Can Guinea pigs and rabbits live together?
You would think that would work ok. I did!
Guinea pigs are very social animals and it is preferable that they have some company in their home.
Rabbits have a similar type of living space and they’re a similar size, you would think that they were a good fit to share a living space with a Guinea Pig.
But digging deeper I began to discover that having them both together sharing the same space is actually something to be avoided.
What I discovered was that it is not a great idea to put Guinea pigs and rabbits together and there are five reasons for this.
1. Rabbits and Guinea Pigs have different dietary requirements.
Although both species feed on copious amounts of hay and vegetables, they require different diets as the rabbit does not need a regular supplement of vitamin C and so the food it eats will be different.
However there are better reasons why its not a good idea as it doesn’t matter a great deal if they share the same food.
2. A Rabbit could very easily hurt a Guinea Pig
Because a rabbit tends to be bigger than your average guinea pig, it can easily hurt the cavy especially with its powerful hind legs.
This can especially happen if the rabbit is bouncing around the cage or is startled by something.
There are also types of rabbit that will try and bite a guinea pig such as a doe rabbit. Whether or not they mean to do it or not, this is something to definitely be avoided.
3. Rabbits can burrow out of a cage
Rabbits are very good at burrowing and will very easily burrow out of a grid or run that is placed on grass. The guinea pig, if it lives with the rabbit will easily follow.
This is a small risk but one that needs to be considered all the same.
4. Rabbit and Guinea Pig behaviour is very different
The behaviour of rabbits and guinea pigs are very different and they will communicate in different ways and not understand each other.
When this happens it causes a lot of stress for both creatures and potential conflict.
5. There are diseases that Rabbits can carry that will affect Guinea Pigs
Rabbits can carry the disease Bordetella bronchiseptica which is the biggest cause of respiratory disease in guinea pigs. (source; RSPCA).
Some things to be aware of if you do have Rabbits and Guinea Pigs together.
- If a guinea pig and rabbit are living together then do ensure that the guinea pig has access to a retreat where they can get away from the rabbit. This should be somewhere where the rabbit cannot access.
- Make sure that the rabbit is neutered so the guinea pig is not mounted by the rabbit.
- Make sure they are fed differently and in different areas.
If you can help it and for the sake of both animals, it is usually better to keep them apart. However, there are always exceptions to this rule and if you feel that this could work then that is your discretion but the overwhelming evidence is that this is not a good mix.
Over to you
Have you had any experiences of having Rabbits and Guinea Pigs live together? Positive or Negative.
It would be great to hear from you.