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.
7 thoughts on “Can Guinea Pigs and Rabbits Live Together?”
my rabbit and Guinea pigs have been living together for more hen a year now and none of the are fixed. they are all males. I have two piggys and one rabbit.
Hi. I have a young female rabbit and young guinni pig which I bought that were together. Ive kept them together but have researched that they shouldn’t be. I think they’re ok but the rabbit chases the pig and they dont groom each other. im worried they aren’t happy. Help
If they are used to being together then they should be fine. But do check them daily and if there is any sign that their relationship is deteriorating ie, fighting, then I would separate them.
I have a rabbit and guinea pig tryed to put them together they seemed to get along. But we started noticing that the rabbit was getting less fluffy. Started watching them and the guinea pig was pulling or chewing it off. Could not really tell which. But separated them. Also the guinea pig was always trying to get freaky with the rabbit. Other than those they got along with one another.
I raised guinea pigs and rabbits when I was growing up. They lived together, without ever having any problems. I’m talking about generations of rabbits and guinea pigs, living together, caged or free ranging, on a quarter-acre fenced yard in San Diego, CA. Types of rabbits were red satin and French lop, so pretty large breeds. On chilly mornings, I’d go outside to find guinea pigs on top of the rabbits, keeping warm. The rabbit would be weighed down with 2 or 3 piggies, including one draped around its neck like a stole. I never saw a rabbit try to hump a guinea pig (although they humped the tortoises, and playballs in the yard were fair game). I supposed a rabbit could conceivably thump its hind feet and cause injury to a guinea pig, but I never saw anything like that in a decade (or more) of keeping these animals together. That’s my experience, for what it’s worth. I am now 55 years old and have 8 guinea pigs, but no rabbits.
Hi Maddie great to hear your experience of keeping guinea pigs and rabbits together and interesting that you never had any problems. It isn’t something that is recommended but it is always at your discretion whether to do it or not. Great that all yours got on though 🙂
I made the mistake of mixing my 4 year old female rabbit and two guinea pigs, which by the way leave droppings everywhere, contrary to my rabbit which only does so in a specificic secluded place. Long story short, in only three days that they were left without throughly washing and cleaning their pen, and due to the enormous and random droppings and urine pools, my rabbit caught a skin disease that almost killed her.
btw, when the rabbit lived alone, it was only necessary to clean once every week, and since the guinea pigs came along, it must be cleaned daily!
Not a good idea for me.