Guinea pigs and rabbits are different species and does not have anything similar – except the fact that humans think they are very cute and they are guarded so they won’t complain about putting them together. But that’s not a good base to do so, isn’t it?
It seems like keeping them together benefits to all because both of them keeping indoors or outdoors is possible and you’ll never get a pregnant pet. Both of them need hay primly and likes fresh greens. In old books you’ll find the explicit recommendation to put them together very often. It’s a shame and superficial! Keeping Guinea Pigs and rabbits together isn’t species-appropriate.
Keeping Guinea Pigs and rabbits together
What does it mean to both species? Let us think about it why this is not a good idea:
Communication / vocals
- Guinea Pigs have a big acoustic language.
- Rabbits do not really have an acoustic language.
- Guinea Pigs repose in intervisibility.
- Rabbits likes to cuddle and clean each others.
- Guinea Pigs do cuddle only if they are afraid or if it’s cold.
- Rabbits sleeping close-fitting in groups
- Guinea Pigs do chattering their teeth if they are angry.
- Rabbits gnashing their teeth if they are happy.
- Guinea Pigs slap their head if they wan’t to get rid.
- Rabbits push their head if they wan’t to be cleaned
This examples may be quite enough to explain that keeping Guinea Pigs and rabbits together is not a good option and permanent misunderstandings are inevitable. A rabbit searches for social contact and converge to a Guinea Pigs. The cavy does not wan’t to be disturbed and slaps its head. The rabbit misunderstand this signal and tries to start cleaning the cavies. The Cavy starts to chattering its teeth because it is peeved but the rabbit misunderstand this again and think its doing the best. How long could you life in those conditions before you’re going crazy?
Therefore: No not put them together as long as one species has got no real partner and enough space to reject.
There is another reason why you should not put them together: Guinea Pigs and rabbits are an odd couple! Rabbits are much taller and heavier than Guinea Pigs. It has been frequently observed that rabbits injure Guinea Pigs seriously if the rabbit covers the cavy. For sure this combination is not the “big love” as called sometimes – it is a partnership of convenience where the Guinea Pig gets always the short end of the stick. Both species need social partners and they are never social partners to each other!
Keeping them together anyway
To put them together you need to fulfill some important requirements:
- At least 2 pets of each species
- You need much space to provide – at least 2m² per rabbit and 0,5m² per cavy
- Many housings and other ways to let the pets get rid each others if they want to
You have to observe the group intensive and regularly also. Putting them together in a regularly cage is irresponsible. And if you got as much space as you need to put them together you do better if you separate them anyway.