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5 Reasons Why Your Guinea Pigs Are Fighting & How To Prevent It

Your guinea pigs are usually such sweet, docile, and cuddly animals.

So why do my guinea pigs fight?

We’ve listed all the reasons why guinea pigs fight in this article.

Key Takeaway:

Your guinea pigs will fight if their cage is too small or ill-equipped, if they feel bored, or if one of them is sick. If you do not pair your guinea pigs correctly, they will fight. Two male guinea pigs together are the most problematic.

Are you ready to find out why your guinea pigs fight and what you can do to stop it?

Then make sure you check out the tips coming up next in this article.

two guinea pigs face to face

Why Are My Guinea Pigs Fighting?

Your guinea pigs are such sweet and innocent animals. They are also known to be very sociable.

Although they like one another’s company, there are some instances in which a dominant guinea pig will pick a fight with another. You might ask…

…Why do my guinea pigs fight?

Let’s get to the bottom of it by taking a look at the following 5 reasons.

The Cage Is Too Small

Guinea pigs are cute and cuddly animals. But fights can break out even amongst the most adorable pets.

Why do guinea pigs fight?

You’ll find two guinea pigs fighting if their cage is too small. This is because they will not have enough space to exercise and spend some time apart, making them feel frustrated.

two guinea pigs in a small cage

The Cage Is Not Well Equipped

When guinea pigs live in pairs or small groups, they like to spend time playing together. But if they do not have some space of their own, you’ll soon witness a guinea pig fight.

Want to know why your guinea pigs are fighting?

If your guinea pigs do not have enough of their own space in their cage, they will fight. If your guinea pigs have to share a food bowl, water bottle, chew toy, or hiding place, they will fight.

They Feel Bored

Guinea pigs are very active animals, they love to play and run around all day. But they will start fighting if things are not right in their cage.

Why do guinea pigs fight one another?

One guinea pig will fight with another if it feels bored. This happens because the guinea pig cannot find enough mental stimulation in his cage.

Improper Pairing

Guinea pigs are very social animals and like to be in the company of other guinea pigs. But fights break out when the cage mates are not the right match.

Is it normal for guinea pigs to fight?

They will fight if you do not pair them properly.

Male guinea pigs fight over the females when you house them all together. The male guinea pigs will become especially violent if there is only one female in the cage.

Two male guinea pigs in each other's company will also fight. If you introduce an older guinea pig to a cage with other guinea pigs, they will fight.

One Guinea Pig Is Sick

Guinea pigs are normally good-natured animals. So if a fight breaks loose, something is not right.

Have you ever wondered why are my guinea pigs fighting all of a sudden?

It is perfectly normal for us to feel grumpy when we are unwell. Likewise, a sick cavy might pick a fight with the other piggies in his cage. If the guinea pig feels discomfort or pain, he might take that out on the other cavies in his enclosure.

How to Stop Guinea Pigs From Fighting

There are two dominant guinea pigs in your cage, and they are at loggerheads. Perhaps your female guinea pigs fight, or your male guinea pigs are getting aggressive.

Whatever the case, there is bullying going on, and it has to stop.

How can you put an end to the fighting?

Guinea pig owners will find 5 of the best tips for stopping cavy fights coming up next.

The Right Size Cage

You’ll find two guinea pigs fighting if their cage is not big enough to share. To prevent this from happening, put the guinea pigs in the right size cage.

What size cage is best?

Use the following information as a size guide for the number of guinea pigs you have. Remember, not all the guinea pig cages sold at the pet store are the right size, so make sure you measure yours before you buy.

  • Two guinea pigs need at least 7.5 square feet of unbroken floor space
  • Three guinea pigs need at least 10.5 square feet of unbroken floor space
  • Four guinea pigs need at least 13 square feet of unbroken floor space

Guinea pigs are most active at dusk and dawn; these times may be inconvenient for you to let them outside. By putting them in a large enough cage, they will be able to get the exercise they need on their own.

Sufficient Comodities

Dominant guinea pigs fight the more submissive guinea pig when the cage is not well equipped for multiple cavies. To prevent them from fighting over more space or commodities, pet parents must do the following.

  • Make sure the cage is big enough for them to share (see the section listed above for cage sizing details)
  • Put enough food bowls inside the cage (one for each cavy). Make sure you keep their food topped up throughout the day.
  • Attach one water bottle per guinea pig to the cage. Keep the water topped up and put fresh water in each bottle every day.
  • Ensure there are enough hiding places inside the cage. If you are trying to cut the cost of putting your cage together, why not make your hiding places out of simple materials such as cardboard boxes? Your guinea pigs will also need a lot of bedding material to make separate nests. Give them plenty of shredded paper or Timothy hay.

Enough Entertainment

Guinea pigs fight when there are not enough toys in their cage to keep them mentally stimulated. They will fight if they have to share entertainment or if there is not enough room for two guinea pigs to participate in the same activity at once.

To stop fighting piggies, make sure they have what they need to entertain themselves alone throughout the day.

What kind of things do they need to keep busy?

Put the following in your guinea pig cage.

  • Balls
  • Tunnels (tunnels made of hay and chewy tunnels both work well)
  • Toys to chew on
  • Nibble sticks

Apart from putting toys in the enclosure, you must let the guinea pigs outside of their cages at least once a day. This will ensure they are able to stretch their legs properly, exercise, and explore.

How to Pair Female and Male Guinea Pigs

Guinea pigs fight when you do not pair them correctly. To stop them from becoming irate with one another, make sure you put the right pairs together.

Which pairs go well together?

Here is a list of cage mates that are usually well-paired.

  • One neutered male and a female guinea pig
  • One neutered male and two female guinea pigs
  • Two female guinea pigs
  • Two neutered males that were raised together

If you are going to introduce older piggies into the cage, make sure you introduce them to one another on new ground. Put them in the cage once they have had time to get used to one another.

Make sure you keep an eye on any new guinea pig pairs to ensure the new cage mates don’t fight. If they begin to display aggressive behavior, separate them immediately.

A baby guinea pig must stay with his mother until he is 4 to 5 weeks old. The mother will wean her young guinea pigs at about 3 weeks old.

As the babies get older, they will begin to show aggressive behavior toward one another. So it is best you separate the pups when they reach 5 weeks old.

Guinea Pigs Health

It is not unusual to see one guinea pig fight another when it feels unwell.

How can you calm fighting guinea pigs?

Do the following.

  • Keep an eye on your guinea pig. If you see signs of bullying, territorial behavior or hear loud noises, put them in separate cages. (More about the most common signs of bullying and what to look out for in a mo.)
  • If your pet doesn’t look well or seems lethargic, take him to the vet immediately. An extremely tired guinea pig might be the first sign of illness. Tiredness could indicate your guinea pig is not getting all the nutrients he needs. He could be suffering from a vitamin C deficiency.

While your guinea pig is recovering from his illness, keep him in a different cage from the others. Only return the animal to the shared cage once he is better.

Do Guinea Pigs and Hamsters Fight?

Your guinea pigs are such social animals. So, with that in mind, you might wonder how well they will get on with other animals.

Can you keep guinea pigs and hamsters in one cage?

You must not keep guinea pigs and hamsters in the same cage, as they will not get along. It doesn't matter if they are same-sex pairs or one male with one female; guinea pigs and hamsters cannot share a cage.

Here are some of the reasons why these two animals do not make a good match.

Territorial

Here’s the first reason why guinea pigs and hamsters cannot live together.

Hamsters are very territorial animals. They would not accept a guinea pig coming into their home.

If a guinea pig were to make a nest in a hamster’s territory, the hamster will fight with the guinea pig.

Personality Clashes

Another reason you must not house guinea pigs and hamsters together is because of their differing personalities.

Guinea pigs are more social, and hamsters are more aggressive. The two would not get along.

Hamsters do not have the patience to live together with guinea pigs. It is sometimes tricky for them to get on with a cage mate of the same species, let alone put up with a different species.

Living Requirements

Guinea pigs and hamsters cannot live together because their living requirements are too dissimilar.

For example, hamsters need a hamster wheel to exercise in, whereas a guinea pig could get hurt while attempting to play in a hamster wheel.

Hamsters also enjoy playing in a hamster ball. But this ball would do damage to a guinea pig’s back if it were to attempt to get inside it and play in it.

A guinea pig’s cage normally has bigger gaps between the bars. These gaps are far too wide for a hamster, and it could escape between them.

Hamsters need tall cages as they like to climb. Guinea pigs, on the other hand, are poor climbers, and their enclosures tend to be much lower.

Body Clocks

The activity times of guinea pigs and hamsters also differ.

Hamsters are nocturnal. Guinea pigs are crepuscular, so the movements of these two animals would not match.

While hamsters might be sleeping during the day, the guinea pigs would wake them as they do not sleep for long periods at a time.

Other Animals

Do not keep your guinea pigs with larger animals. Larger animals might bully the guinea pigs or view them as prey.

Cavies often feel threatened by the presence of larger animals in their living quarters. It is possible to train some cats and dogs to accept guinea pigs, but you must keep a close eye on them when they are together.

Guinea pigs are sometimes kept in the same cage as rabbits, but as is the same with hamsters, they have different housing requirements, and this is not always practical.

Should I Separate My Guinea Pigs If They Are Fighting?

Guinea pigs are generally amicable animals that seek one another’s company. But if you do not pair them well, they will fight.

Two male cavies will fight one another if they were not raised together. And if two males are together with one female guinea pig, they will fight one another over her.

It isn’t common for guinea pigs to fight so violently that they draw blood or kill one another. But even still, if a fight were to begin and you weren’t there, a dominant guinea pig might attack a weaker or younger guinea pig and do serious harm to it or even kill it.

You must separate your guinea pigs at the first sign of fighting. Put them in separate cages straight away.

If you have to break up the guinea pigs and separate them as they fight, make sure you protect yourself by wearing thick gloves when you pick them up. Or approach them with a towel wrapped around your hands.

Do not put the guinea pigs back together after they have fought. It is safest to keep them in separate enclosures from here on out.

Signs Your Guinea Pigs Fight

So you’ve just started housing two or three guinea pigs together. Now you need to keep an eye on them to ensure they are getting on well.

You must check your guinea pigs over once a day to ensure they are not fighting. Handling your guinea pigs every day will not only help you keep an eye on their welfare but will also help you to build a stronger bond with them.

Although unusual, dominant guinea pigs kill the weaker ones if you allow the fighting to continue. You must keep a close watch on them.

As you check up on the welfare of your guinea pigs each day, look out for the following signs.

Bite or Scratch Marks on the Skin

If a few guinea pigs have fought in the cage, you might be able to see the evidence on your guinea pigs’ skin. There may even be patches of fur missing as one guinea pig pulled the fur out of the other guinea pig with its teeth.

If your pets fight and one of your guinea pigs loses some fur, you might wonder why you don’t see a lot of loose furs scattered around the cage. This is because the attacking guinea pig often ingests the hair as it pulls it out.

Separate the guinea pigs if you see bite marks or scratch marks appear on their skin.

Aggressive Teeth Chattering

Guinea pigs will chatter their teeth together loudly when they fight.

Make sure you keep your guinea pig enclosure in a safe place where you can easily hear them. If you hear loud teeth chattering in time, you might be able to separate the guinea pigs before they attack one another.

Aggressive Biting

Guinea pigs will chew on each other’s hair to establish a hierarchy in the group. This is normal behavior between them, and you do not need to worry about this.

Baby guinea pigs will also pull on their mother’s fur during or after feeding. This is also normal.

But if one guinea pig begins aggressively chewing on another’s ear or biting another, you need to separate them.

Lunging Towards One Another

If a guinea pig lunges towards another in full force, it does so with the intent of hurting it. You must remove this guinea pig from the enclosure.

Head Lunges

One of the most common forms of attack is when a guinea pig lifts its head slightly and then drops it and lunges it toward its opponent. The guinea pig might open its mouth and make an audible sound.

The cavy might do this a few times without touching its opponent. If the fight gets very serious, the attacker might jump or run toward its opponent; if the opponent flees, the attacker will often bite, and this can cause injury.

When two or more guinea pigs fight this aggressively, you must remove one of them immediately.

Purring and Hip Swaying

Things can get very dangerous when a male partner fights another male over their female counterparts. The attacker will purr and begin swaying his hips from side to side.

If neither back down, the guinea pigs might leap toward one another to attack. If you hear the sound of loud purring, you might be able to make it to the cage and separate the animals before they fight.

why are guinea pigs so scared

Understanding and Stopping Guinea Pig Fights

Guinea pigs like to be in each other’s company. So when you see your guinea pigs fighting, it might seem strange to you.

Thanks to this article, you’ve seen 5 reasons why guinea pigs will fight with each other.

They fight when their cages are too small, when they are not well-equipped, and when they feel bored. They will also fight when you pair them incorrectly and when they are sick.

To stop the fighting, you must make sure your guinea pigs are in the right size cage with enough commodities and toys to keep them occupied. They must also be in the right pairs. Take them to the vet when they are sick.

Did you find the information in this article interesting?

At Oddly Cute Pets, we always strive to provide you with the best articles about guinea pigs and how to monitor and understand their behavior. To read guides on how to set up a piggies’ cage and for more tips on how to look after your exotic pets, check out our website.

Thanks for reading!

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