stop guinea pigs from fighting

6 Things You Could Do To Stop Guinea Pigs From Fighting

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.

image wikipedia

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.

46 thoughts on “6 Things You Could Do To Stop Guinea Pigs From Fighting

  1. I have had my guinea pigs for over a year now and they have always been together. They were indoor guinea pigs so had them in a cage but about 3weeks ago they started fighting. So I thought maybe it was because they didn’t have enough room, so I brought them a hutch so they could go outside. They have been out there for a few days now but one has claimed the upstairs and won’t let the other one up there. So he has to stay downstairs in the run, I have made him a little bedroom out of a box so he doesn’t get cold. But is there anything you would recommend, why they might be fighting or how I can stop them?!

    1. They are male piggies and want territory for themselves to have for their women. If one claims the run and the other wants upstairs then let them have it. This is something they have to work out on their terms and you can only encourage. You just have to adapt to the situation and try a few things to get them to do together slowly. Like with my situation I have females and had to get a bigger c&c and an older piggy to put the other two youngins in their place. Now they all tolerate each other and do not fight anymore. With males the territory thing and fighting is on a whole another level and have to watch even more closely.

      1. We just got a New Guinea pig and he makes my other pig scream so loud and he is bigger than ours so we have a problem they did not grow up together and they think there the boss each but jack the new one has a slightly larger bulk on the hips and legs my old one is unable to defend himself from jack because he is used to being alone without company in his cage

    2. dear carrie, this could be happening if one is older than the other to be showing who is boss. For the past five years of my life i have own guinea pigs and never had a problem till now. For now maybe take them to a new spot neither one has ever been and give only a few toys, this will give a fresh start and neither one will own that territory at the start. This will take a little but if you do it for a few days every day you will notice behavior changing. Also consider taking the second floor down if it continues.

    3. i would recomend getting wire cube shelves and some chloroplast, make a c&c cage and if they continue to fight like the article says put deviders in it so they are less likely to be stressed about having to share a cage

    4. My piggies had a situation exactly like this in a two story cage at first one pig oreo would claim the top but now it is neutral ground and they don’t fight over it anymore just make sure you have lots of hidies in you hutch

  2. Hey just wanted to comment that the size of the cage can certainly have an impact, many pet store cages are actually far too small for two guinea pigs and the bigger cage may be required as I have found recently, it solved my issue of two fighting males and saved me sepperating them

  3. I have two female guineapigs. One of them will always ‘ motor boat ‘ , or rumble, at the other. She will even jump on top of her at times and we have sometimes seen scraches on the other. Is this normal because I can only find information about this on males?

    1. same here i put a divider in their cage and they are quiet and illlet you know how they are, ones a youngster and the otheris a ol’ piggie both female

    2. Yea my two females just started fighting because i introduced a once injured female guinea back to the main cage after 3.5 weeks of separation to let her broken leg heal (which it did) but since being returned to the main cage they always fight. Pulling each others fur out, biting and scratching and making funny noises and grinding thier teeth.

  4. I had my two male guinea pigs for a year and a half now but today I went out and when i came back the cage floor was splattered with blood and both of them had blood stains all over.One of them lost a chunk of his hand and the other got bitten around his you-know-what.Now they’re still trying to bite each other although I’ve separated the cage.Can anyone give me some advise on what to do next?I really don’t want to give any of them away but I dont have much space in my house for another cage:I have a lot of other animals in my house.I dont think the thing separating the cage would hang on forever so please give me some advise. :c

    1. Sorry to hear that. Keep the cages close together so that they can get used to each other and keep persevering. However, you will know your gp’s the best, if you feel it isnt working out, then it might be best to find a good home for one of them

  5. I got my first guinea pig in 1983 and eventually ended up with 4…all sows. I have had them quite a bit since then and in 1983 we did not have Internet to research how to introduce. I remember my parents and I just putting them in together…no “quarantine” time. I still put them in right together. What I do is completely clean and sanitize the cage and then bathe both piggies, (new and old) in the same guinea pig shampoo. Then I put them together. That has always worked for me. There are some arguments…establishing dominance but mine have worked it out. I also buy the same amount of food bowls and water bottles for each piggy to have their own. That also eases the transition from 1 piggy to two or more. Hope this helps. Alison…32 years experience with piggies. 🙂

  6. I have 1 female and 2 males but only 1 male is wanting to mate but she fights with him is there anything i can do about it or just keep them apart and maybe they will maye sometime

    1. Well I certainly hope they are neutered. Pregnancy can be fatal. In the wild the groups mainly consist of one male and the rest females. You should probably keep them apart they’ll be less stressed out

    1. Mine have been together for 7 months they are brothers and just started fighting a couple days ago and one took a chunk out of the others head and bit his ear and I was told hey will only go for the ears I guess that was a lie.

  7. I have 1 male guinea pig and he fights with all of them… And I don’t 2 cages his mom died and he lives with his aunt Oreo so toddles

  8. Hi there, i have had my female Rex guinea pig, pebbles, for 2 years coming now. I heard guineas don’t do well on there own so was wanting to get her another female friend but was wondering how to indroduce them so there would be no fights. Have any ideas??? Thanks

  9. i have two male guinea pigs before together in one cage, they were friendly, it started when i buy female, so i divided the cage into two,. the one cage is for two male and the other is for the female, i dont know why they always fighting, my question is, is it because they want the female and one of them want to own the female thats why they were fighting?

  10. Hi

    I have two male guinea pigs, brothers who are approaching a year old. They’ve never been apart. They have frequently rumbled, strutted and mounted but in the last two months have got much more fractious with some teeth chattering and minor biting – so that one occasionally has blood on his nose. They just can’t seem to decide who is dominant and lose their temper with each other frequently. What I’d like to know is if temporary separation is feasible when they have these ‘patches’ or whether once I’ve split them up they’d never get on again. The fighting comes in flurries but is getting more aggressive in manner. It’s hard because I’m not sure how long to wait.

    They have a lot of space, ample hay and food and choices of different hidey-holes in different places.

    I know they are in a patch where aggression is likely to be worse at their age. They have a large double decker hutch and theoretically I could have one upstairs and one downstairs – but if I took out the ramp and temporarily had separate floors, would that mean it would be forever? I can’t split them so they can still see each other through a barrier, unfortunately. Is smell enough? Would I actually be making the situation worse in the long run? It would make it difficult in the winter when I only have one large indoor cage which is difficult to split. I could work something out but I don’t want to have to unless it is essential.

    Argh. I’m just getting anxious as to the best thing to do…

  11. Hi! I have two male guinea pigs, Cookiedough and Potato. I adopted them for free last week as my mother’s friend gave them to us along with supplies. We didn’t even know if they were girls or boys until we flipped them over, nor do we know if they are even brothers or how long they’ve been together. I don’t know how long they’ve been friends, but they got along fine until Cookiedough started to hop on Potato and almost bite him. I put them in separate cages, two that I was planning to attach to make a bigger cage. How can I get them to be friends again?

  12. Hi,
    I have two female gp, sisters. As far as we know. We adopted them from pets at home….They’re non stop fighting and today I’ve found one with a severed ear. The vet says to separate and didn’t offer any other advice. This worries me as they are “heard” animals. They’re nearly 4 months old.
    What’s the best thing to do?
    Thanks x

  13. I have two guinea pig sisters from the same parents. One is older than the other by 3 months. The parents have passed away a year ago. And these two sisters have been living peacefully in their cage for about a year now, but recently I kept hearing plenty of shuffling in the cage. I would go check it and see that the older pig is in a corner and distressed (squealing, not a happy squeal and is more frightened) and the other one is chattering it’s teeth. Its been occurring for 3 days and I decided to put the cage beside me while i was working on something so I could see what was happening. The smaller pig would chase the larger one into a corner and bite her. :[ The other one just stays in the corner squealing in pain. Any advice? It’s a new thing to see them fight like this. I have separated them for now, one is living in a large box and the other in the cage.

  14. I have 3 guniea pigs female & 2 males they have began fighting were they have just cut each other around there mouths ears legs & nose I woke up one Saturday morning to a disaster they didn’t look to well they must have been fighting all night I have separated them now im wondering how long will this go on for at first I thought they were fighing over the female but I dont think thats the case iv had my guniea pig’s for 2months now they never a had a fight untill the last few days.

  15. l have 6 boy piggies and there is two what always fight when they where pups they never dune it intill now I don’t understand it so can anyone help????

  16. My guinea pigs Shadow and Nugget, both male, have been fighting for a long time, but today I come home and Nugget is out of his cage! I thought this was impossible for him to do, but he managed to get out. I noticed his pee was also very dark and he was shaking. What should I do?

    1. What I would do is put Nugget and Shadow together and if they start to chatter their teeth that means the are fighting and need to be apart before it gets more dangerous.

  17. I got my two guinea pig brothers six months ago, and i have had to seperate them as they kept on having major fights and lots of blood was drawn. I was wondering if i should get them neutered and introduce 1 female to each or i should introduce more males. Please help x

  18. I have done all of these and they are still fighting !!! I even got another piggie to mediate things and it didn’t work… All three fight now. Would more outside of cage time help at all ?

  19. I’ve had my two boys for 2 years and they started fighting a few months ago. They had to be separated because one had surgery, and I honestly think they are happier that way. There is a small area where they can see and smell each other, but everywhere else is completely separate. I’m worried that they are lonely, but I feel like this is better than the constant stress of fighting.

  20. I have an older female guinea pig .She is with around two months with us. I got another. She is a little bigger than her. The new one bites her is it okay

  21. I have 2 male guineas from the same barch from pets at home 1 is rumbling and circling the other one then they are mounting each others heads.Ive just bought a bigger hutch back am now thinking of getting a 2 storey hutch with a removable ramp.Im also thinking of getting them neutered but this is not guarenteed to work??.Or do i get rid of one..

  22. My male Guineas (apps and Omi) have been fighting for quite awhile now. Thankfully they have never drawn blood, but last night they were out for floor time and started rumbling and mounting each other. This is pretty common behavior, but when I looked back over apps was super scruffy and had a big blotch of white goop on his side. I don’t know what it is and I’m nervous about it. I have their cage separated so they can smell each other… If anyone has had this happen to them please let me know or if anyone has any ideas of what to do next…
    Thanks everyone,
    You guys rock!

    1. I don’t know your age but if your piggies are mounting each other, that’s a good indication as to what the white goop might be – let’s be polite and say one piggy is trying to get the other piggy pregnant the only way he knows how!

  23. My daughter has 3 brothers (our first lot) and unfortunately over the last 10 months we have had to separate them all due to them fighting, drawing blood, bits of ear missing etc. They hate being separated and are very vocal in their distress. Luckily for us, my Dad is visiting and has built us a huge run. It was meant for them to share it, but I am going to get some perspex and we are going to divide it up and have one part bigger so they can take turns in it. We did try to find a home for one but had no luck and we hate to think of one being separated from their love/hate relationship with their siblings anyway. I am hoping we have done the right thing but any advice would be great. Oh and how high should I make the perspex separation walls??? Cheers

    1. Hey Becky,

      I noticed this post was from May last year. We are just in the same situation. 3 brothers, all fine up until last week. We have sectioned off the cage for now but I don’t know what to do. What happened with your 3 guys? Thanks.

  24. I got a 5 week old (I believe)male from PetCo. He is a very laid back piggy, but our part feral tomcat took too much of an interest in getting to him for my comfort. That cat spends all day outside unless the weather is bad and comes in at night to eat and sleep. He regularly hunts birds and mice, so I’m afraid that the piggies look like a meal for him and I just cannot take that. I would be heart broken if anything bad happened to my piggie. As a result, I put the cage in a room with a TV that goes 24/7 to give him human sounds and I pay him very regular visits. I make sure to give him ample floor time from his cage in a big playpen while the cat is outside as well as letting him graze on our lawn. We don’t use pesticides or fertilizers on our grass, so it is healthy for him to eat. I also hold him regularly in the living room regardless of where the cat is because I can protect him while he is on me; all so he doesn’t feel alone and neglected. Still, he seemed to be turning into a recluse. I could get rid of the cat, but that wouldn’t be right since we rescued the cat from a shelter when he was just a kitten and have raised him for the last 6 years.
    So my solution after about 3 months of trying to make him feel loved and part of our family was to get him a buddy. I was thinking that since Guinea Pigs are social animals, having a pal would help him with companionship at night and between my visits. We have no desire to have babies, so I wanted to get another male. My sister always kept 2 same sex piggies and never had an issue with them getting long. She even had one alone for over a year before she inherited the other one from our grandm ther, Anyway, I went back to PetCo and got another male who was also about 5 weeks old. I can’t be sure of their exact ages, but they are about 3-4 months apart and the new guy is a bit smaller. I tried to put them together; introducing them slowly, but once they got past the finding each other stage, they started fighting right off. The little guy actually took a very small nip put of his big brother’s ear. After 6 months, they still do not get along. I can’t understand this. They are in separate cages butted right up to each other. This allows them to interact some. I also allow them to graze on the lawn together in the playpen (we live where there are hawks and other predators which is why they are in the playpen and watched very closely), but I have to keep the divider up. I carry them out to graze together and they take what I can only describe as “cheap shots” at each other. I also tried giving them a bath together, but nothing seems to work. The younger piggie is a bit hyper while his older partner is calm and cool. Will they ever get along? I keep hoping that as they get older and more mature they will eventually get along. In the mean time, I allow them short spurts of together time and I separate them when they start to fight. The good news is that neither of them are recluses despite having to be kept away from the cat. When the cat is outside during the day, I leave the door open and they can hear the activity in the house. I also continue regular visits to the room to pet and hold them as well as holding them in the living room. I make sure to give them both equal time, equal attention and equal food, etc so that neither one of them feels neglected or less loved than the other. Maybe someday, they will get along.

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