Guinea pigs are a bit of a mystery.
For a start, they don’t look anything like pigs! And secondly, they don’t come from Guinea, which is in Africa. The scientifically correct name for these animals is actually cavy – or cavies if there’s more than one – and they actually originate from the grasslands of South America.
They are rodents and they come in different colours and with different coat lengths. And if you have ever had one you will know that they can make lots of little noises like squeaks, which are just ways of communicating. They live for around five to six years – longer than hamsters, but not as long as rabbits.
They are very sociable, so it’s really important to keep guinea pigs in pairs or groups. Guinea pigs are pretty calm little creatures, they don’t climb like other small pets, and so are much easier to handle and keep an eye on!
Guinea pigs are active up to 20 hours per day and sleep only for short periods.
Baby guinea pigs (pups) are born fully furred, with their eyes open and their teeth fully developed. Pups begin to eat solid food from the day they are born!
Like rabbits, guinea pigs produce special droppings called caecotrophs, which they eat to get as much goodness from their food as possible!
Remember, if you’ve got guinea pigs, or are thinking of getting some, make sure you read the attachment below so you know exactly what they need to have the best life possible.
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