Those who hear the term “teacup pigs” may get warm fuzzy feelings and think of how novel that idea is. A pig that can fit inside of a teacup? What an interesting concept. However, the reality of the situation is that there is really no such a thing.

Teacup pigs are sometimes called micro pigs, pocket pigs or Juliana pigs. With the cute name, comes a cute promise that the pig will stay tiny forever. These little pigs come with a hefty price tag. They will cost a buyer anywhere from $750 to over $3,500. Upon purchasing, the buyer is convinced that the pig will not ever grow larger than 12 pounds.

In 2009, the popularity of teacup pigs was at an all-time high. This happened when Paris Hilton was involved in a photo shoot with her new pet pig, named Princess Piglette. However, to Hilton’s surprise, her little princess grew much larger than she ever imagined.

When a pig is referred to as a teacup, this only reflects how large the pig is at that moment in time. However, this does not accurately reflect exactly how large the pig is going to be later on down the line.

Some breeders who market these teacup pigs instruct their buyers to only feed the pigs ¼ cup of food every day to keep them little. However, this is not even close to being enough food to satisfy a pig. Those who go this route will have their pigs screaming out in starvation.

Owners who aren’t starving their pigs are also running into problems. The pig that they were told was going to stay small has now gotten too big to keep as a pet. These pigs will eat as much as they are given and still beg for more.

Thankfully, there are organizations that exist across the country that were established to handle pet pigs that can no longer be cared for. Vegas Pig Pets, ran by Crystal Kim-Han is one such organization. Their primary goal is to find new homes for these abandoned pigs.

According to Kim-Han, she frequently sees pet pigs that suffer due to the fact that the owners don’t know how to care for them. Teacup pigs are said to commonly suffer bone deformities when they don’t get enough to eat. Other pigs who are being fed as they should are reaching a size of 100 pounds or more.

Logically, one may wonder if having pigs for pets is a logical idea in the first place. Pigs have a naturally fearful instinct towards people. They have not been bred as pets for thousands and thousands of years like dogs and cats have.

According to Kim-Han, pigs can make great companions, as long as you realize that their needs are special. The first realization you need to have is that a pig will definitely grow larger than other family pets will. By the time the pig is finished growing, you can expect it to weigh more than the average person does.

What should you know about teacup pigs? They are nothing more than a fanciful idea, or a notion. Should you decide to bring a teacup pig into your home, it is going to become big enough to fill up your bathtub, which of course is much more than a teacup full of responsibility.