With their long and curly 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.
They were first recognized as a breed by the American Cavy Breeders Association (ACBA) in 1988.
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.
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.
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, sweet natured, 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.
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?
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?
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?
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.
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.
Texel guinea pig appearance is 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 the cavy 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 your local pet store ahead of time to see if they have any Texels and ask how much Texel guinea pigs cost.
If the local pet store doesn’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.
Texel guinea pig care 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?
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 cavy 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 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 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.
Particularly tough grease gland grime might benefit from a little coconut oil or olive oil to help remove it.
Where Should They Live?
Texel pig breeds 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. In case you have an outdoor cage setup, this outdoor guinea pig hutch review can help you if you’re looking for options.
You might want to consider installing fencing around your guinea pig’s cage to help keep them safe from predators like cats and foxes.
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.
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.
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.
Texel guinea pigs and other cavy 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.
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
Coroplast and cube grid cages are commonly used by many experienced guinea pig 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.
If you’re looking for the best guinea pig bedding, click here.
Bedding I Use For My Piggies
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
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 the coat a final go over after you’ve combed out any matts.
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.
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 Texel’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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 cavies 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.
Elderly, sick, and long haired guinea pigs such as the Texel may require baths more frequently to help care for their coat.
How to Bathe a Texel Guinea Pig Coat
If your Texel guinea pig is a little pungent or dirty, you’ll probably want to give their curly hair a thorough wash.
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.
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.
- Use your hands or a jug to gently pour water over your pet’s coat.
- 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!
- 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)
- Rinse off your guinea pig’s long hair with warm water until you can no longer see suds on their coat.
- 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.
- 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.
- Once your Texel guinea pig’s curly hair is completely dry, you can put them back into their cage
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
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.
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.
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.
If you’re worried about cutting your guinea pig’s nails, contact a groomer, vet, or other guinea pig professional to get advice.
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!
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!
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.
Take out any uneaten vegetables within 24 hours as you don’t want your guinea pig to get sick from eating gone off food.
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!).
That said, fruits are a good healthy snack you can give your pet from time to time.
They’re much better for your Texel cavy 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.
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 cavies 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.
If you need help picking the perfect food for your cavy, you can check out this best food for guinea pigs review.
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.
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.
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 cavy 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.
Texel cavies can be kept with other breeds of guinea pig, so you don’t need to house them with other Texels.
Gestation Period and Pregnancy
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.
I have a general guide on guinea pig pregnancy that you can check out if you need info on caring for pregnant guinea pigs.
Do Guinea Pigs Eat Their Babies?
Texel guinea pigs don’t usually kill or eat their baby Texel guinea pig pups, but it isn’t unheard of. Malnourishment can cause sows to eat their baby Texel guinea pig 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
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.
If you suspect your guinea pig is sick, then don’t hesitate to make a vet appointment to get them checked over.
Texel cavies are such a 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 Texel guinea pig care needs.
They require a bit more upkeep and care than other guinea pig breeds due to their long and 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 and product review guides, such as this cavy carrier review.