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Do rabbits and guinea pigs get along?
Let’s find out.
Rabbits and guinea pigs don’t get along, actually, their needs and behavior are very different.
Many people classify rabbits and guinea pigs as one, and the same animals, which is totally wrong.
Keeping the two in a hutch is not an ideal combination.
It’s often dangerous and needs to be done with a lot of caution.
- Rabbits Vs. Guinea Pigs
- Basic needs of rabbits and guinea pigs
- Keeping Rabbits and guinea pigs as pets
- Can rabbits and guinea stay in one cage?
- What if they get along together?
- Final Thoughts
Rabbits Vs. Guinea Pigs
First, let’s have a look at rabbits and guinea pigs.
Rabbits are small mammals with fur bodies, short and distinctive tails, powerful hind legs, and long detective ears.
The long ears of rabbits are an adaptation for detecting predators, and the ears may be turned in any direction.
Rabbits have a sensible hearing, which gives lots of information about their environment and alerts them of any danger.
There are different genders of rabbits, male rabbits known as bucks, and female rabbits, also known as does.
There are several species of rabbits worldwide and they do survive in different environments, even though they share a lot in common.
Rabbits do vary in size, some grow as big as cats, and others can even grow as big as a baby child.
They also have different colors, some rabbits are black, others grey and others are white.
Rabbits have big eyes that are located on the side of their head to give them a 180-degree foresight.
They also have straight-growing teeth; a rabbit’s front teeth grow at a rate of 3mm a week!
The teeth are well maintained and treated by ensuring that rabbits eat grass, hay, and leafy green plants- if they consume the wrong sorts of feeds, they can easily suffer acute or chronic gum discomfort.
Rabbits are herbivorous therefore feeds on grass, forbs, and leafy weeds; feeds contain a more extensive amount of cellulose, which is hard to digest.
Rabbits have a unique digestive system, they solve their digestion problem by a process called hindgut fermentation.
Food goes through their gut and special droppings, are then produced.
They then re-eat these droppings to be re-ingested.
In this case, a rabbit’s digestive system should be kept in good condition by giving a healthy diet.
Domestic rabbits and wild rabbits vary in their lifespan, typically they live for eight to twelve years or even more.
Rabbits love themselves so much as keeping themselves very clean and neat, they help each other just like cats, moreover, rabbits are intelligent animals.
Pet rabbits can be taught to always respond to any command.
Guinea pig is a domesticated species of South American rodent belonging to the cavy family.
They are not pigs at all, as the name states.
Guinea pigs belong to a rodent family that includes, rats, mice, squirrels, and beavers.
Guinea pigs have a robust body with short limbs, large heads, and eyes, and short ears compared to rabbits.
Their feet have hairless soles and sharp claws.
Guinea pigs’ forefeet have four toes, whereas the hind feet toes are three.
There are several breeds of guinea pigs that exist, which are sometimes grouped as per the coat texture and hair length.
Guinea pigs are fairly large as compare to rodents and weighs 500 to 1500 grams.
Their tail is not visible externally.
Guinea pigs are herbivorous hence feeds on vegetation.
If the feeds are moist, then the guinea pigs will not need much water.
If fed with dry food, then they will require water.
Guinea pigs live three to eight years.
A guinea pig gets injured when picked up carelessly; they have to be handled very carefully.
Picking them with one hand under their hindquarters and the hand supporting their chest and abdomen is the very best way.
Basic needs of rabbits and guinea pigs
An excellent place to live and be treated
In the case of rabbits, they need lots of space as they are active animals who hop, dig the ground, and stretch out fully when lying down.
They need a lot of time for full exercise every day to remain fit and muscular.
They, therefore, need a wide-open and free place.
The place also has to be secure so that the animals don’t get away and not let in other animals like cats and dogs who can predate on them.
The place should also be clean to avoid an accumulation of wastes.
Their beddings should be replaced and they should be provided fresh foods often.
A healthy, well-balanced diet, including fresh and clean water
Good quality food should be given to them every time, clean water should as well be provided.
Hay, green vegetables, and certain fruits can be offered to them as food.
Good company housing included or be housed apart from other cruel animals
Ensure that the animals have good companions.
Rabbits are known to be cheerful and playful and prefer to be with a group of other friendly rabbits.
It’s not suitable for a rabbit to remain alone; this may lead to weird and strange behaviors.
Guinea pigs may feel so lonely if left with no company, and if you have no time to give them constant love and attention, then it’s good to get a pair of other guinea pigs.
Having a pair of guinea pigs of the same age will help develop a strong bond early and grow up together with common love and togetherness.
It’s advisable to have two of the same sex.
Protection from any injury, pain, suffering, or even diseases
Make sure your animals are protected from pains, injuries, and diseases.
Animals feel pain just like human beings do, and they only cannot show exactly where the pain is.
The animals do show similar symptoms that can tell the health status signs, including sternutation, itching ears, cutting weight, not eating or lack of appetite, and runny nose.
Change in the animal’s behavior is always the best sign to tell.
If the rabbit or guinea don’t eat as usual or are very quiet than usual, then they are likely to be suffering, and in this case, you should consult a vet for medication.
Keeping Rabbits and guinea pigs as pets
Rabbits can be as good pets, just like cats and dogs.
Rabbits come in a wide variety of sizes, shapes, colors, and personalities.
In terms of personality, look for rabbits who are calm and quiet, energetic and friendly, calm and gentle but highly pleasant, and finally, rabbits who can bond well with you and are highly active.
Males rabbits tend to be more easy-going and relaxed, while females are “the boss” of any household.
Rabbits can live alone, but it’s always good to have company since they also need attention and time to play and enrich, but it is advisable to have them as a pair.
Guinea pigs are excellent and popular pets because they are available, ideal, and lovable.
They are more comfortable and cheaper to keep and gives you a bundle of happiness as a positive return.
They don’t bite nor scratch when handled and relatively have good habits.
Guinea pigs require intense affection and attention, and they need to be handled with care as they get injured easily.
They also need clean housing and healthy food.
Therefore, it’s good to ensure that you have two of the same gender; it can be a pair of boys or girls.
Guinea pigs being so calm can interact well with children because they are lovely and unique young animals with calm and relaxed temperaments compared to other similar small animals like mice that tend to be so wild.
A guinea pig will play on your laps without hurting you and makes you feel so calm and relaxed.
Choosing short-haired guinea pigs is the best opinion because they require minimal cleaning and maintenance, which is easier to manage.
Just like other long-haired guinea pigs, they are gorgeous and eye-catching.
Can rabbits and guinea stay in one cage?
It’s not advisable to keep rabbits and guinea pigs together, nor is it a right combination at all, even though, they look similar and possess similar lifestyles.
The best partner of a rabbit is another fellow rabbit, and that applies to guinea pigs also, forming a perfect match and results in a peaceful stay. These are some of the advice that one should adopt:
To many people, the two animals look the same; but they behave and communicate differently in a real sense.
This comes in where rabbits are enormous and have more power than guinea pigs and therefore may unknowingly, severely injure the delicate guinea pigs.
The rabbits will always bully guinea pigs by kicking them with their powerful back legs.
Rabbits’ strong back legs can injure guinea pigs, which may lead to their death.
The condition is not pleasing unless you quickly want to die.
Hash condition always gives a wrong signal and feeling.
No one wishes to live in such.
Rabbits and guinea pigs are never fit to stay in one cage.
Although both animals are plant eaters, there are significant differences.
Rabbits make their own vitamin C since their digestive system is different whereas guinea pigs depend on enriched commercial feeds.
Vitamin C must adequately be added to their diet to avoid scurvy disease, which can cause, listlessness, diarrhea, loss of hair, and bleeding internally, which can quickly lead to death.
If you are to keep rabbits and guinea pigs together, then you will have to feed both with enriching commercial feeds with Vitamin C nutrients.
In this case, you are not also guaranteeing that rabbits will give time and space for guinea pigs to feed.
Rabbits will scrabble for the food and chase away the guinea pig leaving them with an empty stomach and can even die in the process if there is no one to check on.
Rabbits should always feed on their feed to get a balanced diet.
Rabbits bullying guinea pigs stress them if they can’t get away.
Rabbits do kick out with their back legs when on the move, hence in the process, can severely injure guinea pigs who happen to be behind or beside the rabbits.
Rabbits may also intentionally or unintentionally strike a guinea pigs’ face using their sharp claws.
This is so harmful to guinea pigs and can cause blindness and infections, leading to corneal ulcers.
Rabbits and guinea pigs do contact similar diseases and transmit them to each other.
Rabbits can easily carry respiratory disease bacteria and transmit it to guinea pigs.
Rabbits and guinea pigs have different body language, they both lack a common language, and hence, rabbit takes advantage and irritate and can easily disappoint guinea pigs.
Rabbits always like being in playful company, while guinea pigs isolate themselves in a specific corner.
Rabbits are animals that appear to be so friendly, but still, guinea pigs will remain harassed.
This big confusion leads to other mistakes where rabbits may attempt mating with female and male guinea pigs, where they may badly injure an innocent guinea pig.
Rabbits are too large and so heavy to jump and mount on the guinea pig.
Generally, this is very dangerous for guinea pigs.
What if they get along together?
If both rabbits and guinea pigs live harmoniously without any issues, then the reason could be that they grew up together from day one, and have observed and known each other well.
This is compared to young children who play matches together without hurting themselves, it means that they are trying to tolerate each other even with their misunderstanding.
So then both should have a company of their own species, so that they communicate, groom each other, run and play together and fight less.
If they get along well, ensure that both of their welfare needs are met.
The welfare needs as far as it’s concerned, should not be limited to:
- Provide different diets that feed them separately to ensure both get the required and correct nutrients
- Train the rabbits, to avoid stressing or injuring guinea pig by bullying or mounting
- Provide guinea pigs with access to safe hiding places to escape to, with an entrance only large enough for the guinea pig, and too small for the rabbit to enter
Benefits of keeping rabbits and guinea pigs
When rabbits are well fed, well taken care of, and managed, they can be very beneficial in many ways, which includes:
- Produce very essential manure, rabbits’ fertilizers are rich in nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus, which can be used in flowering plants and trees for rapid growth rate – the manure is good as it does not give an unpleasant smell since it’s dry
- Rabbit meat is highly nutritious, with low fats, and is very easy to digest
- They feed on a wide variety of plants, hence, are very easy to manage and kept healthy – the plants can easily be fetched from the farm, and requires less labor and cost for maintenance
- Rabbits have a high growth rate; when well feed, they mature early, and they reproduce as early as eight to nine months – they have a short gestation period
- Amazing and well-paying business: they are very cheap to farm and have maximum output as compared to the input
There are many reasons for keeping guinea pigs, as they are very cheap, good-tempered, and very friendly as they are not destructive – they make great pets.
Their importance is not limited to:
- Guinea pigs are low to maintain and require little attention and love
- They are very clean and neat, their place must be cleaned often, which enables them to avoid getting sick in dirty conditions, and if kept clean, they produce little smell
- Guinea pigs feed on fresh plants and clean water, which are easily available
Comparison and Contrast of rabbits and guinea pigs
Both guinea pigs and rabbits are highly sociable and should never be kept in isolation.
You will therefore think that both live harmoniously.
Rabbits and guinea pigs are fun-loving and lively animals; they are just good-hearted and very cheerful.
They benefit from an enriched environment, which is wide enough for jumping and running.
You will find that rabbit pairs love nothing more than snuggling up close and grooming each other in many cases.
On the other hand, guinea pigs are very different in their behavior, they do not spend time grooming each other.
Guinea pigs maintain their own space and are not good at sharing.
Rabbits are big and powerful as compared to guinea pigs and can intentionally irritate smaller animals.
Rabbits have long legs, which helps them hop, skip, and jump, while guinea pigs have shorter legs that don’t allow them to go far.
After reading through the article, I hope you are no longer in a dilemma of keeping your rabbits together with guinea pigs at one hutch.
Actually, rabbits and guinea pigs should not be kept together in the same place or even in the same enclosure.
There are many species of rabbits and guinea pigs to choose from if in case you decide to keep them as pets.
Try to keep rabbits with another companion so that they can form an unbreakable bond.
Guinea pigs should be kept in small groups, keep guinea pigs of the same sex or have males de-sexed to prevent breeding and fighting.