Monday, July 14, 2014

Critter Terms (Vol. 1)

Critter-Lovers can be...well, odd to the general public.
What is a cavy?? What about a binky?

Here is a short guide to help you out.

cavy - a 'scientific' term for those little squeaking creatures that look like a furry brick, a.k.a guinea pigs, wheekers, piggies, and other less professional but still-cute terms.

binky - When a rabbit wildly jumps in the air, twisting its body as it lands and ending up in a new direction than which they started. A bunny that binkies is a happy bunny indeed.

rattie - A cute term that we rodent owners call our pet rats. Far better than 'rodent.'

lagomorph - A VERY scientific term that classifies rabbits and pikas. NOTE: Rabbits are noooot rodents. Nuh-uh. NOOOOPE.

bunny 500 - When a rabbit runs crazily about the house, going in circles and zipping past your feet at break-neck speed. It isn't quite like a binky, but it still is a sign of immense happiness.

eyelights - I just made this up, but it is a great term for those cute eyes our pets make at us. Here's a visual example -

bunnimom/bunnidad - A rabbit 'parent', or as our bunnies like to put it, slave.

bun - A shortened term for bunny. Far more civilized. It can also describe this -

dook - The sound a ferret will make. This onomatopoeia-ish word is a sign we truly endear ourselves to our wittle weasels by making an official word for a sound they make. Just a thought.

wheek/wheep - Yet another onomatopoeia-ish word, but this time, it's a sound guinea pigs make. They are very well known for this sound, and I hear it a million times a day.


glider - A shortened term for 'sugar glider', which are little exotics that many of us keep as endearing pets.

piggy - A cute term for 'guinea pig'.

pig - Another name for 'guinea pig.'

chub - The rolls of fat on small pet's bodies. Fun to pinch. Especially on those Shar-Pei dogs or my hamster Mickey. 

adurable - 'adorable' and 'durable' mashed together into one word. It describes animal that is small but acts fiesty and tough. An Example of this -
Our chicken Primrose is adurable.

wittle weasel - A term of endearment to our furry ferrety friends.

bruxing - A sound a happy rat makes. A bruxing rat makes a deep throaty sound, grinding its teeth and bulging its eyes out a bit. It's actually a very sweet expression.

bed-binkying - Where a bunny binkies on a bouncy bed. There are oodles of YouTube videos on this - Look it up.....You will be amazed at such cuteness.

chubular - See chub. Basically, it's descriptive term to describe a chubby pet.

hammie - Cute-speak for 'hamster.'

wheeker - What some of us call our wheeking guinea pigs.

boar butt - A less than eloquent term to describe the buildup in a male guinea pig's anal gland. Whether you like it or not, ya hafta clean that gland out, piggy owners!!

boar - A male guinea pig.

sow - A female guinea pig.

popcorning - The guinea pig version of binkying. While pigs 'popcorn', they make a popping noise, also called 'chuttering' or muttering.

kangaroo rats - Another word for 'gerbil.'

What Do I Call My Pets?

Yesterday, I recieved this question: 
"Do you have nicknames for your pets? If so, what are they?
Also, do you have pet middle names??"

I thought this was a very interesting question. Prepare yerselves, folks. Here is my very extensive list of my pet nicknames. After I do those, then we have middle names.

Ignatius Sir Pig ~

Red(I don't really know why)
Blue Eyes
Maple Syrup

Mickey ~

Mickey Hamster

Daisy ~

Pepper(Not sure why I call her this, either.)
Cadence(Her middle name)
Daisy Petal
My Inspiration

Minnie ~

Loving Girl
Minnie Moo
Girly Girl

Lily ~

Darth Bunner
The Dark One
Silent But Deadly (Emerson actually made that one up for Lily. It's not thaaat funny.)
The Midnight Hour
She Strikes At MIdnight
Vampire Bunny
Red Eyes
O Evil One
Tiger Lily

Next up, Middle Names.

Daisy's full name is 
~ Daisy Cadence Anastasia ~

Minnie's is
~ Minnie Petal Rose ~

Ignatius's is  
~ Ignatius Sir Pig ~

Mickey's is 
~ Mickey Khomyaka McHammie ~

Lily's is
~ Lilliana Midnight Star ~


Fun Rattie Activity - Pea Fishing (Reader Tips)

Peas + Rats = FUN!

To give ages of fun to your rat buddies, prepare a shallow bowl of water and drop a handful of peas into it. INSTANT Rat Boredom-Buster!

This tip was provided by Kelsey(and her whole 'zoo' of pets, including several hairless rats!) Thanks for submitting!

Wednesday, July 2, 2014


When you think about it, guinea pigs are pretty odd critters. 
At birth, they are fully-furred with wide-open eyes and can eat solid foods. Cavies wheek and squeal like pigs.
Guinea pigs have portly little bodies with floppy ears and no tail. They were previously classified as a rodent, but scientists are considering changing this because it was discovered they have no family ties with them.

Piggies also have fairly strange sleeping habits. They learn to sleep when we do, taking a few afternoon naps to catch some extra Z's. 
They typically like sleeping houses but Ignatius chooses to doze out in the open where he has no fear of being 'caught'. A comfortable little guy, isn't he?

While their sleeping habits are somewhat simple, if you delve deeper into these wheeking creatures's minds, you will find that they do in fact dream.
That's right!!

Studies have shown that guinea pig's minds are intelligent enough for them to dream. 
This also means piggies can remember hundreds of images, linking them to other senses like smell.
They can recognize faces of people and other animals as well. 
So, what do they dream about? 
Guinea pigs usually dream simpler than we humans do. Mostly, the dreams are bits of the day playing back to them, just like video clips. If there is a new piggie that has been introduced, or a brand new toy or cage, your pig is very likely to dream of these things. 

The next time your piggie is snoozing away, leave him be! His incredible mind is at work - and that is nothing to mess around with.

Why I'm Getting A C&C Cage For Ignatius

Here we are again. It's been a week since I've last 'seen' you, and I already miss this blog! (oh, and....Hellllooo, Free WiFi! I thank you for your presence!!)

(Also, my BlueTooth keyboard is working again, so my posts'll be more fluent and longer. :3)

As you may know, I am getting little Iggy Pig a brand new C&C cage. The 'model', if that's how you put it, is from, and it's a 3.5 x 2 sized cage. On this site there's no such thing as a 'small' cage. The 'smallest one' is a 2 x 3. The one I'm purchasing is a Medium sized one, and it'll fit perfect in my space and give Iggy the home he needs. 

Why exactly am I buying this?

Well, for many reasons. The main factor is that the new cage will be very big - just right for my growing little guy!

A few other reasons - 

~ Ease of Access
~ Less Smell
~ Easier to Clean
~ More Room For Items
~ Less Stress and Health Issues

The list goes on and on!

I highly recommend these cages - I think I've fell in love with the one I'm getting already.

I can't wait 'till I buy it! Can you? As soon as it arrives, pictures will be on their way!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Things To Avoid Buying For Cavies

There are quite a few things on the market that can be very harmful for cavies. They may seem perfectly okay, but they are actually not made for our sensitive little pets and should be avoided.

- Exercise Wheels/Balls.  Pigs have solid compact bodies with relatively small legs; their spines are not flexible like some other rodent species and are not as flexible.  They can get serious spinal injuries from these items and can also break legs, ankles and toes if their nails catch in the small holes.  Aside from the danger, they are simply not fun for your cavy.  Many pigs will not even move while in them – which is the safest thing for them! 

- Hammocks.  Can be dangerous to pigs for the same reasons as harnesses, leashes and balls – leg, spine and other injures can occur if they become tangled up getting in and out of one. 

- Treats with Seeds/Nuts.  Pigs are not seed eaters; seeds can be very harmful.  Pigs have choked on seeds, gotten them stuck in their teeth and other harmful and painful things.  At best, seeds and nuts are empty calories for pigs with no nutritional benefit. 

- Treats with Yogurt.  Pigs are lactose intolerant so all dairy products are bad for them, no exceptions.  Yogurt treats can be high in sugar and also have no nutritional value.
 - Treats with Honey.  Honey is another form of sugar and is “junk food” for pigs.  Honey is coated on a lot of treats so be sure to read all labels before you buy.
 - Treats in general are tricky.  Most contain too much sugar (in the form of honey or “hidden” sugars) or have dangerous ingredients (seeds, nuts, dairy).  There are acceptable treats available but they can be hard to find.  Keep in mind, your guinea pigs’ favorite treat is going to be a variety of fresh veggies from your refrigerator!

 - Salt or Mineral Wheels/Blocks.  Both items are potentially harmful.  Excess minerals can build up in the body and cause health problems.  Pigs get all the salt they need in their regular diet; there is no need to supplement.

- Chew Stones/Rocks.  Pigs need to chew to keep their teeth worn to the correct length but chew stones are NOT the way to accomplish that.  They can be a choking hazard and can injure soft piggy mouths.  Good quality unlimited grass hay is the perfect choice for wearing their teeth and is good for their health in lots of other ways too. 

- Vitamin and Mineral Drops for water.  Guinea pigs need plenty of vitamin C but they don’t need extra minerals, those can be harmful.  Vitamin C should never be added to water bottles; the C will lose its’ potency rapidly and will not benefit the guinea pig anyway.  Worse, additives in water can cause it to taste odd and many pigs then won’t drink enough. 

This is not a comprehensive list but it is a collection of things I’ve seen, done or heard about.  When shopping for your guinea pig try to keep in mind their physical safety and nutritional requirements to help you make your decisions; your guinea pig will be happier and healthier! 

Secrets to a Guinea Pig's Long Life

  1. How can you ensure your piggy will live a long, happy life? Here are some top tips.

    Find a vet. Many vets will see guinea pigs, but finding one that specializes in guinea pigs will help your guinea pig out in the long run. A guinea pig and exotic specialized vet may be able to detect illnesses more efficiently than a regular vet.
  2. 2
    Make sure to have all the essentials for looking after your guinea pig. Do not forget a place to hide.
  3. 3
    Provide at least 10 square feet of living space for two guinea pigs, this can prevent impaction in males, fighting between guinea pigs, and reduces the risks of bloat, obesity, and gas buildup by providing adequate room to exercise. If you find that your guinea pigs are fighting, then separate them with something like a wire shelf, which allows them to see and smell each other, but prevents them from fighting.

  4. 4
    Do not allow females to become pregnant. Pregnancy and especially birthing is hard on females and one in five females that is bred will die as a result of complications during pregnancy or birth, or as a result of toxemia after birth.
  5. 5
    Keep guinea pigs in same sex or already spayed/neutered pairs. Guinea pigs are social animals and are happy living with compatible guinea pigs of either the same sex or spayed/neutered. Living in pairs also encourages exercise which promotes good blood flow and greatly reduces the risk of obesity which takes a toll on the joints, impaction, and bloat or gas buildup.
  6. 6
    Buy Oxbow or Kleenmama's Hayloft guinea pig food (Timothy hay based for guinea pigs six months and older, and alfalfa based for guinea pigs under six months). Look for a food enhanced with Vitamin C, as Guinea pigs can't make it themselves.
  7. 7
    Keep your pet in a comfortable temperature range. Guinea pigs can't stand high temperatures, drops or increases.
  8. 8
    Change bedding regularly. The more your guinea pig is living in it's own feces, the worse their health is going to be.
  9. 9
    Wash your hands before and after you play with your guinea pig. This will decrease the amount of germs transmitted between you and your guinea pig.
  10. 10
    Provide fresh, preferably organic, well washed (you can use a commercial vegetable wash or water and vinegar mix, rinse well after) leafy greens. These include green leaf lettuce, escarole, red leaf lettuce, cilantro, and curly endive.
  11. 11
    Constantly check for any injuries. Older guinea pigs sometimes have a problem under their feet. If this happens, see a vet and get softer bedding or spread out a soft cloth for it. Observe your guinea pig actions. If anything seems wrong, take it to the vet. Don't take too long or a small infection can turn bigger.