Fascinating Guinea Pig Colors You Might Not Have Known Before

Anusuya Mukherjee
Oct 24, 2023 By Anusuya Mukherjee
Originally Published on Nov 15, 2021
Guinea pig eating broccoli.
Age: 3-18
Read time: 11.6 Min

Guinea pigs are small, adorable, and cuddly creatures that make great pets.

Guinea pig colors are seen to be quite unique. The guinea pig breed is known for its attractive and bright colors.

Guinea pigs are cute animals that can be seen to be in a rainbow of patterns and colors. Whether it is wild guinea pigs, the show cavies guinea pigs, or the guinea pig you see in pet stores, each of these has their own distinct traits and variations.

These animals have been people’s pets for quite a long time now.

In fact, guinea pigs were known to be domesticated around 7,000 years ago! During this time, it has been observed that the breeders of guinea pigs have bred these animals selectively in order to produce something called lineages.

Breeders use this to empathize with a few traits present in a guinea pig and de-empathize the rest. Different lineages were also seen to be combined for new varieties to be created from scratch.

In order to get the desirable characteristics, they have worked for establishing genetic mutation. This has resulted in the creation of several different types of guinea pigs. Though they all are seen to share common traits present in them, they do differ in many different ways.

Before a person gets a guinea pig as a pet, it is important that they know these differences and characteristics to see which one they feel would be the best choice for them. So why do these pigs have such a variety of colors in the different species?

What is the rarest guinea pig color?

The rarest guinea pig color out there would be the guinea pig called the white-crested. These animals come in numerous types of coats and are seen to be predominantly of the color gold.

White-crested guinea pigs are quite easy to groom as they are short-haired. These creatures usually spend their time by themselves and are known to be quite a crowd-pleaser in nature. White-crested guinea pigs are also very cute and cuddly and would make a great addition to your family to be kept as a pet.

A white-crested guinea pig is very fun to be around and quite a crowd-pleaser. Since this breed has a white crown pattern above its head, it can be identified much easier than other breeds of guinea pigs.

These creatures are said to have a similar resemblance to the American guinea pig. Speaking of American guinea pigs, they are also quite a common breed to have as a pet.

American guinea pigs are very friendly and get along well with other guinea pigs breeds. They are also seen to be lovable towards children.

Due to the fact that this breed can be easily taken care of, they have become quite popular as guinea pig pets. Since they are short-haired, grooming an American guinea pig will take very little time or effort.

Grooming is usually considered to be tiring for the owners that have long-haired guinea pigs. But with the American guinea pig, it is a piece of cake as they aren’t long-haired.

Although the American guinea pig isn’t exotic in any nature, they are very sweet and cuddly creatures. Both American and white-crested pigs are great pets to keep as they are very lovable and will be a boost of serotonin for your house!

What is the best guinea pig color?

Different types of guinea pigs have different colors. All of their colors are unique and beautiful.

Guinea pigs have various different pattern coats and their varying colors add to their beauty. Some of the most popular colors are buff, golden brown, red, brown, dark brown, and black. We will be looking at the different rare and common colors present in different guinea pigs.

An agouti guinea pig has quite a distinctive type of multicolored coat that is thick in nature. These species of guinea pigs also come in various different types of colors. Since this animal is seen to have uniform hues, they are quite easy to identify.

A tortoiseshell guinea pig is seen to be slightly similar to an agouti pig. Tortoiseshell guinea pigs come in light colors. These patches and patterns of colors could be golden, white, lilac, or even beige.

A bicolor guinea pig, like its name, has two colors present. These colors are in form of patches all over their bodies. If these patches are mostly red and black, then it is said to be called a tortoiseshell.

A guinea pig that is similar to the rare colors of a tortoiseshell is a brindle guinea pig. However, brindle pigs, instead of patches of color in the shape of a square, brindle guinea pigs have a mixture of different colors like lilac or black.

This is what sets brindle guinea pigs apart from other breeds. A Dalmatian guinea pig is seen to have the famous dog breed’s name.

However, they have barely any spots on their coats as a Dalmatian does, instead, they have large patches of colors on their face. Dutch guinea pigs are said to be slightly similar to Dutch rabbits in terms of their white chest and different colors on the lower stomach region of their coats.

A Himalayan guinea pig is as white as the white snow present in the Himalayan. This Himalayan pig has bright red eyes.

The Most Common Colors Of Guinea Pigs

Guinea pigs are seen to have a range of three different types of colors present on their coats. Though the fur on the coats of guinea pig breeds may have a variety of different types of colors, these colors will usually range from the colors of black, white, and red series.

The colors of a guinea pig breed that come under the series of brown points are cream, buff, red, saffron, and gold. The breed colors that come under the series of black are black, lilac, roan, chocolate, slate, and beige.

Guinea pigs' breed colors that come under the series of white points are pink-eyed white and dark-eyed white. An American guinea pig breed is seen to have solid swaths of color.

These solid colors are dark red, white, and black.

Their color pattern is also seen to be definitive in nature. An agouti guinea pig is also seen to have a solid range of breed colors like black but their solid pattern isn’t definitive.

But, they do have borderless and random patterns that are of two colors seen to be blended together. Agouti guinea pigs are recognizable by their flecked coats, most commonly in the colors silver, golden, lemon cream, and chocolate.

Popular Guinea Pig Color Variations

There are a variety of color variations like black, white, and red present in guinea pig breeds. Let’s look at some color variations that are solid in nature in this breed.

Such pigs are seen to have the same solid color all over their bodies with their eye color being either red or black. The colors of the bodies of this breed are slate, black, white, chocolate, beige, red, lilac, golden, roan, saffron, buff, and cream color.

Guinea pig breeds also have color variations that are mixed patterned in nature. A guinea pig that has this is the agouti guinea pig.

These breeds are seen to have two different kinds of colors in the strand of their fur. It creates a mixture of these two-toned colors which look absolutely stunning. These mixtures include agouti lemon, agouti silver, agouti cinnamon, agouti cream, and agouti chocolate.

Dalmatian and roan guinea pigs are seen to have the color variations of their heads being dark-colored and the rest of their body hairs being white. These hairs are further mixed with a base color.

Dalmatian guinea pigs are seen to be in the color variation of black and white whereas roan guinea pigs are white-colored with a base color present in them. A tan and fox guinea pig breed is seen to have hair that is in the color of white or tan only.

This pattern is usually present around their eyes, bellies, or muzzle.

A fox guinea pig and a tan guinea pig have tan fur present in the areas that are mentioned. Dutch guinea pigs are usually seen to have marking patches in their dutch color of white along with other dutch colored patches.

Tortoiseshell guinea pigs are seen to resemble a tortoise-shell cat. These guinea pigs have red or black solid blocks of hair present on them.

It can also be in the pattern of a tortoise and white-colored. Lastly, a Himalayan guinea pig is seen to have chocolate or black-colored ears, feet, and nose, with the rest of the Himalayan pig’s body being the color of white.

Guinea pig eating grains.

Different Types Of Guinea Pigs

There are numerous types of guinea pig breeds present all over the world. Let’s get right into some adorable and cuddly guinea pigs for you to keep as a pet breed!

An Abyssinian guinea pig is seen as the breed of guinea pig that is easiest to recognize. This is because Abyssinian bodies are known for being covered with tufts of hairs that are circular in nature which are called rosettes.

Abyssinian bears around ten rosettes, which are located in different parts of their bodies. Abyssinian guinea pigs have very excitable personalities.

Peruvian guinea pigs are seen to have somewhat smaller heads than any other guinea pig breed. However, they are loved as a pet as they have silky long hair.

When they are born, they have only a few strands present on them but as they grow bigger their hair grows to a great extent and adds to the beauty of this guinea pig.

Teddy guinea pigs are quite well-known as a breed group. This is due to its fuzzy short curly coat which makes it look adorable.

These animals were given the name ‘teddy’ as they look like stuffed animals and are very cuddly to hold. Since they are of this group, they would make great pets for children. They are also very friendly and lovable so their assimilation into the family is extremely smooth.

American guinea pigs as we know are popular guinea pig breeds. They are low maintenance, laid-back, have a smooth lovable personality, and are very cute to look at.

This breed of guinea pigs is typically seen to be quite healthy as well.

It is most popular as a pet in the U.S. American guinea pigs have great behavior, being laid back, friendly and sociable makes them a great choice for a family pet. They also don’t have a lot of fur on them, making grooming much easier for their owners.

Skinny guinea pig breeds are the guinea pigs that typically have no hairs on them. Their feet and face develop some amount of hair over time. For a first-time guinea pet keeper, these pigs won’t be a good choice. Since they are hairless, they are prone to lots of health issues.

The Genetics Of Guinea Pig Colors

To find out the genetics of a guinea pig and its colors is typically much harder than that of rabbits. 13 guinea pig breeds are said to be recognized in the world.

You may also be wondering if your guinea pig can see all colors as we humans can. Furthermore, you would also want to know if there is any color that is bad for them.

It is said that the color green is very sensitive for guinea pigs. They may also be sensitive to the color red.

Guinea pigs are said to have a color vision that is dichromatic in nature. Though they can see all colors out there and even differentiate them, it isn’t 100% authentic.

So a guinea pig is seen to have a slight amount of color blindness. They can still identify and distinguish colors to an extent, which is good enough. The night vision of a guinea pig is also seen to be limited.

Although they can see, their eyesight is much better during the day. They are known for using their sense of smell and whiskers to increase their eyesight level at night.

These senses also play a major role in helping them survive in the wild. Even if their vision is slightly compromised, they still make great pets and are very lovable in nature.

Does a guinea pig's color really matter?

It really doesn’t as each guinea pig has beautiful color variations, patterns, patches, curly hair, smooth hair, rare colors, and common colors, all of these different variations make them unique.

You can obviously choose a color of your choice that you like the most, but they’re a lot of other factors you should consider before choosing a guinea pig as a pet.

There are so many interesting facts about these pigs which is much more important than which color they are. Guinea pig breeds are not related to pigs.

These animals’ other name is cavies.

They have been domesticated for years from wild guinea pigs present in South America. These animals are said to be rodents and more related to a chinchilla than mice or a rat.

These breed of animals are said to be quite vocal and can be heard squealing cutely all day long. They communicate with others using numerous kinds of sounds.

They sometimes purr or coo, grunt, and even squeak. These animals are very low maintenance to keep as pets.

This is why a lot of people usually keep them as pets for their children to play with and have as a companion. Unless guinea pigs are ill-treated in any way, they rarely tend to bite or scratch.

They are very soft and delicate animals and must be treated with utmost gentleness and love. A healthy guinea pig is much more active, communicative, and alert in nature.

You may even see them jumping around the house when they are in a good mood. You can also train your adorable guinea pig to use a litter box.

These animals are also known to enjoy the company of other cavies. So getting two guinea pigs as pets would be a good idea so each of them has someone of their species as a companion.

However, you will notice that they will be quite interactive with you as well. Since they are such delicate animals, taking them for regular vet check-ups is a must to ensure that your pet is healthy.

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Written by Anusuya Mukherjee

Bachelor of Arts and Law specializing in Political Science and Intellectual Property Rights

Anusuya Mukherjee picture

Anusuya MukherjeeBachelor of Arts and Law specializing in Political Science and Intellectual Property Rights

With a wealth of international experience spanning Europe, Africa, North America, and the Middle East, Anusuya brings a unique perspective to her work as a Content Assistant and Content Updating Coordinator. She holds a law degree from India and has practiced law in India and Kuwait. Anusuya is a fan of rap music and enjoys a good cup of coffee in her free time. Currently, she is working on her novel, "Mr. Ivory Merchant".

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