While guinea pigs may not be as popular as cats and dogs to keep as pets, if you speak to a guinea pig owner they will tell you how much they love their furry pals!
The American Cavy Breeders Association (or the ACBA) currently only recognizes 13 different guinea pig breeds.
However, there are other guinea pig species that haven’t been recognized but are still prized for their rarity.
Below, you’ll find 16 species of fluffy, fabulous guinea pigs.
Abyssinian Guinea Pigs
If you’re a first time guinea pig owner, then the Abyssinian Guinea Pig is a great choice because of how affectionate they are.
Its training needs are simple, and they can live for up to eight years. You can tell an Abyssinian Guinea Pig by its eight symmetrical swirls (also known as rosettes), that give it a wild, fun hairdo!
Many guinea pigs also have Satin sub-breeds that have glossier fur, and the Abyssinian is one of them.
Alpaca Guinea Pigs
Often considered one of the most beautiful guinea pigs, Alpacas are exactly like their namesake, in that they have coarse, wavy fur.
Their fur needs to be brushed everyday so it doesn’t get tangled, so they are definitely a more high maintenance breed.
Like the Abyssinian, Alpacas can live up to eight years. However, they are not recognized by the ACBA.
American Guinea Pigs
The most common breed of guinea pig, the American Guinea Pig is probably what you think of when you think of guinea pigs.
They have an excellent temperament, and since they get on so well with other guinea pigs, make a great addition to your guinea pig family.
It has a short, smooth coat that is easy to maintain, and the American Guinea Pig makes a great pet for children.
Baldwin Guinea Pigs
Baldwin Guinea Pigs are one of the few bald guinea pig breeds. These are completely hairless and can live up to six years.
It is recommended they live indoors and are kept away from direct sunlight.
They should also always have a warm blanket near them to keep them nice and cozy. This is another breed that isn’t recognized by the ACBA.
Coronet Guinea Pigs
Coronet Guinea Pigs are the complete opposite to Baldwin Guinea Pigs, thanks to their voluminous, flowing mane! Coronet Guinea Pigs are curious, playful, and love attention!
They are more high maintenance than most, as you have to take time out every day to brush its fur.
Himalayan Guinea Pigs
Himalayan Guinea Pigs are an albino breed of guinea pigs that have brown or black coloring on its ears, nose, and feet.
If you live in a colder climate, then a Himalayan Guinea Pig would be the piggy for you, as they flourish in the cold.
When a Himalayan is in direct sunlight or is warm, they will lose their dark spots. They can also lose their dark spots when they’re ill or frightened.
They should be kept indoors and can live for up to seven years. This is also a breed that isn’t recognized by the ACBA.
Lunkarya Guinea Pigs
Also referred to as the Lunk, the Lunkarya Guinea Pig has long, wild curls. Their fur is super thick, so should be kept cool at all times and never be in direct sunlight.
Lunks are curious, affectionate little piggies who love hugs! They can live up to eight years and are also not recognized by the ACBA.
Merino Guinea Pigs
An intelligent and curious breed, Merinos love to explore. Therefore, they should live in a large cage, and be allowed to roam around your home – with your supervision, of course.
Merinos are also affectionate and make great pets. However, they are not recognized by the ACBA.
Peruvian Guinea Pigs
The Peruvian Guinea Pig has arguably the best coat among all the guinea pig breeds. Their straight, smooth fur can grow up to 2 feet long, and needs to be carefully groomed and trimmed occasionally.
Their hair also grows forward over its head, giving it a funny fringe. Peruvian Guinea Pigs are curious and intelligent, and they also have Satin cousins.
Rex Guinea Pigs
The Rex Guinea Pigs have short fur with a wool-like texture that children will love to pet. It also has droopy ears and curly whiskers that make it unique and even more adorable.
Rex Guinea Pigs are also very affectionate and love to be petted. However, this breed is not recognized by the ACBA.
Sheba Guinea Pigs
Sheba Guinea Pigs have many names. Its official name is the Sheba Mini Yak, but it also has the nickname of the ‘Bad Hair Day’ guinea pig.
Its dense fur needs to be maintained daily, and it is also a breed that isn’t recognized by the ACBA.
Silkie Guinea Pigs
Silkie Guinea Pigs are also known as Sheltie Guinea Pigs, and have long hair that grows backwards. This breed was discovered in the UK in the 1970s and are often considered to be the most gentle guinea pig breed.
Silkies are laid back, and due to their extensive grooming needs should be owned by experienced guinea pig owners. They also have Satin cousins.
Skinny Guinea Pigs
Another hairless guinea pig breed, Skinny Guinea Pigs do have a couple of furry spots on their back, legs, and feet.
They can live up to four years and will need another guinea pig around to keep them company.
Skinny Guinea Pigs don’t need to be groomed, but you still have to make sure their skin is healthy to avoid irritations and wounds.
It’s also important that they have the proper bedding and a blanket. This is another breed that isn’t recognized by the ACBA.
Teddy Guinea Pigs
Teddy Guinea Pigs are an easy to look after breed, with a dense, short coat that you only need to brush once in a while.
They’re also an ideal pet for a family with children, as they are playful and affectionate.
They are naturally sociable guinea pigs, but you should be careful about putting them in a cage with other guinea pigs. Teddy Satin Guinea Pigs also exist.
Texel Guinea Pigs
Texel Guinea Pigs are one of the rarest guinea pig breeds, and are actually a cross between a Rex and a Silkie. Their fur gets easily tangled, which makes them quite difficult to look after.
There you have it! 16 fluffy, fabulous guinea pigs! Guinea pigs come in many shapes and sizes, but pretty much all of them are curious, affectionate, and make perfect pets.