Carolines' Cavy Care Sheet Housing The great thing about cavies is that they can live indoors or out! But beware! They do not like draughts, and if outdoor living, ensure there is a draught-free area for them to go to. A wooden hutch is traditional for guinea pigs out of doors, but plastic and wire frame cages are now widely available, though quite expensive, but suitable only for indoor use. Cover the hutch or put it inside a shed etc in winter as cavies do not like damp. In cold winter months provide plenty of hay for your cavy to keep warm in! Hot weather poses special problems for guinea pigs. As a general rule if we humans feel hot, then chances are so will our guinea pigs! Here are some quick-brief tips to help keep your pet happy in the summer. Always keep out of direct sunlight. Make sure they have a regular and fresh supply of water. If kept out of doors make sure cats or other animals cannot get in at them. Guinea pigs do not like drafts, so make sure they have shelter. Rabbits and cavies. Often cavies are housed with rabbits, especially at pet stores. It is a common practice, but the advice from most expert sources is - DON'T DO IT! If kept outdoors, they are often considered as company for each other but a rabbit has very powerful back legs which often do great harm to the more fragile cavy! Also, they are different species, and in general terms should not be kept together as their dietary requirements differ. Rabbits can be carriers of a bacteria called Bordetella Bronchiseptica which does not normally cause any problems for the rabbit but can cause pneumonia in a guinea pig! Although not all rabbits carry this bacteria, many do without apparent symptoms so therefore do not keep your guinea pig and rabbit housed together! Feeding. Cavies need vitamin C so rabbit food is entirely unsuitable for them! Feed them on proper cavy/guinea pig food and supplement this with lots of good quality hay and fresh vegetables DAILY along with a constant supply of clean water. Toys. Cavies appreciate cardboard tubes stuffed with hay and maybe big tubes to run through but on the whole, they just don't 'do' toys. Harness and leads are NOT suitable for caviies even though they may be sold for them! There are no safety standards for small animal equipment and the buyer must use their own common sense and not buy them! Cavies placed on the floor instinctively want to run and hide. They do NOT want to go for a walk with you and may panic and hurt themselves if restrained on a harness and lead. Also, exercise wheels and balls are NOT kind for guinea pigs. They will rarely use wheels anyway and will become quickly overheated and stressed if placed in a ball. All a cavy wants out of life is a comfortable home, a nice enclosed run for warmer weather in the garden and things to hide in as well as water and a proper diet.