After bringing Newt and Hazel home, I purchased two little beds for them to cozy up in – a cavy cuddle sack and cavy cuddle cup. This was obviously no longer going to be enough when I got the surprise of three extra piggies! I initially put in some towels and old pillow cases, but once I knew that two was turning into five, I needed something more comfortable and permanent.
Taking inspiration from the cavy snuggle sacks available to purchase in pet shops and online, as well as the old pillow cases and leftover fleece from the lining of their cage, I decided to just make my own!
I’m basing these for my guinea pigs, but of course these can be used for any small pets.
You will Need:
- An old pillow case
- Fleece (enough to cover the whole inside of the pillow case)
- Needle and thread (or a sewing machine)
Cut you pillow case in half, as this gives the perfect size for the guinea pig to snuggle up into, but not get lost in the fabric! For each of the halves, if needed, sew up one end so that there is only one opening.
I like to use old pillow protector covers from Manchester Collection, as they are a little thicker than normal pillow cases, and adds that extra warmth. I believe I got these for around $5 each.
Turn your pillow case inside out, so that the side you want as the outer of the pouch is now on the inside.
Measure and cut enough fleece so that it covers both sides of the inner of the pillow case. Fleece is great to use for small animals, as the urine soaks right through it, which stops it from becoming wet. I picked up my fleece from Spotlight, and around $20 covered enough for 4 pouches. Plus they have so many designs to choose from – from plain colours to cute little patterns that I could match to my guinea pigs (I had to get the watermelon pattern, one of their favourite treats!)
Match the side of the fleece you don’t want on display against the inside of the pillow case. Start by sewing the edge of the fleece to one side of the case opening. A sewing machine would be much more efficient here, but if you don’t have one like me, a needle and thread is fine (it may not look as neat, but it still does the job).
Continue sewing around all the edges – you can either cut the fleece in half again, and sew the edges in a square pattern on each side of the case.
Or keep it whole, not having to sew the fleece to the middle edge. Make sure you sew all corners of the fleece directly to the case, as it stops the fabric from being pulled out too much.
(The only negative for these ways is that it makes it harder to dry, as the bed is a lot thicker. Alternatively, you can stitch it so that the fleece is only sewn on at the opening, and can be fully turned inside out and made thinner)
Once all the fleece as been sewed on, turn the case inside out so that the fleece is on the inside and pillow case is in it’s original form.
Fold back the inside of the case just around the edges, so that the fleece is showing around the opening of the pouch – this helps it to keep it in this shape, and is easier for the animal to get inside.
And that’s it!
(I do hope my instructions made sense – it might sound confusing, but once you get it, it’s super easy!)
Each morning and evening I spot clean any mess from the guinea pigs cage, such as wet hay, droppings, urine, etc. This includes inside their beds.
While it’s easier to keep cages clean with fleece, t’s also important to wash this bedding regularly. I tend to do this once a week in summer, and every 2 weeks in winter (as it takes longer to dry in the colder weather, and I don’t want them to be without beds – however, I still like to air them out for a bit).
After shaking out any excess hair, I soak the bedding/cage lining in warm water and a guinea pig safe washing powder (something that is non irritant to skin). I then wash it in cool water to remove any excess soap. Then I hang it out dry, and if it’s quite warm this should only take a couple of hours.
Make sure it’s completely dry before placing back in the cage, as you don’t want the guinea pigs to get sick from a cold.
I think that the cavy snuggle sacks available for purchase are really cute (and much better crafted than mine), but the thing I like about the homemade ones is that they are much larger. So if more than one guinea pig wants to get inside, they can snuggle up together 🙂
Plus, I was able to save money.
Here’s a little photo shoot of my piggies enjoying their warm pouches. Once they settled in the pouches together they turned into such models!
Let me know in the comments what sort of bedding you use for your small animals – do you purchase it, or make your own?