You may have seen some cute pictures online with cute rabbits cuddling guinea pigs and wondered. It looks cute, and you think you want to try it. It’s possible, but it could go badly as well.
Disclaimer: Guinea Pig Center does not endorse keeping rabbits and guinea pigs in the same enclosure, as the rabbits can unintentionally injure or kill the piggles.
Why Do People Keep Rabbits and Guinea Pigs?
Keeping the two together is an option, especially in an oversized enclosure. It can save on bedding, heating, and feed costs. Additionally, people think that both animals are sociable and would enjoy the company.
While both guinea pigs and rabbits are sociable, they have too many differences to make good long-term companions.
The two have different styles of communication, which evolved to communicate within their own species. This gap can lead to misunderstandings, or just plain old not communicating at all.
Rabbits are also bigger than guinea pigs. This difference makes bullying more likely. Additionally, rabbits can incidentally hurt the piggles with their powerful back legs. In rare cases, rabbits can even break guinea pig backs.
While both are herbivores and foragers, they have slightly different needs. Both consume hay as a primary food source. However, rabbits need no vitamin C supplementation and should be fed fewer pellets in general.
Lastly, and perhaps the most important, guinea pigs can catch a deadly respiratory disease from the rabbit. The rabbits can carry the bacteria in their fur, which in turn, the piggles may be exposed to it.
If You Insist…
Make sure you introduce the critters while they are babies. Never introduce a guinea pig to an older rabbit. Additionally, make sure that each species gets food that meets their nutritional needs. Monitor the interactions closely to ensure that everything stays okay.