 minutes or so. That said guinea pigs may pee more often when they consume fruits and veggies to get rid of the excess water and vitamins. Conversely, when dehydrated, the guinea pig may pee less often. If a guinea pig is sick or not eating properly, he may pee less or more often.
Guinea pig peeing every 15 minutes could really add up as the day goes on. If you do the math you will find out that guinea pigs can pee around four times an hour and around 90 to 100 times a day. That said, depending on the diet and lifestyle, the frequency of peeing may vary from guinea pig to guinea pig.
How Much Do Guinea Pigs Pee?
Guinea pigs pee a lot. However, the amount of guinea pig pee is directly proportional to the amount of water consumed (including the water from fruits and veggies).
On average a guinea pig drinks about 10 to 15 ml/100 g of water daily and pees about 3.5 to 4.5 ml/100 g each day. So, if your guinea pig weighs about 1kg, he will be drinking 100 to 150 ml of water daily and urinating 35 to 45 ml per day.
Up to 45 ml of pee each is a lot of pee for a tiny creature like guinea pigs. So, it is no wonder for novice guinea pig owners to wonder why guinea pigs pee so much.
Why Do Guinea Pigs Pee So Much?
Guinea pigs pee so much because they have fast-paced digestive systems and tiny bladders. The excess water and vitamins in fruits and veggies that you are feeding your guinea pig are also contributing to all the peeing.
1. Guinea Pigs Have a High Metabolism
Guinea pigs poop and pee so much because they have a high metabolism rate. Guinea pigs are natural grazers and are always eating to ensure that their digestive system is always in action—there needs to be a constant flow of food through the guinea pig’s gastrointestinal tract. This is the reason that guinea pig moves the food fast, without absorbing all the nutrients while processing food. The unabsorbed nutrients are excreted in the form of caecal pellets that guinea pigs eat as soon as they drop out of their bums.
If the flow of food stops, the guinea pig may go into GI stasis, leading to a partial to complete shutdown of the guinea pig’s digestive system. To help keep the GI tract moving, guinea pigs need to constantly pass water from their tiny bladder to make room for more.
2. Guinea Pigs Have a Tiny Bladder
Guinea pigs pee so much because they have very tiny bladders. On average a guinea pig drinks about 100 to 150mls of water each day, which is way too much for the tiny guinea pig bladder to handle. This is the reason that guinea pigs urinate more often (every 15 minutes).
3. Fruits and Veggies are Brimming With Water
Guinea pigs pee more often when they are fed fresh fruits and veggies. This is because these fresh veggies and fruits are brimming with water and most also contain a lot of vitamins, more than what is required by guinea pigs. To get rid of the excess water and vitamins that guinea pigs got from eating fruits and veggies, they urinate more often.
What If Your Guinea Pig Is Peeing More or Less Often Than the Usual?
Knowing that it is normal for a guinea pig to pee every 15 minutes if your guinea pig has suddenly started to pee less or more often, there is something wrong with him. Below we have briefly discussed both scenarios.
Guinea Pig Not Peeing as Much
If your guinea pig is not peeing as much as he was doing usually, he is either just dehydrated or has bladder stones.
Dehydrated Guinea Pig Urine
If your guinea pig is not drinking ample water and peeing less often, he is probably dehydrated. The dehydrated guinea pig’s pee is dark—orange to brown—with a strong smell. You should increase the water intake of your guinea pigs and ensure the round-the-clock availability of fresh water in guinea pig water bottles. If your guinea pig is not interested in water, you can feed him fresh veggies and fruits that are brimming with water.
Urinary Stones in Guinea Pigs
Also known as uroliths, urinary stones are quite common among guinea pigs. That said, middle-aged and older guinea pigs seem to be more susceptible to these urinary stones. These stones are hard masses of crystalized minerals that may develop anywhere along the urinary tract of our guinea pigs. For instance, guinea pigs can have these stones in their kidneys, bladder, and even urethra. These stones could obstruct the flow of urine and make it painful for guinea pigs to urinate. Guinea pigs with bladder stones often make noise while peeing as it is hurtful. Some guinea pigs may even have pee in their blood due to bladder stones.
Guinea Pig Suddenly Peeing More Frequently
Do you know that it is normal for guinea pigs to pee up to 4 times in an hour? If you know that and you still think that your guinea pig is peeing more frequently, he probably has a urinary tract infection or he is experiencing
UTI in Guinea Pigs
Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are the most common causes of small (incomplete) but more frequent urination in guinea pigs. The guinea pig may also strain to pee and you may even see blood in the urine. Guinea pigs suffering from UTIs will have a hunched-over posture and are lethargic. If your guinea pig is showing these signs, you should immediately book an appointment with a cavy-savvy veterinarian.
Polyuria/Polydipsia in Guinea Pigs
If your guinea pig has suddenly started drinking and peeing in excess, he is probably experiencing polyuria/polydipsia. Where polyuria (poly = many; uria = urine) is a medical term for excessive urination, polydipsia (poly = many; dipsia = drinking) is a medical word for excessive drinking.
Polyuria and polydipsia could be a sign of serious guinea pig health issues related to kidney, liver, and diabetes. Sometimes excessive drinking and urination are caused by behavioral issues. So, if your guinea pig is showing variance in its peeing frequency, don’t ignore it; rather you should observe it closely and talk to a veterinarian.
Why Do Guinea Pigs Pee On People?
If a guinea pig has peed on you, know that he didn’t do it out of spite—the poor thing is probably stressed, nervous, or frightened. Or perhaps, you have been handling them for far too long and they could not hold it any longer—guinea pigs have very tiny bladders and need to pee about every 15 minutes.
What mostly makes people think that their guinea pigs hate them is that the guinea pig bite them before peeing on them. For them, it is sort of a combination of hatred punches. But what actually happened here is that the guinea pig really had to go to the bathroom and he tried to nip at your hands to tell you that but when you ignored him, he just relieved himself right there on you because he just could not hold it any longer.
What Does Guinea Pig Pee Look Like?
While it is widely believed that transparent or clear pee is normal guinea pig pee, it is not. Normal guinea pig pee should have a tint of yellow. Transparent and clear pee indicates that your guinea pig is drinking more water than required and is overhydrated.
How Often Do Guinea Pigs Pee and Poop?
Guinea pigs pee and poop a lot. Guinea pigs pee and poop up to 100 times a day. On average, a guinea pig drops as many as 100 to 300 poop pellets in a day and pee as much as 35 to 45ml daily.
How to Keep Guinea Pig Cage From Smelling?
Guinea pigs are not smelly creatures themselves, but if you’re failing to clean their cage, they may start to smell. Given that guinea pigs pee and poop a lot, it might be a challenge to keep their cage from smelling. But by using pig pee pads, you can get rid of all the wetness and the smell.
Guinea pig peed pads not only soak up all the pee but are also efficient at containing the smell. They are life-changing for guinea pig owners as they make cleaning guinea pig cages so easy.
The only concern with using pee pads in guinea pig cages is guinea pigs eating the pee pad. There is a plastic layer underneath most pee pads that keeps the soak-up pee from seeping into the floor.