Guinea Pigs

Miss 7 with GP

Cara McKee, a writer and mother-of-three, living in Largs is so in love with her gorgeous little new arrivals…

At the beginning of the summer holidays we agreed with some friends that they would look after our kittens in exchange for us looking after their guinea pigs. I knew that this was a dangerous arrangement and told the children that even though guinea pigs are totally adorable, we would not, in any circumstances, be getting any.

Then we looked after them, giving them fresh hay and veggies every day and hanging out with them. They were sooooo cute! My youngest was coming up on her birthday and knew we wouldn’t ever get her an animal as a present, but she begged that she really, really, really wanted a guinea pig. I hugged her. She had been so careful, gentle, and diligent looking after our friends’ guinea pigs, I knew she would do her best to look after any that we got. Right then I wanted to break all the rules and fill our house with cute little twitchy-nosed pigs. She couldn’t get a guinea pig for her birthday, but she could maybe get a guinea pig house… and it would be a shame to leave it empty!

Her dad found a gorgeous guinea pig house online, and her Grandbob helped her to build a run from wood and chicken wire (no chicken wire on the bottom because that hurts their little feet). We went to Pets at Home for food, wood-shavings, bowls and bottles, and plenty of yummy hay. Finally, with everything set up, we went there for guinea pigs.

The assistant at Pets at Home was super-helpful, checking that we knew how to look after the guinea pigs and that we had all the stuff we needed. It was really hard to choose because they were all gorgeous. My boy was all for just buying every one of them – and I probably would have if we’d had more space – but we only had room for two, so we picked two long-haired brothers. Miss 7 named one Scruffy, and the older kids named his brother Jimmy Squarefoot, after a Manx monster.

I guess staying with each other helped them feel safe. Scruffy and Jimmy seem to be settling in fine, they love getting brushed every day and going out in their run in the sunshine. The kids are madly in love with them (as am I!) so they get lots of gentle love and attention –but not too much from our kittens!

Guinea pigs Fun Facts

  • Guinea pigs are not pigs, and they’re not from Guinea! They’re rodents from South America called cavies.
  • Guinea pig statues from 500 BCE have been found in Peru!
  • Queen Elizabeth I of England had pet guinea pigs, but we don’t know what their names were.
  • Guinea pigs get bored easily – they don’t like to live on their own and they need space and toys to play.                                                                                                                          

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