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Sheltie Guinea Pig

By | Last Updated: 17th June 2020

The Sheltie or Silkie guinea pig, known for its long, plush coat, is one of the most popular breeds of domestic cavies. Although the Silkies look similar to the Peruvians, their coat flows back over their body rather than growing in the direction towards their face, as seen in the Peruvians. When a Sheltie is viewed from above, its body, along with the long hair sweeping backward, forms the shape of a teardrop. Thought to have originally bred in the UK, the breed has been recognized by the American Cavy Breeders Association (ACBA).

Sheltie Guinea Pig

Basic Information

Kept As:Indoor/outdoor pet
Suited For:Experienced owners, families with older children, seniors, singles
Temperament:Kind, gentle, social, laid back
Lifespan:Can live up to 8-14 years
Association/Clubs:Sheltie Varieties Cavy Club
Breed Standard:American Cavy Breeders Association British Cavy Council
Black and White Sheltie Guinea Pig
Red and White Sheltie Guinea Pig

How Big do They Get

Size: 8-10 inches long

Weight: 1.5-2.6 lbs

Height: 9-11 inches

Width: About 9-12 inches

What do They Look Like

Fur Length: Long-haired

Fur Texture: Soft, fluffy, flowing from the front towards their back

Color: Black and white, gray and white, brown, black, and white, red and white, lilac and white

Brown Sheltie Guinea Pig
White Sheltie Guinea Pig

Care Level

Silkies need extra grooming because of their long coat, and their cage should be thoroughly cleaned once a week. Make sure to remove all the soiled bedding and any leftover foods regularly.

Cage Size

An enclosure with minimum dimensions 30 X 50 X 20 inches and a floor space of 1080-1512 square inches is needed for a pair of Shelties. Larger cages and hutches, however, are good for the well-being of your cavies.


The Silkie’s regular diet comprises plenty of timothy hay, a cup of fresh leafy greens and vegetables, a few slices of vitamin C-rich fruits, and about an ounce of quality pellets.


You need to regularly brush your Silkies with a gentle bristled brush or fine-toothed comb to keep their long, soft, and shiny hair from matting. Make sure to brush their hair in the direction of growth. You may trim their coat when the hair touches the floor. They should only be bathed if their coat gets dirty.

Gray and White Sheltie Guinea Pig
Black Sheltie Guinea Pig


Allow the Shelties to run and play outside their cage for at least an hour every day. You may also provide your cavies with safe pet toys like paper rolls, cardboard boxes, and balls to keep them entertained.


You may purchase these guinea pigs from local pet stores or online breeders for $20-$30. Their yearly maintenance could be a little expensive, ranging between $600 and $1000.


They may shed a fair bit of hair in the springtime or early summer, during which you need to brush its coat frequently to keep the shedding under control.

Did You Know

  • Unlike some other popular cavies, the Silkie does not possess any rosettes in its coat.
  • Baby Silkies are born with short hair, which grows very quickly as they achieve maturity.
  • Its coat does not naturally part, and it usually comes in non-self colors.
  • Surprisingly, the Silkie has a visibly long tail.

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