Learn Something New About Guinea Pigs!

Learn Something New About Guinea Pigs!

Guinea pigs were among the first animals used for experimental purposes, and their use dates back to the 17th century. Sadly, they are still used for science in many different ways

This could be why the term "guinea pig" is used metaphorically to refer to a person or animal used in an experiment, trial, or test. However, we know that guinea pigs aren’t mere test subjects or lab tools. They are sentient beings who are capable of a wide range of emotions, including fear and pain.

To help break this outdated misconception, we’ve whipped up some fun and interesting facts about guinea pigs…

They need friends.

Guinea pigs are highly social, and their wild relatives also live in groups.1 When kept in captivity as pets, they can become lonely and depressed if kept without other guinea pig companions.

They love a nap!

Guinea pigs are known to sleep in short naps, usually for a total of 20% of the day and can snap wide awake instantly.2 Guinea pigs often sleep with their eyes open.3

They’re chatty.

To any guinea pig carer, it will come as no surprise that guinea pigs have personalities and character differences.4

Guinea pigs are particularly vocal. Guinea pigs purr. Not only that, but this purr also matures as they age. As for hearing others purr, they have individual preferences for pitch and frequency (some predictable, some not).5

Guinea pigs also chut, chutter, whine, whistle, squeal, scream, drrr, chirrup and tweet, with all having harmonics and differences in the frequency range to them.6

They love their mums.

Newborns can tell the smell of their mum’s urine from other lactating guinea pigs, and they can tell if they are related, even if they've never met.7 Their own mother is able to comfort them better than a different female or the father.8 

When they are sick, the simple presence of their mum can make them feel better while also increasing fever (to help fight off infection).9

They’re smart.

Guinea pigs can be trained – check out the video below to see this for yourself!




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  1. https://doi.org/10.1186/1742-9994-11-30
  2. https://doi.org/10.1108/03684920010312830
  3. https://kaveecage.net/blogs/us/do-guinea-pigs-sleep-with-their-eyes-open
  4. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10071-014-0781-9
  5. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.heares.2011.01.018
  6. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1439-0310.197tb00471.x
  7. https://doi.org/10.1046/j.1439-0310.2003.00864.x
  8. https://doi.org/10.1002/dev.420120109
  9. https://doi.org/10.1002/dev.21962