Rex Guinea Pig | Facts, History, Health Problems, and Everything

Rex guinea pig, with its short, thick, wavy coats and hedgehog-like looks, is a popular household pet. This Cavie has a well-deserved reputation for being friendly, gentle, and peaceful. They are ideal pets for kids who are patient with them since they like touching and receiving other pets.

Rex is the potato-like guinea pig breed. Their unique coats and easy care have made them popular among guinea pig owners. Rex guinea pigs, like any other breed, have unique traits.

Rex Guinea Pig

Rex guinea Pigs’ toenails develop fast. Thus they need particular care. They require more grooming than ordinary Guinea Pigs.

On the other hand, their hair does not need as much maintenance as different hair types.

Rex Guinea Pigs may grow up to 45cm tall and have a coat no longer than 0.5′′ (1/2 inch). They resemble a stuffed Teddy Guinea pig in appearance.

Facts About Rex Guinea Pig

Weight700-1200 grams
FurShort, curly, stands on end
Lifespan5-8 years
Size18 inches from nose to tail.
ColorsPatterned and solid variations of brown and white
TemperamentFriendly, gentle, and calm
Suitable forBeginners

Rex guinea pig is calm and friendly. This makes them ideal pets for youngsters mature enough to take care of them. Short stubble-like coats like hedgehogs protect them from the rain.

Rex Guinea Pig Is Calm and Friendly

On the other hand, some Rex guineas have thicker, wavier coats. Guinea pigs with short hair are low-maintenance and do not need regular brushing or washing.

They can grow up to 40cm long and may live for up to seven years, making them one of the longest-living vertebrates. Their thick woolen hair and wide, floppy ears give them a charming, cuddly look.

To begin with, they are an excellent choice for children or first-time pet owners who do not have much time or experience caring for guineas.

History of the Rex Guinea Pig

South America domesticated the rex guinea pig 5,000 years ago. Inkas favored these animals, and the Andean peoples have kept them as pets and cattle for centuries.

5,000 Years Ago, South America Domesticated Rex Guinea Pigs

Rex guinea pig history is unclear. Spanish explorers introduced guinea pigs to Europe in the 1530s. British Cavy Council recognizes Rex Guinea Pigs, but not the American Cavy Breeders Association.

Rex Guinea Pig’s Appearance

“Rex” means “king,” Rex guinea pig owners would agree. “Rexed” hair is unique for cats, rabbits, and guinea pigs. “Rexed” fur lacks guard hairs. Many animals have this genetic mutation.

Rex Guinea Pigs Are Sometimes Called Fuzzy Hedgehogs

Rex guinea pig has short hairs and flanks longer guard hairs. They prevent abrasions and make the coat waterproof. Rexed coats are bristly. Curly-haired rexed animals exist, such as the Cornish Rex.

Some find rexed animals less allergic, although they are not hypoallergenic. The Rex guinea pig’s short, easy-care coat is curly around the belly.

Rex guinea pigs are sometimes described as looking like hedgehogs or fuzzy potatoes.

Rex Guinea Pig Color Variants

Some have called the Rex guinea pig “potato-looking,” and some are the same light brown as potatoes. The Rex guinea pig offers a variety of hues, including

  • Gold
  • Chocolate
  • Red
  • Cream
  • White

Rex Guinea Pig Diet

As with humans, what guinea pigs consume affects their health. A healthy diet may avoid health problems, while an unhealthy one can cause them.

 Unhealthy Rex Guinea Pig Diets Might Cause Health Concerns

Guinea pigs are veggie-only. Your guinea pigs should eat 80% hay. Compressed hay pellets may complement hay. However, they should make up less than 10% of pigs’ diet. Guinea pigs adore fresh produce.

Rex Guinea Pig Care


Rex Guinea pigs require the same attention as other breeds. They need additional toenail care only.

Large enclosures/cages are best for Rex Guinea Pigs. Minimum Guinea Pig house measurements are 0.5 x 0.25 m.

Guinea Pigs can not endure heat stress well, so make sure their summer environment is well-shaded.

When making Guinea Pig bedding, use shredded paper, hay, or straw and replace it periodically. Ensure that your Cavies bedding is not chemically treated and safe for your Rex Guinea Pig.


It is advisable to keep Rex guineas in at least two groups. It does not matter what kind of guinea pig you have; frequent exercise and a large enclosure are vital. Keep in mind that an exercise wheel might damage guinea pigs’ backs, although other tiny rodents would benefit from it.

Guinea pig


The short and rough hair of a Rex guinea is quite robust and does not need much care.

Nevertheless, brushing and bathing them regularly is advised.

As previously indicated, nails on Rex guineas grow faster than those of other guinea breeds. As a result, they will need to be trimmed regularly to prevent ingrown hairs and infection.

Rex Guinea Pigs: Health Issues

Like any other guinea pig, the Rex guinea pig has some health issues that must be considered.


A temperature of between 18 and 23 degrees Celsius is suitable for cavies. Despite this, they prefer cooler conditions to hotter ones, although they are not fans of extremes. If it is hot where you live, be sure your cavies are not overheating.

Make sure they have enough shade in their enclosure. Do not forget to stock up on lots of ice-cold water in the form of cooling pads or frozen bottles. If the weather outside is too hot, you may bring your cavies inside.

Mouses often don’t drink water and they might fall sick. Know the exact reasons here.


Flies are attracted to the odors of human waste, including urine and excrement. Flies may lay eggs on your pigs. As soon as the maggots emerge from their eggs, they crawl into the body.

Upper Respiratory Infections

Upper respiratory infections are common in guinea pigs. These things have the potential to escalate swiftly. Some signs and symptoms include sneezing, postnasal drip, and breathing difficulties.


Guinea pigs, too, are susceptible to debilitating bouts of diarrhea. A visit to your veterinarian is advised if the flow is too copious and watery.

Dental Problems

Your cavy’s teeth might break from time to time. In most cases, the tooth will regrow within a few weeks. Because the corresponding higher or lower tooth may overgrow to compensate, visit your veterinarian for a tooth trim if this occurs.

Guinea pig molars can get infected. You should also take your guinea pig to the vet if it stops eating or starts drooling.


It is possible to have bumblefoot or Pododermatitis, which is an infection of the feet. Some of the first signs are calluses and thinning of fur on the feet. Sores and bleeding may occur, and bone and tissue disease may ensue. Bumblefoot is best treated as soon as possible by your veterinarian.

Guinea Pig Winter Care

When to Call the Vet

Many potentially significant guinea pig health concerns are characterized by lethargy and a lack of interest in eating. If you find that your cavy’s activity has diminished or has stopped eating, a vet must check it out as soon as possible.

Additionally, animals exhibiting symptoms of flystrike or other illnesses should be taken to the veterinarian.

Also, if you believe your pet has been injured, notify your veterinarian.

Frequently Asked Question

1. How big does a Rex Guinea Pig get?

Rex Guinea Pigs are 20-45cm long and have a 1/2-inch coat. Teddy Guinea pigs come to mind. Teddy Guinea pigs have softer fur.

2. Are Rex Guinea Pigs Friendly?

There is no indication that guinea pig breeds have different temperaments. All guinea pigs are curious, conversational, entertaining, and loving. Since they are prey, they may be frightened of you at first, and if you approach them unexpectedly. If you are kind and deliver food, they will warm to you.

Talk to breeders to find a friendly Rex guinea pig. Some breeders who want show-quality cavies may sacrifice their friendliness. Ensure your breeder handles newborn cavies often, and spend time bonding with them as you take them home.

3. Do Rex Guinea Pigs Bite?

Guinea pigs bite seldom. They flee when scared. If afraid and cornered, they may bite. Guinea pigs graze virtually continually as a survival tactic, while others will try practically anything once. This tickles instead of hurts, but it might surprise kids.

Guinea pig

Final Words

Rex guinea pigs have lovely, low-maintenance textured coats. If you reside in the U.S., they are probably a choice.

Rex Guinea pigs are gregarious, polite, and affectionate. Curios and friendly, they are great kids’ pets. They require a large cage to run and play, and they adore connecting with people.

Lisa G

Meet Lisa G, the founder and author of With over 3 years of experience studying and observing various species of rodents. Lisa has established herself as a credible expert in the field. Her passion for these often-overlooked animals shines through in her in-depth articles and engaging writing style. Follow her blog to learn fascinating facts and gain a new appreciation for the furry creatures that share our world.

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