Are Guinea Pigs Actually Pigs?

What Is a Guinea Pig?

Guinea pigs, also known as cavy or cavies, are small rodents of the family Caviidae and the genus Cavia. They originate from South America and can typically be found in households as pets. Guinea pigs have become popular over the years due to their docile nature and friendly demeanor.

Are They Actually Pigs?

Despite their name, guinea pigs are not actually related to any type of pig species; they are part of the cavy family instead. Their original scientific name was “Cavia porcellus” which translates into “little piggie” in Latin, leading many people to believe that they were related to actual pigs – but this is not true!

Physical Characteristics

Guinea pigs have short legs, large eyes and ears on either side of their head. They come in a variety of colors including black & white/tan, cream & white/tan, brown & white/tan and solid colors such as gray or apricot. The average lifespan for guinea pigs ranges from 4-8 years depending on breed and living conditions.


In conclusion – no – guinea pigs are not actually related to any type of pig species! They are part of the cavy family with physical characteristics distinctly different than those associated with an actual pig. Despite this fact though they remain one fo the most popular household pets around today!