With two male guinea pigs there can be occasions where you need to separate them. This is especially the case as they get to know each other because there will be plenty of uncertainty and a play for being the dominant guinea pig in the territory.
Usually when you have two males in a cage there is the usual chattering of teeth and chasing each other around.
This is quite normal for male guinea pigs living together, but occasionally things may escalate and get more serious.
When this happens there are some things that you could do to ease the situation and calm things down a bit;
1. Divide up the cage
If you have a cage that is big enough, consider putting a divider in the cage to give the guinea pigs some time out from each other.
C&C cages are great for this and can easily be divided up if so required.
But other cages can be divided up easily with a bit of creativity and some sturdy dividers that can either be purchased or found around the home.
By dividing up the cage you create an enforced separation so they can scent each other but can’t at each other for a while. The useful thing about doing this is that it will give them some time out and allow them to calm down, it will give them the chance to acclimatise with having another guinea pig around and understand what it is to live with each other.
When you feel the time is right, you can then take the divide out to allow them some time together again.
2. Create hide outs for the guinea pigs
Give the two guinea pigs a place to hide from each other. Giving them hideouts allows them to have their own space. They can be anything from a shoebox to a purpose built pigloo which are excellent for guinea pigs to retreat to.
Guinea pigs do appreciate their own space even though they are herd animals and will look to set out their territory. Having a retreat like this will help them to feel more comfortable in the surroundings.
3. Make sure they get enough food
Try and ensure that there is enough food in the cage so that they don’t fight over what scraps there are. When there is more than enough food, they are less likely to fight over it. Make sure that they have plenty of hay, and vitamin c foods, water and also ensure that they have a good variety of veggies.
4. Put them in separate cages
If you consider the situation serious enough, then it could be worth putting them in separate cages. Like dividing up the cage as we discussed above, putting them in separate cages will allow them time out from each other and to get used to the scent of each other.
Your cage may not be the type that you can divide up easily, so this is a good option.
Then consider putting them together again to spend spend more time together, before separating them again. Only put them together permanantly when you are happy that they are not going to fight any more.
5. Clean out the cage often
When you clean out the cage often, it gets rid of the scent partially of the guinea pigs and so will help to de-mark the territory.
This will help to ease tension with the piggies and help them to accept each other more.
Clean it as thoroughly as you can with special antibacterial spray for cleaning out pet cages and refresh it with new hay and newspaper.
6. Give them distractions
Make the cage interesting for them by giving them distractions in the cage.
This will provide some respite for the sparring guinea pigs. Things like branches, logs, tunnels, balls, lots of hay that they can crawl in and hide in and other things such as this provide a welcome distraction for guinea pigs.
These are some suggestions that you could use to stop your guinea pigs from fighting. Do you have any further things that have worked for you. I would love to hear about them.