This article has been reviewed and approved by Dr. Linda. Read more about our knowledge control process here.

Can Guinea Pigs See Color?

Does your guinea pig respond to different colors in your household? Well, you must be eager to know if your guinea pigs are excited about certain colors. 

Guinea pigs are prey animals, and they use eyesight to distinguish different colors of things so that they can survive and maneuver, that is, for food and to escape danger from predators. 

Are they capable of differentiating bright and dull colors? This article gives an insight into whether guinea pigs can see colors and what colors they can see. Read through for more enlightenment about guinea pig color vision.

Cute Reptiles as Pets
Cute Reptiles as Pets

Can Guinea Pigs See Color?

guinea pig with colorful feathers
Guinea pig with colorful feathers | Credit: Kolidzei / Canva.com

Yes, guinea pigs see colors since they are not colourblind, as some people think. They can distinguish various colors from dull to bright colors, for instance, green, black, white, red, brown.

The reason is that guinea pigs have a dichromatic color vision in nature, which makes them see and respond to different colors accurately, even if not 100% authentic. 

Guinea pigs have a color vision of finite type and possess only two types of cone cells and one photoreceptor cell.

Are Guinea Pigs Sensitive to Colors?

Yes, guinea pigs are sensitive to bright or dull colors. They can perceive and discern multiple colors with clarity.

Guinea pigs possess rod cells with a peak sensitivity of approximately 494 nm. This makes them sensitive to colors. They are sensitive to green colors and highly sensitive to red colors. 

In addition, guinea pig eyes have three classes of photopigments: two cone photopigments and a rod pigment. And this enhances their vision for an array of colors. 

guinea pig with colorful surroundings
Guinea pig with colorful surroundings | Credit: PepaLove / Canva.com

Why Do Scientists Think Guinea Pigs Have Poor Eyesight?

According to the scientists, guinea pigs show low hyperopia. For simplicity, hyperopia is a vision condition defining an animal with the ability to see distant objects clearly, but something nearby appears blurry to them.

Likewise, the shape of the guinea pig cornea induces a positive spherical aberration (SA), hence, the reason for image blur.

Positive SA explains rays that bent too much from the eye lens, affecting the guinea pig capacity to focus clearly. Poor eyesight is associated with difficulty with depth perception.

This makes guinea pigs have limited vision and see a blurred vision for things over longer distances. Moreover, guinea pigs’ inability to discriminate between red and green colors propelled scientists to infer they lack color vision.

guinea pig is wearing glasses
Guinea pig is wearing glasses | Credit: Olena Kurashova / Canva.com

Do Guinea Pigs Recognize Their Owners?

Yes, guinea pigs do recognize their owners. They are social, friendly, and very interactive animals that enjoy human companions.

They can use their eyes to associate their owners with certain events, such as when you approach them with food, treats and even threats or fear when you mishandled them. 

That said, they must form mutual bonds and gain the trust of their owners to decisively acknowledge and answer to their owners by eyesight cues and use of other senses like scent and sound.

The guinea pig is clinging to its owner's hand
The guinea pig is clinging to its owner’s hand | Credit: coramueller / Canva.com

What Does Guinea Pig Vision Look Like?

Guinea pigs have particular characteristics for their eyesight, making them see colors in broad daylight and even at night. They rely on eyesight cues to recognize and distinguish different colors. 

They need light to see objects even while in the dark. It’s a process that happens in a flashlight where light passes through the eyes and is then forwarded to the back of the eye. 

Receptors transfer colors seen via the optic nerve to the brain, process the color and identify it. For more details about guinea pig vision, check out below:

Horizontal Vision 

Guinea pigs have a unique facial structure and powerful eyesight. They have a vast angle of sight sideways to locate a predator quickly. 

Their eyes are located on the side of the face to allow for a 340 degrees view. And this makes them see approximately 360 degrees. Guinea pigs can see everything around them at a standstill and without eyes moving.  

The viewing angle makes them have a perfect peripheral vision suitable for escaping from danger and seeing a variety of colors. 

In addition, the traits above help guinea pigs see 33 images per second, unlike humans, which can see 22 images per second. This helps to avoid blurred vision in case guinea pigs turn their head.

Vertical Perspective 

The guinea pig's vision will be limited when looking vertical perspective 
The guinea pig’s vision will be limited when looking vertical perspective | Credit: Tom Meaker

Guinea pig is somewhat disadvantaged since it cannot see straight ahead and straight back. There is a dead angle found at the front and back in their head.

At the front, the angle is covered by the nose (acting as a sense of smell) and an extensive facial whisker, a sense of touch. They have a wide-angle of sight upwards, allowing them to see above themselves so well.

Another unique characteristic of guinea pigs is their ability to see behind themselves. It’s a distinctive feature that allows them to notice danger without the need to move their head.

Depth vision 

Even though the guinea pig can use eyesight to spot colors and protection, they lack depth in their vision. Hence, incapable of making a proper judgment on how far a place is from top to down.  

They have sharp eyesight, which makes them spot colors over a short distance of about 3 to 5 feet. Long distance colors will appear blurred to guinea pigs, which is why they will respond to sudden movements.

As a result, it’s easy for any piggy to fall when placed over high objects, leading to concussions, breaking their limbs, and even death for severe cases. 

Due to poor depth vision, guinea pigs must incorporate other reliable senses to survive and move around, especially at night. 

Dark vision 

Although guinea pigs have limited vision at night, they can also see in the dark with a little bit of light. So, they can see colors.

Apart from the combination of other senses used in navigation at night, the tactile hairs on their muzzles help them find their ways in the dark. Hence, whiskers play a critical role for a guinea pig at night. 

For instance, if their vibrissae are bumped on, guinea pigs will know that something is nearby the face.

Oxbow Essentials Guinea Pig Food – All Natural Guinea Pig Pellets for Adults and Young Guinea Pigs

Oxbow Essentials Adult Guinea Pig Food - All Natural Adult Guinea Pig Pellets - 5 lb.
  • ESSENTIAL INGREDIENTS FOR A HEALTHY, ACTIVE LIFESTYLE: Made with high fiber Oxbow Timothy Hay to support healthy digestion
  • SUPPORTS IMMUNE SYSTEM HEALTH: Made with stabilized Vitamin C and antioxidants to support the immune system health of your guinea pig
  • PERFECT FOR PICKY EATERS: Uniform pellets prevent selective feeding
  • FORTIFIED FOOD: Fortified with vitamins and minerals for optimum health
  • VETERINARIAN RECOMMENDED: Formulated with the guidance of top veterinarians and nutritionists

Last update on 2022-09-30 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Tips to Maximize Your Guinea Pig’s Sight

Good eyesight is worthwhile for guinea pigs to enable them to spot colors accurately as well as to feel safe and secure. 

To ensure your guinea pig has proper eyesight, you should boost its diet by providing soft leafy vegetables, herbs and fruits. And also pellets and some treats. The diet should highly be rich in vitamin C.

Foods rich in vitamin C can help your guinea pig to have better eyesight
Foods rich in vitamin C can help your guinea pig to have better eyesight | Credit: photoL / Canva.com

Additionally, you should keep utmost hygiene in and around the cage of your guinea pig. You should provide clean and adequate food and water while changing beddings very often. 

Moreover, take your cavy for a frequent medical checkup by your vet. Avoid putting your guinea pig in much direct sunlight since they do not thrive well in direct sunlight.

Also read: Complete Guinea Pig Care Guide

FAQs

Are guinea Pigs Color Blind?

No, they’re not color blind. Guinea pigs have better eyesight vision than any other pets like dogs or cats. They can distinguish different colors and identify them as well. 

What is A Guinea Pig’s Favorite Color?

Guinea pigs prefer bright colors from yellow to red spectrum, red colors, then others such as green. They’re excited about their favorite colors. 

Are Guinea Pigs Sensitive to Colors?

Yes, guinea pigs are sensitive to colors; for example, they are sensitive to green and highly sensitive to red colors. These pets have two types of functioning color receptors or cone cells brought by dichromatic vision in their eyes.

Is It Okay to Have Led Lights with Guinea Pigs?

Led lights are non-harmful for guinea pigs. You must; however, it is mandatory to follow certain guidelines. They should not live in a brightly lit environment; they thrive well through indirect sunlight. 

OASIS #80254 Vita Drops-Pure C for Guinea Pig, 2-Ounce, Packaging may vary

Sale
OASIS #80254 Vita Drops-Pure C for Guinea Pig, 2-Ounce, Packaging may vary
  • Vita drops is a convenient way to assure that guinea pig is receiving the fresh vitamin C they require daily
  • Feature supplements the pet's dry diet to assure proper nutrition
  • Includes eye-dropper dispenser and detailed instructions
  • A fresh dose in the water bottle daily helps to keep guinea pig happy and healthy
  • This product weighs 2-ounce. Packaging may vary.

Last update on 2022-09-30 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Final Sentences 

Guinea pigs can see and distinguish different colors (contrary to what people think that they are color blind). They also see more images than humans. 

Guinea pigs are attracted and sensitive to bright colors, and they are excited from yellow to broad-spectrum red colors such as green, red, black.

Apart from eyesight vision, guinea pigs use other senses such as whiskers (for touch), nose (for smell) and spatial memory (for the perfect sense of direction and remembrance as well).

Keeping guinea pigs as your household pet is a long-term allegiance, and you should understand their nature as well as their senses. To make them feel safe, joyous and able to see colors.

Also read:

About UniquePetsWiki

UniquePetsWiki is the preferred educational source on pets favored by experienced herptologists and new owners alike. With hundreds of articles on everything pertaining to pets including reptiles, squirrels, and other pets, our experienced team provides reliable and accurate content you can trust.

From proper husbandry and habitat guidance, to articles on health concerns, diet, and extensive care guides, UniquePetsWiki is here to educate everyone on all pets concerns.

Disclaimer

UniquePetsWiki is not a veterinary website, nor should any of the reptile health information on our site replace the advice of a certified veterinary professional. If your pet is experiencing a medical emergency, contact an experienced veterinarian immediately.

UniquePetsWiki is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.