Guinea pigs, also known as cavies, come in various breeds that differ in hair type, color, and size. Here's a list of the most recognized guinea pig breeds:
American Guinea Pig (or Short-Haired Guinea Pig):
- This breed has smooth, short hair.
- It's the most common breed and requires the least grooming.
Abyssinian Guinea Pig:
- Characterized by its rosettes or whorls of hair, giving it a rough, tufted appearance.
- Requires occasional grooming due to its unique coat texture.
Peruvian Guinea Pig:
- Recognized by its long, silky hair that can reach considerable lengths.
- Requires regular grooming to keep the hair clean and untangled.
Silkie (or Sheltie) Guinea Pig:
- Its long, smooth hair flows back over the body, and it doesn't have the rosettes like the Peruvian.
- Requires regular grooming.
Coronet Guinea Pig:
- Has long hair like the Silkie but features a single rosette on top of its head.
- Regular grooming is necessary.
Teddy Guinea Pig:
- This breed's coat is short but has a dense and plush texture, resembling the fur of a teddy bear.
- Requires minimal grooming.
Texel Guinea Pig:
- Features curly, long hair all over its body, including the belly.
- Due to its curly hair, it needs consistent grooming to prevent tangling.
Satin Guinea Pigs:
- This isn't exactly a separate breed but rather a variation in the coat of existing breeds. Satin guinea pigs have a shinier, glossier coat.
- Satins can be found in many of the breeds mentioned above, like Satin American, Satin Abyssinian, etc.
- This breed is almost hairless, with only a small amount of hair on its nose and feet.
- Skinny pigs have exposed skin and need special care to protect their skin.
Baldwin Guinea Pig:
- Completely hairless due to a genetic mutation.
- Like the Skinny Pig, the Baldwin requires specific care because of its exposed skin.
Lunkarya (or Lunky):
- Originating from Sweden, it's a newer breed and is characterized by its rough, curly long coat.
- Regular grooming is essential due to the curly, coarse nature of its hair.
Merino Guinea Pig:
- Similar to the Coronet but with curly hair.
- Needs regular grooming to maintain its curly coat.
Alpaca Guinea Pig:
- It has a curly coat like the Texel but with the rosettes of the Peruvian.
- Regular grooming is essential for this breed.
Each of these breeds has unique characteristics and care requirements, especially regarding grooming. If you're considering adopting or purchasing a guinea pig, it's crucial to understand the specific needs of its breed to provide the best care.