Although a rabbit will not intentionally kill a guinea pig, accidents happen. Rabbits are much bigger and stronger than guinea pigs. A rabbit may unintentionally kill a guinea pig when thumping, kicking, or jumping.
If you own a rabbit, you may be wondering if they can also live peacefully with a guinea pig. After all, both animals are small, cute, and harmless, so it would seem like they would get along just fine.
However, there are a few things you should know before placing these two animals together in the same space. For one, rabbits and guinea pigs have different dietary needs, which can lead to conflict. Additionally, guinea pigs are naturally at risk because of the size and strength difference.
What You'll Learn
- 1 Rabbits Will Not Intentionally Kill Guinea Pigs
- 2 Does That Mean Rabbits and Guinea Pigs Can Live Together?
- 3 Can I Still Let My Guinea Pig and Rabbit Play When Supervised?
- 4 Tips When Introducing Rabbits and Guinea Pigs
- 5 Great Pets – But Not Friends
Rabbits Will Not Intentionally Kill Guinea Pigs
Rabbits are prey animals and herbivores. They don’t go out “seeking blood.” If you place a rabbit and a guinea pig together in the same space, the rabbit will NOT seek to kill the guinea pig.
Does That Mean Rabbits and Guinea Pigs Can Live Together?
Not so fast. Just because a rabbit won’t INTENTIONALLY kill a guinea pig doesn’t mean it won’t happen. In fact, if a rabbit and guinea pig are caged together long enough, an accident is bound to happen.
Rabbits pose a threat to guinea pigs in numerous ways. Below are a few of the most common accidents that can lead to the death of a guinea pig.
Rabbits Are Much More Powerful
One of the biggest dangers rabbits pose to guinea pigs is their sheer size and strength. A full-grown rabbit can weigh upwards of 10 pounds. In comparison, a guinea pig only weighs 2-3 pounds.
This size difference is significant because it gives rabbits the ability to do serious harm to guinea pigs with little effort. A single kick from a rabbit can easily kill a guinea pig.
Additionally, rabbits are known for “thumping.” This is when a rabbit stomps its legs on the ground to make a loud noise. Thumping is a rabbit’s way of saying, “I’m scared” or “I’m angry.”
While thumping may seem harmless, it can actually be quite dangerous for guinea pigs. If a rabbit thumps while a guinea pig is nearby, the impact can cause severe injury or even death.
Rabbits Can Transfer Disease to Guinea Pigs
Another danger rabbits pose to guinea pigs is the potential to spread disease. Rabbits can carry several diseases that are harmful to guinea pigs, including Bordetella bronchiseptica and Pasteurella.
These diseases are easily spread from rabbits to guinea pigs through close contact. If you own both a rabbit and a guinea pig, it is important to keep them in separate cages to prevent the spread of disease.
Rabbit May Accidentally Crush The Guinea Pig
Another potential danger is that a rabbit may accidentally crush a guinea pig. This often happens when a rabbit jumps or plays in the cage and doesn’t see the guinea pig. The rabbit’s weight can easily crush a guinea pig, causing serious injury or death.
Rabbit May Mount Guinea Pig
Another potential danger is a rabbit attempting to mount a guinea pig. This often happens when a male rabbit is placed in the same cage as a female guinea pig. Again, the size difference is a significant issue here. The weight of the rabbit can crush the guinea pig.
Territorial Disputes Are Bound to Happen
Finally, rabbits and guinea pigs are both territorial animals. This means they are both prone to fighting over the same space. If a rabbit feels like a guinea pig is encroaching on its territory, it may become aggressive.
Can I Still Let My Guinea Pig and Rabbit Play When Supervised?
We want the best for our animals, which means we want them to have friends. By now, you know you shouldn’t have a rabbit and guinea pig live together, but what about some play time when supervised?
This is still risky because an accident can happen at any time. Even if you are careful, there is always the potential for something to go wrong.
Remember, one kick can cause severe damage. Even if the rabbit and guinea pig are getting along and playing well, the rabbit may accidentally kick the guinea pig while playing.
External factors can also cause a guinea pig to thump. You don’t have any control over these natural instincts.
Because of these risks, we do not recommend letting your rabbit and guinea pig play, even when supervised.
Tips When Introducing Rabbits and Guinea Pigs
If you’re still determined to at least introduce your rabbit and guinea pig to each other, you can do a few things to ensure a safe introduction.
Don’t Let Them Get Too Close
When you first introduce your rabbit and guinea pig, keeping them at a safe distance from each other is vital. This means they should be in separate cages that are placed far enough apart so they can’t reach each other.
ALWAYS Be Between The Two
You should always be between the two animals when you let them out in the same room. This way, you can prevent them from getting too close to each other and avoid any potential accidents.
Hold The Guinea Pig When You Want Them to Be Closer
If you want your rabbit and guinea pig to get to know each other better, you can hold the guinea pig while the rabbit is in its cage. This way, they can smell each other and get used to each other’s presence without being in danger.
Know That They May Not Get Along
Even if you do everything right, there is no guarantee that your rabbit and guinea pig will get along. Some animals don’t get along, no matter what you do.
Great Pets – But Not Friends
Rabbits and guinea pigs are both wonderful pets. However, they should not live together due to the many dangers involved. If you own both a rabbit and a guinea pig, it is important to keep them in separate cages and always be between them when they are in the same room.
Even when supervised, there is always the potential for an accident to happen. Because of this, we do not recommend letting your rabbit and guinea pig play together. If you choose to introduce them, always be cautious and know they may not get along.