Guinea pigs love their toys and they should be provided with them at all times whether they are living alone or in pairs. Toys can simply be homemade with hay stuffings or store-bought.
Guinea pigs get bored easily so the toys keep them busy and occupied for a long while. They may use their toys for chewing, as pillows, to hump on them, to drag around, or to play with.
Some guinea pig owners may decide to add a mirror in their guinea pig’s cage to entertain them. Mirrors have been known to produce all sorts of fascinating reactions from animals.
So, can guinea pigs have mirrors? Is it okay to put a mirror in their cage? Read on find out.
Do guinea pigs love mirrors?
Most guinea pigs love mirrors and they can spend a lot of time in front of the mirror staring at themselves. They may think it’s another guinea pig keeping them company. The reactions to mirrors vary because some may become scared of the guinea pig they are seeing in front of them. Others react aggressively and may want to fight with the strange new piggy inside the mirror.
If your pet loves mirrors, hang one in their cage but if they react negatively towards it, take it away.
How do guinea pigs react when they see mirrors
Guinea pigs will react differently to seeing their reflection in a mirror. The animals have different personalities that will bring out varying reactions from them.
The reactions are:
A guinea pig who lives alone is prone to feeling lonely sometimes. Introducing a mirror in their cage will make them feel like they have another cagemate with them.
Although their reflection will not be able to groom them or cuddle with them, they will still feel a sense of having a friend in there with them. They may spend hours in front of the mirror staring at their reflection.
You may even see them lick the mirror as they are trying to groom and be friendly to the other guinea pig.
If your guinea pig is the shy type, they can get scared if they see their reflection in the mirror. The sight of another guinea pig will scare them into hiding.
Guinea pigs have an instinct of running to hide when they sense danger. So if your pet sees another piggy in the cage, they may get scared and hide away.
Your pet could be the alpha type who are the dominants of a cage if they live with other cagemates. If the alpha piggy sees their reflection in the mirror and thinks that there is another guinea pig in the cage, they may get aggressive.
Aggressive behavior involves teeth chattering or dragging their bottoms around so as to leave their scent and mark their territory. They will want to show the ‘new’ guinea pig that they are the boss in the cage.
Are mirrors safe for guinea pigs?
Mirrors are safe for guinea pigs as long as you choose the correct ones. You can get a mirror for your pet at the guinea pig section or the bird section of stores.
Due to the way animals handle their things roughly, a metallic mirror would be perfect for your pet. A glass mirror can easily break and hurt your pet.
You should opt for a mirror without sharp edges. Round mirrors with the edges encased in pet-safe material are a good choice.
You can attach a small bell at the bottom of the mirror for your piggy to ring whenever they feel like it. Guinea pigs will be delighted by the jingling sounds made by the bell.
Both the mirror and bell can occupy them for ages. Fix the mirror in the cage tightly so that it doesn’t slide off and fall on your pet.
How to clean the mirror in my guinea pig’s cage
The mirror in your pet’s cage is going to get dirty because although guinea pigs love clean environments, they tend to dirtify a place a lot.
The mirror will get stained from food particles and waste. Make sure to clean it regularly to avoid buildup that will make your pet lose interest in it.
Build up matter on the mirror will also produce a stinking smell and provide a breeding place for bacteria that may bring diseases to your pet.
You can take out the mirror during your full cage cleaning routine and wash it with your pet’s other cage accessories like food bowls and water bottles. Soak it in water to soften first before scrubbing it with a piece of cloth.
Wash it with a pet-safe cleaner or use vinegar. Disinfect it, then hang it back in the cage after it dries up.
What if my guinea pig doesn’t like mirrors
Not all guinea pigs will love mirrors. Some will get scared, others will become aggressive, and others may choose to ignore them altogether.
If a mirror is not a thing for your pet, you can get them other play toys or chew toys as alternatives. Do not leave them with a mirror if they don’t like it because they could become frustrated and stressed by it.
Instead of making your pet sick because of seeing their reflection, take away the mirror and replace it with a toy they will love like a chewing block of wood.
Some guinea pigs will love mirrors to the extent of sitting in front of them for hours. They may even move in front of the mirror while turning and looking at their reflection as if admiring themselves.
Try placing a mirror before your guinea pig and see their reaction to it. If they seem to love it, get them a mirror for their cage.
Attach a small bell on the mirror for them to ring whenever they want. Remember to wash it regularly too.
If your pet gets scared by or aggressive towards the mirror, take it away and offer them an alternative toy that they will like instead.