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What Is a Silkie Guinea Pig?

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  • Written By: Carol Luther
  • Edited By: A. Joseph
  • Last Modified Date: 03 December 2016
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A silkie guinea pig is a long-haired mammal that belongs to the rodent family. Its scientific name is Cavia porcellus. It originally was called an Angora guinea pig, and it is called a Sheltie in England.

Breeders created this guinea pig in the 1970s. This breed combines the self black guinea pig, which is a solid black short-haired breed, and the Peruvian guinea pig. The Peruvian has long hair that covers its face and a natural part that separates the hair running along its back.

The silkie’s hair does not cover its eyes. It sweeps backward toward the shoulders and forms a mane around its head. Its body hair has no part. The coat is glossier than the Peruvian’s, and its hair’s texture is finer.

A silkie satin guinea pig is a breed of the silkie guinea pig family. It resembles the regular silkie, but its hair is much softer and has a higher gloss. This type of guinea pig gets its name because the hair on its body feels like satin.

The hair length is the most distinctive feature that makes these guinea pigs appealing as house pets and pet show competitors. Silkies have a variety of coat colors. When competing in animal shows, all coat colors are acceptable except tan.

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The silkie guinea pig needs daily grooming with a brush to keep its hair from tangling. People who keep them as pets also trim their guinea pigs' hair to reduce matting. Like other breeds, the silkie sheds hair, most frequently in spring and autumn.

Guinea pigs kept as house pets usually live in metal cages. This provides a safe environment that decreases the possibility of injury or getting lost. A silkie guinea pig, however, needs about an hour of supervised exercise in a space outside of its cage daily.

It can roam freely and play in any room that has no pet hazards. Ideally, the room will have a door that can be shut. It also can exercise outdoors if there is a fenced area in which it cannot crawl under the fence.

A pair of silkie guinea pigs can live in the same cage without difficulty. Same sex pairs will not surprise an owner with additions to the family. To prevent fighting, it is best to neuter males before putting two of them in the same enclosure. This breed is not as easy to find in pet stores as other breeds of guinea pigs are. People often get them from pet rescue organizations or buy them from professional breeders.

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