Male and female guinea pigs can happily live together in the same cage. However, it’s important to place them in a new cage within a few minutes of each other. Guinea pigs are territorial. If one guinea pig has already claimed territory in a cage, there will be no territory left for the new guinea pig.
The guinea pig is one of the cutest, fluffiest, and cuddliest exotic pets. Adults are sure to adore them as much as young children. Because they are so fun to watch, guinea pigs are a great selection for the classroom pet.
Kids will enjoy being able to feed the guinea pig, watch it run, and listen to it squeal from inside its living quarters. Because they are so cute, you might consider getting more than one.
But how do you decide how many to get? Should you get a male and a female guinea pig? Can they even live together? How many is too many?
This article will explore all the ins and outs of cohabiting amongst male and female guinea pigs and provide you with alternate solutions for making sure your guinea pigs live happily ever after.
Sometimes it Works, Sometimes it Doesn’t
Guinea pigs aren’t much different from humans in that sometimes the same sex doesn’t always get along. This holds especially true for female guinea pigs.
What You'll Learn
I Need Space!
You may find that if you pair two female guineas together, conflict ensues. Female guinea pigs are territorial and may have difficulty sharing their space with another.
The best way to resolve this conflict quickly is to ensure you have provided them with adequate space to claim as their own.
Purchasing and creating a large enough enclosure is priority when making sure each guinea is given a space to be territorial with. Even humans like to have their own space and feel threatened or confined when they lack it.
However, two or more female guinea pigs together isn’t always all bad. In fact, siblings have no problem living together. Go figure. Siblings will tussle and disagree, but it is natural for siblings to co-exist peacefully.
You can expect large groups of guinea pigs living together in the wild. When you consider the wild, however, these guineas are not confined to any sort of space. Getting along isn’t as much of a problem as the need for their own space.
If you want to get multiple guinea pigs, get no more than 3 female guinea pigs and even consider buying them separate enclosures. If you only plan on buying one enclosure, just make sure it’s big enough for them to claim their own space. A large enough space for 3 guinea pigs would be at least 13 square feet!
But What About Male and Female Guinea Pigs?
Male guinea pigs pair well with female guinea pigs. The male guineas are known to lighten any conflicts among the female guineas.
Like the female guineas, male guinea pigs need enough space within their enclosures. Here’s what you may notice when you place two male guinea pigs together–lots of movement, noise, and chatter from both.
They are communicating and asserting their own level of dominance. They are fingering each other out and laying the “foundation” for how they will get along. If you’ve ever had a stranger as a new roommate, you can probably relate. You might not need to assert your dominance, but you definitely want to get to know them a little better.
Social Butterflies (well, technically, guinea pigs)
Guinea pigs are social creatures. It is unnatural for them to live alone because they are categorized as herd animals.
Like any other context, the living quarters just need to be balanced out. Male and female guinea pigs are a great balance for one another.
If you plan on putting male and female guinea pigs together, the males need to be neutered first. You can take a neutered male and house him with 1-2 female guineas because the females are a bit friendlier toward one another. There is something about the presence of the neutered male that calms the personality of the females.
Answering The Question
So can male and female guinea pigs live together? Absolutely, they can! It is not entirely impossible for the two sexes to co-exist, and it doesn’t even have to be difficult.
Timing is Crucial
Picture yourself living with the same person for 2 years in a row! You know each other’s personalities. You’ve learned about their routines, what they do when they wake up in the morning and how they clean up. They’ve sort of become your best friend. You might even say you are bonded for life with them.
But then, BOOM! One day, a brand-new roommate is added to the mix. A complete and total stranger. What if their personality doesn’t mesh with yours? What if your first roommate likes them and you don’t?!
This can easily become the same circumstance for male and female guinea pigs. You can place a male and female guinea together in the same enclosure, but it needs to be done simultaneously. Start them with new living quarters and place them inside it minutes apart. Like you and your roommate, they will learn each other and may eventually bond for life.
But, here’s the thing, once 2-3 guinea pigs are comfortable with each other, randomly adding another one later might not fare as well.
Adding a new guinea pig to a duo or trio of guineas that have already been living together isn’t so ideal. Don’t expect them to welcome the new guinea with open arms.
You’ve given them a 10.5 square feet enclosure, and they’ve already marked their territory. There is no more territory available for a new guinea pig coming to crash the party.
But I Don’t Have a Choice…
If you truly don’t have a choice and you HAVE to add a new guinea pig to the mix, here’s some advice. You can expect extreme difficulties if you add a female guinea to the enclosure.
If all else fails, remove your current guinea pig(s) from their home. Clean it up and rearrange it completely. When you’re ready, place all the guinea pigs into the “new” home.
This may help with your current guinea pigs now having to mark new territory. They’ll be marking new territory right alongside the newbie.
Just like a man and a woman, male and female guinea pigs can co-exist in the same home. Will there be conflict from time to time? Sure. That’s to be expected, even for human adults. The chances of a male and female guinea pig duo getting along may be higher than a female-to-female duo or a male-to-male duo. Go for it!