When you say the word pet, about 99% of people will automatically think about a cat or a dog right off the bat. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but it speaks volumes about the types of pets that are most popular, especially within North America. Of course, many people do own different types of pets other than cats or dogs. One pet in particular is friendly, seeks attention, is adorably noisy, costs little to own, and is far more clean than a cat or dog. Enter the Guinea Pig.
Guinea Pigs, not from Guinea, and not pigs, are a small rodent species that hails from South America. They look similar to a hamster, but are much larger. They come in many different colours and breeds, ranging from totally bald to thick haired and multi-coloured. Guinea Pigs require little grooming in general, although pigs with longer hair do require semi-constant brushing. These furry little creatures also require little exercise. During the warmer months, letting them romp around in the grass (under a cage) once in a while is quite fine. During the winter, letting them out of their cage to lounge around on your lap is plenty for them.
All they will need to live comfortably is a cage, a type of dome or cover for them to sleep under, some cage decorations, straw, bedding, and some newspaper. They drink plenty of water, eat hay and food pellets, and also like to munch on certain veggies and grass.
Guinea Pigs are very vocal, and tend to “chirp” at you whenever you enter them room. As they begin to learn your voice more, they will grow ever more vocal and affectionate around you. They love to cuddle, and will burrow into whatever they can. They make for an easy to maintain and cost-effective lap-pet in tight living arrangements.
If you want a smaller pet who is easy to take care of and purrs just like a cat, a Guinea Pig may be for you!