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Can Guinea Pigs Live Alone? Should They Live In Pairs?

Tim Rhodes
Written by Tim Rhodes Last Updated: February 21, 2022

Can guinea pigs live alone or are they happier in pairs?

In this article, you will find the answer to that question and much more.

Guinea pigs are rodents, oftentimes misconceived as coming from Guinea-Bissau.

The truth is, the certainty of the etymology of the animal’s name is yet unclear.

Can Guinea Pigs Live Alone?

Although guinea pigs can live alone, it’s best if they have companions.

It’s best to raise guinea pigs in pairs because loneliness can cause depression and anxiety in your pet.

Guinea pigs are social animals, docile and curious, and their intelligence surpasses many other animals.

These animals are always ready to experience the adventure that their adaptive environment offers.

Owing to the level of socialization of these animals, the question of their survival rate when in solitude and not with other guinea pigs will then not be out of the question.

In this article, we will make sure you understand how guinea pigs should be kept to stay active, happy, and healthy.

We will also make sure we answer your questions about how your guinea pig may react at a certain age and their mental capacity so you can have a better understanding of this group of animals.

We will also provide some ideas on how to bond with your guinea pigs and what the guinea pig needs so they don’t feel alone.

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Do Guinea Pigs Feel Lonely if They Live Alone?

Believe it or not, there are two different answers to this question. One is that guinea pigs do experience loneliness if they live alone and another one states that they do not feel lonely at all.

So which of the two statements is true?

Guinea pigs used to live in herds and need companionship even in captivity. 

Their interaction and relationship with humans and other guinea pigs is obvious in the way guinea pigs react to one another and their immediate environment.

If you put two guinea pigs in one cage and leave them alone to their own devices they’ll be happy together like: “What’s up! How’s it going?” and stuff like that.

Guinea pigs need to feel a part of a pack and respond to their environment.

You t want to keep a pet at home and still not enjoy companionship or feel strange with your pet guinea pig.

Consider a world where there only exist animate things and inanimate things, research has had it proven that inanimate things can be programmed, re-programmed, and un-programmed.

Hence, a designer of robots can ensure a robot is designed as a solitary machine, allowing them to work independently of their pairs, except when designed to also function in such mode.

This is sadly not so for animate things, even the wildest animals found in thick parts of the woods one can only try to endure some periods of loneliness, after which they dash out to find their pairs.

We seem not to notice the system of migration from different destinations between animals and even man.

The subject of the family does not end with a man as it is also found amidst animals.

Besides this, you should also consider the fact that guinea pigs are not wild animals but rodents who seem not to pose any iota of threat and they simply don’t like to live alone.

Amidst their pairs, the guinea pig can be very engaging, cute, and lovely, which is why there exist policies with regards to their ownership in some countries.

In countries like Switzerland, it is impossible to purchase one guinea pig, you have to buy a minimum of two, in a bid to afford companionship for the animals and not to appear being cruel.

If you have a single guinea pig you need to take some time and find her/him a partner, because it is in their nature to live in groups.

Owning just one guinea pig whether it’s male or female would make them feel lonely in a cage and that’s why they need a friend.

That’s why you should plan on buying a large cage, even if you’re living in a small apartment, to house more than just one guinea pig.

How Guinea Pigs Behave When They Are Lonely?

Guinea pigs are social animals, it is quite interesting that these animals tend to develop a psychological after-effect in response to every occurrence of abandonment.

This however should not be strange, they are just being social, a trait that can also be seen in man, who develops some weird and sometimes commonly unaccepted behavioral issues as a result of being abandoned.

Hence, it is also for guinea pigs as they respond appropriately to the environment they are subjected to.

Guinea pigs sometimes develop rash attitudes when being abandoned, out of sheer loneliness.

One of these attitudes can range from Cavies to Cavies, as they have specific signs to relay a message.

This does not necessarily vary, as it can be seen among them in their periodic interaction.

The guinea pig can be highly responsive in giving signs that allow you to identify stress such signs can be teeth chattering, sniffing of butt, nipping, and it can be sometimes more pronounced as you will see them fight.

A Guinea pig can also display some signs of affections when they begin to get along with each other, this can be helpful to the owner as there will be a gradual understanding of interactive signs over time.

If you get one guinea pig then you should be prepared to get another one, because they need company and can spend time together.

A good example of this is seen in displays like cavy bonding, physical activity, human bonding, and relatively swift adaptation upon their adoption into new homes.

If you have just one guinea pig you need to make sure you spend quality time with it.

Do Not Breed Them Alone (Guinea Pigs Are Pack Animals)

Guinea pigs don’t like to be left alone and they don’t like living alone.

Guinea pig is pack animals, pack animals most times display some high quality of loyalty to each other.

You might want to question the fact of loyalty between these animals?

Yes, that was not a mistake, this pig can be very loyal.

If then it occurs that these animals can display some close level of unified behaviors.

It would mean that the guinea pig has a high sense of socialization amidst themselves, which influences the way they learn from themselves and that’s why it is important to make sure you keep your guinea pig socialized as they don’t like to live alone.

This would also mean that the guinea pig doesn’t learn in isolation, the guinea pig won’t and can’t survive in isolation.

Does this necessarily mean before you can get a guinea pig you should consider not less than 10 or more?


The emergence of their socialization begins with two and more.

This would mean you can get just two guinea pigs and by training give them the antidote to happy living.

Cavies, as the guinea pig is socially known are always great animal-to-human companions and they have a need to be treated and fed well.

Their level of entertainment to the owner can attain the spotlight when the guinea pig is raised in multiple numbers of more than one.

If you get one guinea pig then you should be prepared to get another guinea pig, because the guinea pig needs company and can spend time together.

A single fact that you should be able to draw from this is that guinea pigs are highly sociable pets that thrive on interaction with a companion, so you should consider adopting two or more of them.

Can Guinea Pig Die of Loneliness?

Just before you decide to ignore the basic and yet compounding truth about the solely affectionate cavies upon your next trip to a pet store, consider if guinea pigs can die of loneliness, and that’s why you need to know that guinea pigs need company.

Have you ever considered living your life alone without some defined point of interaction with your fellow?

I bet you will not hold for too long as you can always briefly get choked in solitude, suffering from loneliness.

It is unnatural for guinea pigs to live in isolation, this can even sprout a natural sense of insecurity from other prey.

They have been known to move in packs, from dawn to dusk in order not to expose themselves to deadly prey.

Death for guinea pigs is certain when they are lonely although it may take some time.

Death here does not necessarily mean the guinea pig will die physically, so then what do I mean by death?

How about existence without a sense of belonging or activity.

Forced dormancy for animals can be tantamount to death.

However, death is firstly expressed in the total paralysis of the affected.

Having a lovely and highly interactive pet as such should not be accompanied by sheer soberness.

A country like Switzerland is highly acknowledged for its high animal protection standard will only allow you to buy not less than two guinea pigs at once, hence limiting your purchasing power to a minimum of two and a maximum of infinity.

This is because having a single guinea pig can be regarded as being cruel.

If you get one guinea pig then you should be prepared to get another guinea pig, because they need company and can spend time together.

Solitary guinea pigs live a stressful and short life, and that’s why you have to make sure your guinea pigs get a lot of attention from you to make your guinea pig happy.

If you have a single guinea pig you could look up for sale guinea pigs and get your solitary guinea pig a friend.

It doesn’t matter if you are getting males or females as long as you have enough space and the guinea pig can have their area where they can play, they will get along just fine.

Can a Guinea Pig Survive Alone After Losing its Companion?

This might yet be another hurdle, as leaving a single guinea pig in solitude, upon the death of its companion might not be good enough.

Of course, in cases where you have more than two and one dies, the level of companionship and evidence of familiarity still exists.

However, in the case of having just a pair, replacing a dead one should be a priority to you, and often than not if the guinea pig is identical, and you have high fond for identical guinea pigs, you may find it no more interesting to keep the other one.

The best thing to do in this situation is to take the living guinea pig to a local sanctuary if you don’t have any trusted friend with a guinea pig too.

The death of a guinea pig out of two may affect the other, even if you have just two and one dies, keeping it in solitude will do more harm than good.

Even when the guinea pig doesn’t still get along with other guinea pigs, it is still the best option to keep them together, remember that guinea pigs need company.

This may be difficult to do as humans have been found sometimes to be very attached to their pets, and spending quality time is crucial for that.

Nevertheless, some rules are not bendable, a key success of how well your guinea pig lives will be seen in how soon you detach it from loneliness.

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Last update on 2023-05-25 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

How Long Can a Guinea Pig Live?

We hope that we answered your question “can guinea pigs live alone?” and if one guinea pig can survive alone.

On the last note, this might be of great help to you to note that after reading the long-short summary of this discourse, keeping cavies in pairs is of immense benefit, and you should always give careful consideration to it before approaching a pet store.

Ensure you don’t breed a single one, this would be in your best interest, in doing so, you will be fulfilling your purpose as a wonderful pet lover.

Everyone and every single guinea pig need love!

So go on and spend that pig guinea time with your furry friend.

Final Thoughts



Tim Rhodes
Tim Rhodes

Hi there! My name is Tim Rhodes and I'm a guinea pig enthusiast through thick and thin. My mission is to teach others useful tips and tricks about these cute creatures. When I'm not writing, I enjoy kickboxing and work as an animal trainer.

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Check out these most popular guinea pig products on the market:

Last update on 2023-05-25 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API