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Crested Guinea Pig (Breeding Facts, Food, Care, Life Span & FAQs)

Tim Rhodes
Written by Tim Rhodes Last Updated: September 4, 2022

The Crested Guinea Pig is a popular variety of guinea pig that is characterized by its crest of hair on the top of its head.

These lovable pets are known for their playful and friendly personalities, and they make great companions for both children and adults.

If you’re considering adding a Crested to your family, there are a few things you should know about their care and needs.

In this article, we’ll cover everything about these amazing creatures, from breeding facts to information on their diet and lifespan.

What are Crested Guinea Pigs?

Guinea pigs are small, docile rodents that make popular pets. They are native to South America, and their scientific name is Cavia porcellus.

There are many different varieties of guinea pigs, and the Crested Guinea Pig is one of them. They are a popular guinea pig breed due to their wide variety of colors and patterns.

Cresties can be found in a variety of colors including black, brown, white, cream, ginger, and even pink.

Called american crested

They have a very distinct crest of fur on their heads which sets them apart from other guinea pig breeds. They also have very smooth hair and a soft coat.

These guinea pigs are known for being very active and playful, making them great pets for families with children. They are also very social creatures and enjoy being around other guinea pigs.

Due to their outgoing personalities, they are often used as show animals in petting zoos and farms.

One thing to note is that Cresties require regular grooming to prevent their soft fur from matting. Other than that, they are low-maintenance pets that are relatively easy to care for.

Why do Crested Guinea Pigs have a crest?

Cresties have a crest because their ancestors were bred for this physical trait. The crest is the result of a genetic mutation, and it is not harmful to the guinea pig in any way.

The crest is simply a layer of extra fur that grows on top of the guinea pig’s head. It is made up of two types of fur: the downy undercoat, and the longer guard hairs.

Same color

The crest is held in place by the skin, which is thicker than average.

Most Cresties often use their crests to communicate with each other. For example, they may erect their crest when they are happy or excited.

What Are The Different Types Of Cresties?

There are three types of Cresties, the American or White Crested Guinea Pig, the English, and the Himalayan Crested Guinea Pig.

Each type has its own unique set of markings and colors.

The American Crested Guinea Pig, also called the White Crested Guinea Pig, is the most common type. The American/White Crested Guinea Pig has a wide variety of markings and colors, including brindle, merle, solids, and selfs.

white crested

American Crested Guinea Pigs also come in a variety of sizes, from toy to standard. The American Crested Guinea Pig is called the White Crested Guinea Pig because of its characteristic white crest.

The English Crested Guinea Pig is the second most common type. It is similar to the American Crested in terms of markings and colors, but it is typically smaller in size. It doesn’t have a white crest – the color of the crest matches the color of the fur.

English Cresteds also have shorter hair than American Crested Guinea Pigs.

white crest

English Crested Guinea Pigs are also known as Self Crested Guinea pigs because their crest is the same color as their body.

The Himalayan Crestie is the rarest type. It is named for its resemblance to the Himalayan rabbit and has long, silky fur that is white with black tips.

Himalayan Cresteds are also typically smaller than other crested types.

Crested Guinea Pigs Breeding Facts

If you are thinking about breeding Cresties there are a few things you should know.

They can be either short-haired or long-haired. The type of hair does not affect the quality of the crest, so you can choose whichever type you prefer.

guinea pig breed

When choosing breeding stock, you need to select guinea pigs that have strong, healthy crests. Avoid animals with bald spots or thin, sparse hair.

Cresteds typically have litters of two to four babies. The gestation period is about two months, so it is necessary to have a safe place for the mother to give birth.

After the babies are born, they will need to be kept warm and dry. They should also be given plenty of opportunities to play and explore.

What do Cresteds Eat?

Cresteds are small, herbivorous rodents. They have the same dietary needs as other guinea pig breeds. This means that they need a diet that is high in fiber and low in fat.

In the wild, they eat a variety of grasses, herbs, and vegetables. In captivity, they can be fed a diet of commercial guinea pig food or hay, as well as fresh fruits and vegetables.

short haired

While hay is an essential part of a guinea pig’s diet, don’t forget to note that not all hay is created equal.

Timothy hay, for instance, is richer in fiber and calcium than other types, making it an ideal choice for adult guinea pigs. Young guinea pigs, on the other hand, may benefit from alfalfa, which is higher in protein.

Regardless of what type you choose, be sure to offer your guinea pig plenty of fresh water to drink.

color variations

They also need a source of Vitamin C in their diet. This vitamin is essential for good health but cannot be produced by the guinea pig’s body.

For this reason, it’s necessary to offer your guinea pig fresh fruits and vegetables high in Vitamin C every day. Some good options include bell peppers, broccoli, and kale.

You should also consider supplementing your guinea pig’s diet with a Vitamin C supplement to ensure that they’re getting enough of this essential nutrient.

Caring for Cresties

Cresties are relatively easy to care for, but there are a few things you need to keep in mind. Here is a list of tips to help you take care of your guinea pig with a crest:

  1. They require regular grooming to keep their fur clean and free of mats. A soft-bristled brush can be used to gently remove any dirt or debris from your guinea pig.
  2. In addition to brushing, they also need their nails trimmed on a regular basis. Overgrown nails can cause discomfort and make it difficult for the guinea pig to move around. A small pair of nail scissors can be used to trim the nails, taking care not to cut too far into the quick. 
  3. Diet is a crucial part of keeping your guinea pig healthy. These animals require a diet high in fiber in order to maintain proper digestive health. On the other hand, sugary foods should be avoided, as they can lead to health problems such as obesity and dental issues. 
  4. Like all animals, every guinea pig needs a clean and comfortable place to call home. They need enough space to move around freely, and the cage should be equipped with a hiding spot where they can feel safe and secure. The cage should also be cleaned regularly to prevent the build-up of ammonia from urine and feces. 
  5. Proper hydration is essential for all guinea pigs, but it is especially important for those with cresting coats of fur. A water bottle with a sipper tube can be used to provide fresh and clean water at all times, and a ceramic dish can be filled with water for bathing purposes.

These are just a few things to keep in mind when caring for your crested pet. By providing them with the proper diet and housing, as well as plenty of love and attention, you can help them lead a long and healthy life.

What Is The Lifespan of Cresties?

They have an average lifespan of 5 to 7 years. However, some can live up to 10 years with proper care.

The best way to prolong the life of your furry friend is by providing them with proper care.


You should avoid exposing them to stressful situations, as this can lead to health problems.

Also, regular exercise is important for all guinea pigs, but especially for cresties, as they are prone to obesity.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)


There are a few things you should know about Cresties before bringing one home. Here are some frequently asked questions that will help you learn more about these unique creatures:

Do Cresties require special care?

In general, Cresties are not much different from other guinea pigs when it comes to caring.

Are Cresties shy?

Cresties are typically not shy. However, they may startle easily if they are not used to being handled.

How big do Cresties get?

Cresties typically reach a length of 10 to 12 inches. They are larger than other types of guinea pigs, such as the Silkie Guinea Pig.

What is the American Crested Guinea Pig?

The American Crested Guinea Pig is a type of guinea pig that has been bred in the United States. They typically have longer hair than other types of guinea pigs, and they come in a variety of colors.

Can a Silkie Guinea Pig be Crested?

A Silkie Guinea Pig cannot be Crested. The Crested gene is a recessive gene, which means that both parents must have the gene in order for it to be passed on to their offspring.

Are English Crested and Self-Crested Guinea Pig the same?

The English Crested and Self Crested Guinea Pig are the same breeds of guinea pigs.

Does the American Cavy Breeders Association recognize Crested Guinea Pigs as a separate breed?

The American Cavy Breeders Association recognizes Cresties as a separate breed.

Are Cresties a rare breed?

Cresties are not rare. However, they are not as common as other breeds of guinea pigs.

Where can I get the Crested Guinea Pig breed?

You can get the Crested Guinea Pig breed in almost any pet store.

What is the best bedding for a Crestie?

The best bedding for a Crestie is a soft, absorbent material that will not irritate their skin. Some good options include fleece, straw, or hay.

Do Crested Guinea Pigs smell?

Cresties do not typically smell bad. However, their cage should be cleaned regularly to prevent the build-up of ammonia from urine and feces.

Do Crested Guinea Pigs shed?

Cresties do shed their fur, but not as much as other types of guinea pigs.

Hopefully, these questions have helped you learn a little bit more about Cresties. These unique animals make great pets and can provide you with years of enjoyment.

Final Thoughts

Crested Guinea Pigs are a unique and interesting breed of guinea pig that make great pets. They require some special care, such as regular grooming and exercise, but overall they are not much different from other types of guinea pigs.

If you are thinking about getting a crested guinea pig, be sure to do your research and be prepared to provide them with the care they need. With proper care, your crested guinea pig can provide you with years of enjoyment.



Tim Rhodes
Tim Rhodes

Hi there! My name is Tim Rhodes and I'm a guinea pig enthusiast through thick and thin. My mission is to teach others useful tips and tricks about these cute creatures. When I'm not writing, I enjoy kickboxing and work as an animal trainer.

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