Guinea pigs are popular pets who come from the family Caviidae. They were first distinguished geologically during the Miocene period and have survived to this very day as prey animals.
They consist of three genera and over 20 different species which are found in South America. Over the years, guinea pigs have been hunted for food and for their coats by humans. However, only the species ‘cavia’ have been domesticated.
As hystricomorph rodents, guinea pigs are originally from the Andes Mountains region in South America.
As part of the rodent family they are related to rats, mice, hamsters, squirrels and chinchillas. They still live in South America today and enjoy living in the wild amongst the mountains of the Andes.
They live in rocky areas, forests and grass lands.
The temperatures can range from warm to cool and so they have learnt to adapt to different kinds of temperature depending on what they come up against.
They are hardy creatures who are great survivors. Guinea pigs have learnt to keep going and protect themselves.
They are intelligent creatures who’s first instinct is for preservation. Piggies will protect themselves when they are hungry, thirsty, hot and cold.
They have similar instincts to many creatures in the animal kingdom.
Yes they can feel the cold.
Whenever the do get cold, guinea pigs go into self-preservation mode and more often than not will snuggle up with each other to warm each other on the warmth of each others bodies.
I have also seen guinea pigs shivering from the cold. This means that we really need to be careful with what temperatures we expose our guinea pigs to.
They should be kept in temperatures ideally between 41 to 59 degrees Celsius for them to feel comfortable.
If you want some ways to keep your guinea pig’s warm, then here is a post which will help with this and give some ideas on how to make this happen.