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11 Types of Guinea Pig Breeds In Singapore With Personality Types and Expert Care Tips

Looking for a small and adorable pet to take home? There are many reasons why a guinea pig should be your top pick! 

They’re affordable, have great temperaments, and are relatively easy to maintain. Guinea pigs are also social creatures that enjoy companionship with both owners and other guinea pigs. 

In this article, we’ve listed 11 breeds of guinea pigs in Singapore for your consideration. We’ve also included their personality traits and specific care tips to help facilitate your decision! 


We’d like to extend our thanks to the following contributors for their valuable insights:

  • Emma Miles, Co-founder of PawsomeAdvice,
  • Hannah Huke, Marketing Director of Vet’s Best Friend,
  • Marc Atiyeh, Founder and CEO of Pawp and
  • Michelle Dees, Founder and Editor of GuineaPigOwner.

  • Disclaimer: The content in this article provides general information that should not be used as a substitute for professional advice from a vet. For an accurate diagnosis of your guinea pig’s health condition, please consult a vet. 

    Guinea pig breeds infographic

    Note!
    Michelle (Founder of GuineaPigOwner) explains that as most guinea pig breed temperaments and housing needs are similar, the determining factor in deciding on a breed should be more of their grooming needs.

    Short-haired breeds are easier to maintain, whereas long-haired breeds will require more frequent grooming.

    If you’re looking to own a guinea pig, determining how much time you can devote to your pig’s grooming should largely influence your breed decision.

    1. Abyssinian guinea pig

    Abyssinian guinea pigs are one of the more common long-haired breeds. You can easily recognise them by their distinctive hair style that includes natural ‘rosettes’. 

    These piggies have a large sense of adventure and enjoy exploring their environments! 

    Physical Traits

    Size20 - 30cm
    Weight0.8 - 1.4kg
    Life expectancy5 - 6 years
    Coat
  • Long, coarse and straight
  • Features 6 - 10 ‘rosettes’ or tufts of hair around their body
  • Personality traits

    • Curious and enjoys exploring 
    • Social and outgoing 

    Abyssinians require extra attention from their owners to prevent any unwanted behaviour from their largely curious personalities. While social, they don’t enjoy being held or cuddled. 

    Marc (Founder of Pawp) also mentions that male Abysinnians tend to be more intense and active than females. 

    Care requirements

    Housing

    • If housed outside: Ensure that they have plenty of water and shade to keep cool.
    • If housed inside: Ensure cage is positioned in an area that provides both ample sunlight and shade.

    Since they’re social but don’t enjoy human touch, you can consider having another guinea pig companion for them to play with. 


    Note!
    Hannah (Marketing Director of Vet’s Best Friend) mentions that regardless of breed, it’s ideal to obtain a pair of guinea pigs of the same sex to be housed together.

    This is because they’re social creatures and shouldn’t be housed alone, especially the more outgoing breeds that require attention.

    Grooming

    Abyssinians have a lot of hair, so they’ll require regular grooming. This breed is also susceptible to eye diseases such as cataracts, so you’ll need to monitor their eyes closely. 

    • Brushing: At least once or twice a day. Gently brush in the direction of their hair growth to prevent tangles
    • Nail trimming: At least once a month
    • Bathing: Every 3 – 4 months or when necessary. If you need to clean them more frequently, consider spot cleaning or just washing their backsides to clean off stuck excretion 
    • Hair trimming: Once every few months. You can also send them to a groomer to get this professionally done

    Suitable for:
  • Owners who can dedicate time to maintain their grooming needs
  • Experienced guinea pig owners

  • Not suitable for:
  • Children as primary caretakers
  • First-time guinea pig owners

  • 2. American guinea pig 

    When people look for guinea pigs, the American guinea pig is one of the most popular choices. This breed is one of the smaller ones in terms of size. 

    American guinea pigs are perfect for beginners or children due to their wide availability and gentle temperaments. 

    Physical Traits

    Size20 - 22.5cm
    Weight0.7 - 0.9kg
    Life expectancy5 - 7 years
    CoatShort and smooth

    Personality traits

    • Laid-back and friendly
    • Playful and outgoing
    • Talkative 

    Care requirements

    Housing

    The American guinea pig doesn’t have any specific needs when it comes to housing. Like every other breed, they need a safe and spacious cage. 

    Grooming

    Due to their short hair, Americans don’t require as much grooming compared to long-haired breeds. 

    • Brushing: At least once or twice a week
    • Nail trimming: At least once every month
    • Bathing: 2 – 3 times a year or when necessary

    Suitable for:
  • Owners of every age and care experience

  • 3. Baldwin guinea pig

    The Baldwin is a hairless variant of the guinea pig. They’re born with hair, which sheds off completely once they reach about 2 months of age. 

    Their hairless look, floppy ears and rubbery skin texture make them resemble baby hippopotamuses!

    Physical Traits

    Size20 - 30cm
    Weight0.7 - 1.2kg
    Life expectancy5 - 7 years
    Coat
  • Mostly hairless; only has hair on their nose and legs
  • Rubbery and wrinkled skin
  • Personality traits

    • Energetic and intelligent 
    • Friendly and vocal
    • Enjoys snuggling to keep warm 

    Care requirements

    Housing

    Baldwins need a comfortable and warm environment in order to remain satisfied, Otherwise, they’ll get easily distracted when you interact with them. 

    Their cage should be housed in an area of your home that’s not chilly or exposed to draft winds. You may also want to add some extra bedding to their cage so that they can snuggle up whenever they feel cold. 

    Grooming

    Grooming needs are kept to a minimum when it comes to Baldwins. They don’t have any hair that needs to be brushed or trimmed, and baths will give them chills. 

    • Nail clipping: Once every month
    • Cleaning: If you must clean them, wipe them down gently with a clean and soft cloth
    • Ear cleaning: At least once every 2 weeks

    Suitable for:
  • Experienced guinea pig owners

  • Not suitable for:
  • Children as primary caretakers
  • First-time guinea pig owners

  • 4. Coronet guinea pig

    With their great looks and ‘crown’ on their heads, the Coronet guinea pig is an attractive long-haired breed that enjoys adoration and attention from their owners. 

    They enjoy play time and being handled, making them great companions! 

    Physical Traits

    Size20 - 40cm
    Weight1.3 - 1.5kg
    Life expectancy4 - 6 years
    Coat
  • Long, smooth and silky
  • Swirly ‘crown’ or rosette at the top of their heads
  • Personality traits

    • Playful and curious 
    • Likes attention and affection
    • Loves to be handled and cuddled

    Care requirements

    Housing

    Coronet guinea pigs have the same housing needs as other long-haired breeds, which are to be housed indoors and shielded from direct exposure to sunlight and high temperatures. 

    Grooming

    The Coronet requires more grooming to keep their beautiful coats healthy and shiny. 

    • Brushing: At least once a day
    • Nail trimming: At least once every month
    • Bathing: Every 3 – 4 months or when necessary
    • Hair trimming: Once every few months

    Suitable for:
  • Pet owners who are fond of handling pets regularly
  • Owners who can dedicate time to maintain their grooming needs
  • Experienced guinea pig owners

  • Not suitable for:
  • Children as primary caretakers
  • First-time guinea pig owners

  • 5. Peruvian guinea pig

    With their distinctive long hair that resembles a walking wig, the Peruvian guinea pig is a larger cavy with a sociable personality!

    Physical Traits

    Size25 - 36cm
    Weight1 - 1.4kg
    Life expectancy3 - 8 years
    Coat
  • Smooth and long
  • Can grow to cover their faces
  • Has 2 coats: overcoat will grow long and undercoat will remain short
  • Personality traits

    • Sociable and charming
    • Fun-loving and curious 
    • Affectionate

    Care requirements

    Housing

    The cage should be placed in a room that’s well ventilated and away from direct exposure to sunlight. You can also line the cage with fleece bedding to keep them comfortable.

    Grooming

    The long hair of a Peruvian makes self-grooming almost impossible! Thus, they’ll depend on their owners to maintain their hygiene.

    • Brushing: At least once or twice a day
    • Nail trimming: At least once every month
    • Bathing: Every 3 – 4 months or when necessary
    • Hair trimming: Once every few months

    Suitable for:
  • Owners who can dedicate time to maintain their grooming needs
  • Experienced guinea pig owners

  • Not suitable for:
  • Children as primary caretakers
  • First-time guinea pig owners

  • 6. Rex guinea pig 

    Brown Rex guinea pig

    The Rex guinea pig has a rather scruffy appearance, with dense fur that stands on end. They’re affectionately referred to as the messier version of the Teddy guinea pig, which adds on to their unique appeal. 

    Physical Traits

    Size20 - 45cm
    Weight0.7 - 1.2kg
    Life expectancy4 - 6 years
    Coat
  • Short, dense and wavy
  • Rough and coarse
  • Personality traits

    • Gentle and calm
    • Highly sociable and loves human interaction
    • Loves to be handled and patted 

    Care requirements

    Housing

    Rex piggies are one of the larger guinea pig breeds, thus they’ll need a bigger cage. A cage for 1 Rex needs to have at least 228cm of space. 

    Anything smaller may cause them stress, anxiety or illness. 

    Grooming

    Rexes, like other short-haired breeds, are relatively low maintenance. The only difference is that their nails appear to grow faster than other breeds, so owners will need to do more regular trimming.  

    • Brushing: At least once a week 
    • Nail trimming: At least once every 2 weeks. If the trimming starts to stress your Rex, you can trim 1 – 2 nails first and continue the rest when they’ve calmed down
    • Bathing: 2 – 3 times a year or when necessary

    Suitable for:
  • Pet owners who are fond of handling pets regularly
  • Experienced guinea pig owners

  • Not suitable for:
  • Children as primary caretakers
  • First-time guinea pig owners

  • 7. Sheltie guinea pig

    Otherwise known as Silkies, Shelties is another popular guinea pig breed. They’re born with short hair, but grow up to be a long-haired breed. 

    Shelties bear a strong resemblance to Peruvians, but you can tell the difference through the direction of their hair growth. A Peruvian’s crown grows over his face, whereas a Sheltie’s crown grows backwards, reminiscent of a slicked back hairstyle!

    Physical Traits

    Size20 - 26cm
    Weight0.7 - 1.2kg
    Life expectancy5 - 8 years
    Coat
  • Long, straight and silky
  • Hair on their crown grows backwards towards their body
  • Personality traits

    • Affectionate
    • Laidback and even-tempered 
    • Gentle, reserved and shy 

    Shelties may be a bit shy at first, so don’t overwhelm them with too much playtime and attention. Give them time to warm up to you!

    Care requirements

    Housing

    As a long-haired guinea pig, keep Shelties housed indoors as their hair will get muddy and damp from exposure to the elements. 

    Grooming

    Their long hair requires high maintenance. As such, Shelties require grooming on a daily basis to ensure their fecal matter doesn’t get trapped in their hair. 

    • Brushing: At least once a day
    • Nail trimming: At least once every month
    • Bathing: Every 3 – 4 months or when necessary
    • Hair trimming: Once every few months

    Suitable for:
  • Owners who can dedicate time to maintain their grooming needs
  • Experienced guinea pig owners

  • Not suitable for:
  • Children as primary caretakers
  • First-time guinea pig owners

  • 8. Skinny pig

    Along with the Baldwin, the Skinny pig is another hairless guinea pig breed. The difference between them is that Skinny pigs are born nearly hairless already.  

    While they may be bald, this charming creature is becoming increasingly appealing amongst pet lovers globally. 

    Physical Traits

    Size22.8 - 30cm
    Weight0.8 - 1.1kg
    Life expectancy5 - 7 years
    CoatMostly hairless; only has hair on their nose or legs

    Personality traits

    • Energetic and playful
    • Affectionate and social

    They enjoy spending time with their owners so show them plenty of affection by holding and playing with them daily. 

    Care requirements

    Housing

    Skinny pigs are extremely sensitive to temperature shifts, hence they should be kept indoors at all times. Additionally, extra bedding and blankets should be provided to prevent potential skin injuries. 

    Grooming

    The good news is that Skinny pigs require little grooming as they don’t have much hair. They shouldn’t be bathed as water rips away their natural skin oils. 

    • Nail trimming: At least once a month
    • Cleaning: Wipe them down with a soft damp cloth whenever necessary

    Emma (Co-founder of PawsomeAdvice) states that despite their low grooming needs, Skinny pigs require special attention as they’re more likely to develop skin infections or diseases. Thus, they aren’t recommended for beginners. 


    Suitable for:
  • Pet owners who are fond of handling pets regularly
  • Experienced guinea pig owners

  • Not suitable for:
  • Children as primary caretakers
  • First-time guinea pig owners

  • 9. Teddy guinea pig

    As their name suggests, the Teddy guinea pig resembles a cuddly stuffed bear! Their cute appearance makes them a popular guinea pig breed, especially amongst children. 

    Like the American, Teddies are great guinea pigs for anybody! They’re also one of the smallest breeds. 

    Physical Traits

    SizeUp to 30.5cm
    Weight0.7 - 1.2kg
    Life expectancy4 - 8 years
    CoatShort and dense coat that stands at the end

    Personality traits

    • Friendly 
    • Enjoys being gently held or cuddled
    • Calm and quiet 
    • Intelligent and can learn simple commands with training

    Care requirements

    Housing

    Teddies don’t have any particular needs when it comes to housing. 

    Grooming

    Teddies possess slightly drier skin as compared to other breeds, which means that frequent baths may dry them out even further. 

    They also have distinctive ear flaps that add to their cuteness. But this makes them prone to ear wax build-up over time. 

    • Brushing: At least once or twice a week
    • Nail trimming: At least once every month
    • Bathing: 2 – 3 times a year or when necessary
    • Ear cleaning: At least once every 2 weeks. Gently clean the inside of the ears with a warm and damp cloth or ask your vet for a professional demonstration

    Suitable for:
  • Pet owners who are fond of handling pets regularly
  • Owners of every age and care experience

  • 10. Texel guinea pig

    Texel guinea pig

    The Texel is a relatively new breed of guinea pig that was created by a cross breed of the Rex and Sheltie guinea pig. They have unique curly and shiny hair which is sure to capture your attention! 

    Physical Traits

    Size20 - 25cm
    Weight0.7 - 1.2kg
    Life expectancy5 - 7 years
    CoatLong and curly with a glossy shine

    Personality traits

    • Docile and gentle 
    • Laidback and calm 
    • Affectionate and friendly

    They’re known to be one of the gentlest guinea pig varieties and can easily be handled by children. They may not be as active as other breeds, but can become mischievous if constantly left on their own!

    Care requirements

    Housing

    In regards to space and cage requirements, the needs of a Texel guinea pig doesn’t differ much from other breeds. However, it’s recommended to use dry bedding such as newspaper or corn cob, as soiled bedding can get stuck in their curly fur. 

    Grooming

    As their coats are long and curly, a Texel’s hair gets tangled up more easily than other breeds.

    • Brushing: At least twice a day, once in the morning and once in the evening. For serious tangles, use water or a conditioning spray to help with untangling
    • Nail trimming: At least once every month
    • Bathing: Every 3 – 4 months or when necessary
    • Hair trimming: Once every few months

    Suitable for:
  • Owners who can dedicate time to maintain their grooming needs
  • Experienced guinea pig owners

  • Not suitable for:
  • Children as primary caretakers
  • First-time guinea pig owners

  • 11. White-crested guinea pig

    White-crested guinea pig

    The white-crested piggy, also referred to as the American crested, is immediately recognisable by a pure white crest on top of their heads. This short-haired guinea pig has a loveable personality and is easy to take care of!  

    Physical Traits

    Size10 - 30cm
    Weight0.7 - 1.2kg
    Life expectancy4 - 7 years
    CoatShort, straight and thick

    Personality traits

    • May be extremely shy when you first get them
    • Calm and sweet 
    • Intelligent and can pick up familiar sounds and voices quickly

    White-crested guinea pigs are one of the more docile breeds. Spend time daily with them daily so they can get used to you, but don’t overwhelm them with too much attention or play time. 

    Care requirements

    Housing

    As this breed is shy, it’s recommended that you provide them with a hiding place to give them a sense of security in their cages. 

    It’s also advisable that you get a pair of same-sex white-crested guinea pigs so they can spend time playing with each other. 

    Grooming

    The white-crested cavy’s hair is short, making them rather low maintenance. 

    • Brushing: At least once or twice a week
    • Nail trimming: At least once a month
    • Bathing: 2 – 3 times a year or when necessary

    Suitable for:
  • Experienced guinea pig owners

  • Not suitable for:
  • Children as primary caretakers
  • First-time guinea pig owners

  • Finding the right guinea pig breed for you

    With a large variety of breeds, guinea pigs come in multiple colours, coat lengths and personalities! Choosing the right breed will ultimately depend on your lifestyle and personal preferences. 

    Regardless of breed and maintenance level, it’s important to note that taking care of your piggy is a large commitment that you’ll need to be responsible for. Once you’re ready to commit, check out the guinea pigs that we have in store!

    Article by:
    Andrea
    Contributors:
    There's nothing Andrea loves more than dancing and playing the Sims 4. She is highly intrigued by astrology and enjoys fantasy novels of any sort. You can often find her obsessing over adorable animal videos.
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