There are a lot of people that have rabbits and guinea pigs living together. In fact, it seems like a pretty common animal combination. However, is it really a good idea? Can guinea pigs live with rabbits? Well, that is what we want to talk about on this page with you.
Not only are we going to discuss whether the two animals will get along here, but we also want to talk about some of the animals both of them can and can’t live with.
Can Guinea Pigs and Rabbits Live Together?
Under absolutely no circumstances should a rabbit and a guinea pig be living together. They do not eat the same foods. Rabbits are also far more powerful than a guinea pig, and they could potentially kill them. No matter what people have told you in the past, you are taking a risk the second that these two animals are put together in the same area.
Why Can’t Guinea Pigs and Rabbits Live Together?
There are several reasons why guinea pigs and rabbits should not be put into the same cage, or even live in the same general area as one another. We want to go through them one by one, just to show you how bad of an idea it is.
They Do Not Eat The Same Foods
If you look at the rabbit and guinea pig formulated foods, you will notice that they look the same. Both dried vegetables and other bits and pieces. However, guess what? They aren’t the same. They have different nutritional values.
Rabbits and guinea pigs have different nutritional requirements. Guinea pigs, for instance, will need vitamin C in their diet. Rabbits do not. This means guinea pig food has vitamin C in it. If a rabbit ate that, it would ‘overdose’ on vitamin C, which isn’t really that healthy.
Now, we know that there are some people that believe they can just separate the foods out inside the cage. You can’t do that either. Do you really think a rabbit or guinea pig knows which bowl they should be eating from?
Don’t get us wrong. There are some overlaps in their food. Both are herbivores and need hay in their diet. However, this doesn’t mean that they will always be eating the same foods.
Rabbits Are Powerful Animals
Rabbits are incredibly powerful animals. Sure, they are small, but they have some serious muscles in their legs. Just one kick from a rabbit has the potential to kill a guinea pig.
Look at the legs of each of these animals sometime. You will notice just how different the two of them are. A guinea pig’s legs could be easily broken by the slightest of nudges.
Rabbits are going to kick the guinea pig if they find that the guinea pig gets too close to them. The rabbit may also accidentally kick when they are hopping around the area that they live in.
Rabbits Cannot Communicate With Guinea Pigs
Both rabbits and guinea pigs are social animals. Therefore, it isn’t really a surprise that some people feel that putting the two of them into the same cage would be for the benefit of the animals. However, things don’t quite work like that.
Rabbits and guinea pigs cannot talk to one another. There is literally no understanding between the two of them when it comes to the sounds and movements that they make. A guinea pig, for instance, cannot tell when a rabbit is telling them to ‘stay clear’.
Since the rabbit and guinea pig cannot actually socialize with one another, putting them into the same cage for socialization benefits is going to be completely ineffective.
Rabbits Are Bullies
Rabbits can bully animals smaller than them. It is very much a territory thing. This means that they will likely end up bullying the guinea pig as they know that the guinea pig probably won’t be able to do anything about it.
Now, bullying is likely going to lead to those kicking issues that we mentioned before. However, there is a more ‘silent’ killer here.
As you may well know, guinea pigs are quite anxious animals. If you give them a scare, then you will potentially kill them. Their little hearts can’t handle it. When a guinea pig is being bullied by a rabbit, it stresses them out. When a guinea pig becomes stressed out, it will put a huge amount of pressure on their heart. This can lead to death.
Now, don’t get us wrong. Not all rabbits are going to be bullies. However, when you have two completely distinct animals sharing the same space, we are almost certain that the rabbit is going to be bullying the guinea pig. It wants to show the guinea pig that it is ‘in charge’.
Rabbits Can Give Guinea Pigs Diseases
Rabbits have the potential to carry a bacteria known as Bordetella bronchiseptica.
For the most part, this bacteria is going to be completely harmless to rabbits. They may get mildly sick, but their immune system will do a pretty decent job at keeping it at bay.
This isn’t the case for guinea pigs. If a guinea pig has the Bordetella bronchiseptica inside their system, then it will cause severe breathing issues. In fact, there is a strong chance that your guinea pig will end up dying from what, in other animals, would normally be quite a mild illness.
We are not saying that your guinea pig would not catch the bacteria if the rabbit wasn’t there. However, the chances of them catching it with a rabbit are much higher than if they were on their own or with other guinea pigs.
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Do Rabbits Kill Guinea Pigs?
Rabbits can kill guinea pigs, either intentionally or, in most cases, unintentionally.
Rabbits have incredibly powerful legs. This is how they are able to travel vast distances in next-to-no time at all. A guinea pig is a rather delicate animal. The two do not really go hand-in-hand with one another.
Even an accidental kick from a rabbit could potentially kill your guinea pig. If it doesn’t kill them, then it will almost certainly give them a serious injury.
If you have a male rabbit, then it is likely to mount the guinea pig too in a bid to mate with it. If this happens, then it could potentially break the guinea pig’s back or legs, particularly if the guinea pig tries to fight back. This will lead to the death of the animal.
Finally, you should also remember that while rabbits may seem timid, they are incredibly territorial animals at times. If they feel that the guinea pig is invading their personal space (i.e. their territory), then there is a strong chance that your rabbit will end up lashing out at the guinea pig. Once again, this has the potential to cause death or serious injury.
Can Female Rabbits Live with Male Guinea Pigs?
Female rabbits will still have powerful legs, and they could kill male guinea pigs. As we mentioned previously, there is also the risk of the guinea pig suffering from a bacterial infection which will kill them if it is left unchecked.
You may have an easier time getting female rabbits to live with male guinea pigs because there is less chance of bullying and the female rabbit is not going to try to mate with the male. However, it is still something that could never be recommended due to the danger that it presents.
Can Rabbits and Guinea Pigs Play Together?
Rabbits and guinea pigs cannot play with one another.
A rabbit would be far too powerful as an animal to play with a guinea. Something that is seen as ‘light play’ for a rabbit could easily kill a delicate animal like a guinea pig.
This is if they even attempted to play together to begin with. However, that is unlikely to happen. This is because guinea pigs and rabbits cannot communicate with one another. One is a rodent and the other is a Leporidae. They are completely distinct animals. A rabbit and guinea pig communicating would be akin to you or I attempting to communicate with a giraffe.
If the rabbit and the guinea pig cannot talk, neither of them will understand that it is just playing. This will lead to violence and, yes, it is likely that the rabbit is going to be winning that fight.
What Animals Can Rabbits Live With?
Because rabbits are sociable animals, the best animals for rabbits to live with will be other rabbits. If you see rabbits in the wild, you will notice that they almost always travel in groups. They will play together and track down food together. If you introduce another rabbit or two into the household, then we are virtually certain that your rabbit will enjoy the company.
The only other animals that your rabbit could potentially live with (when talking about common animals) will be cats and dogs. However, you will likely need to spend a bit of time ensuring that your dog and cat are comfortable around the rabbit. The rabbit probably shouldn’t be left alone with either animal too. This can cause some issues.
There are some people that suggest that rabbits can live with birds. However, this is not something that we can recommend. This is because birds are incredibly noisy. Rabbits have been known to end up with damaged eardrums if they have to deal with these repetitive, loud sounds coming from birds. If anything, it is going to be irritating to the rabbit.
What Animals Can Guinea Pigs Live With?
Many people claim that they have managed to get their guinea pig living successfully with other small rodents e.g. mice, rats, and maybe hamsters. However, it is still not something that we would recommend. We wouldn’t even recommend that the guinea pig lives in the same house as a cat.
Guinea pigs are incredibly sociable animals. This means that they need other animals that they can communicate with. While you may be able to show them a bit of affection, it is going to be absolutely no substitute for the company of another guinea pig. This is because guinea pigs do need to play into their innate herd mentality. They cannot do that if they are alone, so you are really denying them one of the things that makes a guinea pig a guinea pig.
Guinea pigs cannot live with dogs or cats. It would cause them too much anxiety. Both of these animals will also carry the Bordetella bronchiseptica that we mentioned previously.
Can Rabbits and Guinea Pigs Eat the Same Food?
To an extent, yes.
Both rabbits and guinea pigs will need to eat hay and a good mix of vegetables. The hay will help them to ‘grind’ their teeth down, while they need fruits and vegetables because they are herbivores. However, this is where the similarities end.
Both rabbits and guinea pigs need vitamin C. However, rabbits can synthesize their own vitamin C from the foods that they eat. Guinea pigs are not able to do this. Since rabbit foods will not have any added vitamin C to them, the guinea pig will not be getting all of the nutrients that it needs to thrive from rabbit food. This can kill them.
If you have a guinea pig, then give them foods that have been formulated for guinea pigs. If you own a rabbit, then give them foods that have been formulated for rabbits. This is the only way to ensure that their nutritional needs will have been met.
Guinea pigs and rabbits cannot live with one another. They are far too different. In fact, if you put the two of them together, there is a strong chance that the rabbit can end up killing the guinea pig. In an ideal world, you will only have guinea pigs living with other guinea pigs, and you will only have rabbits living with other rabbits. If you go down any other route, then there is a strong chance that you will have to deal with various issues.