The Pet Directory Smal Animal Article - Buying A Cavy

As published in The Pet Directory QLD, NT & WA Edition
by Peter Wright, Vice president of the Brisbane Cavy Fanciers (Est. 1997)
Ph: 07 3899 2706 -

I Want to Buy a Piggy What Do I Do ?

What sort should I get?
The type of Cavy (Guinea Pig) you buy depends completely on you! Whether you make a decision based on colour, sex or the way the hair is growing, is something that only you as a potential new owner can make your mind up about. BUT it is a decision that should not be taken lightly!

The cavy now comes in all manner and styles of hair growth.

There are smooth coated ones with short hair, rough coated ones with short hair and fluffy ones with medium length hair and even ones with hair that grows at least 1 inch per month and continually grows and all of these different types can have different care requirements if they are to be kept HAPPY & HEALTHY! So what you need to do is sit down and have a good think about the sort that you would like because there are so many to choose from.

How Many Do I Need?
Now you have made your choice about the type of cavy you want to get, you need to decide if you want to give them a friend to keep the company, or will you be enough company for it! Cavies are gregarious, this means that they like their own sort for company and live quite happily together, especially if they grow up from babies together. However, having said this, cavies will be quite content to live by themselves as long as the get plenty of loving, tender care from you. If you decide that you would like your cavy to have company AND DO NOT want them to have babies themselves, that you need to purchase cavies that are the
SAME sex. That is either two males or two females AND it is always better to purchase them from the same breeder. If you purchase a male and a female then you will end up inevitably with baby cavies that you may find hard to part with.

Cavies should be housed in hutches or runs that will keep the cavies IN and any other sort of animal such as, dogs, cats, birds, snakes or rodents OUT! The popular belief is that 1sq foot per cavy is the minimum requirement for room and this is a good guide to use when deciding on the number of cavies you want to keep, plus where and how you want to house them. It is not recommended to house cavies outside in direct sunlight or exposed elements, however a lawn run is the most common method of housing cavies that are kept purely as pets. If this is the way you want to do it you need to ensure that the run is well and truly shaded, particularly in Brisbane Summers! You should provide an enclosed area in your outside run, so that your pets are able to get out of any bad weather, such as rain or even hail.

Cavies are not known for enjoying the presence of water!

Another thing to make sure of is that the run has wire RIGHT THE WAY AROUND IT! Even the floor, they will be able to nibble the grass through the wire, but if by some accident the run happens to get turned upside down, the cavies will not be exposed and able to run away or worse get killed!

If you are keeping cavies as exhibition cavies then it is best to house them in ‘LOCKER’ style accommodation, in an internal, but WELL VENTILATED environment.


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