The Ultimate Guide to the Rex Guinea Pig

Last Updated : July 18, 2022
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Never heard of the Rex guinea pig? Well, you’re in for a treat. These cute balls of fluff make super adorable pets, with their short, coarse hair and long, droopy ears.

What is a Rex guinea pig?

Rex guinea pigs are a popular breed, slightly resembling a hedgehog in their appearance. They’re the proud owners of a short, thick, and coarse coat that can come in a variety of colors. They look very similar to Teddy guinea pigs (more on those below).

They make super popular pets, especially in households with young children. These cavies possess an innately calm and kind nature, which makes them ideal pets for little ones. Plus, they’re generally easy to care for as they have short-haired coats which are low-maintenance. They can be brushed with gentle strokes using a soft bristle brush, and they only require a full bath twice or three times per year.

Rex cavies have an average life expectancy of roughly 6 years, which means they’re quite a commitment. You must ensure you’re going to be able to care for your new pet for this length of time.

Are Rex guinea pigs friendly?

These cavies are revered for their laid-back and friendly nature. They adore being played with (make sure you’re gentle though!) and are considered to be very sociable animals. Truly, they come a close second to Teddy guinea pigs which currently hold the informal accolade of the friendliest breed of guinea pig. Another family-friendly guinea pig breed is the American guinea pig. So, you’ve got heaps of choices if you’re seeking one (or two) that’ll fit in seamlessly to your household!

What does a Rex guinea pig look like?

rex guinea pig

Rex guinea pigs are simply adorable to behold. They’re known for their short, coarse, yet curly coat which feels bouncy and elastic. They’re thought to be like a scruffy version of a Teddy guinea pig- which in our eyes, makes them all the more lovable!

They come in all kinds of colors, too. You’ll easily find rex guinea pigs in the gorgeous hues of red, cream, chocolate, white, and gold.

Their coats generally grow to no longer than 0.5″ long, with a curlier coat on their bellies. In fact, the word ‘Rex’ actually means ‘curly’, and was initially used to describe the curly-haired rex rabbit. That’s why you’ll often come across other breeds with ‘Rex; in their name, particularly with cat breeds (Devon Rex and Cornish Rex). Some people say they have a hedgehog like appearance, but they are much cuter in our opinion!

The Rex also has thick claws, which need cutting regularly. These guinea piggies are generally very low maintenance (aside from regular love and TLC, of course), however, this is the one aspect that you’ll have to keep on top of!

Rex Guinea Pig Size

Rex Guinea Pigs vary in size quite dramatically. They can be as small as 8 inches when fully developed, but can also get to a massive 18 inches long, which makes them the largest Guinea Pig breed.

With this in mind, it is important to monitor your pet’s growth and adapt their dirt accordingly. a smaller Rex guinea pig will need far less food than one of the larger of the breed!

Rex Guinea Pig Temperament

Rex guinea pigs are a very calm and docile breed, suited to owners who prefer a slower pace of life!

They are friendly and inquisitive, and make great pets.

Can Rex Guinea Pigs Live together?

Guinea pigs by nature are sociable animals, and are best kept as pairs or in groups. As with many other breeds, keeping a fertile male and female pair will lead to you becoming as multiple pawrent. Same sex pairs can live together happily, especially if they have been reared together.

Is a Rex Guinea Pig a good pet for kids?

A rex is a great choice as a pet for several reasons;

  • Short coat requires less grooming.
  • Easy going, friendly temperament.
  • they love attention from their owners. Always remember to supervise young children when playing with their pet.

What’s the difference between a Rex guinea pig and a Teddy?

If you head to the pet store to grab yourself a new furry friend, you might think that all the piggies pretty much look the same. And if the hutch is filled with Rex’s and Teddies, they will look very similar. However, there are a few crucial differences. Read on to brush up on the key differences between Rex guinea pigs and Teddies.

A great way to tell the difference between a Teddy guinea pig and a Rex cavy is their whiskers: Rex’s tend to have cute, curly whiskers, while Teddy’s and Swiss guinea pigs have straight whiskers. Plus, the Rex guinea pigs coat is wirier, while the Teddy and Swiss guinea pig breeds are softer.

rex guinea pig

What is the biggest breed of guinea pig?

Well, while the Teddy may win the prize for the friendliest of cavy breeds, the Rex storms to the finish line first when it comes to the biggest breed. Yup, Rex guinea pigs are recognized as the largest breed of guinea pig on the planet. And, well, they’re still quite tiny.

The average size of a fully-grown Rex guinea pig is roughly 18″. Yes, that may seem minuscule. But, when you compare it to the average size of other breeds of guinea pig (10″-12″), you’ll find Rex’s are 1.5 times larger than your run-of-the-mill guinea pig!

Rex Guinea Pig Diet

A Rex Guinea Pig’s diet doesn’t differ from other breeds. Guinea pigs eat lots of different typs of food, but there are certain foods that are essential for their health and wellbeing.

Grass hay should make up a large part of their diet, which also provides hours of chewing and prevents boredom.

Guinea pig pellets, consisting of a high fibre, low fat content should be a staple in their daily feed, supplemented with fresh vegetables for vitamin c to help prevent health issues such as scurvy.

Did you know…?

As unassuming as the humble guinea pig appears, there are actually heaps of super interesting facts about the species. Check out our fun facts about Rex cavies, and guinea pigs in general:

  • The Rex Guinea Pig is not officially recognized by the American Cavy Breeders Association.
  • While Teddies are the friendliest and the Rex is the biggest of guinea pig breeds, the Peruvian guinea pig proudly holds the award for having the longest hair. This South American breed boasts a long, silky coat which can grow to a lengthy 12-14″. As cute as this may seem, this high-maintenance coat actually gets too much for the Peruvian guinea pig to handle, as they can’t always adequately groom themselves.
  • No guinea pig breeds are able to produce their own vitamin C, so it has to be supplemented through their diets.
  • There is a breed of a guinea pig named the ‘skinny guinea pig’ or simply ‘skinny’. They’re almost entirely hairless, with only small tufts of hair on their muzzles, feet, and legs. But their ears, bellies, and the rest of their bodies are essentially bald! Despite their odd (but still cute) appearance, this breed is typically healthy and can enjoy a long-life span.

Final thoughts

Rex Guinea Pigs are social and gentle, enjoy being petted and have great personalities. It is funny and friendly which makes them great family pet children. Their active nature means they need space to move around and play. Rex guineas are relatively low maintenance making them suitable for a first-time owner.

So, maybe you’re looking to get yourself a Rex guinea pig to add a sprinkle of fluff and joy to your household. Or, you’re just curious about different guinea pig breeds, we hope our guide has helped you along the way!

Of all the cavy breeds out there, we believe Rex’s are one of the best.

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