Cavies (guinea pigs) originated in Peru, and have been domesticated for many, many centuries. They have been bred in a diverse array of coat types and colours, with the result that they now no longer resemble their wild ancestors. Cavies have had many uses over the years, and today the cavy is a successful pet and the focus of the cavy fancy - a popular and thriving hobby that brings together enthusiasts from all walks of life and corners of the UK (and beyond) in the common interest of breeding and showing their cavies.

The following pages have been developed by the British Cavy Council (which promotes the exhibition of cavies in the UK) to provide some basic information about cavy husbandry and an introduction to the cavy fancy.

You can learn more about the history of cavies and cavy keeping; how to care, feed, bed, and house them; and find an introduction to the world of showing and the exhibition cavy. There is also guidance on breeding cavies and a treating their ailments, together with a page of useful links, including national, regional and local cavy clubs (where new members are always welcomed), cavy magazines, and other publications and sources of information.

If you would like to learn more about the world of the exhibition cavy, you may like to visit the home page of the British Cavy Council, where you can find links to breed standards, galleries of photographs, and a library of in depth articles on all aspects of the cavy fancy.

Wash 3: Designed by Simon Neesam for the British Cavy Council © 2009