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Texel Guinea Pig: Pictures, Lifespan, Behavior & Care Guide

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By Nicole Cosgrove

texel guinea pig

If you’re new to the world of guinea pigs, you might be surprised to find out that of the 13 recognized cavy breeds, there is a variety of long, short, smooth, and, as with the Texel guinea pig, curly coat types. Their unique appearance is one of the reasons Texels have become so popular in recent years. These small pets are also raved about for their affectionate temperaments and social personalities. If you’re curious to see if this is the right cavy breed for you, keep reading!

Breed Overview

Size: 8–10 inches
Weight: Up to 2.5 lbs
Lifespan: 5–10 years
Similar Breeds: Silkie, Coronet, Peruvian
Suitable for: Experienced guinea pig owners who own other guinea pigs
Temperament: Sweet-natured, affectionate, docile

The Texel cavy has a long coat filled with curls and a cobby body type. They are one of the newer guinea pig breeds, having only been developed in the 1980s and officially recognized by the American Cavy Breeders Association in 1988. The Texel is the result of crossbreeding a British Rex and Silkie guinea pig together, which produced their iconic curly coats.

If you’re looking into getting a new breed of cavy, the Texel guinea pig is a great addition. However, because of their curly coats, they do require extra care and are a greater responsibility than some other cavy breeds. Their social natures do best in environments with other guinea pigs, and, therefore, an experienced cavy owner who has other guinea pigs is the best fit for this breed.

Texel Guinea Pig Breed Characteristics


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How Much Do These Guinea Pigs Cost?

Although you can find guinea pigs at just about any animal shelter or pet store, Texels tend to be harder to find, and your best bet is to contact a Texel breeder. You can pay anywhere from $20 to $65 for a Texel and, in some cases, a bit more. They’re a pricey breed because they’re so popular and hard to find, but you can feel confident that you’re getting a healthy pet when you go through a reputable breeder.

Although Texels aren’t commonly found in local shelters, it is always better to check them first as some owners aren’t prepared to deal with the grooming needs or the responsibility of homing a pet and may quickly give them up. To free up room and resources at the shelter for other guinea pigs, consider adoption before heading to a breeder. You’ll also get your guinea pig at a lower price by taking this route.

Temperament & Intelligence of the Texel Guinea Pig

Texel guinea pigs are friendly, social, and affectionate pets. They like to be handled by their owners and even enjoy having their coats gently brushed. Although it depends on their personality and upbringing, many Texels even like to cuddle their owners. Although Texels love sharing an environment with other guinea pigs, they can find companionship in you. The more time you spend handling your guinea pig, the more comfortable they’ll become with you.

These little creatures are active and intelligent. Although they’re not as brainy as some dog breeds, they like to learn simple tricks and are relatively easy to train when done so consistently.

Do These Guinea Pigs Make Good Pets?

Due to their docile and friendly personalities, Texels make excellent pets. They love to be handled and can even be enjoyed by children when shown how to do so correctly. These guinea pigs don’t tend to bite but will resort to that behavior if they feel scared or threatened, so it’s important to handle them gently and keep them in a calm and safe environment.

Texels can be played with outside of their cage as long as the environment is secure and you’re supervising them at all times, as they are a little mischievous.

Does This Guinea Pig Get Along with Other Pets?

Texels are friendly and get on well with other pets. However, for their own safety, never let them run around freely when larger pets, such as cats or dogs, are nearby. Guinea pigs do best when they’re kept with a partner or in a group of cavies. They are social animals that will become lonely, frustrated, and bored when kept alone. However, when kept in groups, there should only be one male. Several males in a group will result in conflict.

Regardless of how sweet your guinea pig is, it is important to socialize them from young and introduce new guinea pigs to each other properly. Do this by separating them in the cage until they’re comfortable enough around each other to co-exist.

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Things to Know When Owning a Texel Guinea Pig:

Although Texel guinea pigs are small pets, they are still a big responsibility and need plenty of love and care. Giving them the correct diet, grooming them regularly, and making sure they’ve got obstacles to climb and exercise on is a must! Texel guinea pigs require a bit more maintenance, and the correct brush is essential to keep their coat from getting tangled. However, the extra effort is worth it, and you’ll have a happy and healthy pet because of it.

Food & Diet Requirements 

Texel guinea pigs have the same diet as every other kind of guinea pig. They need good-quality hay as it is rich in fiber to keep their stomachs regular, and it keeps their teeth at a healthy length. A lack of hay in their diet could cause constipation and dental disease. Guinea pigs should also be allowed to graze on fresh grass (and never lawnmower clippings), as this is what they eat in the wild.

Guinea pig pellets are also an essential part of their diet because it is rich in vitamin C. Cavies need a lot of vitamin C to stay healthy, so you can add vitamin C-rich vegetables into their diets, too. Never give them citrus fruits, and always wash their vegetables first before giving them to your cavy to snack on.

Habitat & Enclosure Requirements

Your guinea pig’s enclosure should be roomy and higher than their length. A hamster’s cage is far too small for a guinea pig as they won’t have the freedom to exercise. These little pets should also be housed with at least one other guinea pig, so your enclosure needs to accommodate both. A small space will cause your pet to become stressed, anxious, bored, and depressed.

Your Texel’s accommodation should be well-ventilated and away from direct sunlight and draughts. Their enclosure shouldn’t be affected by weather and extreme temperature changes. It needs to be safe and secure so that your Texel cannot escape, and no predators can get in.

Your guinea pig needs boxes, pipes, and obstacle courses to hide and play in, as well as untreated wood to gnaw and chew on. They should have dry bedding, which should be changed regularly. Their enclosure should have a water bottle that you need to top up often to ensure they have fresh water at all times. You can consider placing another water bottle in the enclosure if you have more than one guinea pig. A food dish is also important, and it should be placed away from their sleep area.

Exercise & Sleeping Needs

If your Texel has a large enough enclosure, they should get enough exercise from running around inside of it. However, a change of environment means a new area to explore, which guinea pigs love, so take them out of their enclosure and let them run around. If their enclosure is kept inside, the sun and air will do them good. However, you should never leave them outside on their own because these mischievous creatures may run off or get themselves into some type of trouble.

Exercise is important for Texels because it keeps their digestive systems healthy, keeps their joints strong, and keeps them at a healthy weight. Guinea pigs that become overweight are at a higher risk for developing health problems and aren’t able to move about freely, which can lead to depression.

You can encourage your guinea pig to get more exercise by placing them into a large cage, allowing them to run around your yard, adding obstacle courses, ramps, and tunnels, and getting another guinea pig for them to play with.

Your Texel will likely sleep up to 6 hours a day, taking occasional short naps. You might not realize your cavy is asleep when they are because they can sleep with their eyes open. You can add fleece to their enclosure for their bedding, as this will keep them warm and comfy.


You can train your Texel to do a few simple tricks, such as walking them on a leash and potty training. They’re not the fastest learners, but they are smart enough to get the hang of it when you use positive reinforcement with your commands. You may not think training is necessary for these little rodents, but it does stimulate them mentally, and it can deepen your bond.


Unlike short-haired guinea pigs, Texels require daily brushings with a short brush to keep their curly coats free from knots and tangles. Their coats also need to be trimmed regularly to keep them clean from poop and pee. If you aren’t confident in trimming their hair, you can take your cavy to a professional groomer. Your Texel will also need to be bathed once a month.

As with all guinea pigs, you need to clean any dirt or wax out of their ears to avoid infection, and their nails need to be trimmed. However, if they are exercising regularly, their nails should get filed down naturally.

Lifespan and Health Conditions

No matter how well you love and care for your Texel guinea pig, they’re not immune to health issues, and there are a few common ones that you need to watch out for. Sometimes, these infections and problems are a result of their environment or diet, and sometimes, it’s because they’re predisposed to cancers and other serious conditions.

To catch problems early, make sure that you take your Texel to the vet for regular health checkups. Your vet can treat minor issues quickly that should be resolved without too much effort. If they find something serious, the earlier your cavy is put on treatment, the better their prognosis.

Minor Conditions
  • Lice and mite infestations
  • Ear infections
  • Scurvy
  • Dental issues
Serious Conditions
  • Pneumonia
  • Tumors
  • Uterine and ovarian diseases
  • Gastrointestinal problems
  • Bumblefoot

Male vs Female

For the most part, male and female Texels are quite similar. Males tend to be a bit heavier and longer and often have a longer lifespan than their female counterparts. However, when it comes to personalities, males tend to be more confident and noisier. They’re also feistier and more aggressive, which is why only one male per guinea pig enclosure is recommended. Even a sweet-natured male Texel shouldn’t share an enclosure with other males because these creatures are naturally territorial.

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3 Little-Known Facts About Texel Guinea Pigs

1. The Hair on Their Face Is Shorter

The Texel has curls that frame their face, but these curls are shorter than the curls that cover their bodies. This hair is also softer. This is because the hair grows from their head towards the rest of their body. It is an appreciated feature because you’re able to see your Texel’s stunning eyes.

2. They Come in Various Colors

Texel guinea pigs came in a variety of color variations, with the most common ones being white, black, brown, and gold. Some can have a coat of one solid color, while others may have a coat of a mix of these colors. You can have an enclosure full of Texels without any of them looking alike other than their long, curly hair.

3. They’re Shorter Than Most Other Guinea Pigs

The average size of a guinea pig is 8 to 16 inches, but the average size of a Texel is 8 to 10 inches, making this cavy breed smaller than most other types. They also tend to weigh less than the average guinea pig.

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Final Thoughts

Texel guinea pigs are sweet-natured and affectionate pets. They have a long, curly coat that is shorter and softer around their face and longer on the rest of their body. Their coat requires more maintenance than the average guinea pig and needs to be brushed daily. Texels are also smaller in size than most other cavies but enjoy the same diet of hay, pellets, and vegetables. These guinea pigs need daily exercise and can be trained to do simple tricks. They’re a relatively healthy pet but are at risk for a few health problems.

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Featured Image Credit: joanna wnuk, Shutterstock

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