Rabbits are lagomorphs and guinea pigs are rodents. Guinea pigs are smaller than rabbits, and their weight can range from 2 to 3 pounds while rabbits can weigh up to 10 pounds or more. Guinea pigs also have shorter legs than rabbits, and their bodies are rounder and more compact, so they don’t require as much space.
Guinea pigs and rabbits also have distinct behaviors. Guinea pigs are social animals that enjoy interacting with their owners and other guinea pigs. They also love to play and explore their surroundings. While not nocturnal, they nap frequently and can make a racket at night. It’s usually better to locate their quarters in a room unoccupied by sleeping humans.
On the other hand, rabbits can be social, but are more independent and enjoy having their own space. They may become aggressive when they feel their territory is being invaded. They also tend to chew on anything they can get their teeth on.
Both guinea pigs and rabbits can be territorial, and this can lead to aggression towards each other.Rabbits may try to establish dominance over the guinea pig. This can be dangerous, especially if the guinea pig is significantly smaller than the rabbit. You should always supervise them closely and separate them if they show any signs of aggression towards each other.
Can Guinea Pigs and Rabbits Coexist in the Same Cage or Hutch?
Now that you know the differences between guinea pigs and rabbits, you might be wondering whether it’s possible for them to coexist within the same enclosure. The answer is not a simple yes or no. Guinea pigs and rabbits have different needs, and housing them together requires careful consideration.
Keeping rabbits and guinea pigs together may seem like a good idea, since both are small, like to eat hay, and have as furry friends. But since they are two different species with different personalities, nutritional needs, and communication styles, it can sometimes be better to let them live separately.
However, if your circumstances require coexistence, or you just like the idea of rabbits and guinea pigs living together, you can definitely try these tips for bonding rabbits and guinea pigs so they live happy, healthy lives.
Size of Cage or Hutch
The first thing to consider is the size of the cage. Guinea pigs and rabbits require different sizes of enclosures. A single guinea pig needs at least 7.5 square feet of space, while a single rabbit needs at least 12 square feet. If you want to house both pets together, the minimum size of the cage should be at least 14 square feet. This will provide enough space for both pets to move around freely without feeling cramped.
The second thing to consider is companionship. Guinea pigs are social animals and enjoy the company of other guinea pigs. They can become stressed and lonely if housed alone.
Rabbits are also social but can be more independent and may not enjoy the company of another animal. Rabbits bond with their owners and most of them love to snuggle and cuddle. Make sure you have the time and temperament to reciprocate their devotion.
If you decide to house them together, make sure they have their own space within the enclosure where they can retreat to if they need some alone time.
Another thing to consider is their dietary needs. One of the only differences between a rabbit’s and guinea pig’s diet is that guinea pigs need an extra source of Vitamin-C in their daily diet!
If they don’t receive their Vitamin-C they can become vulnerable to developing scurvy. It’s true that certain pellets, veggies, and fruits contain Vitamin-C but it’s not usually enough and over-feeding those types of food could be bad for them as you’d overdo their sugar intake. Many owners give Vitamin-C supplements to their guinea pigs to ensure they get the right amount to keep them happy and healthy! Contact your vet to determine the right amount of Vitamin-C for your guinea pig.
Rabbits, on the other hand, don’t require anything extra aside from grass hay that is high in fiber and low in carbohydrates. They should be fed mostly hay, a small number of pellets, and fresh vegetables as a treat.
Timothy Hay (or other Grass Hays) should make up at least 80% of a rabbit’s diet and guinea pig’s diet. One way to visualize this amount is that your small pet should be consuming almost the size of their body’s worth of fresh hay every single day. Their hay needs to be clean and kept dry to prevent any mold or mildew growth. Make sure you also store it correctly in dark space so that it doesn’t go stale and lose any nutrients.
Make sure the food you provide is suitable for both pets, and they have access to their own food and water dishes.
While it may be possible for guinea pigs and rabbits to coexist in the same cage or hutch, it's important to keep in mind their differences and individual needs. Providing a spacious cage or hutch, ensuring companionship needs are met, and providing appropriate diets are all key factors to consider.
It's also important to closely monitor their behavior and separate them if necessary to prevent any potential aggression.
By following these guidelines, you can give your furry friends the best chance of living together harmoniously and enjoying a happy, healthy life.