Can guinea pigs live with rabbits

guinea pig lookingrabbit cute


This may be a question that is on your mind and it’s one that I wanted to do a short article on. My advice is simply, guinea pigs should not live with rabbits. The best thing is to be in the company of their own species.

The idea came about when it was very uncommon for small animals to be nuetured in the past. Now with the advancements in veterinary practices and technology, nueturing is a very easy and safe thing to do.

Why can’t rabbits and guinea pig live together?

They can’t communicate between each other

Guinea pigs are more vocal, making many various sounds to communicate with their own and to their human owners. With rabbits, you can see that they use their body more especially ears to communicate. Don’t be fooled into thinking that they look like they are fine communicating with each other, when really it’s always going to be a barrier and cause them to be depressed at times.

Dietary needs do differ

Both eat vegetables, lots of hay and nuggets, but rabbits can produce vitamin c and therefore will not need as much as guinea pigs do. Nutritional values are different and they do not eat the same amount of food as each other. If they live together, it’s difficult to control the diets.

Rabbits can seriously injure guinea pigs

The main point being rabbits are obviously bigger and can really do a lot of damage to a guinea pig, even without meaning to. Rabbits hop around, thump the ground when feeling threatened and spring the legs back to run quicker. Mounting behaviour will definitely cause intense pain for a guinea pig, because of the weight on their bodies. Also, rabbits are known to bite the neck as part of mating, the guinea pig is not strong enough to do deal with this.

Yes guinea pigs are quite hardy animals in my opinion but are more prone to getting certain illnesses. Rabbits are still the much stronger animal, although cute. Guinea pigs can also inadvertently digest rabbit hair and it will cause blockages within the intestines, not nice at all.

Guinea pigs can catch diseases from Rabbits

Rabbits have the bacteria bordetella bronchiseptica and this can affect guinea pigs greatly, commonly getting respiratory disease. Once they get these bacteria, it’s very concerning as they can go down hill very fast, if not treated immediately. It would be an extremely stressful experience for both you and your beloved guinea pigs.

Lets talk burrowing

Domesticated rabbits do like to occasionally dig outside in the garden and this causes a guinea pig that is close by, problems. Mud flicking up into their eyes as well as respiratory complications, does not sound good. Guinea pigs do not jump around as much as rabbits and therefore would not feel very steady going on uneven surfaces. They could get trapped in rabbit holes, so another reason why it’s dangerous.

Hot or cold

They are used to different temperatures, rabbits can aclimatise better to a colder environment, whereas this is a no no with guinea pigs, unless if they live outside in a hutch, it’s very well insulated. Rabbits are not great with warmer temperatures, where guinea pigs are more comfortable. Both will not be tolerable of too clod or hot though, just like us.

What if I have guinea pigs and rabbits living together?

Keep them separate, living in their own homes and keeping them in their own playpens. They might seem like they get along, but you might not be around to see all of their behaviours towards each other. One day you might find something terrible has happened, don’t take the risk. Its now uncommon practice for people to say that rabbits and guinea pigs should live together. If you have one guinea pig and one rabbit, go and get one of each to keep them company again, but the right way.


Thank you for reading my article, please feel free to leave a comment below and I will reply back as soon as possible.



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10 comments found

  1. Great article and great tips on safety. I didn’t know that they couldn’t live together, that’s very important to know.  They are so cute and so fragile, it’s important to know how to care for them. Thanks for sharing this important information. My sister has a guinea pig and I will make sure to let her know about this fact. Thank you so much!

  2. I never thought about having these two types of animals live together.  I raised some guinea pigs when our son was younger.  They are highly amusing and incredibly vocal as you mentioned.  Some of the sounds they make are quite bizarre when you first hear them.   Since they are rodents I can see how mixing them with rabbits would be a major problem.  They can both reproduce like no tomorrow and I know females can start to reproduce at two months old!   

    Great insightful article…you really do a great job on your website giving good info.

    1. Hello Tim, 

      Yes they certainly can reproduce very quickly. Female guinea pigs can reproduce from such a young age and its amazing that babies come out all fully developed. Thank you, that really means a lot. 

  3. I am so happy I found your site when I did, as my nephew has a guinea pig and is getting a rabbit. I did not realize the danger of them cohabiting. I knew the dangers between the sizes and all that, but I didn’t know that guinea pigs could get diseases from them. Also, I had no idea that temperature changes were an issue, as I figured they were both accustomed to the same climate. This is great insight and a great article – now I need to warn my nephew!!

    1. I am pleased you have seen this article, to then warn your nephew. Unfortunately it is risky when guinea pigs live with rabbits, you just don’t know what will happen. They might be fine one day and then all of a sudden the guinea pig could get a disease or the rabbit might accidentally kick them. Thank you for your comment 🙂

  4. I guess this is one of those articles that reminds us that we don’t know it all. 

    If I had a rabbit and a guinea pig, I would have simply put them together for the sake of company. I had no idea that a rabbit could pose this much of a threat to a guinea pig. I mean, rabbits look so adorable and all.

    Thanks, Eden. I learned something new today.

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