Abyssinian Guinea Pig – Breed Spotlight

Abyssinian guinea pig

Alternative Breed Names: N/A
Origin: South America
Size: 8 – 12 inches
Lifespan: 5 – 8 years

Abyssinian Guinea Pig Appearance

Abyssinian guinea pigs have a very striking appearance. They have a long body, broad head and a short face. Their ears are droop toward the ground and are petal shaped. Some Abyssinian guinea pigs even have a small mustache of hair around their nose!

There are no flat or smooth spots to be found anywhere on the coat of an Abyssinian Guinea Pig, they are widely loved for their unique, rough and “rosette” patterned fur.

abyssinian guinea pig

A Black and White Abyssinian Guinea Pig

These Guinea Pigs have 8-10 rosettes, which appear in pairs, along the length of their body and also on their shoulders, back, hips and bottom. Their coat grows in a circular fashion around their body, and can grow up to 4cm long.

Abyssinian Guinea Pigs are available in single colour varieties, and also a few colour mixes, with the most popular colours including: brindle, roans, tortoiseshell, solid red, black or white. There is also a breed variant called the “Abyssinian Satin” Guinea pig, which have the same appearance of an Abyssinian, however their coats feature  a “satin” look shiny coat.

Abyssinian Guinea Pigs As Pets

Abyssinians make great pets for families with children, or for any first-time guinea pig owner.

By nature, Abyssinian Guinea Pigs’ are outgoing, affectionate and LOVE attention from their owners! With some care and training, they have the potential to become a very friendly and loving pet.

These Guinea Pigs enjoy spending time with humans so much that many of them are happy to rest in the laps of their owners/s, often giving them a reputation of being called “lap pigs”.

Abyssinian Guinea Pig Health

This breed of guinea pig is highly suceptible to eye problems such as cataracts and microphthalmos. For this reason, it is important to pay careful attention to your pet Abyssinian and look out for warning signs, such as changes to the appearance of their eyes.
Microphthalmos can often lead to blindness, so it is important to get your Pet checked out by a reputable vet if you suspect any eye problems or notice changes.

An Abyssinian Guinea pig has a higher risk of developing diabetes than many other breeds- for this reason it is vital that you ensure you feed your Guinea Pig the correct mix of healthy food, and limit the amount of “sometimes” foods and treats you give them.

This breed is also succeptible to Ovarian cysts.

Breeding Abyssinian Guinea Pigs

When breeding the Abyssinian Guinea Pig, it is important that you do not breed two roans. Abyssinians with Roan coats have a gene that is linked to genetic deformities.

Somerzby provide a great range of Guinea Pig Breeding Banks.

Housing your Guinea Pig

It is important to provide your Abyssinian Guine pig with a safe and secure home. Regardless of whether you decide your pet is going to live outside, or inside, you need to carefully consider where you will place their hutch/cage.

Their home should be positioned so that they are sheltered from extreme weather conditions and have access to sun, shade and fresh air flow all day long. For inside guinea pigs for example, do not place their home next to a closed window- as on a very hot, sunny day they would not be able to escape the heat.
For outside guinea pigs, ensure their cage is placed in an area that receives both sun and shade throughout the day and is not exposed to high winds.

Transporting your Guinea Pig

Before you bring home your Guinea pig, you may wish to spend some time considering how you will transport them – not just for their initial trip home, but also for future trips. You will need to be prepared to transport your Guinea Pig for trips to the vet, or to a temporary accommodation when you go away on holidays.

collapsible crates

Collapsible Pet Crates– Great for Transporting Your Guinea Pig/s

The Somerzby range of Guinea Pig Pet Crates have great features that allow you to easily and safely transport your Guinea Pig/s by Train, Bus or Car. Our pet crates are lightweight, strong, secure, fold down for easy storage and come with optional covers for extra protection from the elements. These crates are also useful for temporarily housing your Guinea Pig/s whilst you clean out their hutch and run.

villa guinea pig hutch

Picking a Hutch

When selecting a hutch for your furry Abyssinian friend, it is important that you try to select the largest cage possible. A larger cage ensures your pet has plenty of space to move freely, run and play. At a minimum, a cage for a single guinea pig should be at least 60cm x 30cm x 30cm.

The Somerzby range of Guinea Pig hutches and Guinea Pig hutch and run packages have great features that are sure to keep your pet Guinea pig/Guinea Pigs safe, secure and happy & healthy.

outdoor guinea pig run

Outdoor Guinea Pig Run

It is very important that all Guinea Pigs get exercise. The best way to ensure your Guinea Pig has enough room to play and exercise is to get the largest possible Hutch, and pair it with an Outdoor Guinea Pig Run. A Guinea pig run can be easily attached to their hutch either permanently, or for occasional use.

Guinea pig playpens are also great for supervised playtime. A good Guinea pig play pen will be portable, lightweight, easy to open/close and secure, and easy to set up and take down.

Abyssinian Guinea Pig Care

As well as providing a safe and secure Guinea Pig hutch and a Guinea Pig Run or Guinea Pig Playpen to allow your pet/s space to play, you should also consider the following when it comes to caring for your Abbyssinian Guinea Pig:


Unfortunately this Guinea pig breed is susceptible to Diabetes, which makes it vital that you get their diet right.  Provide them with plenty of fresh vegetables, grass and/or timothy hay to eat. Ensure that you talk to your local vet or pet expert to find out which foods they can and can not eat, unfortunately certain vegetables can make your Guinea Pig very sick.


These fellows love to burrow into hay to sleep (when they aren’t eaiting it). Timothy Hay is recommended as it has a higher nutritional value than other hay types.

guinea pig food types timonthy hay

Timothy Hay – Makes Great Bedding & Food


A Regular cleaning schedule will ensure that your Guinea Pigs’ home is a safe, healthy space. Be prepared to thoroughly clean your guinea pigs home and run and replace the hay with fresh hay at least once a week. Be mindful that harsh chemicals can harm your pets, so do not use household cleaning products on the hutch. Ensure you maintain their hutch daily, by adding fresh water and removing uneaten food.


Guinea Pigs love company, it is favourable to keep more than one Guinea pig, so that their social needs are met. It is also important that one or more of it’s owners are often home and can spend time playing with your Abyssinian Guinea Pig.


An Abbysinian Guinea pig loves to chew things and hide in small spaces. Safe items for them to chew include undyed/untreated wooden chew blocks and certain veggies. You may also wish to add boxes or tunnels for them to hide in.


  • Image 1 Tri Colour by Tavu – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0
  • Image 2 Black and White by Jean – CC BY 2.0
  • http://www.wideopenpets.com
  • The Guinea Pig Handbook, By Sharon Lynn Vanderlip
  • Guinea Pigs: Complete Care Made Easy-Practical Advice To Caring For your …
    By Virginia Parker Guidry

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