Can rabbits and guinea pigs live together as pets?
Rabbits and guinea pigs are often thought of as similar animals and many people decide to keep both species as pets. But can the two animals live harmoniously together in the same enclosure?
Before thinking about buying a rabbit and a guinea pig together, this is vital information to find out.
According to the RSPCA, it is not the best idea in the world to keep rabbits and guinea pigs together, there are many reasons for this.
Rabbits will be much happier if they are kept with other rabbits and guinea pigs will thrive better if they live with other guinea pigs. Some of the reasons for this are detailed below.
Rabbit and Guinea Pig Diet Differences
They tend to have completely differing dietary needs. Guinea pigs need vitamin C added into their diet, whereas rabbits do not.
Some of the foods you might give to one may cause the other health problems, so sharing an enclosure could pose the risk of the animals eating each others food.
Whether they mean to or whether it is accidental, there is a chance that a rabbit might injure a guinea pig.
They often kick out with their back legs which are surprisingly strong, and if the guinea pig happens to be in the kicking zone, it may end up harmed. Their sharp claws also pose a risk of accidental injury to the guinea pig.
On top of this, rabbits are often known to bully guinea pigs which can be very stressful to the animal and can even result in their death.
Spread of Disease
Rabbits are known to carry a disease called Bordetella bronchiseptia which is a leading cause of lung problems within the guinea pig species.
Whilst this disease doesn’t appear to cause an issue for the rabbits, it can lead to the death of a guinea pig. Housing them together would increase the chances of this disease being passed onto the guinea pig.
Rabbit and Guinea Pig Behavior
Been different species, their behaviorsare completely different.
This means that the two animals will not understand each others communications, which can led to misunderstandings between the animals and frustration.
An unneutered rabbit may attempt to mate with the guinea pig, this will cause stress.
Can Rabbits And Guinea Pigs Share The Same Cage
A rabbit tends to need much more space for exercise than a guinea pig and therefore keeping them together can be a challenge.
If the enclosure is big enough for a rabbit, this will mean that he will spend a lot of the day jumping around with the risk of injuring the guinea pig in the process.
However, if you opt for a smaller enclosure better suited to the guinea pig, the rabbit will not have the correct amount of space to meet its daily exercise needs. So it is better to keep them separate.
There have been successful pairings of rabbits and guinea pigs but as a rule of thumb, for the reasons we have discussed, it is beneficial for both creatures if they are given their own separate cages.