Do Guinea Pigs See in Color?

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Guinea pigs are tailless rodents of the cavy family. They have fascinating features, and I wanted to know if they see color, so I researched them. Most rodents are known to have poor vision. Guinea pigs have outstanding spatial awareness and an incredible sense of hearing and smell. One may wonder, do guinea pigs see in color?

Do Guinea Pigs See in Colors?

Guinea pigs, scientifically known as Cavia porcellus, are rodents with a better vision than others in the same group. They are not color blind; they have dichromatic color vision, making them see most colors accurately. They also depend on their sense of hearing and touch, which are well developed.

A tri-colored guinea pig beside a two-colored guinea pig with eyes wide open staying on a gray floor

Did you know that guinea pigs keep their eyes open most of the time, even when they are sleeping? You will get to understand everything about guinea pigs’ vision as you digest this article.

How a Guinea Pig’s Vision Looks Like?

Guineas have two classes of cones for color vision capacity. They have a vision with a spectral neutral point centered at about 480nm. Guinea pigs do not have the best visual perception, but they do not have the worst either. Some features that make their eyesight incredible are:

Depth Perception 

The depth of guinea pigs’ vision is impaired since they cannot see far. The image focused on becomes blurry with an increase in distance. They have poor depth perception and can see up to only 5-7 feet away. Because of poor depth perception, guinea pigs use other senses like hearing to help them move around in their environment.

Color Vision

Other guinea pig studies have shown that they see colors, but the degree to which they can see the color and detect it is not known. They have a broader vision range compared to human beings and other animals. Human beings can see 22 images per second, whereas guinea pigs can see 33 images per second.

Peripheral Vision

The guinea pigs have a better peripheral view than humans because of the placement of the eyes on their heads. Their eyes are set on their sides of the head purposefully to aid them to have a better peripheral view. They have 340 degrees of eyesight, meaning they have a splendid peripheral view and can see around them. 

A guinea pig with tri-colored fur staying on dry ground with a tri-colored fence

Do Guinea Pigs See in the Dark?

Guinea pigs are crepuscular animals equally active during day and night. They can see to some extent in dark environments though not very clearly. The ability of guinea pigs to see in the dark is not so vivid nor definite. However, they can detect movements and navigate their way in their living environment. Other developed senses like hearing and their sharp memory help them move around. 

So back to our question, do guinea pigs see in the dark? The answer is they do not see clearly, but the use of other sensory organs helps them keep track of their movement. They generally sleep in paces of 3-10 minutes. They feel primarily secure in quiet environments, so they can sleep more than they did during the day.

Colors a Guinea Pig Can See

Guinea pigs have a dichromatic color vision meaning they can see many colors. They are, however, proven to be more sensitive to the colors green and also red. They can differentiate between colors and identify them too. However, they cannot see the colors 100 percent authentically.

Do Guinea Pigs Recognize Their Owners?

Many clear signs indicate guinea pigs recognize their owners. Since they cannot see duly, they tend to identify their owners using their scent and sound. Some of your guinea pig’s behavior that indicates guinea pigs can recognize their owner include:

  • They make unique sounds and noises. The guinea pig produces two unique sounds to indicate recognition of its owner; purring and wheeking. When you are petting your guinea pig, and it purrs, it shows the guinea pig recognizes you. When you walk past it, and it wheeks, it also indicates the animal acknowledges you.
  • They cease running away. Guinea pigs have a natural habit of running away once they interact with anybody. However, after bringing the animal home and creating a bond with it, you immediately realize they notice you; they don’t run away. Instead, they run towards you.
A guinea pig has black and brown fur with eyes wide open while on the white floor
  • They begin seeking cuddles. Some guinea pigs like to rest in their owner’s laps and arms, nestling into their arms.
  • They start grooming the owner. Grooming includes licking, nibbling, and nudging. Guinea pigs show affection to their owner by trying to groom their fingers.

Related Questions

How Do Guinea Pigs See Humans?

Guinea pigs cannot see far because of their impaired vision depth. They might fail to recognize a human when far away since they also blink faster than other animals. They rely on other senses like hearing and smelling and their spatial memory to move around freely daytime and night and also to recognize when you are approaching.

What Is a Guinea Pig’s Favorite Color?

From several experiments on putting food in colored bowls, most guinea pigs went ahead to eat from a blue-colored bowl with yellow food. Guinea pigs are sensitive to the color green and also red.


Is it not wonderful how this magnificent pet has eyes that function differently from most animals? You now know that guinea pigs can see in color, identify different colors and see in the dark even though not so clearly. As you take care of your guinea pig, you are bound to discover even more amusing traits about your cavy.