Rossendale Free Press - - Rossendale People - VICKI LARKHAM

Dear Vicki, I have two male guinea pigs and have no­ticed one chews the other one’s fur. Should I be wor­ried? Eat­ing fur, or ‘bar­ber­ing’, can up­set the guinea pig on the re­ceiv­ing end and can even cause skin dis­ease, so you should keep a close eye on them. Try to find out what trig­gers the be­hav­iour. For ex­am­ple, does it hap­pen when fresh food is placed in the hutch? It can some­times be due to bore­dom, so make sure they have plenty of toys, games and ex­tra fresh feed­ing hay to eat too. If the prob­lem per­sists, visit your vet to check there aren’t any other causes of the fur-loss. You may also need to sep­a­rate them. Dear Vicki, My three-year-old tom cat, Billy, loves a lot of fuss and at­ten­tion. But he has a habit of wak­ing us up at the crack of dawn and de­mands his break­fast. What can we do to stop this? Billy be­longs to a group of pets that are ‘cre­pus­cu­lar’, mean­ing he is more ac­tive at dawn and dusk than dur­ing the day. As Billy prob­a­bly sleeps a lot dur­ing the day, you should help him to re­lease his en­ergy in the evening by play­ing en­er­getic games. Also, make sure he has plenty to eat be­fore you go to bed, as a full stom­ach will mean he is less likely to want food when the sun rises. If he con­tin­ues to wake you in the early hours don’t re­act to him, as giv­ing him the at­ten­tion he wants re­in­forces that jump­ing up on the bed means get­ting a nice meal.

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