Both guinea pigs and hamsters are both rodents. This means that they are far closer relatives than the often paired-up rabbit and guinea pig combo (this is absolutely not recommended!). However, can guinea pigs and hamsters live together? Well, this is what we want to talk about on this page.
Here, we are going to go through various situations where you may find that hamsters and guinea pigs may end up encountering one another. We will tell you whether it is an ideal situation for either of them to be in. We hope that this information is useful for all guinea pig and hamster owners out there!
Can Guinea Pigs and Hamsters Live Together?
No. Guinea pigs and hamsters are just too different from one another. While it is true that they are both rodents, they have evolved in different ways. In fact, they come from different parts of the planet. Outside of being rodents, there isn’t actually that much overlap in the way that they behave. If you put a guinea pig and a hamster in the same cage, then it will cause serious issues.
Reasons Why Hamsters and Guinea Pigs Can’t Live Together
Before we dive into the reasons why guinea pigs and hamsters cannot live with one another, we do want to point out that some people have paired them up anyway. Some people report that by introducing the two of them to one another at a young age, it helped to alleviate any issues. However, we still recommend that you do not do this. The risk is always going to be there, and you probably do not want to be constantly keeping an eye on the two animals.
Both hamsters and guinea pigs eat different foods.
Guinea pigs are herbivores. This means that they mostly eat plants. Hamsters are omnivores. A good chunk of their diet will be some seeds, and vegetables/fruits, but they can also eat meat.
If you give either of them food meant for the other, they are going to suffer from a nutritional deficiency. In some cases, particularly in the case of hamsters, they may end up overdosing on certain nutrients which can also cause issues.
Since it is hard to stop the animals from eating the ‘wrong’ food, they should never be paired up with one another.
Hamsters are Solitary Animals
Hamsters absolutely hate the company of animals. This includes other hamsters. They are solitary animals. They probably don’t want you going near them at the best of times.
If they are kept in the same cage as a guinea pig, then they are going to get incredibly irritated. This may lead to certain aggressive behaviors in the hamster. This leads us neatly onto the next point.
Hamsters are Aggressive
In the wild, hamsters will hunt down small animals, mostly bugs. It won’t ever be a major part of their diet, but it is certainly going to be something that they do. These desires to ‘hunt’ are not really going to disappear in hamsters. They still have the body and the mentality of a hunter.
Hamsters are prone to trying to attack a guinea pig that is in their personal space. This means that they do not really have any issues sinking their teeth deep into a guinea pig.
Now, the guinea pig is probably not going to die from a hamster bite. Not unless it hit a major artery or got infected. However, it isn’t really the guinea pig that you will want to be worrying about here.
Guinea pigs are far larger than hamsters. While guinea pigs will never be the first ones to get aggressive, they will defend themselves if they feel that they are at risk with the hamster. This means that they will try to fight back. Guinea pigs could almost certainly end up killing a hamster, even if it weren’t trying.
That being said, there is still a small chance that the guinea pig could die. They are very timid and anxious animals. If they constantly feel that they are under threat from a violent hamster, it could end up putting a lot of stress on their heart. This has been known to kill guinea pigs.
They Have Different Sleep Schedules
Imagine if you were asleep and somebody was stomping around your house at night. It would be irritating, right? Well, that is exactly how hamsters and guinea pigs would feel if you paired them up with one another.
Hamsters and guinea pigs have different sleep schedules. While there may be some overlap due to the way in which a guinea pig rests (they do a few hours on, and a few hours off), there will still be times when one is sleeping and the other one of them is highly active. This will cause a lack of sleep, which, in turn, is going to lead to stress in both of the animals. This can lead to illness and, in rare cases, death.
This problem is actually so bad that the two of them wouldn’t be able to live in the same room as one another. We will talk more about that problem shortly.
They Cannot Interact With One Another
The mean reason why people put guinea pigs and hamsters together is because they want to give the other animal as a friend. As we said before, hamsters don’t care for friends. They love to be alone. However, that isn’t the only issue here.
The two animals could never be friends. This is because they do not speak the same language as one another. A hamster cannot communicate with a guinea pig at all. They do not know what each other is thinking. There is literally going to be no benefit to either of them being there. They simply do not have the mentality for the two of them to enjoy each other’s company.
- Can Guinea Pigs And Rabbits Live Together?
- Are Your Guinea Pigs Fighting Or Playing?
- Do Guinea Pigs Like To Cuddle? (And How To Get Them Too)
Are There Any Animals a Guinea Pig Can Live With?
Contrary to popular belief, a guinea pig cannot live with a rabbit. If they did, the rabbit could potentially kill them. This is due to the sheer amount of power that a rabbit has in their legs. Rabbits can also give guinea pigs infections which can impact their breathing and also kill them. This is just scratching the surface of the issues that you are going to be facing there.
Guinea pigs cannot live with cats and dogs because both of those animals are predators. The guinea pig will be terrified. This can cause their heart to give up.
The only animals that guinea pigs should be living with should be other guinea pigs. In fact, it is actually wise to have a couple of guinea pigs if you do own this animal. This is because the guinea pig is a social creature. In the wild, it would be a herd animal. This is not something that is just going to stop because they are living in captivity. They will still have those natural instincts.
Are There Any Animals that Hamsters Can Live With?
Hamsters should not be living with any other animal. This includes pairing them up with other hamsters, unless you are breeding them. However, even then, the hamsters should only be kept together for short bursts of time.
Hamsters are solitary animals that are incredibly territorial. If another animal is in there, it will stress the hamster out. This can cause them to become violent, even if the other animal is far bigger than they are. If the other animal is smaller than the hamster (which is rare, of course), then the hamster will have absolutely no hesitations in killing it.
In most cases, you shouldn’t even be letting other animals into the same room as a hamster due to the sheer amount of stress it can cause the hamster.
Can Guinea Pig Food Kill Hamsters?
Not right away, no.
The diet of a guinea pig and a hamster are going to be different from one another. If you look at the foods designed for guinea pigs and the food designed for hamsters, you will notice that they are different.
Hamster food is going to be more seed-focused. In fact, hamsters are omnivores. They will also eat meat and eggs, although it is rare to find either of these in their food. You will almost certainly find some sort of protein content that a guinea pig wouldn’t be able to eat, though.
Guinea pig food, on the other hand, is mostly going to be leafs and vegetables. There won’t be a seed in sight!
This means that if you give your hamster some guinea pig food, they will not be consuming the foods that they need to be eating. Over time, there is a strong chance that this could end up causing a nutritional deficiency in the hamster. So, while eating guinea pig food is unlikely to kill the hamster right away, it is something that could potentially happen over the course of weeks or months.
The same goes for guinea pigs. They shouldn’t be eating hamster food due to that nutritional deficiency.
Can a Hamster and Guinea Pig Play Together?
No. The animals are far too different.
Hamsters are animals with a huge amount of agility. They can dart around and play like there is no tomorrow. Guinea pigs cannot do that. In fact, compared to hamsters, they are pretty docile animals. They can’t even share the same toys i.e. balls and the like, because this would probably end up breaking the guinea pig’s back.
This isn’t the main reason why the two of them shouldn’t be playing together, though.
The main reason is because hamsters do not like other animals coming close to them. This includes guinea pigs. If that guinea pig comes close to them, then the hamster will likely attack them.
This is putting aside the fact that the guinea pig and hamster will speak different languages. A hamster doesn’t know when a guinea pig is just trying to be friendly, for instance. If the two animals cannot understand one another, how could they possibly play together?
If you do have a hamster and a guinea pig, then you should do your best to ensure that the two of them never come into contact with one another. It is going to be stressful for both of the animals, and literally no good can come from it.
Can Guinea Pigs and Hamsters Live in the Same Room?
You would think that you could keep them in the same room if they are kept apart. However, this is not the case. Even if they are living in separate cages, guinea pigs and hamsters should not live in the same room. This is because they will interfere with each other’s sleep schedules.
Hamsters, as you may well know, are nocturnal animals. This means that they are going to be most active at night.
Guinea pigs, on the other hand, are not. A guinea pig lives its life by being active for short bursts of time before sleeping. This means that they will be active throughout the day and night, but they will sleep for small amounts of time every so often.
This would mean that a hamster would likely be keeping a guinea pig awake, and a guinea pig will likely be keeping a hamster awake.
The result is that both of the animals are going to end up getting incredibly stressed out. This can lead to death for both of them.
Guinea pigs and hamsters cannot live together. Do not even try to experiment with it. The two animals are incredibly different. In fact, they are so different that they shouldn’t even be sharing a room with one another, let alone a cage. If you do put the animals in the same area for any length of time, we are fairly confident that one of them will either even end up seriously injured or die. Please avoid it.