Guinea pigs also called Cavies are considered to be the most affectionate small pet by many. They originally came from South America but the ones kept as pets today are captive bred. Breeders have developed a wide range of colors and coat types, just about guaranteeing that there is a little piggy just for you!
Despite their name Guinea pigs actually come from grasslands in South America. They are highly social animals often found in large groups so are happiest when more than one is kept but do like the company of their keeper often squealing with delight when they enter the room.
Guinea Pigs also known as Cavies usually weigh between 1 and 2 pounds and live for 5 years or more. They come in a variety of both solid and mixed browns, blacks and whites with either short and shiny, long and silky or tufted coats.
Handled properly guinea pigs rarely bite and really seem to enjoy socializing with their keeper. They cost more than a gerbil or hamster to purchase and keep but less than almost all the other small mammal pets.
A Guinea Pig's larger size and a natural diet that contains more fresh fruit and veggies than the little guys means a little more maintenance is required in changing litter and making sure they have fresh water and food.
Their larger less fragile size, easy care requirements and friendly disposition make Guinea Pigs a frequent choice for younger pet owners who can practice proper handling and are responsible enough to keep their living area clean.