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Himalayan Guinea Pig

By | Last Updated : 26th June 2020

The Himalayan guinea pig commonly referred to as the ‘Siamese cats of the guinea pigs’, is a popular breed of domestic cavies known for their unique albino appearance. Although they are born fully white, they start developing colors ears, nose, and feet when they become three weeks old. As they mature, the Himalayans take about three months to reach their final coloring. Like most guinea pigs around the world, the Himalayan guineas originated in South America and were taken to Europe by explorers hundreds of years ago. Then, they were imported to North America. Despite being a highly sought-after breed, the Himalayan has not yet been recognized by the American Cavy Breeders Association (ACBA).

Himalayan Guinea Pig

Basic Information

Kept As:Indoor pet, competition/show cavy
Suited For:Experienced owners, families with older children, singles, seniors
Origin:South America
Temperament:Friendly, lovable, sociable, calm, gentle, sensitive
Hypoallergenic:No
Lifespan:5-7 years
Association/Clubs:National Himalayan Cavy Club
Breed Standard:British Cavy Council

How Big do They Get

Size: 8-12 inches long

Weight: 1.5-2.6 lbs

Height: 9-13 inches

Width: About 10-13 inches

What do They Look Like

Fur Length: Short-haired

Fur Texture: Soft, smooth, clean; should be groomed so that it does not have guard hairs

Color: Pure white with point coloration, i.e., dark pink/black/chocolate-colored face, ears, paws, and feet; dark red or ruby eyes

Baby Himalayan Guinea Pig

Care Level

Aside from regular spot cleaning their cage, make sure to keep the enclosure moderately shady because too much exposure to direct sunlight may cause their point coloration to fade away. Contact with sunlight also hurts their eyes and causes sunburn.

Cage Size

For Himalayan guineas, a cage with minimum dimensions 30 X 50 X 20 inches and a floor space of 1512-1872 square inches is needed. You may use a larger enclosure, as it will help your cavies to play and run more freely.

Diet

The mainstay of the Himalayan guinea pig’s diet is timothy or fescue hay. Therefore, its regular diet should include plenty of hay, roughly two tablespoons of fresh vitamin C-rich pellets, and one cup of dark, leafy greens and fruits.

Grooming

As a short-haired breed, the Himalayans do not need as much grooming as the long-haired cavies. Brush your cavies’ coat once or twice per week with a soft-bristled baby brush to remove loose hairs and keep them clean.

Activity

They are always happy around humans and enjoy the company of other guinea pigs. Allow them to wander around in the house and explore new objects and places. Make sure that they get at least an hour of activity per day.

Himalayan Guinea Pig Picture

Cost

You can get a Himalayan from rescue shelters or pet stores for $30-$40. The yearly cost of maintaining a Himalayan cavy is average.

Shedding

Although they are an average shedder, Himalayans tend to shed more than usual during the summer months and springtime. You may brush their coat twice or thrice a week to minimize shedding.

Did You Know

  • The Himalayan guinea’s coat color changes depending on the temperature of the place where it resides. Cold weather usually causes its point coloration to darken while hot weather causes fading.

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