English Crested Guinea Pig: Origin, Appearance and Other Facts

Guinea pigs are cool and adorable creatures suitable for all kinds of pet owners. As a new guinea pig owner, you will be surprised by the number of guinea pig breeds that are out there.

They usually range from long-haired to shorter-haired breeds and have a different personality.

English crested guinea pigs are a suitable guinea pig breed for you if you are seeking short-haired and easy-to-maintain guinea pigs. English crested guinea pigs are easily recognized by their crown-like crest found on the top of their head.

In this article, we will help to highlight everything you need to know about English crested guinea pigs, from where they originate to the different crested guinea pig breeds available out there.

English Crested Guinea Pig: Origin, Appearance and Other Facts

Like other guinea pig breeds, crested guinea pigs originated from the Andes mountains in South America. They are found in large herds on grassy plains and the edge of forests in the region.

They were domesticated as a food source by the native tribes as early as 5000 BC.

After guinea pigs were kept as pets, the breeding of the domesticated guinea pigs created the Crested guinea pig. The American Rabbit Breeders Association first recognized crested guinea pigs as a distinct breed in 1974.

The main characteristic of a crested guinea pig is the crest known as a crown. The crests are commonly found on the head between the eyes and ears and are usually perfectly round.

Nowadays, the English crested guinea pigs are common guinea pigs available almost everywhere.

Why Do English Crested Guinea Pigs Have a Crest?

A distinct feature of an English crested guinea pig is the single rosette on their head like they are wearing a crown.

According to a fun post of crested guinea pig owners on Reddit, a fun thing that they do with guinea pig crests is to hold grapes. Another reason many Reddit users give is that crests on guinea pigs can be used to balance diverse snacks.

Different Types of Crested Guinea Pigs

There are three types of crested guinea pigs, namely;

The three crested guinea pig types are known to have a crown on their head. However, there are some key differences that can be used to differentiate them.

English crested guinea pigs have a crest of the same color as other parts of their body. American crested guinea pigs are known to have a white crest, but there are other markings on their body.

Meanwhile, white-crested guinea pigs have a white crest but no white marking on their bodies.

Size and Appearance

The English crested guinea pig is also called a “self” crested guinea pig. This is because they have a crest color that looks the same as the rest of the coat. English guinea pigs usually have a base color such as self-orange, brown, tortoiseshell, or agouti.

Due to the fewer restrictions on the color of English crested guinea pigs, it is very easy to breed them, unlike American crested guinea pigs.

English cresties are quite small when compared to other breeds. They usually grow to around 8-10 inches long and can weigh around 1.5-2.6lbs.

English Crested Guinea Pigs Lifespan

English crested guinea pigs have the same lifespan as other guinea pig breeds. Your English crested guinea pig can live for around 4-8 years in captivity.

However, the lifespan of your guinea pig will depend on the type of care and diet that you give them.

Also read: How Long Do Guinea Pigs Live?

Typical Behavior And Temperament

Crested guinea pigs are known to be calm and docile and are quite shy. They are quite shy, especially if you just bring them to a new home. However, crested guinea pigs can come out of their shell and become affectionate if you treat them very well.

Another thing is that crested guinea pigs are very intelligent guinea pig breeds. They can learn sounds, and this means they can differentiate between voices, form strong bonds with the family, and solve mazes.

English Crested Guinea Pigs Care

Your English crested guinea pig will enjoy a healthy and happy life if you know ways of caring for your guinea pig. The best thing is that caring for English crested guinea pigs is similar to other guinea pig breeds.

It is quite easy to care for them, and you don’t even have to groom them every month.

Habitat, Tank Conditions & Setup

You will need to provide a cage for your crested guinea pig and ensure it is in an optimal condition suitable for them to thrive.

English crested cavies need a large tank to help provide space to move around and exercise. You can opt for a tank with 10.5 square feet of space per your guinea pig. 

You should keep in mind that English cavies are shy and can get stressed if other pets can easily access their cage, and it is better to place their cage in a quiet place.

You can make your English crested cavy stressed if you house them close to busy places or loud noises. You can house them outdoors during the summer because they have short fur that will not drag the ground.

Guinea Habitat Guinea Pig Cage by Midwest

Bedding and Accessories

You will also need to provide a bedding to help make the cage comfortable for them and soak up urines and water spills. It is best to opt for soft and absorbent bedding that you can easily clean regularly for your English crested guinea pigs.

Guinea pigs will also need several accessories like food dishes, water dishes, hideaways, chewy treats, and interactive toys to stay active and engaged in their cage.

Check out:

Temperature And Lighting

Guinea pigs love staying in a warmer temperature around 65-80 degrees. You can place a blanket over their cage during the cold period or use a heater to keep their cage warm.

You should also house your guinea pig in areas where they can enjoy light during the day and dark at night.


Hay is the staple diet of a guinea pig as it aids digestion and helps grind down their teeth.

You can also feed your guinea pigs with fresh vegetables and pellets. Another thing that you can feed your guinea pigs is fruits and treats, but this should be used occasionally.

Guinea pigs will also need access to fresh water to help prevent dehydration in your cavy.

Kaytee Forti-Diet Pro Health Guinea Pig Food

Health Problems

English crested guinea pigs are a healthy breed but can also get sick. Some of the common health conditions that can happen to your guinea pigs are scurvy, diarrhea, skin issues, ear infections, pneumonia, urinary tract infections, and bumblefoot.

Their fur will not get dirty, and they have a lower risk of bacteria or parasites settling on their body.

As stated before, crested guinea pigs require daily exercise and you will need to provide lots of space where they can run and play in their enclosure. They are also intelligent and you can tame and train them to do some simple tricks.

How Much Do English Crested Guinea Pigs Cost?

English crested guinea pigs are a rare guinea pig breed and will cost you about $10-$20.

However, their price will depend on your location. You can get them at a lower price if several breeders are close to you.

You can also get them from your local pet listings if you are lucky.

Do English Crested Guinea Pigs Get Along With Other Piggies?

Like other guinea pig breeds, English cresties are social creatures and enjoy being in groups. It is recommended that you buy them in pairs whenever you buy them.

However, if you cannot buy in pairs, then you will need to spend time with them regularly to stay happy and healthy.

Furthermore, you should buy them in a same-sex pair unless you plan to breed your guinea pig.

In Conclusion

Now, you can see the English crested guinea pigs have a fascinating personality and are suitable for all types of pet owners.

We hope this article provides enough information about their personality, origins, and ways of caring for them. You can write to us in the comment section below if you have any questions or comments about guinea pigs.

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