How To Care For A Blind Guinea Pig

Guinea pigs are generally easy animals to care for, but they’re susceptible to many of the same health issues as other pets, including blindness.

A blind guinea pig requires special attention to live a long and comfortable life, but cavy owners will find that caring for these pets isn’t much different than taking care of any other piggie.

If you are up to the challenge, read on to learn how to identify a blind guinea pig, what causes blindness in cavies, and how you can make them healthy and happy for the remainder of their lives.

Can A Blind Guinea Pig Survive?

Blind guinea pigs will face a unique set of challenges, but since a cavy’s eyesight is poor to begin with, it’s certainly not a serious problem. By relying on their other senses and the care of their owners, a blind guinea pig can live a long life.

How Do You Know If Your Guinea Pig Is Blind?

One of the best ways to confirm that your guinea pig is blind is by allowing them to explore an unfamiliar environment.

Due to their limited eyesight, cavies will use memory to navigate their habitat and your home. If they’re in a new place and struggling to find their way around, you’ll notice right away.

You can also determine blindness by shining a light in your guinea pig’s eye and observing the color. If it reflects white rather than the normal red, it is likely blind.

What Causes Blindness in Guinea Pigs?

Some guinea pigs are born blind while others lose their eyesight from illness or old age.

Cataracts are a common cause of blindness in cavies and usually develop in older piggies, although sometimes they can be genetic and show up in younger guinea pigs.

Cavies can also go blind as a result of an injury such as getting poked in the eye with a piece of hay or being scratched by another piggie’s toenail.

Is Blindness A Dangerous Problem For Guinea Pigs?

Blindness is common in aging guinea pigs and does not cause any further health issues. However, a blind piggie that is left alone in an unfamiliar environment can run into danger, so be sure to keep your pet in a safe place.

How To Care For A Blind Guinea Pig

Blind guinea pig is eating carrot

Caring for a blind guinea pig may seem like a hefty challenge, but it’s actually very simple and requires very little effort on your part. With the proper care, a blind piggie will adjust quickly to its condition and live well.

Here are some of the best things you can do to make life easier for your blind guinea pig.

Keep Them In Single-Layer Cages

Blind piggies can be made uncomfortable by ramps and steps since it’s easier for them to fall and hurt themselves. It’s best to keep them in a single-layer cage with a simple layout so they can easily find their way around without fear of injury.

Guinea Habitat Guinea Pig Cage by Midwest

Don’t Move Accessories In The Cage Around

Avoid rearranging your blind guinea pig’s cage from the layout they’re used to. They rely on their memory to lead them to their food, water, shelter, and more. If those things are moved around, they may become lost, stressed, and hungry.

Consider Getting A Second Guinea Pig (A Seeing Guinea Pig)

A blind piggie may depend on its friends to help it get around. If you haven’t already, consider introducing another guinea pig to your blind piggie’s cage.

This will help it feel less lonely, and the healthy piggie can look after the blind guinea pig by guiding it around and even bringing it food if needed.

Keep Them Inside And Avoid Outside Noises

It’s best to keep blind guinea pigs inside so they aren’t spooked by outside noises. If they’re outdoors and get scared by sudden sounds, they’ll likely run away and become lost.

When You Approach Them, Let Them Know So They Aren’t Startled

Guinea pigs are easily startled by loud and unexpected noises, especially if they’re unable to see it coming.

When approaching your blind piggie, try speaking in a soft voice or gently shaking a bag of treats or a toy to let them know you are near. This will also help them feel more comfortable around you and build trust.

Dedicate Extra Time, Patience, And Love

Taking care of a guinea pig that requires a little extra help is a beautiful thing, but it’s important to remember that you’ll need to spend more time with your blind guinea pig than the others.

Just some of the things you’ll be responsible for are speaking to them more often so they recognize your voice and ensuring they’re able to find their food and water.

Since they can’t see you, you’ll also need to take a couple of extra steps before handling them. If you want to hold or move your blind guinea pig, hold your hand just a few inches from its nose so it knows you are near and gently stroke it before lifting it from the ground.

YUEPET Guinea Pig Bed Cuddle Cave Warm Fleece Cozy House Bedding Sleeping Cushion Cage

How Long Do Guinea Pigs Live Without Caring?

Guinea pigs are relatively low-maintenance and can live for several years with proper care. The life expectancy of a guinea pig is 5 to 7 years on average, although some may live longer.

In the wild, guinea pigs typically live for 1-4 years, as they are a common prey species and live in sometimes harsh environments. Guinea pigs that are neglected or not properly cared for may only live for a year or two.

If not given food and water for 12 hours, any guinea pig including blind guinea pig can face some health problems, especially with the digestive system. So, guinea pigs should never be left alone for more than 8 hours without care.


Whether your guinea pig has lost its sight or you recently adopted a blind guinea pig, caring for it is much simpler than you might think. By giving it the love and attention it needs, you can develop a special friendship and spend many wonderful years together.

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