Let’s know about Guinea Pig vs Rat. Although commonly viewed as pests, rodents can make for exceptional pets. Some species are quite intelligent and affectionate, such as guinea pigs and pet rats. But not all rodents are the same. There are major differences between these two species alone.
Let’s take a look at what makes each of these special and help you determine which is the best rodenticide for you and your family.
visual difference between Guinea Pig vs Rat
at a glance
- Average Size (Adult): 8-11 inches
- Average Weight (Adult): 5–2.6 pounds
- Lifespan: up to 8 years
- Exercise: 3-4 hours a day
- Grooming Needs: Moderate
- Family Friendly: Yes
- Other pet-friendly: depends
- Trainability: Very trainable but requires practice and patience
- Average Height (Adult): 4-3.5 inches
- Average Weight (Adult): 5-1.5 pounds
- Lifespan: 2-3 Years
- Exercise: 4+ hours a day
- Grooming Needs: Very Low
- Family Friendly: Yes
- Other pet-friendly: depends
- Trainability: Very intelligent, easily trained
Guinea Pig Description
If you’re looking for a cute and cuddly pet that isn’t too big, consider getting a guinea pig. Sure, they may be rodents, but they may have had a ton of courage and love with you. These little furballs are unique even among rodents when it comes to personality. They can range from full divas to couch potatoes.
They are also very hardy critters indeed. As long as you take care of them properly, they can live a long happy life up to the age of 8. That’s longer than some dog breeds! And they don’t get sick easily. The most common diseases they get are respiratory infections and scurvy. So, make sure they keep up with their Vitamin C.
Guinea pigs also require more grooming than other rodents. While hamsters and rats tend to be self-groomers, when it comes to their cavity you will need to put in some effort. Short-haired varieties will need brushing at least twice a week. Long-haired variants may require daily maintenance. However, think of it as a time to bond between you and your loved one.
Guinea pigs may be small, but they have huge personalities. And each one is unique. Some guinea pigs are shy and timid, only cuddling with their owner and no one else. However, others are total ham—there’s a pun in there somewhere. They will happily come to visit and play with anyone who will let them.
Before choosing your guinea pig, sit down and get to know them a little first. You will be able to determine their personality before purchasing. For example, if you’re looking for a guinea pig to relax with, you’ll want to avoid an active, outgoing one. They will focus more on active play than companionship.
It may sound strange, but did you know that you can house train a guinea pig? Guinea pigs are very intelligent and can learn many tricks. Training them to respond to their name is probably one of the easiest things to teach them. Just use their name a few times when interacting with them, and when they start to respond, give them a treat.
Training your guinea pig isn’t just for show. You will need to potty train them, and this can be relatively difficult. This requires a ton of patience and good timing. But with enough practice, you can keep your guinea pig using the litter box like a cat! This will save you the hassle and effort of cleaning up random poop and urine whenever you let them out of their cage.
Guinea pigs make wonderful family pets—especially with children who are of elementary school age who are often learning about the responsibility of raising a pet.
Guinea pigs are less fragile than rabbits, less slender than hamsters and gerbils, and more robust and hardy than rats. While they are a great option to begin your child’s introduction, you should have some common sense about taking care of pets. They have some strict cleaning and grooming standards, and you must make sure you have time to care for them within your schedule.
Pet Rat Overview
We’re not going to deny that there is an initial “EW factor” to eliminate when getting a rat for a pet. Wild and urban rats are associated with filth, filth and disease. However, pet rats are just the opposite. With access to clean drinking water, food, and proper health care, pet rats are extremely clean and obedient creatures.
Many rat owners refer to them as “low maintenance dogs”. Rats display intense loyalty to their masters and are extremely friendly and affectionate. They are also very social animals and can thrive with other rats—provided they are raised together. Introducing a new rat can lead to bullying and undue stress.
Like cats, rats constantly groom themselves—even more so than cats. They prefer a clean house to a messy one. Wild and city rats only roam around in dirt because it is the easiest place to find food and shelter. However, pet rats show the rodent’s true nature.
The most common cause of death in rats is not some mad disease or plague that is set to wipe out humanity. This is pneumonia and chronic respiratory disease. While wild rats are notorious spreaders of pestilence, the cleanliness and well-being of a pet rat minimizes its chances of becoming the next plague carrier.
Mice are extremely intelligent animals and can learn a ton of neat tricks! They are similar to dogs in that you can teach a rat to sit, stay, fetch, come when called, and even shake hands. These cute little rodents can learn just about anything from other trained animals.
The trick to teaching your rat new tricks lies within your methodology. If there’s any animal that is more food motivated than a rat, we haven’t heard of it. Treat-based training is the best way to get your rat to learn simple and complex commands.
Mice, like other rodents, are prolific breeders. It’s hard to do this to prevent them from breeding. Mice reach sexual maturity at around 5 weeks of age, and females can go into heat every 4 days, all year round!
This is why it is so important to keep your male and female rats separate, even at an early age. When a female gives birth, it is usually a large litter. The average size of a new rat litter is 10–12 pups; However, this number tends to decline as a breeding female approaches menopause (usually around 18 months of age).
Pet rats can make excellent family pets! They love hanging out with their families and love nothing more than to snuggle with you on the couch watching a movie. Just be careful that you don’t squish them. Many rats will lick you as if they are grooming another member of the rat pack.
However, you do need to be careful around small children with rats—for rats. Mice are small, delicate creatures that need to be handled with ease and delicacy. Untrained and small children may accidentally squeeze too hard and injure themselves or the rat.
Which Pet Is Right For You?
Choosing between a guinea pig and a rat can be a difficult choice. It all depends on what you are looking for. If you’re looking for a rodent with an explosive personality and playfulness, then guinea pigs are the way to go. However, if you are looking for the loyalty and love of a dependable dog, you may want to consider the rat.
It may take some getting used to, but being a rodent parent is very rewarding. They are just as loving as larger pets and can be completely devoted to their owners. You just have to break out of the “rodents are gross” stigma.