Last Modified

March 11, 2023 by Umair Shahid

White Degu has a very prominent place in the world of social and curious animals. White Degu is one of the few rodents with diurnal activity. White Degus are also known as Albino and are very rare to find in the wild.

Although the mutation resulting in white fur is common, white Degus are uncommon. Degus are native to Chile and widely kept as a furry friend in the US. From their social behavior to mind-blowing senses, you’ll love to keep them.

There are many color varieties of degus. But, the focus of this article will be on the White Degus. These animals share very rare genetics that is appreciable and unique at the same time. Let’s dive in and see why white degus are special among the other degus.

White Degu

Genetic Color Characteristics of White Degu

On a genetic basis, white degus are born without any pigment in their fur. The color of skin and eyes is pink in the case of Albino white degus. However, there are two possibilities through which degus acquire white color.

The first condition is when there is extensive white patching on the degus. In such white degus, the pigment is present in the skin but hair and hair follicles don’t acquire it. The multiple patches cover the body of degu in the form of complete white fur.

Sometimes, degus are born with a very rare genetic condition leading to white hair coat. Such degus are agouti naturally but turned to white with advancing age. According to 2008 research, the skin of white degus doesn’t remain white but changed to grey with development.

Not only is the white color present in hair but also the nails, whiskers, and ears. Some white degus also contain white hair around the eyes. You may find a little grey color around the ear of the white degu.

Behavior & Social Interaction

White degus are socially active and crave interactions. If you want a pocket pet that is easily tamed, white degu is for you. Their social nature is outstanding and lives in pairs of similar gender. You can read more about the pros and cons of keeping degu as a pet here.

Their social nature demands so much interaction, they start becoming aggressive in no interaction. These little cuties often sound stressed and scream in stress. It is important to train and tame them from an early age using belly scratches and cuddles.

See also  Degu lifespan ( Ultimate Guide!)

White degus are safe to keep if you have children at your home. These animals don’t bite unless they feel scared or threatened. You must take care not to create discomfort while handling especially in the case of white degus.

Caring Guidelines for White Degu

To care for white degus, the necessities of housing, feeding, and interaction are important. The cage setup of degus is fairly easy and you can take guidance from our ultimate degu housing guide.

However, it is my advice to keep the cage above the minimum recommended dimension sizes. White degus love to roam around the cage and play. Therefore, the cage must be large and strong enough to hold them inside.

Degu’s bedding guide can give you an idea of why the bedding material is important for them. White degus don’t like cedar and pine shavings because of their scent. In my opinion, shredded paper-based bedding or tissues work well for them.

It is also important to incorporate some exercise and chewing toys. Exercise toys such as solid surface wheels can fulfill the requirement of keeping degu healthy and fit. Whereas, chewing toys help to maintain the oral hygiene of white degus.

Just like housing, the importance of feeding requirements cannot be denied. Like other rodents, degus prefer a high fiber low carb diet. Their usual feeding consists of high roughage proportions. You can try a high-quality chinchilla pellet feed in this respect.

One thing to make sure that the gut of white degus is incompatible with cruciferous vegetables. Besides, fruits containing high sugars and carbs are not ideal for degus. To know more, you can check our complete guide to Degu nutrition and feeding.

Research References

Ebensperger, Luis A., et al. “Communal nesting and kinship in degus (Octodon degus).” Naturwissenschaften 91.8 (2004): 391-395.

Edwards, Mark S. “Nutrition and behavior of degus (Octodon degus).” Veterinary Clinics of North America: Exotic Animal Practice 12.2 (2009): 237-253


I am a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine and have a keen interest in animal health care. Working as a veterinary content writer, I intend to stay with professional approach in producing quality content. I like research-based reading and currently seeking my veterinary profession. My hobbies are travelling to exotic places and observing nature to the fullest.

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