Why Do Guinea Pigs Poop So Much?

Guinea pig pooping all over the couch

Poop, poop, poop.

Guinea pig poop everywhere.

It could be shocking for first-time guinea pig owners to find out how much guinea pigs poop in a day. 

After bringing home their first guinea pigs realize that they have bought home a pooping machine. You just clean the guinea pig cage—remove all the poop pellets—but when you come to your fur baby again in an hour or so, there is poop all over the cage. It can get frustrating and with that, you might also be a bit concerned about your guinea pig’s health and you start to wonder: Is it okay for guinea pigs to poop this much? How often do guinea pigs poop?

Well, before we start addressing your concerns, know that you are not alone. Almost every other guinea pig owner has asked these questions after getting their first pair of guinea pigs and observing them poop all over the cage as soon as they get home.  

How Much Do Guinea Pigs Poop?

Guinea pigs are pooping machines. Normally guinea pigs poop up to 100 pellets in a day but if fed a high-fiber diet they might drop as much as 300 poop pellets. Older and less active guinea pigs tend to drop less than 100 pellets. But if the number of droppings is below 50, there might be something wrong with your guinea pig.

100 to 300 pellets a day is a lot of poop.

But worry not, your guinea pigs will clean up some mess by eating the poop pellets. What? Do Guinea Pigs Eat Their Poop? Well, yes, they do. But it is not actually poop (feces); the poop guinea pigs devour is nutritious and called cecotropes. We don’t get to see these caecal pellets as our fur babies eat them immediately.

If you closely observe your guinea pigs pooping, you might notice them quickly dipping between their legs, to get that nutritious dropping as it comes out of their booties, and pop up chewing like crazy. It is nothing else they are chewing on but their poop.

While cleaning your guinea pig cage and picking up poop pellets, almost every first-time guinea pig owner wonders why guinea pigs poop so much.

Well, let’s find out, without making it yuckier.

Why Do Guinea Pigs Poop So Much?

Guinea pigs are tiny poop factories. Guinea pigs poop so much as they are grazers with a fast-paced digestive system. They are always eating and always pooping. Besides that, the high levels of fibers in hay further help guinea pigs keep it moving. Being on a high-fiber diet, a guinea pig could drop as many as 300 poop pellets in a day.

Why Do Guinea Pigs Poop So Much?
Perhaps, guinea pigs poop so much because of their lifestyle, which is literally:
This is no exaggeration. Guinea pigs are always pooping.

Many factors affect the amount of poop produced by your guinea pig. Below, we have discussed various reasons that make guinea pigs poop machines.

Fast-Paced Digestive System

Guinea pigs poop so much because they have a fast-paced digestive system. Guinea pigs’ digestive systems are very effective at keeping the food flowing. In fact, if they do not receive a continuous flow of food, their digestive systems may start to shut down. And if they do not poop as much as they do, they won’t be able to maintain the constant flow of food through their GI tract.

Guinea pigs need a constant flow of food through their intestines. This is the reason that when guinea stops eating due to scarcity of resources, dental issues, or some other health issue, their gastrointestinal tract may enter stasis, which will lead to the partial and eventually complete shutdown of the guinea pig digestive system. This is extremely dangerous and guinea pigs may die within a couple of hours. So, you can say that pooping so much is necessary for guinea pigs’ survival.

Guinea Pigs Coprophagia

One of the reasons why guinea pigs poop so much is that they are coprophagic—they eat their poop. Given that guinea pigs don’t have a problem with eating their own poop if they were unable to extract all the nutrients during the first round, they don’t process food too much to extract nutrients. They get whatever nutritional value they could easily extract from the food flowing through their digestive system and let excrete the rest.

Here is the catch. Guinea pigs produce two kinds of pellets. While both are referred to as “poop,” one kind is standard poop and the other kind (caecal pellets) is packed with unabsorbed nutrients. Guinea pigs immediately ingest these nutritious pellets for a second round.  This way, guinea pigs not only get the most energy and nutrition from the food they eat but also keep their digestive system working. 

Read: Types of Guinea Pig Poop With Meaning And Pictures

They Are Always Grazing

Guinea pigs poop so much because they are natural herbivores and are always eating. In the wild, guinea pigs are constantly grazing on whatever food comes their way, because they need to keep food flowing from their GI tracts all the time. Therefore, you must provide them with a constant supply of quality hay to munch on all the time. Given that guinea pigs are always eating, there is no wonder that they are always pooping.

High-Fiber Diet

Guinea pigs poop so much because they eat a high-fiber diet. This does not mean that you can switch them to a low-fiber diet, as guinea pigs need a high-fiber diet to maintain their gastrointestinal motility.

Besides that, high fiber is also necessary for guinea pigs to wear down their always-growing teeth. Quality hay should be the main source of high fibers for your guinea pigs. If guinea pigs don’t have a constant supply of hay, and their teeth start to overgrow, the guinea pig may start biting on the cage. 

Why Is My Guinea Pig Suddenly Pooping More Than the Usual?

If your guinea pig was dropping 100 pellets each day but has suddenly started pooping more, know that it might still be nothing to worry about. Now that you are not too tense about the increased poop frequency, let’s discuss what could have potentially caused this spike in droppings.

Active Guinea Pigs Poop More

The more active the guinea pigs, the ‘poopier’ the guinea pig. If your guinea pig is more active, he will be eating more to fuel all the activity and that will be leading to more and more droppings.

If your guinea pig had more floor time today or you over-exercised him, you should expect a significant increase in the number of droppings.

While you may have to deal with more poop, know that an increased active lifestyle is a good thing. This would also increase your chances of witnessing guinea pig popcorning and zoomies. 

More the Guinea Pig Eats, More It Poops

If your guinea pig has been eating more than usual, he is most certainly going to be pooping more than usual. There is nothing to worry about if your guinea pig has eaten more than usual and then pooped more than usual as far as they ate a balanced diet.

Eating too much food with low fibers could be problematic and could upset the guinea pig’s stomach and the guinea pig may start to poop less and eventually go into GI stasis, which could even lead to the death of the guinea pig in a matter of hours. So, always feed your guinea pigs a balanced diet and ensure a constant supply of hay.

Do Guinea Pigs Poop Less With Aging?

Yes, older guinea pigs poop less because their digestive systems slow down and cannot process food quickly. They also poop less because they are less active. They also eat less as they have very little physical activity and do not need many calories.

This drop in the number poop pellets produced by your older guinea pigs is nothing to be concerned about as long as your guinea pig is eating, drinking, and pooping normally and having a reasonable amount of exercise.

Also, note that this drop in poop pellets produced by your guinea pig is very gradual. So, if your guinea pig is suddenly pooping less than usual, you may want to see a veterinarian.

How To Read Guinea Pig Poop?

Guinea pig poop has a lot to tell you about its health.  While we have discussed some basics below, for extensive reading, check out our Guinea Pig Poop Chart.

Number of Poop Pellets

If your guinea pig is excreting an average of 100 poop pellets a day, he is healthy.

If the number drops below 50, your guinea pig might have an issue.

Color, Shape, and Texture

Poop TypeWhat It Tells Us?What Can You Do?
Oval and BrownGuinea pig is healthyPat yourself on the job
Small and dryPiggy is dehydratedIncrease water intake
Tear-shapedPoor gut healthIncrease hay consumption
ClumpedWeakened muscleIncrease hydration and hay consumption
Soft and smellyIt might be diarrheaEnsure hydration and hay consumption
BloodyInternal injury Visit a vet ASAP
GreenThese are probably caecal pelletsWatch your guinea pig eat these poop pellets

Just like poop, guinea pig pee color also has a lot to tell about your guinea pig’s health. So, you may also want to check out our Guinea Pig Pee Chart

Is It Normal For Guinea Pigs To Poop So Much?

Yes, it is normal and healthy for guinea pigs to poop so much. While there is nothing to be concerned about pooping more, if your guinea pig is pooping less or not at all, you should seek immediate attention from a cavy-savvy vet. Similarly, if there is a change in guinea pig poop color, size, texture, and smell, you should get him examined. 

How Often Do Guinea Pigs Poop And Pee?

Guinea pigs poop and pee very frequently. On average, a healthy guinea pig could be pooping anywhere between 150 o 200 times a day. You can expect a guinea pig to poop and pee every 15 to 25 minutes. Because guinea pigs need to pee and poop very often, guinea pig owners are advised to limit guinea pig handling and lap-time sessions to about 15 minutes. And to lessen the chances of your guinea pig peeing or pooping on your, you should try to pick them up right after they did their business.

Is There Any Easy Way to Clean Guinea Pig Poop And Pee?

While adopting a guinea, you commit to providing them a clean housing.

As guinea pigs poop and pee a lot, while setting up their cage, you should keep in mind that you will have to clean it around 3 to 4 times a day. For picking up the poop pellets, many guinea pig owners are using a guinea pig poop vacuum. And as far as the pee is concerned, you can put a guinea pig pee pad on the cage floor, it would absorb all the guinea pig pee and keep it from smelling or seeping. But you should watch out for your guinea pig eating pee pad. There is usually plastic underneath the pee pads that keep pee from getting to the floor. While a guinea pig eating pee pad would not cause any serious issues, you should either tuck the edges under or clip them to the cage bars to ensure your guinea pig does not nibble on them.

What does Healthy Guinea Pig Poop Look Like?

Oval-shaped, brown to black in color, surprisingly healthy guinea pig poop has no smell. It should have uniform consistency; neither it should be too dry, nor it should break into pieces when piglets step on them.

What If My Guinea Pigs Squeaks When Pooping?

Guinea pig squeaking when pooping means that the guinea pig is experiencing difficulty and pain in passing stool. Guinea pig squeaking when pooping is a sign of urinary tract infections, bladder stones, chronic cystitis, etc. So, you should immediately take your guinea pig to the veterinarian for a wellness checkup.

Do Guinea Pigs Poop a Lot When Scared?

Guinea pigs poop all the time and everywhere. So, there is nothing to worry about the guinea pig pooping more when he is scared. However, you should try to remove whatever was scaring your guinea pig. It is not good for their health. 

Why Do Guinea Pigs Poop Where They Sleep?

Guinea pigs poop everywhere. Whenever they have an urge to pee or poop, they just do it, unless they are potty-trained. And given that guinea pigs don’t have a problem with eating their poop pellets, why not sleep in them? I mean, they are warm.

If you are worried about your guinea pig pooping everywhere, you should potty-train them at a young age. Guinea pigs are smart little creatures and can be trained. Once properly trained, you can expect your guinea pigs to poop in one place. 

Why Do Guinea Pigs Poop In Their Food Bowls?

Guinea pigs are pooping all the time and everywhere. So, guinea pigs may poop in their food bowls by accident. However, it could also be their way of marking the bowl as their territory.

That said, you should not be worried about guinea pigs eating from their food bowl after pooping in them as they also eat their poop—caecal pellets. However, you should clean the food bowl while cleaning the cage as guinea pigs are fastidious creatures.

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