Abyssinian Guinea Pig

Abyssinian Satin Guinea Pig

Family: Caviidae Abyssinian Guinea Pig, Guinea Pig PicturesCavia porcellusPhoto © Animal-World: Courtesy Pig Podge
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I recently adopted a Guinea pig, though I don't know how his previous owners treated him as his nails are almost an inch in length. I am worried for my lil friend.... (more)  scott

   You may think the Abyssinian Guinea Pig is having a 'bad hair day', but it is the unique coat that makes this guinea pig stand out!

   The Abyssinian Guinea Pig has quite the distinctive look. They have a fur pattern consisting of 8 to 10 hair whorls, called rosettes. You could say that they always look like they're having a bad hair day, but that is just part of their charm.

   Despite the wild patterning of their coat they tend to keep themselves clean, and they require minimal care. The Abyssinian is often kept as a pet. Many become pets due to the difficulty of finding ones that are suitable for showing.

   Abyssinians are great pets for children, or adults who are first-time guinea pig owners. This breed is known for being rather mischievous. But its friendly personality and tendency to clown around more than make up for any trouble it gets into. They can learn to come when called and get into their cages unassisted. Some can even learn to sit on command.

Guinea Pig Information - Guinea Pig Care
Guide to a Happy Healthy Guinea Pig


Geographic Distribution
Cavia porcellus
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Data provided by GBIF.org
  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Class: Mammalia
  • Order: Rodentia
  • Family: Caviidae
  • Genus: Cavia
  • Species: porcellus
Abyssinian Guinea Pig

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Abyssinian guinea pig comes to check out camera, babies everywhere!

The two larger guinea pigs are sisters, and have just given birth to 5 babies - 3 boys and 2 girls.

Background:    It is believed that Guinea Pigs were first domesticated as early as 5000 BC to be used as food. Selective breeding began around 1200 AD. They subsequently became coveted as pets by the upper classes and eventually made their way into the homes of the common man.
   Abyssinian Guinea Pigs were among the first breeds to be recognized by the American Cavy Breeders Association. The breed has since improved significantly.

Description:    The most recognizable trait of the Abyssinian Guinea Pig is its rosettes. These are cowlicked patches of hair that cover most of the animal's body. Ideally, the Abyssinian should have one rosette on each shoulder, four across its back, one on each hip, and two on the rump, for a total of ten. However, Abyssinians with at least eight rosettes are eligible for showing as long as the pattern is symmetrical.
   The Abyssinian Satin Guinea Pig has particularly silky, shiny hair. It is very fine and dense, and enhances the entensity of their colors.

Color differences:    The Abyssinian Guinea Pig can be found in a wide variety of colors. The agouti coloring is particularly stunning on this breed due to its rosettes.

Keeping Guinea Pigs:

GUINEA PIG CARE

   Be sure to provide your guinea pig with a good home and a proper diet. This will keep it happy and healthy and ensure a great pet for a long time.

   Guinea pigs need plenty of exercise and they also love to play. You can let them outside or run around in the house for short periods of time under supervision. They love to explore and need at least one hour of supervised 'floor time' every day.

   When picking up a guinea pig make sure you do not grab it only by its shoulders. Just keep in mind when picking your pet up to do it evenly. With your hands, support it's entire body, and be careful not to drop it.

   Guinea pigs are social creatures and will like to have a companion. They are great companions for children.

   Take time to learn what your guinea pig needs, including:

  • housing
  • care and feeding
  • social behaviors
  • activies
  • handling and training
  • breeding guinea pigs
  • baby guinea pigs.

Availability:    Abyssinian Guinea Pigs are fairly common among breeders, and may be found in pet stores. Prices vary.
   Guinea Pigs come in many varieties and are readily available at pet stores, shelters, and rescues. When looking to acquire a pet guinea pig make sure it is a healthy animal. A healthy guinea pig will have brilliant eyes, good sound teeth, and a healthy coat. Any age and either sex will make a good pet, however you should plan to get more than one as they are very social and do best with a companion. Get a same sex pair or you could end up having babies.

References "Guinea Pig Breed Guide- Abyssinian Guinea Pig", About, Inc., Copyright 2008
Sherwood, Rena, "All About Abyssinian Guinea Pigs", Hubpages Inc., Copyright 2008
Sadler, Carol, "A March Through ACBA History", Copyright JACBA
"Abyssinian", Omlet, Copyright 2004
"Guinea Pig Breed",Wikipedia, Copyright 2008
"Guinea Pig",Wikipedia, Copyright 2008

Lastest Animal Stories on Abyssinian Guinea Pig

scott - 2014-07-03
I recently adopted a Guinea pig, though I don't know how his previous owners treated him as his nails are almost an inch in length. I am worried for my lil friend. How or what do I do please help?

  • Clarice Brough - 2014-07-22
    It sounds like his nails need to be clipped. Their nails, like ours, continually grow though they are usually worn down naturally if the guinea pig gets out for regular exercise.

    You can take him to a vet to have the nails trimmed, or you can get small animal nail clippers at a pet store and do it yourself. Be careful though, not to trim too far down and into the 'quick' (blood vein in the lower part of the nail). Because the quick will have extended far down into the nail, I suggest you only clip just a little off at a time, and then do a bit more a couple days later. As you do this, the quick will recede towards the foot and then its safe to clip the tip of the nail again. If you cut too deep (into the quick) the nail will bleed. You can get Quick Stop at a pet store, which will quickly help stop the bleeding. A second option is to use some corn meal. Corn meal isn't quite as good, but it does also help stop the bleeding.  Once you have the nails at the desired length, clip them on a monthly basis or as needed.
Reply
Delores Moreau - 2013-09-06
I have an albino abyssinain guinea pig named Blizzard. He is about 3 or 4 years old. I have 2 other guinea pigs. They are all in separate cages. No matter what I do Blizzard always messes up his cage long before the others do. I think he is bored and so he plays with his water. The cage always gets really wet. I have replaced the bottle several times. I have tried many different things to keep him content. Is this behavior specific to this breed?

  • Clarice Brough - 2013-09-08
    He sounds quite rambunctious and I'm inclined to think it's just the personality of that guinea pig.
  • No one - 2014-06-04
    I think your guinea pig is bored and he needs something to do so he plays with his water and well messes up his cage.
  • zoey howards - 2014-07-05
    Yes this behavior is specific to this breed. Abyssinian guinea pigs are often known for being mischievous and clowning around.
Reply
Lana - 2014-05-18
I have an Abyssinian female around 3 years old, her past owner's didn't treat her well. I have had her for a while now and think we have bonded. I would really like to train her to come when I call her name but I don't know how, any tips?:-)

  • Mariana Jimenez - 2014-06-19
    I live in LA and it's hard for me to find an Abyssinian guinea pig. Any ideas where I can possibly get one?
Reply
Deborah Getzler Munoz - 2013-01-25
We got a male abyssinian 9 days ago, he is cute, chutts a lot = their way of talking. He likes to be held and given veggie treat - lettuce, loves cilantro and spinach and carrots. He is kinda messy- trying to train him to use a litter box. Has anyone had any luck with this?

  • joe sanders - 2013-07-18
    It is normal just do your daily care and it's fine to just do a spot clean every day or very often.
Reply
Amy and Kaos - 2013-04-25
A month or two ago, I bought a pregnant guinea pig. At the time I didn't know she was pregnant, but about 3 weeks later she had one healthy baby pig. The mother, Amy, is a standard American short hair, but the baby was born an Abyssinian. I named her Kaos after her fur :) but she's very adamant about not being held. I can pet her, but as soon as I pick her up she goes crazy. She kicks and claws and pulls and screams. I really want her to grow to love and trust me, what should I do?

  • Jasmine Brough Hinesley - 2013-04-25
    It sounds like she is still very young, so there is a lot of time for you to bond with her! Just continue to have patience, pet her everyday and gently pick her up every day. She will most likely calm down and learn to enjoy human interaction, it will just take time.
Reply

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