Looking at all the types of guinea pigs, you’ll find many variations, with some of them officially recognized by the American Cavy Breeders Association (an offshoot of the American Rabbit Breeders Association).

Short Hair White “Lethal” Guinea Pig

Breeders refer to these furry little fellows as cavies. But most people who own them as household pets simply call them guinea pigs.

The Short-haired guinea pig is the most common of all types of guinea pigs.

When the Breeders Association standardized this type of cavy, it was called the English cavy.  Now it’s also known as the American cavy.

It runs to medium size, with short, sleek hair.  The cavies with shiny, silky-but short-fur are called American Satins.

The Abyssinian cavy also counts among the three formally recognized types of guinea pigs.  The hairs of its coat are coarser, resulting in symmetrical swirls in the fur that are called ridges and rosettes.  The standard of perfection for the Abyssinian specifies exactly eight rosettes to be present in the fur.

As with the American, an accepted variation of this type is the Abyssinian Satin; the difference is the shine of its coat. Variations with curly but shorter hair are called Abbyruvian or sometimes mini-yaks.

Abyssinian Cavy – More Scruffy Looking!

The Coronet is one of the long-haired cavies.  The fur sweeps back from a pin-point center on top of its head, like a crest, forming two sheaves of wavy hair stretching along its back.  An English Merino is a variation of the Coronet with curly hair.

The Peruvian cavy has long, wavy fur that can be combed and spread out evenly alongside his body like a cape.  This is another breed that’s been recognized by the Breeders Association.  It also has a cap of hair on the front of its head that grows forward, which rounds out its appearance.  The Peruvian Satin is similar, except that the silky length of this animal’s hair renders it a little less wavy.  Alpacas are variations of the Peruvian.

The Silkie and the Silkie Satin, both also known as the Sheltie, have a characteristic crest that sweeps backward from the crown of the head, and then the remainder of the body hair flows backward in wavy lengths with no part.

The Teddy is another breed that’s very popular among casual cavy owners.  Its hair is short but somewhat kinked, which gives it an almost fuzzy appearance.  When the hair is pressed out of position, it will always spring right back.  And yes, there is a Teddy Satin breed-its fur bears the same thick springiness, but it’s got that added sheen.

The Texel, originally bred in England, has long hair like the Silkie, but every bit of it is tightly curled, even on the underbelly.  This cavy is rather shorter than the others, and it, too, is among the types of guinea pigs recognized by the Breeders Association.  A part in the hair along the back is common.

The White Crested cavy looks much like the American type, except it has a crest of white fur springing up on its forehead.  There can be no other spot of white anywhere else on its body, which eliminates coat colors that are not solid. The satin breeds have hair with hollow shafts, which gives the hair that extra gloss.  Many experts have found that guinea pigs with this type of hair are often prone to Paget’s disease or osteodystrophy, a bone disorder.

White Crested Cavy (Missy) – Hanging Out With a Baby Rabbit

There are many fur colors, but a guinea pig cannot fit a breed standard if it has more than three colors.  Their fur comes in shades of black, white, and red; agouti cavies have hair with one color on the root and another along the hair shaft.  Variations in fur color and type give us the tortoiseshell cavies, brindle, Dutch, Himalayan, Dalmation, and roan cavies.  There are also a couple of hairless breeds, including the skinny pig and the Baldwin.

Skinny Hairless Guinea Pig

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