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Do Mice Kill Guinea Pigs Or Can They Be Friends?

Guinea pigs are social animals, and having companions improves their overall quality of life.

Since guinea pigs are part of the rodent family, many assume they will easily get along with other rodents such as mice, rats, ferrets, or hamsters.

However, this is not always true, and you may be putting your cavy in great danger by housing it with another rodent species.

Mice are one of the smallest rodents, but are they capable of killing guinea pigs?

A mouse will not be able to kill a guinea pig because they are much smaller and are more likely to run away than fight. However, a mouse can spread a deadly disease to a guinea pig by biting it.

A hungry mouse might venture into a guinea pig’s cage searching for food, but it will quickly find an escape to avoid fighting the much larger rodent.

Guinea pigs are known for being skittish animals, but they can defend themselves against a small mouse if they feel like they are in danger.

A cavy will even kill a mouse if it perceives the tiny rodent as an imminent threat.

Read on to learn if guinea pigs can befriend or live with mice and other rodents.

do mice kill guinea pig

Can Guinea Pigs Live With Mice?

Wild mice are fearful and may carry harmful diseases, so it is bad for them to be around your guinea pigs.

If you acquire both a mouse and guinea pig while they are young, raising them together in the same cage is possible, although it is not recommended.

Related: Can you put young and old guinea pigs together?

Mice tend to be better climbers and jumpers than guinea pigs, so the enclosure will need to have a top to prevent an escape.

Due to different dietary needs and activity levels, it is better to house your cavy and mouse in separate cages.

Keeping the two rodents separated also eliminates the chance of your adult guinea pig harming or killing the mouse when you are not able to supervise them.

As long as your mouse and cavy are familiar with each other, you may still be able to let them play together outside of their cages with you monitoring them.

Even if the two animals are generally friendly toward each other, there is a chance they might squabble over food or territory.

Keeping a mouse and cavy together also increases the chance of foot-and-mouth disease virus transmission through respiratory droplets.

Cavies are generally immune to the foot-and-mouth disease virus, but it may be fatal to mice.

Can Rats Kill Guinea Pigs?

Rats are much larger than mice, and they pose a serious threat to guinea pigs.

Both wild and domesticated rats will attack and possibly kill a cavy if they compete for food or if their territory is threatened.

A rat will search for food, water, and a warm place to sleep.

Once the rat has found a place where those needs are satisfied, the animal will take control of the area, even if it is your guinea pig’s cage.

Cavies are prey animals, and they are more adapted to fleeing from danger than defending themselves.

Rats are adept fighters who remain territorial even when they are domesticated, and they will easily harm or kill your guinea pig if they feel like it is their only option.

Rats also carry a dangerous bacterial disease which may be fatal for your cavy.

How Can You Protect Your Guinea Pigs From Rats?

If you have a pet rat, it is crucial to prevent them from having any direct contact with your guinea pig.

Protect your cavy by keeping the animals in separate enclosures and not letting them outside of their cages simultaneously.

If you have a wild rat problem around your home or property, the best advice is to hire an exterminator.

Since rats are scavengers, you will also be able to deter them by keeping your home and yard clean and free from any garbage or other debris.

If your guinea pig is housed outdoors, ensure the cage is entirely predator-proof by keeping all doors latched securely and repairing any damaged or weakened wire mesh a rat might be able to gain access to.

Maintain a consistent cage-cleaning routine and remove any spoiled food from the enclosure.

If you allow your cavy to play outdoors away from its cage, you need to monitor your pet to ensure there is no danger from rats or other potential predators.

Other Animals And Guinea Pigs

other animals with guinea pigs rabbits ferrets hamsters

Do Ferrets Get Along With Guinea Pigs?

Ferrets are natural predators, while guinea pigs are prey animals, so keeping them separated from each other is crucial.

It is not even recommended to have a ferret and a cavy in the same household.

If you own both a ferret and a guinea pig, it is advised to keep them in separate rooms.

The two animals should never meet, and you need to ensure they do not smell each other.

Aside from being a predator, a ferret has a distinctive musky smell.

Cavies have sensitive noses, and the smell of a ferret, a known predator, is enough to stress them out.

Never handle a ferret before handling a guinea pig, and vice versa.

If you must handle a cavy right after a ferret, you will have to change clothes and thoroughly wash your hands and arms to avoid any lingering scent.

A stressed cavy will suffer from a lowered immune system and quickly become depressed or lose its appetite.

Ferrets have a high prey drive, and they were first domesticated to aid hunters in killing rabbits, mice, and rats, so it is instinctual for them to attack cavies.

A ferret’s diet consists of meat, while cavies have a plant-based diet.

A guinea pig would never be safe with a ferret nearby, and the two could not be friends, even if they were raised in the same household.

Can Hamsters and Guinea Pigs Live Together?

Despite hamsters and guinea pigs being popular pets, they should never be housed in the same enclosure because they are very different.

Cavies are very social animals, but hamsters prefer a solitary existence, so they will not get along with any other animal placed in the same cage.

The dietary needs of cavies are also very different from a hamster’s diet, making cohabitation very difficult.

Guinea pigs are constant grazers, and they need a steady supply of hay and servings of vegetables and fruit to stay happy and healthy.

On the other hand, hamsters prefer to eat seeds and can store food in their cheeks for later.

Guinea pigs and seeds don’t get along, as our article talks about at the link.

Guinea pigs also need more vitamin supplements than hamsters, especially vitamin C, which their body cannot produce.

While hamsters and cavies are unlikely to injure each other physically, their vastly different temperaments and dietary needs make it impossible to live together.

Is It Safe for Guinea Pigs to Live with Rabbits?

Guinea pigs and rabbits may get along with each other if they are introduced when they are both at a young age.

However, it is best if the two types of animals do not cohabit in the same cage.

Cavies and rabbits have different dietary needs, and even if they did share access to food, the rabbit is likely to bully a guinea pig out of its meal.

It is unlikely for guinea pigs and rabbits to fight each other on purpose since they are prey animals.

Rabbits can kick very hard, though, and they may accidentally injure a cavy by kicking them.

Rabbits are also carriers of the Bordetella bronchiseptica bacterium, which causes upper respiratory infections in guinea pigs.

While rabbits will not have any symptoms from the bacterium, it will make cavies very sick and possibly lead to death.

The two animals also have different personalities and behaviors.

If you already have a rabbit and cavy who are bonded with each other, separating them may cause stress and anxiety to the animals, so it is better to continue allowing them to live together.

Ensure the rabbit is neutered so it is less likely to injure your guinea pig, and monitor both animals regularly for any changes in behavior or health.

Finding the Best Companion for Your Guinea Pig

Overall, the best companion for your guinea pig is another cavy.

Having multiple cavies in a cage prevents the social animals from being lonely and encourages playfulness with each other.

However, even when housing more than one cavy together, some preventive measures are still to consider.

To prevent your cavies from becoming territorial, the enclosure needs to be large enough for each animal to have its own space.

Keeping one or two neutered guinea pig males with multiple females or even housing two neutered males together is safe.

Females are more territorial and tend to fight, so it is not good to keep two female cavies in the same cage.

If you already have two guinea pigs living together and want to add more, it is recommended to add a pair of cavies instead of just one.

Adding a pair of guinea pigs to an existing pair reduces the chance of the new cavy getting bullied.

Whenever you are introducing new cavies into the enclosure, you will need to quarantine the new animals to be sure they are free from transmittable diseases or parasites.

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