Texel Guinea Pig (2021 In-depth Care Guide)

With their curly long coat, Texel guinea pigs are definitely one of the cutest and most unique guinea pig breeds you can own.

But those luscious curls require a fair bit of maintenance, as do their other care needs like feeding and environment.

Texel guinea pigs are definitely one of the most striking breeds of guinea pig with their long and luscious hair.

Their fur is very soft and glossy but is prone to getting matted and tangled.

As a result, they require a lot of grooming to keep their long coats shiny and knot-free. 

As someone who has owned a lot of guinea pigs over the years, including the lovely Texel, I’ll be going over my tips and tricks for keeping this breed happy and healthy.

Origins

The Texel guinea pig is a result of breeding the Silkie guinea pig with the British Rex guinea pig.

They were first recognized as a breed in the 1990s.

Coat Colors

The Texel guinea pig comes in a huge assortment of colors – it all depends on genetics!

Some of the most common coat colors include gold, black, and white.

They can be solid colors, tricolors, brindle, and roans.

Texel Guinea Pig
Texel Guinea Pig

Body Shape

Like other breeds of guinea pig, Texel guinea pigs have a broad body and neck with a round face.

Some Texel guinea pigs have a slightly shorter body than other breeds.

Body Size

Texel guinea pigs normally reach around 8 to 10 inches in length when fully grown, with males usually being a little longer than females.

This long haired breed typically weighs from 1.5 lbs to 2.5 lbs as an adult. Males are sometimes heavier than females, but this isn’t always the case.

Are Texel Guinea Pigs Friendly?

Texels are pretty laid back and gentle as a rule, but as I mentioned earlier, your guinea pig’s individual nature will influence their friendliness. 

A lot of guinea pig breeds are a bit shy and timid when first brought home, so don’t automatically assume your pet is antisocial or grumpy. With time and patience, your Texel guinea pig should come out of their shell more and open up to you.

My Cavies

I’ve owned guinea pigs who liked being handled and showered with affection, and guinea pigs who were a bit more reserved and quiet.

My piggies, Jake and Finn, were extremely nervous around humans when I first got them. They wouldn’t even come out of their hideaway when I was in the same room.

It’s been a few years since then, and now they’re the most loving and curious guinea pigs I’ve ever owned!

Are Boy or Girl Texel Guinea Pigs Nicer?

Guinea Pig Being Held
Guinea Pig Being Held

Male Texel guinea pigs tend to be a little more confident and friendlier than females, but that’s not always true.

Again, your cavy’s personality comes into play.

I’ve had female guinea pigs that have been right little snuggle bugs, and males who have been very skittish and timid.

Do Texel Guinea Pigs Bite?

Texel guinea pigs can bite if they’re stressed, scared, or unhappy

As guinea pigs are prey animals, biting is their only way to defend themselves. 

Texel guinea pig bites can be painful and break the skin, but they don’t normally nip without warning.

In fact, all guinea pig breeds often let you know through warning nips (ones that don’t hurt or cause bleeding) to let you know they’re stressed.

What To Do If my Guinea Pig Bites?

Guinea Pig Side View
Guinea Pig Side View

If your guinea pig nips you gently, they might have mistook you for food, so always wash your hands thoroughly before handling your guinea pig.

Your pet may bite if you accidentally touch a painful area or because they need the bathroom.

Discomfort

The latter is usually accompanied with fidgetiness or wriggliness. Alternatively, your Texel guinea pig might not want to be held or stroked altogether. 

When my guinea pigs aren’t in the mood for affection, they’ll let me know with a soft nip. 

Similar Breeds

Texel guinea pigs are similar to other long haired breeds like the Silkie guinea pig and Pervuian guinea pigs as they all have luscious, flowing locks of hair. 

The only difference between Texels and other long haired guinea pig breeds is coat texture. Texel guinea pigs have a curly coat, whereas other breeds with long hair have a smooth coat.

Lifespan – How Long Do Texel Guinea Pigs Live?

Texels can live between 4 to 8 years, but their life expectancy is largely determined by genetics, environment, and diet.

Make sure you give your Texel guinea pig the best care possible by providing them with a big cage, varied diet, and plenty of exercise. 

If you’d like to own a Texel guinea pig, you might be wondering where you can find one.

While the most common guinea pig breed available at pet stores is the American guinea pig, some places might stock the Texel cavy.

You can always call up your local pet store ahead of time to see if they have any Texels.

TIP

If the local pet store don’t have texels, check online to see if there are any small animal rescue centers or Texel guinea pig breeders close to you that you can get this longhaired breed from.

Do Texel Guinea Pigs Make Good Pets?

The Texel guinea pig breed is a fantastic pet, but you need to make sure you have the time to look after them properly.

Care for a Texel guinea pig includes feeding, exercise, interaction, grooming, and cleaning their cage.

All of these things can add up, so make sure your schedule can accommodate the maintenance needs of this guinea pig breed.

Is It the Best Breed for You?

Baby Texels
Baby Texels

As I mentioned above, Texel guinea pigs definitely aren’t low maintenance pets. 

Their curly long coat requires daily upkeep to prevent knots and tangles.

If you don’t think you’ll be able to maintain the coat of a Texel guinea pig, then I recommend choosing a short haired breed like the American guinea pig.

Short haired cavies are much easier and less time consuming to groom than ones with long hair as they only require a quick brush around once a week.

Do Texel Guinea Pigs Make Good Pets for Children?

Texel breeds of guinea pig can make great pets for children as they’re usually friendly, gentle little pets.

Do Texel Guinea Pigs Become Attached to Humans?

Texels can grow very fond of their owners, particularly if they are tamed from a young age. Other breeds of guinea pig can become attached to humans too!

Although my two guinea pigs were a little timid of me when I first got them, within a month they started becoming very attached to me.

It was an incredibly rewarding experience as it meant all the work and time I put into taming them paid off.

Do Texel Guinea Pigs Smell?

Texel Front View
Texel Front ViewTexel Front ViewTexel Front View

Texel guinea pigs aren’t usually smelly pets, but an unclean cage or illness can make them smell a bit.

Additionally, if your Texel guinea pig isn’t grooming themselves properly, then their curly coat might be a little odorous.

Possible Cause of Odor

If your Texel breed has health problems like diarrhea or a skin infection, they might emit a foul smell.

Dirty grease glands can also cause your Texel guinea pig to be stinkier than normal.

Texel guinea pigs with dirty grease glands will have what looks like dark earwax around their rump.

Male Cavies

Male cavies tend to have problems with their grease glands more than females.

You can remove grease gland grime by giving your Texel’s lower body a quick bath with some shampoo targeted for small pets or guinea pigs.

You might have to trim the hair around their lower body to get a better look at the grime. 

TIP

Particularly tough grease gland grime might benefit from a little coconut oil or olive oil to help remove it.

Where Should They Live?

Texel breed of guinea pig can be kept inside or outside provided the temperature is to their liking (more on that below).

If keeping your pet outside, try and make sure you put their cage in a quiet area as cavies don’t like loud noises.

You might want to consider installing fencing around your guinea pig’s cage to help keep them safe from predators like cats and foxes.

TIP

Even if you keep your cavy’s cage indoors, consider using a cover or lid to prevent accidental escapades or other pets getting to your piggy.

Size

The minimum cage size for one Texel guinea pig should provide 7.5 square feet of space, but a pair will need at least 7.5 square to 10.5 square feet of space.

And, as you’ve probably already guessed, a group of Texel breeds of guinea pigs will require an even larger amount of space.

Try to purchase the largest cage you can afford for your pig guinea to ensure they have plenty of room to roam around in. 

NOTE

Texels will become stressed if kept in a tiny cage, which can increase their chances of getting sick. They may also fight with other cagemates.

Ideal Temperature

Texel guinea pigs and other breeds are most comfortable when kept in temperatures around 65 and 79 degrees Fahrenheit.

If your pet is kept outside, it’s especially important to keep an eye on the temperature.

Even with their long curly coat, Texel breeds can catch a chill if their environment is too cold.

On the flipside, if their habitat is too hot, it can lead to health problems like heat stroke.

NOTE

You might want to consider moving your Texel guinea pig inside if it becomes a little cool, particularly during the colder months.

Types of Cages for a Guinea Pig

Commercial/Store Bought Cage

Store bought cages can be a decent option for a Texel guinea pig, but check the dimensions and size before purchasing one so you can ensure it provides your pet with enough room. 

A lot of commercial cages/hutches are too small for guinea pigs, especially ones listed as “starter homes”.

Coroplast and Cube Grid Cage

How to Make a Good C&C Cage

Coroplast and cube grid cages are commonly used by many guinea pigs owners due to their affordability.

They’re much cheaper to make than purchasing commercial hutches, and allow you to provide your pet with as much space as you want – you’ll be in full control of the size of your cavy’s cage!

C&C cages are fairly simple to make – all you need is some corrugated plastic, cube grids, standard connectors, and cable ties. All of these items can usually be found online, but if you can’t find Coroplast, a shower curtain will work just as well.

Personal Experience with C&C Cage

Both of my piggies are kept in a C&C cage, and they’re very happy with their home!

I used to house them in a store bought hutch, but they’ve been much more comfortable since I switched to a C&C habitat.

If you don’t fancy making a C&C cage, then there are other materials like guinea pig safe woods and wire mesh you can use to make your own Texel guinea pig breed enclosure.

I know some owners who use an entire spare bedroom as their guinea pig’s home!

Best Bedding for a Guinea Pig

While the size of your Texel guinea pig’s enclosure is important, the type of bedding you use is equally as vital.

Bedding helps control odors from waste and absorbs urine or spilled water. 

It also gives your Texels a warm and comfortable area to rest in.

Good substrate options for guinea pigs include fleece blankets, aspen wood shavings, and paper-based beddings. 

Bedding I Use For My Piggies

Fleece Blanket
Fleece

I personally use fleece blankets in my guinea pigs’ cage.

Fleece is cozy and insulating, while also being relatively inexpensive to buy and maintain.

Once the fleece is a bit smelly and dirty, you don’t have to throw it away like with other beddings – you can clean it in a washing machine so it can be used again!

Unsuitable Beddings for Guinea Pigs

Some beddings are poor choices for Texel guinea pigs, whether it’s due to their bad odor control, lack of absorbency, or even hazardousness. 

Unsuitable substrates that should never be used in your guinea pig’s cage are cedar/pine wood shavings, kitty litter, straw, and corn cob bedding.

Why Avoid These Beddings

Cedar/pine wood shavings contain phenols (aromatic oils) that can trigger respiratory infections and skin allergies in guinea pigs.

Kitty litter normally has chemicals in it that could be deadly to your pet.

Corn cob bedding can cause internal blockages if ingested, and has a tendency to grow moldy when soiled.

Straw, while initially might seem like a safe bedding option, isn’t a great choice as its pointy sharp stalks can irritate your pet’s eyes, mouth, and nose.

Curly Hair Care

Due to their long curly coats, Texel guinea pigs require regular grooming to keep their hair glossy and tangle free.

This breed will need to be brushed every day to prevent their curly long coat getting matted.

What Brush To Use

Brushing a Guinea Pig
Brushing a Guinea Pig

The best brush to use for a Texel guinea pig is a bristle brush as it will easily go through their long curly coat, allowing you to remove any minor tangles and excess hair.

A guinea pig comb can also be used to brush out more persistent knots. 

Lastly, a soft brush is great for brushing around your Texel’s face and for giving their coat a final go over after you’ve combed out any matts. 

Hair Maintenance

Compared to a guinea pig breed with short hair like the American guinea pigs, maintaining the long hair of a Texel guinea pig does take a bit of work.

Before you own a Texel guinea pig, make sure you’ll have the time to put aside to care for their hair. 

Hair Cuts

As the Texel guinea pig’s long curly coat is prone to getting matted, some owners of this breed cut it regularly to make it more manageable to groom.

Even if you want to keep your pet’s coat long, it’s still best to trim the hair around their rump so it doesn’t become soiled with urine or feces. 

Additionally, if your pet has any knots or matts you can’t brush out, you can snip them out instead.

What Scissors To Use

Use a pair of round-edged scissors when cutting your Texel guinea pig’s long hair, and make sure you don’t cut too close to their skin.

Don’t move too quickly as you might accidentally hurt your pet if they wriggle. 

If you’re worried about cutting your guinea pig’s coat yourself, you could ask a friend or family member to assist you.

TIP

A groomer that has experience with small animals might also be worth looking at.

How to Brush the Coats of Texel Guinea Pigs.

Here’s a quick video of a texel getting brushed.

Grooming Your Texel Cavy

As I mentioned earlier, the coats of Texel guinea pigs have a tendency to become matted, particularly if you don’t care for their hair on a daily basis.

That’s why it’s important to stay on top of these pets’ grooming – it will make it easier and less time consuming for you in the long run!

When it’s time to care for your guinea pig’s long curly hair, position them in your lap or on the floor.

TIP

You can try to get their attention by offering them some romaine lettuce or another tasty veggie.

Brushing Your Guinea Pig

Next, grab a bristle brush and slowly work your way through your pet’s curly long coat.

Only brush your guinea pig’s hair in the direction it lays… 

Be very gentle when untangling any knots or matts, and try not to pull your guinea pig’s long hair.

NOTE

Don’t forget to brush around your guinea pig’s legs and rump – the latter is usually the worst when it comes to tangles! You can use a guinea pig comb or a pair of round-edged scissors to remove any persistent knots.

Hair Smoothening

Once your guinea pig has no more tangles in its curly long coat, you can use a soft brush to smooth out their coat. 

Some Texel guinea pigs enjoy having their coat brushed, while others find the whole ordeal very stressful.

My piggies love having their coats groomed and pampered, but they used to hate it!

With time, your Texel guinea pig should become less anxious and fidgety during coat grooming and routine hair care.

Bathing a Texel Guinea Pig Breed

Most guinea pigs don’t need their coats bathed very regularly as they’re naturally very clean animals.

Both of my guinea pigs spend many hours a day grooming and preening their coats.

But from time to time, your guinea may need a bath if they become a bit dirty or smelly.

NOTE

Elderly, sick, and guinea pig breeds with long hair such as the Texel may require baths more frequently to help care for their coat.

How to Bathe a Texel Guinea Pig Coat

Bathing a Guinea Pig
Bathing a Guinea Pig

If your Texel guinea pig is a little pungent or dirty, you’ll probably want to give their curly hair a thorough wash.

Preparation

Before you go ahead and bathe your Texel guinea pig, grab the following: guinea pig or small animal shampoo (you can find this at most stores for pets), soft towels, hairdryer, and basin.

Procedure

Once you’ve got everything you need to bathe your guinea pig, fill a basin (a sink can also work) with around a ¼ inch of lukewarm water.

Slowly lower your guinea pig’s lower body into the water.

  1. Use your hands or a jug to gently pour water over your pet’s coat.
  2. Once their coat is wet, lift your Texel guinea pig out of the water and put them on your lap or the floor. Use a towel so you or your floors don’t become soaked!
  3. Squeeze out a small amount of guinea pig shampoo onto your hand and use your fingers to massage it in your cavy’s curly long coat. (Try to avoid their eyes and nose)
  4. Rinse off your guinea pig’s long hair with warm water until you can no longer see suds on their coat. 
  5. Take your guinea pig out of the water and wrap them up in a soft towel, but make sure you don’t wrap them too tightly or cover their head.
  6. Pat your Texel guinea pig’s curly hair dry with the towel, and then use a hairdryer on the lowest setting to help them dry off quicker.
  7. Once your Texel guinea pig’s curly hair is completely dry, you can put them back into their cage

TIP

Move the hairdryer around and don’t position it too close to your cavy’s skin as you don’t want to burn them!

Guinea Pig Ear Cleaning Care

In addition to regularly coat grooming and care, your Texel guinea pig needs to have their ears cleaned to keep them healthy.

I usually clean my piggies’ ears every couple of weeks, but I check their ears daily for signs of mites or other problems.

If you don’t clean these pets’ ears, they can become clogged with earwax or debris, which can lead to infections and many other issues.

How To Clean Your Pet’s Ears

Dampen the cotton swab tip with ear cleaner and gently rub it over the outer surface of your cavy’s ears.

Never stick the tip or anything else inside your Texel guinea pig’s ears as this can cause severe damage.

If you think your guinea pig has blocked ears or another issue, take them to see a vet as soon as possible.

Guinea Pig Nail Trimming

Trimming Guinea Pig Nails
Trimming Guinea Pig Nails

The nails on your guinea pig can grow pretty long, which is why you need to trim every month to keep them short and healthy.

A guinea pig with overly long nails won’t be able to walk or move very well, so nail care is important.

If your Texel guinea pig’s nails are starting to curl, then that’s a sign that they could do with a trim.

TIP

You can use cat or small animal nail clippers to cut your guinea pig’s nails – human nail clippers can also work.

Guinea Pig Nail Trimming Tips

Cutting the nails on your guinea pig can be a little difficult as most cavies don’t enjoy the activity.

They might be a little wriggly or fidgety, especially the first few times. 

But try to be patient – take things slow and only clip a small section of nail at a time so you don’t accidentally hurt your Texel guinea pig.

You’ll need to avoid the quick in the nail you want to trim.

Cutting into the quick will cause the nail to bleed and will hurt your guinea pig.

Nail Quick

In a guinea pig with light colored nails, the quick will look like a pink or red root. The quick can be a bit harder to locate in a guinea pig with dark colored nails. However, the nail tip will look thin and hollow if you look at it from the bottom.

If you can’t find the quick, it’s usually safe to cut off a ¼ inch of nail from the tip.

RECOMMENDATION

If you’re worried about cutting your guinea pig’s nails, contact a groomer, vet, or other guinea pig professional to get advice.

Hay

Hay is a vital part of your Texel guinea pig’s nutrition and should make up the bulk of their diet.

Texels need an unlimited portion of grass hay every day to keep their digestive system functioning normally. 

Hay also helps wear down your guinea pig’s teeth. If you didn’t already know, guinea pigs and other rodents have continuously growing teeth.

That’s why they need chew toys to help keep them trim, otherwise their gnashers would get too long!

RECOMMENDATION

Grass hay like Timothy hay is best for guinea pigs due to its low fat, calorie, protein, and calcium content. It’s also high in fiber, which is key to good digestive health!

Vegetables

Assorted Vegetables
Assorted Vegetables

Another critical component of your guinea pig’s diet is vegetables.

Cavies can’t make their own vitamin C, so they need to get it from foods such as vegetables, fruits, and guinea pig pellets (more on this below!).

Vegetables need to be offered to your Texel guinea pig on a daily basis, around 1 cup per adult guinea pig. Leafy greens such as parsley, romaine lettuce, kale, and cilantro are particularly great choices. 

Carrots, sweet potato, parsnips, and other root vegetables shouldn’t be given to your Texel guinea pig too often as they can cause digestive issues like diarrhea in excessive amounts.

TIP

Take out any uneaten vegetables within 24 hours as you don’t want your guinea pig to get sick from eating gone off food.

Fruits

Many guinea pigs enjoy eating fruits, but these sweet treats should be seen as just that: treats.

Fruits contain a lot of sugar, so they shouldn’t be given to your Texel guinea pig very frequently (a couple of bite-sized pieces a few times a week at most!).

Snacks

That said, fruits are a good healthy snack you can give your pet from time to time.

They’re much better for your Texel guinea pig breed than commercial treats – these are often fatty and calorific! 

Better yet, select fruits high in vitamin C such as tomato, kiwi, and papaya. Other good options include apples (make sure you remove the seeds!), strawberries, blueberries, and cucumber. 

Cucumber is especially beneficial on a hot day due to its high water content, which helps keep your piggies hydrated.

Pellets

Food Pellets
Food Pellets

In addition to hay and vegetables, a Texel guinea pig requires a small portion of guinea pig pellets or nuggets each day.

The best pellets for the Texel guinea pig should contain vitamin C and be low in fat to keep them fit and healthy. 

Adult Texel guinea pigs need around ⅛ cup of pellets every day.

Young piggies under 6 months of age and pregnant/nursing sows should be given an unlimited supply of pellets.

Don’t feed your Texel guinea pig muesli or other foods that contain seeds – they’re high in fat and can be a choking hazard.

When Should I Feed My Texel Guinea Pig?

You should feed your Texel guinea pig once in the morning and then again in the evening. 

How Often?

Guinea Pigs and a Fruit Slice
Guinea Pigs and a Fruit Slice

Feed your Texel guinea pig twice a day, and make sure you stick to a consistent feeding schedule to ensure your cavies don’t get overweight or underweight.

Overfeeding

If you give your guinea pig too much food in a day, then they will gorge themselves. My two always beg for food, even after they’ve just been fed.

Giving your Texel guinea pig too much food can cause obesity, which can then lead to other health problems like diabetes.

What I Shouldn’t Feed My Texel Guinea Pigs

There are many foods that are unsuitable for guinea pigs, some of which you might previously thought were safe! Here are some foods that should be avoided in your Texel guinea pig’s diet.

  • Dairy products (such as yogurt, eggs, milk, and cheese) – Guinea pigs don’t have the enzymes in their GI tract to digest dairy products.
  • Meat and insects – Cavies are herbivores, so no meat is needed in their diet. Giving them insects or meat can make them very sick.
  • Bulb foods – White potatoes, garlic, onions, and other bulb foods are poisonous to any guinea pig breed.
  • Avocado – This fruit is very fatty, so it can slow down your pet’s digestive tract. The pits and skin are also poisonous. 
  • Leeks, chives, shallots, and onions – All of these are toxic to guinea pigs and can lead to blood disorders. Anything from the onion family is unsafe for cavies.
  • Rhubarb – Any part of this vegetable is poisonous to guinea pigs, including the leaves. 
  • Cauliflower and cabbage – Alongside other vegetables known for being gassy, cauliflower and cabbage can cause bloat in guinea pigs.

Can a Texel Guinea Pig Live Alone?

The Texel guinea pig breed can live alone, but cavies are social animals – they much prefer to be with other piggies.

If you want to own a Texel guinea pig, consider getting them a friend so they don’t become lonely or bored.

A solitary Texel guinea pig will need a lot of attention, care, and interaction each day to keep them happy. 

Compatible Breeds

Texel guinea pigs can be kept with other breeds of guinea pig, so you don’t need to house them with other Texels. 

Gestation Period and Pregnancy

Guinea Pig Mom and Baby
Guinea Pig Mom and Baby

Female guinea pigs (sows) have a gestation period of anywhere between 59 and 72 days, though 69 days is normally the most common. 

Sows can have litter sizes ranging from 1 to 8, but 3 is the average.

Do Guinea Pigs Eat Their Babies?

Texel guinea pigs don’t usually kill or eat their baby Texel pups, but it isn’t unheard of. Malnourishment can cause sows to eat their baby Texel pups, which is why they need a well-balanced diet throughout their entire pregnancy.

Females can also kill their Texel pups if they have had too many litters within a short period of time.

Males may also kill their baby Texel pups if they think they’re not the father.

Texel Guinea Pig Health

Signs of a Healthy Texel Guinea Pig

Guinea Pig Face Closeup
Guinea Pig Face Closeup

A healthy Texel guinea pig will have a glossy and long curly coat – there should be no matts or bald patches.

Your guinea pig should be active and agile, and easily moving around their cage.

A well-fed guinea pig will look healthy – you shouldn’t be able to feel their ribs or spine.

They also shouldn’t be obese or have any lumps, bumps, or sores.

Lastly, a guinea pig in good health will not have any breathing issues or dental problems.

NOTE

If you suspect your guinea pig is sick, then don’t hesitate to make a vet appointment to get them checked over. 

Final Thoughts

Texel guinea pigs are such an unique and striking breed of guinea pig, so I fully recommend getting a pair if you’re thinking of owning a guinea pig.

Like with any pet, make sure your schedule aligns with the care needs of a Texel guinea pig.

They require a bit more upkeep and care than other guinea pig breeds due to their long curly coat, which requires brushing every day. 

I hope I helped you learn more about the Texel guinea pig, but let me know if there’s anything I’ve missed that you’re still unsure of! And, if you have any photos of your guinea pigs, I’d love to see them on our social media platforms.

If you’re after more helpful tips and tricks on caring for guinea pigs, then take a look at some of our other in depth care guides.

Share

Share on twitter
Share on facebook
Share on email
Share on print

Share

Share on twitter
Share on facebook
Share on linkedin
Share on email
Share on print
Michelle Dees
Michelle Dees
Founder of GuineaPigOwner. I love to keep and learn about my guinea pigs and have spent the last 10 years learning and teaching everything there is to know about guinea pig care. 🐹