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Guiena Pig Vs. Rabbit: 10 Key Differences Between These Two Pets

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Tim Rhodes

Guinea pig vs rabbit: Though similar looking at a glance, both the animals are as diverse as they can get.

It is not that I have more love towards rabbits, but throughout history, it is easier for humans to associate with rabbits rather than guinea pigs.

Both are lovable and cute in their own little ways, kids love them and they’re especially easy to be taken care of.

In spite of their similarities, there are some major differences between the two when it comes to having them as pets.

They are both friendly and loveable creatures, petting zoos can’t start a business without them.

The first thing going through the petting zoos are rabbits, guinea pigs and other friendly rodents.

10 Key Differences Between a Guinea Pig And a Rabbit

These two pets are different in every way and each of them has its own unique characteristics; in this article, we will list the 10 key differences between these two pets.

Guinea Pig vs Rabbit

Remembering my old days, it was 1996, waking up in the morning as a kid, life was much simpler back then, birds chirping outside, windows open; lighting up the living room and the sound of the ceiling fan wobbling.

Smell of breakfast in the kitchen while I cozy up on the floor with my 2 pillows.

I turned on the boxed television and changed the channels, there it goes, the first memories of meeting bugs bunny, featuring Michael Jordan.

At the time, I didn’t know who Michael Jordan was until 2 years later.

All my eyes were on the looney tunes characters, bugs bunny being the captain, with his large bucktooth, long ears, grey fur, white round fur on the tummy; standing with a carrot in one hand, saying ‘What’s up Doc’.

That was the day I learned what a rabbit was, and of course their favorite food, carrots.

Right after that, the rabbit and turtle race.

Ahh, that famous race; spoiler alert, the turtle won in real life too.

These are the best examples of how I discovered them.

Guinea pig, on the other hand, was not quite famous in the childhood days, not until when I saw a big eyed guinea pig in one of Adam Sandler’s flick, Click back in 2006.

Guinea pigs weren’t that famous compared to their other cousin, Hamsters.

Up to 40% of mammal species are rodents, they vary from the creepy rats to our honorable mentioned giant Capybara.

However rabbits do not fall into the rodent family but for this article, I would just call them one, due to their almost similarities in nature.

10 Key Differences Guinea Pig vs Rabbit

1. Lifespan

Owning a pet is a big responsibility; having one, means you must be committed to providing your unconditional love and care for your pets.

Imagine you still live with your parents or friends, in another 2 years, your job will change, your priorities take a U-turn, and you’ve gone across the country for work.

Your pets are only 2 years old; you’re down with a crucial life decision, will your pet still be there with you, or having a pet in your new life will definitely make your time limited to focus elsewhere.

If it’s difficult to make that decision, a pet dragonfly will do the trick but make sure your housemates are fine with it.

The lifespan of Guinea Pigs

They have a lifespan between 4 to 8 years or longer.

In other words, with your care and safety for your pet, their life span increases compared to guinea pigs living in the wild.

This cute furry buddy is obviously placed almost at the bottom of the food chain, living 5 to 7 years is relatively a blessing for your guinea pig.

Guinea Pig’s life span differs for each breed.

Some breeds only live for up to 5 years.

Lifespan of Rabbits

Rabbits will certainly outlive the guinea pigs due to their larger size.

Depending on their breeds, they live up to 7 to 11 years.

The lifespan of different breeds of Rabbits is different, as not all rabbits live the same.

One who certainly caught our eyes is Mick Jr the Rabbit, recorded to be around 16 years old before making it to the record books.

2. Sleeping routine

Pet’s sleeping routine plays a big role; your time being at home may be limited; it would be great to know when your pets are up and when it’s bedtime.

However, don’t expect your pets to be happy seeing you when you come back from work unless you brought food.

Sleeping Routine of Guinea Pigs

Guinea Pigs rarely sleep, they’ve been known to stay up for 20 hours through the day.

They sleep around 5 to 20 minutes at any time.

When they’re not moving with their eyes open, then you would know it’s bedtime for your furry buddy.

Sleeping Routine of Rabbits

They are day sleepers; sleeping around 6 to 8 hours in the morning.

So he won’t be watching you going off to work or class at 8:00 a.m.

They will however be up all night either playing or if they’re too attached to their owners, crawl up the bed with you in the middle of the night.

3. Diet

For the healthy life of your pets, it is necessary to feed them in accordance with their diet in the wild.

And feeding an extra mouth is always going to cost you some amount.

Financially being able to feed your pets is crucial, it definitely needed to be on your essential shopping lists.

But how much do they eat?

Both pets require a mixed diet such as hay, food pellets and the occasional fresh vegetables and fruits.

However, rabbits tend to munch more due to their bigger size.

Make sure to add them up on your next grocery trip.

Guinea Pig Diet

HAY!

Timothy hay is their favorite, or you could drop by to your nearest pet shop and get those ready made pallets; about ⅛ cup, a day is sufficient for your cute little pigs.

Rabbits

These XL Guinea pigs need about ½ cup of food pellets a day, and you mix it up with those famous bunny diets (carrots) and other vegetables.

4. Playtime

This section is quite straightforward, playtime for your pets is definitely essential for your pet’s health.

An intimate moment between you and your pet is a vital key in keeping your relationship strong and trustworthy.

It’s okay to leave your pet for the day, but ensuring their basic needs are it is highly sufficient.

Going away for the weekend for your ‘me’ time, won’t exactly make them forget who you are as both pets tend to be intelligent creatures.

Asking a friend for the favor of an occasional checkup to make sure the food and water are enough should cover it up nicely.

Guinea pigs play around 2-4 hours a day, with or without you, setting up a play area for them in your cage is important.

Rabbits’ playtime ranges between 15 minutes to 5 hours depending on their mood.

5. Cage size

Caging them is normal, providing them the perfect cage will definitely improve their stress level and health in the long run.

You can certainly browse YouTube videos to get an idea for your pet rabbits and guinea pig’s cages.

Preparing the cage beforehand makes a huge difference.

It will save you the hassle of bringing your little ones home and having no idea where to put them.

In a new environment, it’s best to let your pets feel secure and safe in their new place.

Having an area to keep an eye on them with all their essential needs is better than letting them run around the house wandering this new world of theirs.

You can add up whatever fits them best.

An area for exercise, playtime, sleeping, food and water are the essentials, decorations in their environment provide that extra comfort for them.

Having more than two of these pets does not imply the above recommendations, the more you have, the bigger space.

Cage for Guinea Pigs

A 7.5 square feet cage for one and 10 feet square cage for two is efficient for your little pigs, you can include the play area within that size range.

Make sure to get those little wheels for them to exercise regularly, they love them!

Cage for Rabbits

An 8 square feet cage with a 22 square feet play area for them is perfect for one and a pair of bunnies.

6. Affection

After getting your pets for almost a month, the golden act that would warm all pet owners are those magical moments.

‘I Love you, Human’

They express that when they feel comfortable around you.

Both pets are well known for being highly intelligent.

They are able to understand their names when being called out, gestures from their owners, and learning new tricks, it’s been found that these furry pets are able to learn tricks in a short amount of time.

Guinea pigs show affection by licking your palms and fingers or climbing on you.

A rabbits’ way of saying ‘I Love you’ is similar to cats, a small bop from their nose, lying flat on the floor and even cuddling up to you, sometimes.

7. Angry Mode

A pet owners’ worst nightmare, these are the signs of when you don’t want to be playing with them.

These triggers are currently undefined on what causes your pets to feel angry.

Just like your partner in life, you could talk to them to calm them down too, but you might not get the straight answer you were hoping for.

Guinea pigs show their anger through ‘Hissing’ noises.

When you hear it, it’s best to give them the space to cool down.

The long ears of rabbits play a big role.

When it’s pointed backward and downwards towards their cute little tummy, it’s best not to touch those tummy furs.

8. Poop and Pee

This frequency is important, keeping your pets’ cage clean is a must, and depending on your free time, it’s good to know how much you’ll be cleaning in one day.

Be prepared to clean out the cages after your long day at work.

Their hygiene reflects on your pet’s wellbeing.

Other than their food in your shopping list, you should include slotting in a 10 minutes routine of cleaning their waste reaching home or early in the morning, whichever suits you best.

Guinea Pigs

Round and about 100 times a day.

Their urine colors vary from brown, orange and clear.

They pee almost every 20 minutes, so it’s best not to hold them for half an hour.

Rabbit

A bit elongated and about 200 to 300 times a day!

Rabbit’s urine colors vary from brown, orange and clear.

They pee almost every 20 minutes, so it’s best not to hold them for half an hour.

9. Communicate

As for all good and healthy relationships, communication is key!

You wouldn’t want to be caught having a lengthy conversation with the ceiling.

If they do, then they must truly feel comfortable around you.

Guinea pigs wheek and squeak to their owners.

They tend to be more vocal towards their human owners.

Rabbits give off soft noises to their owners.

Tendencies of being quiet are just part of a rabbit’s nature.

Even when eating, they make those cute little crunchy sounds!

10. Size

This might be the first point of their differences.

Rabbits are by nature the larger pet as compared to guinea pigs.

In terms of this, all other factors shall be accounted for; cage size, food, play area, etc.

Although their sizes are different, the love and attention from and towards both pets are relatively the same.

Size of Guinea Pigs

This bean-shaped rodent can grow between 8 to 17 inches in length.

They can be quite heavy for their size, going up to 43 ounces when they’re fully grown.

They tend to be more vocal towards their human owners.

Size of Rabbits

They give off soft noises to their owners.

Tendencies of being quiet are just part of a rabbit’s nature.

Similarities between Guinea Pigs and Rabbits

Both pets are almost similar in nature, their health status is one of those similarities.

Being at the bottom of the food chain, they tend to avoid exposing themselves when they are hurt or unhealthy.

These rodents may need more detailed attention from their owners and an annual checkup from the vet is highly recommended.

When they are healthy, they are relatively active, playful, thick fur, clear glassy eyes and regularly consume foods and water.

Losing body mass, rapid hair loss, stressed breathing, teeth enlarged and abnormal lumps or bumps on their skin, low consumption of food and water, are some of the symptoms when they are unhealthy.

It is best to get your pets spayed or neutered beforehand, as they are naturally wild animals, it is in their DNA to find a partner and populate the earth.

Doing so, might save the hassle of those night calls, and also reduce their stress and depression level.

Yes, they get depressed too.

Final Thoughts

The thought of having a cute pet can be appealing.

There are countless videos and photos going around social media platforms on their mishaps and cute little moments; or as millennials’ trend of having a pet around during live streams and YouTube videos.

However, the work behind the scenes on the responsibility for their wellbeing is definitely a heavy burden for pet owners.

If you aren’t ready or aren’t fond of cats and dogs as pets, rabbits and guinea pigs are the best kind of pets to have.

As mentioned, having a pet takes time, patience, responsibilities and commitments.

If you are ready to have it, then it’s time to fill up that empty space within you with one of these furry cuties or maybe even one of each.

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