This is the easiest way to do fleece bedding for guinea pigs, rabbits, and other small animals. Over the years I’ve done all kinds of different things for bedding in my habitats. Yes, I call them habitats. I have indoor ones, outdoor ones, I don’t call them cages. I try and keep them as open and free as possible for all of my pets because they’re part of my family. Their habitat is to keep them safe just like my house keeps me safe. It’s not there to trap them like a jail, or at least that’s what we try and avoid!
Fleece bedding can be a daunting task. It needs regular cleaning and can be tough to organize and create if you don’t know the steps! I’ll be posting the more difficult fleece bedding pads that I make in the near future but for now I want to show you the easy way to do fleece bedding! This might be a sort of cheat and keep in mind that it won’t work for everyone. If you have burrowers this will likely drive you mad. You will need to do the fleece pads if you are dealing with diggers. Thankfully most of my piggies do not root their bedding around or pull up their pads so this seems to work really well for me!
First thing you need to do is clean out your habitat. I take everything out, wash it well with a vinegar solution to make sure it’s sanitary, and then I wipe down the base or liner. I use MidWest Cages because I’ve gotten really good deals on them and they’re cheaper than making a C&C Cage. If you are using a homemade C&C Cage this will likely still work for you as they are VERY similar!
Next thing you do is EASY (like most of these steps) place down your absorbent lower layer. I used an old towel as you can see. I never throw towels away. Once every year or so my mom buys me new towels for my bathrooms as a gift, usually on Christmas, after that I cycle all my other towels out to the animal room! Note that I used just one towel. You can use more layers if you typically end up with a more moist cage. My piggies eat a diet that is mostly veggies and hay. They rarely eat pellets because they can cause more harm than anything. I’ve found that this generally means they’re drinking a whole lot less. They don’t need to flush all that extra calcium out of their system and I usually don’t have a problem with moisture.
That being said, don’t be afraid to put down two layers. Moving blankets work really well as absorbent lower layers but they don’t wash well for me so I stopped investing in them. Use what works best for you!
Next, grab a fleece throw. It was just a super great shopping weekend so I picked up a bunch of fleece throws for gifts and just to have on hand for in the car, etc. I realized after some research that these throws are made from exactly the same set up and materials as regular fleece for projects. I essentially realized that I’ve been over spending for fleece for the last three years! These fleece throws are new, I’ve not washed them. If you like to pretreat your bedding you can wash them a few times on warm, dry on low with no dryer sheets. The dryer sheets should always be avoided for fleece bedding because it creates a layer that resists moisture absorption.
Fold this blanket in half and tuck in on top of your absorbent layers! It’s as simple as that…really. Next you can see that I lay in some extra fleece pads under their eating area and their hideaways. This is usually a heavily soiled area and I change these pads out after about three days. You can use towels or smaller pieces of fleece for this or you can check out my upcoming post to see how to make these great fleece pads for yourself!
The benefits of fleece are vast. I’ve never had any of my pigs get rashes or skin problems with fleece. They don’t end up with chips stuck in their feet or in their genital areas. It’s much more sanitary for me. It’s a bit more work because I have to wash the fleece pads and layers each week but in the long run it’s much more economical. I don’t spend on bedding and I have never had to replace the bases of any of my habitats. With paper or chipped wood bedding the bases and liners can get built up and gross after awhile. You can see in the photos that the bases of my habitats are still like new! It really can save you quite a bit of money if you are willing to put in the work. With this super easy method you’ll be amazed at how easy fleece bedding can be!
Do you use fleece bedding in your habitats? Do you have questions about how to make this process work for you? Feel free to comment with any questions or insights!
Here you can see the types of blankets I’ve picked up to use in the cages. The sizes are a little different but they should both work well!