Should Guinea Pigs and Rabbits live together?
Generally speaking, these creatures should get along well together under tight supervision and in short bursts of time. However, because of significant behavioural, physiological, and environmental differences, they should never be kept in the same cage. Instead, it is better for them to live apart.
In the eyes of specialists who study the communal dynamics of guinea pigs and rabbits living together, this is no longer normal. Most people consider it to be an old-fashioned practice.
Because rabbits and guinea pigs are not the same species, they do not share the same behavioural characteristics. In general, rabbits need a lot more room and are more friendly with people. Guinea pigs are usually calmer and more cautious when they have at least one spouse. They both eat plants, are herbivores, and need a lot of time to play and exercise.
Given that they are bigger than guinea pigs, rabbits have the potential to accidentally hurt a guinea pig if left alone together. With its sharp claws, that fluffy bunny of yours could bully the guinea pig, and when a rabbit jumps and kicks its strong hind legs, even simply for enjoyment or exercise, they can hurt and overwhelm defenceless guinea pigs.
Do Rabbits and Guinea Pigs Communicate?
Since they most definitely don't speak the same language, rabbits and guinea pigs can’t communicate. As a result, they are poor companions. Body language is the main means of communication for rabbits. Bunnies often communicate their feelings to one another through silent cues. Guinea pigs are talkative animals that often have a lot to say and use about 11 distinct noises to express their emotions.
Cuddler’s vs Loners
Additionally, there are behavioural differences between guinea pigs and rabbits when it comes to affection. Rabbits form bonds through grooming and stroking one another. Contrary to guinea pigs, who do not groom one another. Conflict develops when a guinea pig who wants to be alone is added to a rabbit who wants to snuggle. That's not the fluffy paradise you anticipated since the guinea pig can become angry, and the rabbit might get lonely and melancholy.
Although both of these animals consume a lot of oaten hay and fresh dried vegetable treats, unlike rabbits, guinea pigs cannot produce enough Vitamin C through photosynthesis, thus they must consume enough amounts of this in their diet, unlike your floppy-eared companion. Guinea pigs will develop their own kind of scurvy without the vitamin in their food, becoming listless, experiencing diarrhoea, losing their hair, and eventually even bleeding to death internally.
A guinea pig can become infected by a rabbit if it uses its sharp claws to scratch it, leading to an open infection on its skin or eyes. Infections or blindness may result from this. A bacteria known as Bordetella bronchiectasis, which is carried by many rabbits and can infect an unknowing guinea pig and lead to respiratory problems. The bacteria have no symptoms on rabbits for their whole lives, but they can cause serious illness or even death in guinea pigs.
Pet Health and Vet Care
Rabbits and guinea pigs must see a vet with skills and experience specifically related to tiny animals. It is customary to refer to someone like this as a small animal veterinarian or an exotic animal veterinarian. Both guinea pigs and rabbits shouldn't be kept in cages all day. They require space and leisure to play and exercise in a healthy manner. They both require regular social connection as well, and ultimately, they both need a lot of care to be happy.
What if your animals already live together?
Keep an eye on both animals' diets and, if required, feed them separately. Having your rabbit spayed or neutered might lessen their aggressive behaviour and perhaps stop them from mounting the guinea pig. In order to provide your guinea, pig a place to hide should they ever need one, you need also offer hiding places that only they can fit into.
We hope this helps to clarify why these adorable animals need their own habitats. Some of you may be assuming that your enclosure is adequate, or you may be thinking that your fluffy pals are an exception to the norm, and hey, you could be correct. Just ask yourself are the hazards worth it.
Do Guinea Pigs and Rabbits friendship really get along?
Guinea pigs and rabbits may form friendships and even become best friends despite their mutual dread of danger. It is better to gradually introduce these two creatures. Since guinea pigs require different nutrients, it's crucial to separate them when they're young.
One important factor to keep in mind is the size difference. Rabbits are much larger than guinea pigs. Their back legs are very strong, and they can easily injure a guinea pig. They will also kick and bite the cages, which can be dangerous. This can lead to stress for the guinea pig, which may lead to ill health.
Although both species are cute, they are very different species. A guinea pig will prefer its own species. On the other hand, a rabbit would like to be with a herd of rabbits.
Farmer Pete's Conclusion
If you have a guinea pig and a rabbit that already get along well and don't have any problems, it's typically because they met when they were very young, have become used to one another, and were naturally friendly. The guinea pigs must have a safe haven to hide out in, such as a pipe, pen, or box with an entrance big enough for them but tiny enough for the rabbit.
Both should be around others of their own kind. Neutering rabbits is a common practice nowadays, and if you don't want to breed, it's crucial for the health of does (females), which are vulnerable to a variety of unpleasant gynaecological disorders. Neutered rabbits can talk, groom one other, run and play together, but they cannot reproduce and are considerably less likely to fight. The guinea pigs can coexist and live their lives unhindered in the interim.
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