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Fun Facts About Guinea Pigs

By Madeline Dyer

Guinea pigs are very popular pets for people of most ages. Each cavy is different, having his or her own personality and favourite things. Here are some interesting and fun guinea pig facts:

1) When guinea pigs are happy and excited they often do little jumps, and flicks of their back legs – this is known as ‘pop-corning’ and is particularly common with young pigs.

2) Do cavies have tails? There’s so much confusion about this cavy topic. In fact piggies do have a tail vertebrae but most do not have a tail that you can see.

3) In order to be able to properly digest their food guinea piggies will eat some of their faeces. However, they only eat certain types of their droppings called ‘cecotropes’ or ‘cecal faeces’- these droppings have B vitamins and bacteria in that cavies need to completely digest grass.

4) Cavies can be found roaming wild in some parts of South America.

5) Interestingly, most cavies are not nocturnal, or fully diurnal, but are what some people call ‘alert nappers’. This means they generally sleep and quieten down at night, but will often sleep in the daytime as well.

6) Pigs have a wide range of ‘squeaks’ and ‘wheeks’ which they use to communicate with their owners and other cavies with.

7) Guinea pigs can’t make their own Vitamin C like most rodents can, but have to consume it, otherwise they can get illnesses such as scurvy which are often linked to Vitamin C deficiency.

8) Baby pigs are able to run at the tender age of three hours!

9) Most cavy’s teeth never stop growing.

10) Guinea pig’s aren’t related to pigs (well at least not very closely) despite their name! It is thought that they were named ‘pigs’ due to their squeaking sounding like proper pigs, and the ‘guinea’ part is thought to come from the fact that some cavies can be found wild in Guyana.

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