Rex Guinea Pig: Facts, Lifespan, Behavior & Care Guide

Guinea pigs are adorable and fascinating animals which is why they are among the most popularly kept pets.

They are suitable for all kinds of keepers, and the best thing is that they are available in a wide range of breeds. One of the breeds of a guinea pig is the rex guinea pig.

Rex guinea pigs are a common breed of guinea pigs loved due to their unique coat and easy-care level. They have short and curly hair, making them look like a hedgehog.

Rex guinea pigs have numerous unique trails, making them special from other guinea pig breeds.

This is why we have compiled everything you need to know about them in this article. Keep reading to learn more about this wonderful guinea pig breed.

Are Rex Guinea Pig Rare?

Rex guinea pigs are a common and well-loved guinea pig breed. However, they are not as common as other guinea pigs. Furthermore, some coat breeds of rex guinea pigs like the ridgebacks can be hard to find.

Rex Guinea Pig Overview

Rex guinea pigs are a popular guinea pig breed known for their short and wavy coat, giving them a hedgehog appearance. They also have calm and gentle temperaments and love to be handled, making them suitable for families with kids.

Rex guinea pigs usually grow to around 20-40cm and weigh 700-1200 grams. You will love their big and droopy ears, which helps to give them a cute and friendly appearance.

NameRex Guinea Pig
OriginBritain in the 1970s and 80s
Size700-1200 grams, 20 and 40 cm
CoatShort and wavy
Lifespan5 – 8 years
ColorsBrown, white, or agouti
TemperamentCalm and gentle
DietSame food/dietary requirements as most other Guinea Pigs
Suitable forBeginners
Rex Guinea Pig Details

Appearance And Colors

The physical features of a rex guinea pig are similar to that of a hedgehog. However, they have coats instead of spiked on their bodies, making handling them easy. Like teddy guinea pigs, they have a short and curly coat sticking outwards.

Furthermore, they have a potato-like body shape, droopy ears, and a slightly elongated face like a Teddy guinea pig.

However, their coat is rough and coarse instead of soft fur on a teddy guinea pig. You will find rex guinea pigs in various colors like agouti, brown, black, white, gold, and red.

Rex guinea pigs are considered the biggest guinea pig breed as they grow to about 20-40 cm in size.

Rex Guinea Pig Personality

Rex guinea pigs are a gentle breed and sociable if you train them early. Due to their calm behavior, they are suitable for families with children and first-time owners.

They are more of a mellow breed, have mild curiosity, and love owners that are chilled like them.

Rex guinea pigs are intelligent creatures, and you can easily train them to learn new routines once they get acclimatized to their environments. They are also expressive and will try to communicate what they want to their owners.

Rex Vs. Teddy Guinea Pig

Both rex and teddy guinea pigs look similar as they have bristly coats. However, rex and teddy guinea pigs have distinctive coats because of different genetic mutations.

Some of the ways that you can differentiate between a rex guinea pig and a teddy guinea pig are stated below.

A Teddy guinea pig coat is slightly softer than a rex guinea pig. When you touch their coat, the teddy guinea pig coat feels soft and bouncy, while rex guinea pig is coarse and springy.

Rex guinea pig fur grows towards the back while that of a teddy guinea pig grows towards the front. If you brush a rex cavy hair forward to the head, it will spring back upright but lay flat if it is a teddy guinea pig.

You will find a fringe growing about a teddy guinea pig’s eyes, but this is not present in a rex guinea pig.

Also read: Teddy Guinea Pig: Origin, Appearance and Other Facts

How to Care Rex Guinea Pig

Like other guinea pigs, breeding and caring for a rex guinea pig is quite simple. The best thing is that rex guinea pigs are low maintenance, which is why they are suitable for kids.

Furthermore, they have a short, coarse coat which makes grooming them quite easier.

House Requirements

You can house rex guinea pigs indoors or outdoors if you live in an area with a mild climate. However, they are not suitable for cold temperatures because they have a single coat without guard hairs.

It is best to house your guinea pig in a large enclosure (around 27 by 56 inches) to help provide space for their exercise.

Another thing is that guinea pigs are social animals, and it is best to house them in pairs. This shows they will need a lot of space to stay active and entertain themselves.

Apart from space, you need to ensure that their cage is placed in a safe place free from predators, weather, and loud noises.

Furthermore, guinea pigs need plenty of fresh air, and you should avoid housing them in glass aquariums. After getting a cage for your guinea pig, the next thing is to provide accessories and bedding in the cage to make it comfortable for your guinea pig.

You will need to clean your rex guinea pig regularly to help keep your cavies happy and healthy. You should spot clean their litter box twice a day and replace their bedding when it gets soiled.

Try to remove uneaten food from their cage and clean their water dishes and bottles daily.

Also read:

Guinea Habitat Guinea Pig Cage by Midwest


Rex guinea pigs will also need a proper diet to stay healthy. Guinea pigs are strict vegetarians, and high-quality hay makes up 80% of their diet. You can then supplement hay with hay pellets, fresh vegetables, and leafy greens.

Naturally, a guinea pig cannot produce vitamin C from its body. It is recommended that you supplement their food with Vitamin C.

You can do this by providing your cavy with cavy-safe vegetables and fruits or by adding vitamin C supplements to their diet.

Also read:


Rex guinea pigs are short-haired cavy, and don’t need much hair maintenance as they are not prone to knotting and matting. You can simply brush their hair at least once a week to help bond with your pet.

Rex guinea pigs can clean themselves up, and you don’t need to give them regular baths.

The only thing you should be concerned about is their nails. Rex guinea pig nails grow faster than most guinea pigs, and you will need to cut them more often. You can trim their nail with a nail clipper meant for small animals.

Guinea pigs are not too fond of nail clipping, and you should be extra patient when trimming their nails to avoid any injury.

Also read:

Ware Manufacturing Small Animal Grooming Kit

Health Problem

Although rex guinea pigs are tough and hardy creatures, they can still experience serious health issues. Your guinea pig will have difficulty walking and get infections if you don’t clip their nails, and it becomes ingrown.

Feeding them with too much wet and sugary foods can also lead to diarrhea and then lead to dehydration.

Some of the other health conditions that can happen to guinea pigs are heatstroke, scurvy, flystrike, upper respiratory infection, etc.

How Much Does a Rex Guinea Pig Cost?

The price of a rex guinea pig usually starts from $20. It will cost you more if you plan to adopt them from a reputable breeder.

Where Can You Buy a Rex Guinea Pig?

Rex guinea pigs are a popular guinea pig breed, and you can buy them from pet stores, breeders, or from shelters. You should try to contact your local pet store ahead of time to help confirm if they are available.

You can also buy them from a reputable breeder. However, you should ensure you are on the lookout for the level of care that a pet store or breeder provides before buying from them. This will help to ensure you buy a healthy guinea pig.

You can also buy a rex guinea pig online, but this can be quite expensive.

Do Rex Guinea Pigs Get Along With Other Pets?

Rex guinea pigs are social animals and usually get along with other guinea pigs. You can also house them with other guinea pig breeds. All you need is to ensure that the two guinea pigs have similar temperaments and activity levels.

It is also best to house guinea pigs of the same sex together in a cage to help avoid breeding.


Rex guinea pigs have a great personality, are low maintenance, love to be handled, making them a perfect guinea pig choice for first-time owners and kids.

All you need is to provide a large space in their cage to exercise and roam around. You will surely not regret choosing them as pets.

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