can guinea pigs be alone

Can Guinea Pigs Be Alone? 6 Tips to Help Your Guinea Pig

We’re looking at the question, ‘can guinea pigs be alone?’

It is well known that guinea pigs are better when they have others to be around. Guinea pigs are naturally sociable animals and so require company.

But what if you just have one guinea pig, and can only have one guinea pig at this precise time? Is that bad, and what can we do to make its life more bearable.

It is fine to just have one guinea pig.

Although they are social animals it wont kill them to be alone, it just wont be that pleasant for them.

So here are some 6 things we can do as lone guinea pig owners to make their lives a bit more interesting.

1. As they don’t have regular company make sure that you spend regular time with your guinea pig. Experts say spending around 2 hours a day with it will do it a lot of good. If you can spend more, then that’s better.

2. Give them things to do to keep them occupied. A great article on this is this one

can guinea pigs be alone3. Let them run around in a room in your home is great for them. I often isolate a room in the house for them to do this, and he loves running around and letting off steam. Do guinea pig – proof the room first and you do have to watch it doesn’t start chewing things you don’t want it to. It is also likely to poop and so tissues, anti-bacterial spray and rubber gloves are necessary as well.

4. Consider bringing the guinea pig inside and putting it in high traffic areas so it feels part of the family. It will appreciate being part of the family and the attention that it brings.

5. If you have a garden, let it loose and follow it around once a day. You will need to watch it doesn’t escape through hedges but guinea pigs are natural explorers and they love to run around and find new things. Don’t get a leash for it though as this can be cruel for the guinea pig.

6. Guinea lynx suggests keeping an eye on its weight as it may start to lose weight due to not eating. Depressed guinea pigs can get like this. If your guinea pig is just sitting in one spot all the time, and not eating and drinking it’s a sign that they aren’t doing good. Spending time with them is great therapy for them, so give them as much time as you can.

So, can ‘guinea pigs be alone?’

Guinea pigs can be alone, however it is not advisable to let this happen for a prolonged period unless you have the time to spend with them to give them the company they need.

A guinea pig will always prefer the company of another guinea pig and then a human’s, however if that is not possible it will enjoy whatever affection you can give it.

28 thoughts on “Can Guinea Pigs Be Alone? 6 Tips to Help Your Guinea Pig

  1. My guinea pig’s been alone for well over a year now. We tried getting her a friend three times now, a female near her age who she bit and terrorized for almost two weeks, a month old female baby whose ear she nearly chewed off and refused to let her eat, and a year old male who she hated enough to fight with every time we put them together. When i say fight, I mean the bloody kind. She also lost weigh every time we introduced a new pig and developed a fever. Now we’ve given up trying to make her a nice,friendly pig, but if anyone has any tips on how I can make her less vicious, it will be appreciated.
    Also, she’s pretty friendly with the humans she knows and loved her daughter (who died) and mate (also dead), so she’s not completely anti social.

    1. Hi Ashwini,
      Who knows what goes on in their heads! I suspect they just consider another guinea pig as a threat and some are just more territorial than others!

      I too have a similar situation and adopted a female (aged 5) as a companion for my male who I knew would be friendly. One time she scared him so much he almost died of shock! I had to keep a wire between them so they could communicate but not fight and this worked fine.

      He has since died of old age and she is now alone. She too had companions in the past but the adoption center tried re-homing her several times and each time she attacked the other male (this I only learnt later after I had adopted her!)

      I did notice however that she was thin and I had my vet check her out because a hormone imbalance can make them aggressive. She had cysts on her ovaries and he operated, she recovered well and is now looking healthier. This made little difference to her like of a companion but sometimes it can work! I’ve had g-pigs for over 20 years and had come across this condition before where it had calmed the female down once her hormones had settled.

      Like your female mine is friendly and vocal, chats away to me and is very interactive. She comes out of her bed when I call her. I just do my best to give her as much attention as I can and let her run around my sitting room, which has a wooden floor. I put some mats down but she’s good on a wooden floor too!

      I hope my story might help your situation in some way 🙂

  2. My guinea pig is not friendly at all! She doesn’t like to be held and will not come out of her hiding hole to be social. She is approx. 8 months old. We chose a guinea pig as a pet because we wanted a small animal that we could hold and snuggle with. We dedicated a large corner of our living room (a high traffic area) and have also provided a nice multi-level CNC cage for her. She is not at all like other piggies I have held. What can I do? We are at a loss and have decided a hamster would take up a lot less space and provide the same interaction that we are currently getting with our piggie. Please help!

    1. Hi Tina,
      Some animals do need a lot time to come round and I have learnt that on occasion they just may never really be that sociable. I have a female rabbit who it took me 2 years to make friends with! She is now five but still doesn’t like to be stroked. Yet when I take her to the vet she jumps into my arms!!! Her mate on the other hand, loves to be stroked and falls helplessly at my feet! But I love them both the same 🙂

      As for guinea pigs or any small creatures it may just be that they are afraid of us. We have to look at things from their perspective and they don’t know or necessarily have the intelligence to realise we mean them no harm. They all have intelligence of course and their individual personality but like people there are differences.

      It’s hard for us when we had expectations of how we would like it to be and the question is can we accept that and love them anyway? I have wanted to ‘pass on’ the ones that didn’t match up to my expectations but of course I could not and would not do that, I took on the responsibility and care for them regardless. In so doing I found that a very special bond developed and maybe my dropping the expectation was the key!

      I wish you all the best with your little guinea pig 🙂

      1. I have four guineapigs, three girls and one boy. Back then I gave the male away to a friend because she was looking for a pet for her daughter. Seven months later I find out while under their care he was neglected and developed behavioral problems and that they were trying to give him away without telling me. So I took him back now I have three sweet girls and one disgruntled male Piggy. Reading your post has given me resolve. I won’t give up on him, I will continue to care for him and love him.

  3. We just got a 6 month old guinea pig! And she is all my daughter ever wanted as soon as we brought her into her new home! She fit right in! She is perfect in every way the gentlest little thing ever! Very chatty too! ^.^ but my question is… do guineapig’s attitude change? As in right now shes a baby and is very pacific, and then later , she grows and starts getting aggressive. She is in a humble and loving home were we are able to spoil her to death… ***first time guinea pig mommy***

  4. I want to get a guinea pig but I only want one I will give all the time a day for it but I keep reading its good to have 2 i wanna make sure the one I get will always be happy just alone with me there . Maybe after couple months I’ll consider on getting another 1 depends on how my family cool with it or not but I really just want 1

  5. I have had a guinea pig for 4 weeks and i think she might be just fine alone but i dont know yet but i can only have one guinea pig do u think she is just fine alone?

  6. I have a single guinea pig I’m in middle school and busy a lot and I’ve had her for about 4 months now I have been learning new things and my family rents a house and will not allow two pets and so how long can a Guinea pig go without a friend I’m trying but J have also learned that Guinea pigs shouldn’t be kept in these store bought cages the problem is my grandparents help pay rent hey live with my mom and I and they won’t allow the Guinea pig on the main level and my room is fairly small so another question is should I wait for the bigger cage and the only problem really Cinnamon (my Guinea pig) has had is a little respitory infection which the vet determined as a common thing when Guinea pigs are young and that was with 2 months having her and she eats all the time

  7. My Guinea pig is alone in a medium sized cage but cannot run around my home as I just cannot find the time to proof it and my roommate refuses to let her. She makes sounds of annoyance when I pet her and when she sits on my lap she walks back towards her cage; what do I do!!

    1. I also do not have the time to guinea pig proof an entire room yet, so what I do as an alternative is I put an extra comforter on my queen sized bed and let him run around on it. It’s not the same as a whole pig proofed room but it’s much more space then his cage and I always have some veggies on the bed for him and he immediately Popcorns and runs around. And any accidents are absorbed by his blanket and don’t dirty my bed at all. I give him small towels to hide under and DIY toys to play with while out but mostly he just enjoys the space to popcorn around 🙂 try this until you have a room for him. It’s also a great way to bond. My pig even Popcorns while on my lap it’s quite hilarious.

  8. I just got a Guinea pig and got it from and friend they were going to sell her anyway but I got her she had to live on her own because she wouldn’t get on with her daughter and the the other Guinea pigs?? I have a younger sister who wants a Guinea pig but how do we know that my
    Guinea will be alright?
    Or shall I leave her by herself with no companions? Would she be lonely? Depressed?

  9. I have a female Guinea Pig her name is Bella she is three months old I got her from Petco 5 days ago she seems to be eating and drinking fine and loves me she also loves my bird they get along great and have formed a bond also I spend 2 hours with her every day out of her cage do u think I will need another Guinea pig or will she be ok

  10. I have my Brittany Piggie she is seven and a half years old she has a mass inside her tummy she eats non stop all day her stool is loose she farts all day too the vet said she was just old but OK cost me $350 she is not OK I want her put down but I don’t have $225 she is miserable she sits in 1 spot only walks to get water there are no other doctors close who deal with small animals BTW I started her on prescription pain pills mine 2 days ago oxycodone 15 mg she gets a half once a day should I just feed her a bunch of them to overdose and be at rest

  11. I have just bought my guinea pig last night , and was thinking if i should buy him a partner , or cage mate. I will try first the tips in your article and see after a while if she will be comfortable alone. thanks

  12. I have a guinea pig , her friend died yesterday. Im only 14 and i really need help my guinea pig looks fine but i mean i really dont want her to be sad and i cant get her a friend , my mother wouldn’t let me. Do you guy’s know if she will be ok she is only 4 months old

    1. Hey, I’m in the exact same position as you!! I am also 14, and had 2 guinea pigs, salty and pepper but unfortunately salty passed away 2 weeks ago 🙁 I’ve moved pepper into my bedroom so I can be near her all the time and am picking her up after school and having on my lap or on the sofa next to me

  13. My guinea pig recently passed away from a tumour. His pen mate squeak is still alive. So now he’s alone. I’m afraid to get another piggy because he’s a 4 year old male but I take him out everyday to roam around the house he cuddles with the family when we are watching a movie and I buy him LOADS of toys and he seems to be pretty happy. Do you you think I should get another piggy?

  14. It takes a long time to tame guinea pig, but after 1 or 2 years they are so lovable and much easier to hold since they become more calm with age. Need to give lots of love and attention and they will be more lovable with time, don’t give up.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *