Animals / Rodents

Short-haired Guinea Pigs

Синонимы и названия на других языках

Order: rodentia

Family: cavidae

Genus: cavia

Species: cavia porcellus


Like all other breeds, short-haired guinea pigs originated from South America. In various parts of this continent different species of Cavia genus can be found: Cavia ареrеа in Brazil and Paraguay, Cavia tschudii and Cavia cutleri in the Andes (where they were very popular as food for local people), Cavia nаnа in Bolivia and Cavia fulgida along the river Amazon.

Short-haired guinea pigs can be found in a variety of terrains: swampy valleys and lowlands, rocky highlands and hills. Maybe that’s why they make their dwellings in a different way, adapting to the environment: some species dig holes in suitable type of soil, others build kinds of nests of plants and yet others live in rocky crevices.

Today wild guinea pigs can only be found in South America, but they are extremely popular as pets all over the world. 

Внешний вид

These rodents have 4 toes on their front feet and 3 toes on their hind feet. The bodies of guinea pigs are compact, noses have small crooks, ears are wide and almost bald.

Short-haired cavies have some specific features regarding their teeth system. Guinea pigs are born with the whole range of teeth – 20 of them. Short-haired guinea pigs don’t have tusks and molars and incisors are quite wide apart from each other.

Most short-haired guinea pigs are brown with lighter belly. Today there are a lot of breeds of short-haired guinea pigs.

In the wild guinea pigs live in groups. They are diurnal animals but they can be active at night too.  


Guinea pigs are sociable animals who feel best in company of their specimens. If you have several of these small cute rodents, you will be able to watch their behavior in a group which can only be seen when a cavy feels safe in a circle of mates. If a guinea pig lives alone, it can only communicate with people, so the owner will have to give it a lot of time and attention.

Содержание и уход

If you have a short-haired guinea pig, you can be sure that it will learn to respond to its name. You should get a cage that is at least 60 cm long; it should have a tray.

Your guinea pig will need a food bowl, a water bowl with fresh clean water, wood cuttings as bedding; a house or another hiding place and preferably a hammock. Guinea pigs don’t like bathing, so you should bathe them only if they get too dirty. Every second month you should cut their claws.

Good care, love and attention will quickly turn your cavy into everybody’s favourite and it will become a true family member. 


Guinea pigs are herbivore, therefore in the wild they eat various plant feed. In captivity they eat hay, grain and some juicy vegetables and fruit: finely cut or grated apples, lettuce, carrots, beetroot and cucumber.

Fresh clean water always has to be in the cage. It should be changed regularly. It is also recommended to put in the cage mineral blocks that fulfill the lack of minerals and nutrients and enable your pet to grind its constantly growing incisors. 


Guinea pigs, like all rodents, tend to gnaw on furniture and other objects. Males usually fight with each other. They get very stressed because of temperature swings.


The most common diseases of guinea pigs are rachitis, conjunctivitis, parasites, tapeworms, diarrhea, viral and bacterial infections, hair loss, respiratory diseases, digestive system disorders, pasteurellosis, pseudotuberculosis.

Average life span under good care can be up to 10 years.


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