Are your guinea pigs looking a wee bit bored in their cavy condo? Have you been hearing more snoozing than scurrying lately? Are you a new pet parent who simply has no clue what these adorable rodents like to play with? Then, it’s a good thing you’ve come across this detailed list of the top 10 toys guinea pigs love. And quicker than you can say, “Pious pigs pinch pink piñatas,” your precious pair of piggies will be perfectly pleased pets!
Table of Contents
1. Crumpled paper or paper bags
Easy and inexpensive, you’ll most likely have these two things on-hand at home already. Basically, just crumple them up into a large ball or a few smaller sizes and place it in your guinea’s cage. Don’t be fooled by how simple this sounds, paper balls do actually make some excellent toys for cavies. Not only are they attracted by the crumple noise it produces when it’s played with, but guineas also like gnawing on any (safe, non-toxic) paper products.
2. Cardboard boxes
Along the lines of crumpled up paper, cardboard boxes make for an ingenious homemade or store-bought toy that doubles as a hideout and a munchy-crunchy snack. If you have some plain shoe or moving boxes collecting dust in your closet, then whip them out, clean them off, and present them to your fluffy friends.
As burrowing rodents, guinea pigs have an innate need for digging tunnels. Unfortunately, in a cavy cage or C&C habitat, it just isn’t possible to do so. However, you can provide them with some tunnels to play with. Luckily, you can find these online or make them yourself.
Wrapping paper tubes can be used as tunnels, but you must make sure to cut open the entire length of the tube to ensure your pig doesn’t get their fuzzy backside stuck when checking out their awesome new toy.
Alternatively, there are some great toy tunnels that you can purchase online like the Living World Pet Tunnel or, my guineas’ personal favorite, the Nature’s Hideaway Grass Tunnel Toy. With the grass tunnel toy, rodents can use them for exercise, a hideout spot for a nap, or even a quick bite to eat.
4. Hay or grass chew balls
Made from all-natural materials, hay or dry grass balls make an ideal toy that’s also a tasty treat. Again, it’s another option that both entertains and keeps their teeth in check. Cavies have fun rolling these balls around their cage, and with some of these toys, they get the added bonus of a fun jingle toy inside that makes a pleasant noise. My little fluffsters got a kick out of Peters Woven Grass Play Ball, so I’d recommend that if you’re not sure which product to purchase.
5. Chew sticks
In the guinea pig world, you can never have too much to chew, gnaw, and nibble on! Chew sticks are another good toy these rodents enjoy, so long as you select premium, all-natural wood sticks such as the Sharllen Apple Sticks Pet Chew Toys or, our Muffy’s personal favorite, Simona Micah Organic Apple Tree Branches. Don’t be surprised when these disappear ultra fast! Not only are these sticks delicious, but they’re also a great way to keep their teeth trim and healthy.
6. Fleece accessories
Fleece is by far one of the best (and cheapest) materials you can buy to make your pet’s home more cozy, fun, and entertaining. How is that possible, you may be asking? Well, from a simple fleece blanket, you can create a warm, snuggly tent or an amusing fleece “forest.” Simply cut strips into a section of fleece and turn it into a curtain. Then, hang it somewhere in their habitat where they can run through the hanging strips. Try this quick and simple play structure out, and you’ll see how quickly your piggies will take to playing with it!
7. Stuffed socks
Before you throw out those lonely solo socks that just can’t seem to find their long-lost partner, consider using them instead to create a stuffed sock sensation. All you have to do is round up a sock or two, stuff them with hay or clean bedding, then tie off the sock with wool on the open end. And voila, you’ve just crafted a throw pillow your pets will drag around, play with, and nestle on!
8. Stuffed tubes with hay
Another wonderful and inexpensive all-time favorite is hay-stuffed paper towel or toilet paper tubes. Since these are non-toxic, plain tubes, they make a great toy to munch on. But when you stuff the center with yummy hay, you create the ultimate guinea treat! Cavies have teeth that continuously grow, so you need to supply them with wood and hay to gnaw on to keep their choppers at bay.
9. An obstacle course
Guinea pigs tend to get bored when they’re not mentally stimulated. So, grab those unused cardboard boxes you haven’t given them to nibble on yet, and make a custom, one-of-a-kind maze or obstacle course. Use a large piece of cardboard for the base, then simply tape walls to the floor section. Get creative with it by adding twists and turns, but whatever you do, don’t forget to have a treat ready at the end of the it all! If you’re in one of those mastermind moods, then go hog-wild and add interesting obstacles to the maze like cardboard tubes, bridges, or tunnels.
10. A playpen for free time
Guineas also enjoy their free time outside of the cage and particularly like playing in a small pet playpen. With this kind of enclosure, you give them a chance to wander about in a sectioned-off location. Since cavies love to socialize, this also gives them the opportunity to hang out with their rodent buddies and share a hay tube or two. Also, don’t forget that guineas enjoy playing with their humans! As such, playpens are a nice, comfortable place for cavies to interact with their pet parents.
At our place, we use the Prevue Pet Products Multi-Color Small Pet Playpen. Admittedly, I consider this item a must-have, and I especially like it because it’s easy to fold and stores flat. This makes it a great product to bring along when we’re being adventurous and exploring the neighborhood park.
With a little imagination and a few household items, you can make some pretty awesome and (thankfully) inexpensive toys guinea pigs like to play with. However, as a final word of warning, please remember to avoid exercise balls at all costs. While many other kinds of rodents positively adore their exercise ball or wheel, these things are not suited for the guinea pig physique. Thus, cavies can get seriously hurt when using these contraptions. In some cases, the results can even be fatal. However, if you stick to our list of toys they like to play with, you’re sure to keep those cavies healthy, happy, and thoroughly entertained!
What do your guinea pigs like to play with?