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Why Do Guinea Pigs Fight? 5 Easy Steps to Stop Them Fighting

Tim Rhodes
Written by Tim Rhodes Last Updated: December 12, 2021

Guinea pigs are adorable and playful rodent pets, but sometimes guinea pigs’ fighting can occur.

They are also very playful at times.

These pets usually get lonely sometimes when bored, alone, and may need a partner.

Pairing the cavies may not be as successful as one would think.

5 Easy Steps to Stop a Guinea Pigs Fight

So, let us take at more detailed information about guinea pigs fighting and learn something new.

Is It Normal For Guinea Pigs To Fight?

Definitely yes.

It is very typical for guinea pigs to fight, but it will depend on why they’re fighting.

Guinea pigs will fight over several issues.

They will fight to ascertain dominance, wrong pairing, illness, and not enough space or food.

All these fights have different symptoms that can help you know why your guinea pigs are fighting.

Why Do Guinea Pigs Fight?

To Establish Dominance

When guinea pigs fight over dominance, the signs will include snorting, butt dragging to leave a scent and mark their territory, chattering their teeth.

Also, opening their mouth to show their teeth, chase one another, raise hackles, and mount.

When the fight is over, there will be a submissive guinea pig and a dominant one that will be the ruler.


A guinea pig is like an adorable, playful child.

They need to play with toys or with other piggies and also get tired.

If this is not the case, then the guinea pigs get irritated and will end up fighting.

Chew toys are the most recommended.

The particular reason for this circumstance is they act as a treat to them and help prevent boredom.

These toys can be wood sticks or wood logs.

Other toys include tunnels and cardboard huts, or you can also provide veggies and hay to keep the cavies busy as they munch on them.

Another way to prevent boredom is by freeing them from their hutches to explore the world and enjoy as they would in the wild.

Make sure you cavy-proof all rooms by closing all the doors, moving plants and food if possible, and blocking all holes.

This will keep the cavies relaxed.

If your garden is not safe for them to run, then you can get them a run.

You can hide their treats which will be a good exercise for them because a tired guinea pig will not start a fight, so be very careful about how they stay.

Pairing Problems

Pairing guinea pigs play a significant role, and one needs to be very careful.

This can be in terms of their sex or personality.

How can one pair these rodents correctly?

Well, let’s find out.


Pairing guinea pigs in terms of sex is very critical.

You can’t pair a female guinea pig with two male cavies, and this is because the male guinea pigs will fight over the female to get her attention and may end up hurting her.

If you need to pair them, then you will need to pair one male and one female.

Guinea pigs can give birth up to six times a year and can have eight pups each.

There are many guinea pigs to be taken care of, which might turn out to be problematic.

To prevent this, neutering the male one is advisable.

Another way to pair guinea pigs is by having one male to two or more female guinea pigs.

The recommended way of pairing the guinea pigs is pairing the same sex and have only two to three cavies in a cage to provide more space.

If you can choose between several guinea pigs, choose carefully not to get a pregnant cavy.


Personality is the usual way of behaving.

Guinea pigs tend to come in two personalities; they can either be submissive or dominant.

When guinea pigs aren’t correctly matched, neither will want to back down, leading to a fight.

Pairing an old guinea pig with a young one is recommended as the older guinea pig will be dominant, and the young one will be submissive.

As the young guinea pigs age, they will fight the old guinea pig to claim dominance.

This is normal.

You will need to check up on them not to hurt one another because the scratches and biting can be severe or fatal.

If you get the opportunity to choose between several guinea pigs, make sure you check on how they interact to make pairing an easy task.

Not Enough Space Or Food

Guinea pigs are friendly and enjoy company, but they also need their free space.

Having many cavies in one small cage can make them get annoyed with each other, causing a fight.

Most of the cages we buy are 7.5 square feet, which is small.

An ideal guinea pig cage should be about 10.5 square feet.

Cavies enjoy playing and will need a larger space for that.

They can have tunnels and hideouts that you can make using cardboard boxes.

Provide enough food and water to prevent them from fighting over these resources.

Make sure you provide enough water bottles and feeding areas also.

This actively demonstrates that these kinds of fights will reduce, and they will live peacefully amongst themselves.

Injury Or Illness

Guinea pigs that have stayed together for a long time and become aggressive all of a sudden might indicate an injury or an illness.

You will need to check on them for any signs of illness or a physical injury to ascertain why the cavies are fighting.

When you cannot find out why they became so irritable, you can call a vet who can help you and advise on taking care of them.

Guinea pigs’ health is very much connected to the food they eat and their environment’s cleanliness.

Always clean the piggies’ cages to prevent the spread of illnesses and provide fresh food daily and feed them properly.

Another way of cleaning them is by the use of a special sandbathe.

Use a knock-proof plastic sand bath dust-free container and put the special rodent bathing sand in it.

Set it up away from the litter box to confuse the guinea pigs and use the same sand bath again.

Make sure the food you give to the guinea pigs provides all the nutrients required.

Change their bedding at least every two days and sanitize the cages once a week.

How To Know When Guinea Pigs Are Playing Or Fighting?

Finding out if your guinea pigs are playing or fighting might not be an easy task.

Signs of cavies playing are humping, sniffing each other, and light chasing.

Guinea pigs fighting signs include lunging with hostile intent, biting that can lead to bloodshed, being very loud, rearing up their hunches, and anger chattering.

What Тo Do When Guinea Pigs Are Fighting?

When you see any of the fighting signs we have discussed, then that is high time to take action and prevent any more harm from your adorable cavies.

Provide Enough Food For Them

Make sure there is enough food, and it’s in different feeding points.

This prevents the guinea pigs from eating from one point, leading to the cavies fighting over the little food available.

Don’t forget to provide enough water points, enough hay, and vitamin C foods to make them healthy and happy.

Divide Up The Cage

If your guinea pigs have been fighting and you have a large cage, consider using a divider to separate them for a while.

These dividers can be purchased or made at home.

This will make them smell each other’s scent, provide some time to calm down, and learn how they can live together peacefully.

When you feel the time is right, you can take out the divider and observe if they will get at each other again.

Create Distractions In The Cage

Make the cage as enjoyable as possible.

Have tunnels, chew toys like wood, balls, and hay that they can hide under and play with.

The toys will distract them and reduce the risk of fighting by a considerable percentage.

You can create any other distraction that may have worked for you; make sure they don’t hurt lovely cavies.

Clean Up The Cage Often

Use a special antibacterial spray to clean the cages thoroughly.

It will do away with the scent the guinea pigs have used to mark their territories and ease the tension between them and make them live as a family.

Cleaning also helps to make the cage clean and prevent illnesses that can lead to a fight.

After cleaning, make sure you place new hay and clean newspapers inside the cage.

Put The Guinea Pigs In Separate Cages

Your cage can be the type that can’t be divided, so for this case, you can separate the cavies and have them in different enclosures for some time.

After some time, they will calm down, and this is the point you reintroduce them again.

If they end up fighting, you can separate them and do this until you are comfortable.

They can permanently live together without fighting.

Can Guinea Pigs Kill Each Other?

It is rare but possible.

Having an older cavy paired with a young cavy may injure the young one seriously or even kill it.

We should be cautious when introducing them, making sure there is plenty of room and food.

What Is The Best Way To Prevent Guinea Pigs From Fighting?

Most of the guinea pigs will fight over space and toys.

Ensure their cage is large enough to provide the space they need.

You can have two of everything: toys, hides, water bottles, and tunnels, to prevent fights and provide a toy to each piggy.

Cavies enjoy the company of other cavies and people but need some alone time once in a while too.

You can also give guinea pigs lots of exercise outside their cage.

Hiding of treats is also the right way of exercising adorable cavies at our homes.

Can Male Guinea Pigs Fight?

Yes, male guinea pigs can fight.

They can fight over a female, boredom, to mark their territories or if they’re sick or injured.

However, this is not always the case.

In most instances pairing guinea pigs of the same sex is the most appropriate because it will reduce reproduction risk.

Is It Normal For Guinea Pigs To Follow Each Other?

Yes, guinea pigs can chase each other as a way of playing or forming a hierarchy.

However, if you notice the guinea pigs have become aggressive and have intentions to hurt the other, it is time to step in and prevent more injuries.

Is It Normal For Guinea Pigs To Play Fight?

Like humans and other animals, guinea pigs interact and play with each other by sniffing one another, humping, or chasing one another in the cage.

These plays can also bring up a fight when one cavy is tired of the other.

The good news about this is that these fights end quickly and are not a case of worry.

Why Do Female Guinea Pigs Fight?

Female cavies fighting is very rare, but if it happens, it is mostly to ascertain dominance.

Once the hierarchy has been made, the guinea pigs stop fighting.

This means female guinea pigs fighting should not be a problem.

How Long Can A Fight For Dominance Last?

Guinea pigs fighting for dominance can take two to three days.

After this, the behavior is normal again.

This kind of fight can also take longer, but if the struggle continues for more than twenty days, that might be a personality problem and may need to be separated to prevent severe injuries.

Guinea Pigs Fighting All The Time, Should You Separate Them?

Guinea pigs are social pets and enjoy living with one another.

Separating them may not be the best move, but you can remove what makes them fight.

If this is not the case, then that means that they have different personalities, and separating them would be the only option.

Is It Normal For Guinea Pigs To Nip Each Other?

Surprisingly, guinea pigs nipping each other is a sign that they’re happy.

Nipping may also be a way of removing bugs and dirt from the other cavy.

Can The Weather Make Guinea Pigs To Fight?

Guinea pigs can fight due to weather conditions.

During warmer conditions of spring and summer, the cavies’ hormones go high and become aggressive, leading to a fight.

Final Thoughts

To prevent guinea pigs fighting from getting more serious, you can try and separate them, where you will first need to wear oven mitts to get to the bottom of the fight.

You can also have a blanket that will help hold them still and seize each one of them.

After that, you can separate them for a while, making sure they don’t see or hear one another to make them calm down.

If you get any injury trying to separate them, you should wash them with soap and warm water, but if you get swelling or the blood can’t stop oozing, you need to see a doctor.

If the fight persists, then the guinea pigs cannot be in one cage together and will need to be separated permanently.


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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