guinea pigs questions & faqs

In this FAQ's section you can find some questions that maybe you would like to know about your Guinea Pigs. If you have any other questions about your cavies click here.

How long do guinea pigs live?
The lifespan for guinea pigs is between five and eight years, depending on breed, how well it is look after, exercise etc.
How often should my guinea pig's claws be clipped?
Clip the claws as often as necessary. The more frequently a guinea pig can walk/run on a hard surface, the less frequently they will need clipping, as they will wear down themselves. A guinea pig that spends a lot of time on grass or in its hutch will need its claws clipping more often.
I have seen my guinea pigs eating their own droppings. Should I stop them doing this, if so how?
It is normal for a guinea pig to eat their own droppings, known as coprophagy. The guinea pig is not eating its hard droppings but the small, moist droppings, which it takes directly from its anus. It is a bit like cows chewing the cud. The protein content of these droppings is important for the animals' health and you should not stop them doing it. It can't transmit disease.
My guinea pigs have ruined several water bottles by chewing the spouts. What should I do?
If possible buy a bottle with a metal spout, preferably stainless steel, as aluminum is a soft metal and a guinea pig might be able to chew through it. Whatever type of water bottle you have, you must check it regularly to ensure that the water flows freely and always make sure fresh, clean water is supplied. Have a look at GPW's Pet Products page for suitable water bottles.
Why does my guinea pig bite me?
Your guinea pig may bite you for two reasons. Number one is that it might think you are feeding it and nip your finger instead. Or your guinea pig is frightened of you and, biting in self defense - specially new or young pets. You need to try to handle your guinea pig more often and talk to it in a 'soft' tone of voice.
What are other names for guinea pigs?
The Latin name for guinea pigs is 'Cavia porcellus'. They are sometimes referred to as 'cavies' (singular being 'cavy'). The guinea pigs found in the wild in South America are called 'cavia cutleri', see Their History for more information about where guinea pigs are thought to originally come from.
Do guinea pigs get along with other animals?
Guinea pigs are peaceful species and they usually get along well with rabbits if they are introduced to each other when they are small but you have to watch them carefully so that the rabbit doesn't hurt your guinea pig.Guinea pigs do not get along with mice, rats or hamsters. On the other hand dogs, cats and other bigger pets are dangerous for them.
Why are Guinea Pigs also called cavies?
It comes from the scientific classification- genus species- Cavia coboya.
What is a Boar?
Boar is the name for a male pig. Females are called sows. And baby pigs are known as pups.
Why does my Guinea Pig Scratch?
It can be a number of things like lice, mites or fungus