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
- Kingdom: Animalia
- Phylum: Chordata
- Class: Mammalia
- Order: Rodentia
- Family: Caviidae
- Genus: Cavia
- Species: porcellus
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.
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.
Keeping Guinea Pigs:
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:
- care and feeding
- social behaviors
- handling and training
- breeding guinea pigs
- baby guinea pigs.
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.
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“Guinea Pig Breed“,Wikipedia, Copyright 2008
“Guinea Pig“,Wikipedia, Copyright 2008
Featured Image Credit: Tettania, Shutterstock