putting two guinea pigs together

Putting Two Guinea Pigs Together In 7 Steps

When they live in their natural habitat, guinea pigs live together in herds.

These often consist of a minimum of two guinea pigs who are sows plus their babies and also dominant male boar guinea pig.

two guinea pigs As social animals, they would much rather live in that way so that it gives them much more safety together and they can talk and interact with one another.

So, just like guinea pigs that live out in the wild, domestic guinea pigs much prefer to be around other guinea pigs and love companionship.

With this in mind,

So, how does that relate to how they live domestically today?

Most guinea pigs do live together in two’s and three’s. But sometimes you will just have one guinea pig living alone.

If you have just one guinea pig and you want to introduce another, how can we introduce it and ensure things go smoothly?

image: flickr michael james

Putting two guinea pigs together who have never met each other

If they are coming from two different places then these things need to be considered.

1. For at least 2 weeks, keep them separate.

Put them in separate cages next to each other so they cant see each other but can hear and smell each other.

This is so that the guinea pigs can be checked out to see if they have and kind of disease. Check out this post on guinea pig quarantine.

2. After 2 weeks of keeping them quarantined, introduce them to each other.

The 2 week gap will be enough to allow the new guinea pig to get to know the old.

Do this on a neutral territory where neither guinea pig has encountered before so that the old guinea pig does not get defensive about their territory.

On the floor or in a bath are good places to do this.

Put them into the area at the same time and put some veggies around them to keep them occupied.

3. Keep an eye on what they are doing.

They may act in a perfectly normal way, be aware of them raising their head which basically means that they are trying to determine who is in charge of that area.

Check for raised hair which makes them seem larger than they are.

Also check for yawning which shows that they are baring their teeth at each other.

 

4. Try not to get in the way unless the fights get bloody.

There may be scratches and biting occurring as well so do be aware of this and intervene if necessary.

5. Don’t give up if it’s not working out

Once you have committed to an introduction, you have to see it through as too many introductions are not good for the guinea pigs.

6. If they have fallen out then a cooling off period is good.

Get them together on neutral ground and give them both a bath with the same shampoo so they have the same scent.

They will hopefully groom each other as well.

7. Separate them if they still can’t live together

If they still cant live together and continue to fight, you may just have to keep them in separate cages side by side which allows them to see and speak to each other but just not fight.

Other questions

Can an older male and a younger male guinea pig live together?

They should get along fine but they will look to establish dominance by biting the younger male.

Put them together but keep an eye on them and if they fight, put them in separate cages on more neutral territory.

If guinea pig males live together it is much better if they are from the same litter.

If you are going to put two males together then it is better to have one dominant one and one shy one as if you have two dominant males together they are much more likely to fight.

By having a more timid one with a dominant one, they are much more likely to get along.

Do watch out for bullying behavior though.

Shy submissive guinea pig’s will not enjoy being bullied not surprisingly and it may cause a lot of nervousness and depression with the submissive.

The dominant one can bully by not allowing access to the food or water bowl,but this can be sorted by having two food bowls in different areas of the cage.

If a guinea pig is being bullied it is far better to separate them rather than keeping them in the same cage. If they do stay in the same cage then make sure that they both have their own territory and hideaway space to go to to escape the other.

Can a male guinea pig live on its own?

If guinea pig male lives on its own, this is okay providing it is given lots of attention as they do get lonely easily.

It will need at least 2 hours a day with you amongst your daily routines, a good thing to do is to cuddle it whilst you are watching tv so it can have some affection from you.

Can male and female guinea pigs live together?

Male and female guinea pigs should not live together on a permanent basis, they will need two separate cages.

They really should not be breed by anyone except for an experienced breeder.

If you do want to keep them together then it would be worth neutering them before hand to ensure the female does not get pregnant.

Can two female guinea pigs live together?

Female sow guinea pigs will almost always get along okay.

It is quite rare that they will fight each other and so will just accept each other’s company when you put them in the same cage.

When you do put two guinea pigs together make sure that they both have somewhere to retreat to so that they have their own territory which does not belong to the other.

Something like a cardboard box or a hideaway should be sufficient for this.

What if it does not work out between the guinea pigs?

You need to be prepared for this possibility.

If you’ve tried your hardest but they just don’t get on with each other, the next step is to separate them into different cages but allow them to see and smell each other.

Sometimes it just doesn’t work out and the best thing is to keep them separated for their own good.

image: flickr danielhall

26 thoughts on “Putting Two Guinea Pigs Together In 7 Steps

    1. Have a towel, blanket, or piece of fleece ready. If any fighting begins, throw that over the pigs to confuse them. They will most likely stop fighting. DO NOT pick them up or interfere with your hands or feet or any body parts. Guinea pigs can get very vicious when they fight. Be aware of aggressive sounds and behavior.

      Now if the males get a little too friendly with the females, it’s ok to interfere with your hands. If you don’t want to take any risks, throw a towel over them.

      Yes, I know this is late. But just for future reference for anyone that needs it. I’m actually going to introduce my guinea pigs Darcee and Holly to my best friends guinea pigs, Toffee and Snickers. Snickers is a boy and my mom will kill me if Holly or Darcee or even both get pregnant. But whatevs, I’m doing it anyway.

      Hope this helps anyone that needs it!

  1. I have a 2 year old male guinea pig and am looking to get another would you suggest getting a male or female? Also what age should they be?

    1. Definitely a male, and age isn’t important really, but if you want them to live together for a long time go for a younger gp 🙂

    2. Imo, a younger male. You should keep the new guinea pig in a separate cage for two weeks at least because of two reasons:
      1. Quarantine : if you are uncertain about the origins of your new guinea pig, you should keep him away from the one that you already own because it might be sick and you don’t want your healthy piggy to get sick too.
      2. He will accustom to you, get used to your cuddles and daily routine.

      Why a male?
      Guinea pigs can have between 4 and 13 babies and only experienced people can handle this process. And if you get a female piggy and she gets pregnant, you will have to separate them anyway so it’s a loss-loss situation. On the other hand, a male will be great. It might be complicated to make them get along in the beginning (been there, done that) but it will eventually be fine.

      My advice : be ready to give them a bath after their first meeting. The first time my two males met, the older one “marked the territory” on my baby piggy.

  2. Question. I just introduced a New adult female Guinea pig. To my 5 yr old spayed female. Both have been caged with another guinea pig. The new one I got at the animal shelter, she seems laid back and easy to handle. (Once you catch her). They met on neutral territory did a lot of chattering, climbing on each other. Did not see any biting. Did some head raising. Checking each other’s butt After about 10 min I put them in a large cage my other guinea pig has been in. Although. I cleaned it out of course, my question is 4 hrs later there is still some squabbling going on. Not fighting but my resident older girl does not want the new girl to touch her. Pretty sure the new girl is the alpha Question. How long does it usually take to get used to each other.

    1. It actually varies between every guinea pig. Some take years, some take a few days, some take two or three weeks. It depends on the pigs personality.

  3. I bought my female from a friend/breeder not even a year ago. I love her dearly and wish to get her a friend. But, I am not allowed. She gets along with my cat really well. (He thinks she’s a kitten from a female cat we had that gave birth a couple weeks earlier. It’s a cute sight.) IF I was to get another one, they couldn’t be in separate cages; I only have the one and that’s the one she came in. I would hope to get a hairless or short-haired one. My current one was supposed to be short-haired but she looks like a tribble. Would she quicker accept a baby just old enough to be away from mom? Also, are there any breeds that stay small?

  4. I have a 11 month old male guinea pig, I was thinking off getting him a female to keep him company as he never eats or drinks when I’m out, he’s been spaded, I was just wondering would it be a good idea if I got her around the same age as him? As I had a female before that was younger then him and all the did was fight and he then ended up bitting but since she’s gone he’s stopped. Would it be a good idea to have one the same age as him?

    1. It sounds like your guinea pig is going through severe depression. As long as he is nuetered, it should be okay if you really want to. But I would suggest getting another male if anything to prevent sexual behavior. But please do get another pig if you wish for yours to be happy and healthy for as long as he lives.

  5. I have a female guinea pig she’s around 1 year old and I got another female guinea pig ANC she’s 3 years old so can I put them in the same cage?

  6. I recently purchased two guniea pigs one boy one girl I want to separate them however they get along so well that if I do separate them they almost seem as if they are miserable without each other I really don’t know what to do please help.

  7. Hi!
    I have 2 guinea pigs, Oreo (male) and Carmello (female). We have had them for about 3 months and got Carmello about 2 weeks after Oreo.
    They had been living happily together until recently i noticed Oreo was a lot more withdrawn and he made a loud squeeking noise every time i tried to pick him up, which is strange because he always liked being picked up and petted.
    Then tonight when i picked him up after free time i noticed that he has a big scab in his neck, which is probably the reason for the squeeking because it must hurt when we touch it.
    Is it possible that Carmello could have hurt him? I have never seen her be ugly to him before

  8. I got Pepper (female Guinea pig) she was 3 months old when I got her from Pets At Home. Pepper was a much loved family member and was my baby. I then got a male Guinea pig when Pepper was 9 months and we called him Mango he was also 3 months when we got him. Pepper was spayed and she didn’t really accept Mango at first as she hated it when I showed any affection too Mango. But by the time Mango was about four months old they were the best of friends! Then came along a third Guinea pig another male he was also 3 months old and we called him Bramble. Pepper was 1yr & 9mths and Mango was 1yr & 3mths. When we added Bramble it was a nightmare! First of all Bramble pushed his buttons too many times and kept trying to dominate Mango and Mango wouldn’t back down which often led to fights. Also, Pepper thought that she was going to lose Mango forever and hated it when Bramble came near. But all in all they managed to get on but it took months when Bramble got neatured it was easier as neither him or Mango tried to dominate each other anymore. Then (we might sound crazy at this point) we added a 3 month of female Guinea pig called Coco. Pepper was 2yrs 3mths, Mango was 1yr 9mths and Bramble was only 9mths. Bramble accepted Coco as he was still under a year old and didn’t really understand. Pepper and Coco fought a lot and Mango well he just wanted too impress her. So yes Coco was an easy introduction!
    Now Pepper, Mango, Bramble and Coco all live in peace and harmony amen.

  9. I have a peruvian girl 2mos old and a new girl sheltie 3mos old. When i put sheltie in the cage, she kinda bullying my baby peruvian, is it ok to put them together in a cage?

  10. Hi. I have a male guinea pig who is maybe 4-5 months old. When I got him he was with a few other male guineas. Whenever I brought him home he acted very skiddish and he’s been afraid of me and my daughter. He would chew on things here and there. And he eats and drinks. But he hides anytime anyone gets anywhere near him.
    I figured he was lonely and I bought another male guinea (he’s albino and a little bigger than my other guinea). He was also with other male guineas when I got him. They told me he’s only 3-4 months old. I want to introduce them.
    Well I brought him home and put their cages close to each other. And my first guinea seems really excited. He’s been going around his cage and sniffing and squealing.
    My newer guinea doesn’t seem phased at all. He doesn’t really have much of a reaction at all.
    Can I try putting them together now? Or should I wait?
    I didn’t completely think this through and I don’t have a cage for the newer guinea pig.
    I had no clue I was supposed to quarantine him for the first couple of weeks. He’s currently in a small animal playpen type thing.

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