Category Archives: Guinea pigs and other animals

can guinea pigs and rats live together

Can Guinea Pigs and Rats Live Together?

The question of whether rats and guinea pigs can live together may come up especially if you happen to have both species as pets.

Many guinea pig owners do have other types of pets including rats, hamsters, gerbils, chinchillas and rabbits that they may wish to see if they can mix together to see if they will really get on.

Although rats and guinea pigs are both rodents, they share some similar attributes and characteristics, however they also share some glaring differences.

So in order to explore that more, let’s have a look at some rat facts. For this I am indebted to this site which has some great info on rats and their life as pets.

image wikipedia

So here are 20 facts about rats and the differences and similarities that they have with guinea pigs to help get to know them better.

1. Rats tend to live between 2 and 2 and a half years which is much less than the standard piggie age of 6-8 years

2. They are not expensive to keep just like GPs.

3. They often sleep during the day, but can also sleep during he night so are not fully nocturnal. This differs from piggies who tend to sleep whenever they feel like it in short bursts.

4. They need a large cage to be kept in. Yep just like piggies

5. They are very clean animals like most rodents including guinea pigs.

6. They are very intelligent animals who adapt their environment well.

7. As with other types of rodents such as guinea pigs, they are very sociable animals and enjoy living together,they don’t like living alone.

8. They need lots of exercise and need to be stimulated. They also love to explore so a large living area is essential with lots of things to do in it. Things such as toys and a wheel is very helpful for this. Piggies on the other hand don’t need as much exercise as rats and going on a wheel is pretty dangerous for them. They are also much more relaxed in nature than rats.

9. They are very agile creatures and are able to jump up to two feet and can also climb. GPs on the other and are not the most agile of creatures.

10. Just like GPs, Rats need their privacy as well and need a place to retreat to and sleep that is warm and cosy.

11. Like guinea pigs they don’t like wood shavings or sawdust in their cage as it is an irritation to their eyes.

12. Straw is also an issue as it can be quite sharp for them.

13. They eat a wide variety of foods and are scavengers by nature. GPs are not scavengers but do also eat anything in sight.

14. They need a wide varied and balanced diet to keep them healthy such as seeds and grains as well as pellets which can be store bought.

15. They need water available for them all the time from a water bottle just like GPs.

16. Like guinea pigs, a ceramic food bowl is best for them to eat out of.

17. They should be picked up by scooping them up carefully with both hands.

18. Their home needs to be cleaned once a week

19. Their teeth grow just like guinea pigs. constantly! They always need things to chew on such as wood and treats other wise their teeth get out of control and they have dental problems

20. Their coat is prone to getting fleas and mites so this needs be watched closely.

The big difference between guinea pigs and rats is their agility, diet and behaviour. They quite similar in a lot of aspects but in a few key areas, are very different.

There have been instances where rats and guinea pigs have been put together with success, however these are an exception to he rule.

Because of their dietary requirements it’s not a great idea to put them together. They are just quite different. Guinea pigs will eat seeds and grains but they are just not great for them, and rats will not eat hay, and are likely to scavenge their veggies if they see them.

There is also the possibility that things could turn violent because of their different behaviour. Rats and guinea pigs are quite different in terms of the way they behave in certain situations and this could have an effect if they are put together.

So if they were put together I would recommend it in a supervised environment and not be left together. If things deteriorate with their behaviour then do step in and remove one of them before one of them gets hurt.

can guinea pigs and gerbils live together

Can Guinea Pigs Eat Gerbil Food?

Whether guinea pigs can eat gerbil food is a question that if you have stumbled upon this post you may be looking for the answer for. It can be answered by looking at the type of food that gerbils eat and then comparing it to that which guinea pugs eat on a regular basis.

I am indebted to the RSPCA who have a tremendously site and document the foods that gerbils should eat very well.

Gerbils need fresh, clean water every day and need it constantly available to them. They need their water bottles topped up so that they can drink out of it. Very much like guinea pigs who also need fresh water available all the time.

Gerbils need a balanced diet containing nutrients and minerals such as a compound pelleted ration or a mixture of different seeds. They naturally eat seeds of various grasses, bulbs and a range of leaves and herbs. This is quite different from guinea pigs who’s main food is fresh green hay which takes up to 70-80% of their dietary intake.

Gerbils need a variety of fruit such as oranges, apples, melons and pears as well as vegetables such as fennel, pumpkin, carrot and cucumber. Guinea pigs are also great fans of these fruits and veggies and they always go down well with them when they are given to them.

Gerbils love to hoard food in large stores and food can often go stale when they have hoarded it. This is quite different from piggies, who eat anything they see as opposed to hoarding it.

So as you can see, there is quite a difference between the dietary requirements of gerbils and guinea pigs.

Although, they both need a continuous supply of fresh water, guinea pigs need a continuous supply of hay, where as gerbils do not eat hay at all.

Gerbils need seeds and grains where as piggies could do without eating those, having completely different taste in foods.

However, guinea pigs are big fans of gerbil favourites oranges, apples, melons and pears as well as vegetables such as fennel, pumpkin, carrot and cucumber.

So if you have both a guinea pig and a gerbil, your food bill could be quite big because of their quite different dietary requirements.

can you mix guinea pigs and chinchillas

Can Guinea Pigs Eat Chinchilla Food?

I am indebted to the RSPCA who have a tremendously site and document the foods that chinchillas should eat very well.

The question of whether guinea pigs can eat chinchilla food is so,etching that can be discovered by looking at what chinchillas need to eat and comparing it to what piggies need to eat.

So let’s dig a little deeper and find out more

According to the RSPCA chinchillas need to have access to fresh clean water all of the time. This is much the same as guinea pigs, as without water chinchillas can get pretty ill.

The nest thing they need is good quality hay. This needs to make up 70-80% of their diet and needs to be available at all times much like water. This also is much like what guinea pigs need.they need hay for their digestive systems to function and to grind their teeth down as like guinea pigs, their teeth are constantly growing.

They need a small amount of grassed-based chinchilla pellets each day to compliment their hay. This is where chinchillas and guinea pigs diets begin to separate.

Chinchillas tend to eat for long periods of time, during the night time.

They live to eat root vegetables like dried fruit, and carrots and leafy greens. Another tick in the box for the guinea pig diet comparison apart for the dried fruit which is too sweet for piggies.

They can’t eat foods such as grains, fruit, and sweet treats. This again is very similar to piggies. However the difference is that guinea pigs can eat fruit which can be very good for them in small amounts depending on the fruit.

So as you can see guinea pigs and chinchillas have very similar dietary requirements.

They both need fresh water and fresh hay as a must requirement.

They can both eat leafy veggies and carrots sparingly.

But do avoid giving guinea pigs chinchilla pellets, dried fruit, and sweet treats.

Guinea pigs have their own pellets for which are specific for their dietary requirements.

But on the whole, guinea pigs and chinchillas share very similar dietary requirements so as king as you steer clear sharing the things they can’t eat together then

can guinea pigs and gerbils live together

Can Guinea Pigs and Gerbils Live Together?

With guinea pigs and gerbils both being rodents, then one question that may be going through your mind, especially if you’ve stumbled upon this post, is ‘can guinea pigs and gerbils live together’?

image wikipedia

To understand whether they can or not, its good to understand a bit more about gerbils and their characteristics.

Here are some facts about gerbils

1. Although they are small in stature, they sure are full of energy and personality.
2. They live up to 3-4 years
3. They measure approximately 4 inches in length, not including their long tail.
4. Male gerbils are larger than female gerbils.
5. Male gerbils tend to weigh just over 2 ounces, with females weiging slightly less.
6. Gerbils are diurnal which means that they are mostly active during the daytime.
7. Gerbils have very good burrowing skills and use them to create burrows to hide from predators
8. They are quite gentle and convivial creatures.
9. They do not bite often.
10. They are very keen explorers
11. Gerbils tend to eat seed mixes which are mixed with pellets or dried vegetables.
12. Although they don’t need to drink a lot of water, they still need a water bottle on hand to sip from in case they get thirsty.
13. They are very social animals and don’t do well living on their own.
14. They like to play and chase each other around, and also wrestle. This can be sometimes hard to distinguish between proper aggressive fighting.
15. They tend to sleep in piles and snuggle up together.
16. When they are excited of stressed, they do something called ‘thumping’ which is where they will pound both their hind legs on the ground.
17. They like to groom themselves and will also groom each other as well.
18. Gerbils talk in a high squeak when they are young. Older gerbils only squeak when they are playing, stressed or in excitement.
19. They love to chew and will chew whatever is in front of them.
20. They have a scent gland in their abdomen which is used to mark things in their territory. They rub their stomachs on cage furniture to mark their territory.
21. The best way to pick up a gerbil is to pick it up under its body and cup it in the palm of your hand

In some ways gerbils are very similar to guinea pigs. The way they love to chew things, squeak, groom each other, snuggle up to each other, and are social animals are just a few of their similarities.

But in a lot of other ways they are very different. Their diet is the most noticeable difference, with gerbils eating seed mixes as opposed to the guinea pig’s hay and veggie diet.

Although they are both social creatures, there is absolutely no guarantee that they will get along and it will probably scare them both to be put in the same vicinity as each other.

So it is not a good idea to put guinea pigs and gerbils together as they have much different behavioural characteristics to be safe around each other.

If you want to see whether they will get along in the same vicinity for a short period then this needs to be done with close supervision, but it is not recommended.

They are best kept apart in different environments where they can live with their own kind.

can you mix guinea pigs and chinchillas

Can You Mix Guinea Pigs and Chinchillas?

Guinea Pigs and Chinchillas are very similar creatures and and an often asked question, is ‘can you mix guinea pigs and Chinchillas’ at all?

To find out the answer to this question, it is worth finding out more about Chinchillas and their character.

image wikpedia

Chinchillas are crepuscular rodents that are native to the Andes mountains in south america, just like guinea pigs. By crepuscular we mean that they are active between dusk and dawn.
Like guinea pigs they are prey animals and hunted by birds of prey, snakes and skunks in the wild.

They live in social groups that are called herds very much like guinea pigs and use their togetherness to help defend each other. They prefer to live with other chinchillas in captivity and enjoy the company of each other.

Chinchillas a very quick witted animals that many people keep as pets. They are small and fragile animals and will not hesitate to bite if they they are hassled.

They have very soft lush fur and have a boisterous and inquisitive nature.

Chinchillas are very sensitive animals and can get stressed easily stress and putting them in the same cage with guinea pigs is not a long term plan. Their ability to bite and lash out could cause issues for both animals, in fact guinea pigs can do this as well.

In terms of what they eat, they also have different dietary requirements which can get confusing for each animal.

However, that’s not to say that they can’t get along in a neutral environment which is supervised, such as this one. But it is definitely something to do with care as they may need to be separated quickly.

can hamsters and guinea pigs live together?

6 Reasons Why Hamsters and Guinea Pigs Can’t Live Together

Hamsters and guinea pigs are roughly the same size, are kept in roughly the same conditions and are enjoyed as pets the world over.

So they should be ok living together right?

Nooo. Guinea pigs and hamsters should be kept well apart and these are the reasons why.

1. Hamsters are nocturnal animals and guinea pigs aren’t.

Hamsters will tend to move around much more at night and sleep during the day, guinea pigs sleep in patches and will take naps during the day and the night. They don’t have long sustained periods of sleep. 

2. Hamsters have very different characteristics to guinea pigs.

Hamsters will bite if they feel threatened. Guinea pigs will tend to run away and will only bite if they mistake something for food or in serious self defence.

The hamster will most likely end up injuring the guinea pig in some way because of this. However, guinea pigs will bite back if necessary. The most likely outcome is an injured guinea pig and a dead hamster.

3. Hamsters are solitary animals where as guinea pigs are herd animals.

Hamsters will tend to attack anything that comes into its path and can be quite vicious. Guinea pigs however are prey animals and will retreat and hide by instinct.

However a guinea pig is much larger than a hamster and has much larger teeth. If it wanted to, it could kill a guinea pig easily and such instances have happened when owners have done this very thing.

4. The diets of hamsters and guinea pigs diets vary quite a lot.

can hamsters and guinea pigs live together?Both animals require different diets and there will be no telling which animal will eat whose food. Guinea pigs need vitamin c supplements, plenty of Timothy hay and a good supply of water.

Hamsters however need Seeds, Pellets, Fruits, Vegetables and Berries.

5. Hamsters and guinea pigs are quite territorial.

Hamsters more than guinea pigs and a hamsters territory is very important to it. This can cause issues with two hamsters living together, let alone a hamster and a guinea pig.

6. Hamsters and guinea pigs have different cage requirements.

Hamster cages are much smaller than guiena pig cages and hamsters need a lot less space than guinea pigs. However, this issue can be combated by putting them in a large aquarium tank, however this is not ideal for a guinea pig who enjoys having a good run around. Put a guinea pig in an aquarium only to keep it warm or as a stop-gap!

If you do have a  guinea pig and a hamster in your home it is much better to keep them separated in different cages as it is not a good idea to keep hamsters and guinea pigs in the same cage.

This means that you can cater for their own dietary needs, they can have their own space and will be much happier than having to contend with each other in the same cage.

image: flickr digital_image_fan

can guinea pigs and rabbits live together

Can Guinea Pigs and Rabbits Live Together?

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.


In Summary

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.