Guinea pigs are funny little creatures, they are also very affectionate once they get to know and trust their owners. Making sure they are well looked after, have interesting environments to live in and regular interaction with you, helps build up this all important trust.
Below are a few fun and interesting facts about guinea pigs you may not already know:
- The other name for a guinea pig is “cavy” which is the short version of their official name – Cavia Porcellus
- Guinea pigs are tail-less rodents with stout bodies and are kept as pets by many people all over the country
- There are 3 types of guinea pigs – the first is the American/English one which has short hair with a smooth coat. The second is the Abyssinian guinea pig which has a more wiry coat with hair that forms swirls similar to rosettes. Lastly, the third are the Peruvian guinea pigs which have straight, long and silky hair
- Guinea pigs are not related to pigs and they do not come from Guinea. The Guinea in their name refers to the country of Guyana and because they have stout bodies which gives them a “piggy like” appearance, they are named after them
- They originally come from the Andes
- They are very active during the day and less so at night
- Guinea pigs love to spend their time grooming each other and themselves making them very clean animals to keep as pets
- A healthy weight of a guinea pig is between 700 and 1200g (1.5 – 2.5lbs)
- Guinea pigs are around 20 and 25 cm long (8 – 10 inches)
- Guinea pigs in the wild live on grassy plains and semi-arid deserts
- The life span of a guinea pig is between 4 – 7 years – the better a guinea pig is looked after, the longer they will live!
- When it comes to diet, they are herbivores and they mainly live on grass and hay
- They make lots of different noises when they want to express themselves. This includes squealing, chirping, rumbling, purring and chirping
- The most common health issues seen in guinea pigs include diarrhea, scurvy, respiratory tract infections and abscesses
- Guinea pigs are gorgeous creatures that make ideal pets. They are lovely to handle with soft fur and they rarely bite or scratch
- They are very social animals and they are much happier when kept in pairs or groups
- A female guinea pig is called a “sow” and the males are referred to as “boars”
- Baby guinea pigs are called “pups”
- “Pups” are born with fur and their eyes open
- Their teeth continue growing throughout their lives which is why it's important for them to constantly gnaw on the things they like to eat so they wear their teeth down
Great Pets to Keep Indoors
Lots of people keep guinea pigs as pets because they are such cute and friendly little creatures to have around. The more you interact with them, the more they learn to trust you. If you sit with them on your lap, they purr and often fall asleep ifyougroom them – which is one of their favourite pass times.
Here are some more fun facts about guinea pigs:
- In the wild, guinea pigs live in social groups which are referred to as “herds”
- Domestic guinea pigs need to have lots of attention and love to be with you when you are around
- Guinea pigs are incredibly sensitive to loud noises
- A guinea pig that stretches out shows they are relaxed and happy
- When they are happy, guinea pigs jump straight up and down in the air which is referred to as “pop corning” - you'll often see youngsters do this when they are playing
- Guinea pigs cannot naturally produce Vitamin C in their bodies which is why you need to supplement their diets with the vitamin
A Little Bit Of History About Guinea Pigs
- These gorgeous little animals were once raised as a food source by tribal people
- The Incas used to sacrifice guinea pigs to the Sun God in their religious ceremonies
- Today, guinea pigs are one of the most popular pets in the UK and America
Interesting Facts About What Guinea Pigs Like to Eat
- Guinea pigs love to eat fruit and vegetables which contain lots of healthy nutrients
- They do really well on Timothy hay
Fun Facts About Guinea Pigs
- The oldest recorded guinea pig lived to the ripe old age of 15 which earned a place in the Guiness Book of Records
- They have 4 toes on their front feet but only 3 on their back ones
- All guinea pigs have 5 different sorts of hair that makes up their coat
- Baby guinea pigs (pups) are able to run when they are only a few hours old
- Pigs is Pigs is a film about guinea pigs that just keep on multiplying in a train station
There are lots of places where you can either adopt or buy a guinea pig. If you are looking to get one pet you should really think about getting two because they are much happier creatures if they are kept in pairs. They do not do well when kept on their own because they get too lonely.
If you go online, you'll find lots of lovely little creatures living in rescue centres or sanctuaries and all of them are looking for new homes where they'll get a second chance at bringing a smile to their owner's faces. Guinea pigs are not demanding pets to keep but they do love to have a lot of attention, and they especially love being groomed.
By regularly playing and grooming a pet guinea pig, you get to see if there's a health problem or if your pet's teeth need looking at by a vet. The more you touch and groom your pet, the more they start to trust you, and this means when you do need to treat them for any injuries or illnesses, they are a lot easier to handle without getting stressed out.