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Can A Guinea Pig Be Housed With A Rabbit?

An owner asks if a guinea pig can live with a rabbit.

By Shannon Cauthen
Posted: June 13, 2008, 5 a.m. EDT

Q: I have always wanted to get a guinea pig. I have two rabbits, one male and one female. My male rabbit is almost 1-year-old. Could a male or female guinea pig live with my Netherland dwarf male rabbit? And if so which sex would be better to live with my rabbit? Would the guinea pig have to be neutered/spayed?

A: Housing rabbits and guinea pigs together has never been recommended. Rabbits, even dwarf breeds, would still be larger than most guinea pigs and could damage a guinea pig with their large hind legs. Rabbits also tend to be territorial, especially the dwarf breeds. Biting is a natural defense mechanism for rabbits, which could cause deep puncture wounds to a guinea pig that has no defense against them.

Unlike other animals, neutering does not change the behavior of guinea pigs. The same can be said for spaying, although few veterinarians will spay female guinea pigs due to the high risk of death.

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Can A Guinea Pig Be Housed With A Rabbit?

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Reader Comments
actually that is not quite true, i have a male white rabbit thats about 3 years to 4 old and when he was about 2 we got a female guinea pig and the OLNY problem thayve is that their night cage is maybe a little small for both of them so this make my guinea pig sleep ON TOP of my rabbit. and during the day they are both loose in the house so other than that there has NEVER been any harm or misbehavior. so i would say that there is nothing that cuould actually prevent these two pets to live together.
larisa, san diego, CA
Posted: 6/16/2014 12:09:52 PM
Hello Fatima, Sorry to hear about the guinea pig attacking the rabbit. It's really best to keep different species in separate habitats. You didn't mention if all four guinea pigs and the rabbit are sharing the same cage. If so, it might just be too crowded. Also, introducing new guinea pigs changed the dynamics of the group. If they are living together, the males should be neutered to prevent pregnancy of the females. Female guinea pigs that get pregnant for the first time after 7 or 8 months of age might have great difficulty giving birth. I believe that male guinea pigs sometimes have dominance issues that can't be overcome. LINK Best wishes to you and your pets.
Marylou, Irvine, CA
Posted: 6/18/2012 1:37:03 PM
I have an urgent Question? We have 2 female Guinea pigs about 2 half yrs old.we adopted a male rabbit when he was just under a mnth and they all took to each other. He naturally saw the 2 females as mothers and would always b cuddled up with one or d other. We then got 2 male Guinea pigs and dey are just over 4 mnths old. All was well, until one of d older guinea pigs attacked d rabbit. With d commotion in d cage, we found d GP chattering her teeth and had a clump of d rabbits hair in her mouth. He is most of the time out of d cage and He is twice her size but is so docile he just ran and tried to get away from her. Why would she attack him? He is no competition.
fatima, jhb
Posted: 6/17/2012 2:33:10 PM
I don't understand most people think that dwarf bunnies cannot live with guinea pigs. Many pet shops that I go to, have them living together and they get along perfectly well. I just got a guinea pig to meet my two dwarf bunnies. My male bunny was first a bit territorial but then got along well with the guinea pig, my female bunny got on well from the beginning. The only problem is the food, because guinea pigs cannot eat rabbit pellets, unless it says on the packet "for rabbits AND guinea pigs etc."
Pet Lover, Cape Town
Posted: 1/9/2012 10:53:42 PM
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