Two guinea pigs can live in one cage. However, the size of the cage, the gender, and the social status of the two guinea pigs all need to be taken into consideration before you house two of these large rodents together.
What You'll Learn
You must increase the size of your cage when housing two guinea pigs together. Increasing the size of your cage ensures your pigs will have sufficient space to roam and separate themselves when needed.
Guinea Pigs Prefer Company
Guinea pigs are social animals that can become lonely when living alone. These large rodents are pack animals who prefer partnership. Without these partnerships, they can get stressed, lonely, and hostile. Guinea pigs may have difficulty forming relationships with their owners when they do not have friends.
Luckily, you can overcome these obstacles by housing two guinea pigs together. When housing them together, you provide them with a socially stimulating environment.
As socially charged animals, they will be excited to form meaningful relationships with you. If you house guinea pigs alone, they require toys, extra companionship, mirrors, etc., to make up for the lost company.
Two Guineas Need Adequate Cage Space
When housing two guinea pigs together, you need to consider the amount of cage space. According to Animal Humane Society, the minimum cage requirement for two guinea pigs is one 2×3 grid cage or 7.5 square feet of floor space.
However, the AHS recommends increasing from a standard 2×3 grid cage to a 2×4 grid cage (10.5 square feet) to provide a more comfortable environment. The larger the cage you provide, the more room guinea pigs have to move around.
Your enclosure’s available floor space represents the space requirements. This means that guinea pigs need 7.5 square feet to roam around. You may also provide additional levels or “floors.” However, these do not count toward the space requirements.
Can You House Two Guinea Pigs Of Opposite Gender?
You should never house guinea pigs of the opposite gender together because you risk agitation and discomfort. The gender of your guinea pigs can affect the cage size, social dynamics, and more.
Male guinea pigs are typically larger than female pigs, meaning you will need larger cages for males. Plus, opposite genders are more likely to fight because the male may continue his attempts to mate.
It Is Better To House The Same Gender Or Siblings
It is much better to house the same gender together than housing opposite genders. Two females (sows) or two males (boars) live together happily.
The most compatible pairs are usually siblings. Siblings form close relationships because they have pre-established social hierarchies. Siblings can have close relationships, despite gender.
Opposite Genders Will Fight
If you house opposite genders, they will typically form mating pairs, leading to aggression. During the mating process, guinea pigs of the opposite gender will combat each other. The male guinea pig can become aggressive during the mating process. Males assert dominating behavior over the female during the mating process as they try to win her over.
The dominating behavior that the male exhibits while attempting to mate can be unappealing and dangerous to the female. He might chase the female around the cage. If the female is uninterested, she may bite or urinate on the male to express disinterest. To avoid combative behavior, it’s best to avoid pairing males and females in the same cage.
Males Need More Space Than Females
Male guinea pigs are usually larger than females by around two inches and require additional floor space. The male guinea pig will need the maximum (10.5 square feet) space for their enclosures. When housing two or more guinea pigs in a single cage, you must increase the size of their cage to accommodate the additional space.
While you can easily house two females in a 10.5 square foot cage without compromising their comfort, two large males can grow uncomfortable if housed in a 10.5 square foot cage because of their large sizes -although some males are smaller by nature.
How Do Guinea Pigs Live In The Wild?
Guinea pigs live in groups when living in the wild. The guinea pig has a pack mentality, surviving in pairs or packs. Guinea pigs depend on each other for social relationships. They need social interaction to thrive and become aggressive or standoffish without it.
Living in groups is critical for the guinea pig because they rely on others to communicate impending dangers. They communicate with other guinea pigs through squeals and chitters, making it easier to identify approaching threats.
Guinea Pigs Establish Safety In Large Numbers
Guinea pigs live in large numbers, called clans, to ensure they are safe from predators. The bigger the groups they belong to, the more active guinea pigs become. They become so active in large groups because the higher their numbers, the safer they are from predators.
In captivity, it is normal to pair two guinea pigs together. In the wild, guinea pigs may live in clans of ten or more.
Guinea Pigs Socialize In Groups
Guinea pigs are considered clan animals who thrive in large groups. Wild guinea pigs never live alone because they require physical and social interaction. If they live alone, they might grow anxious and lonely. Guinea pigs can establish important social relationships with other rodents and mammals, socializing and physically interacting to maintain positive social relationships.
These social structures influence the guinea pig’s ability to thrive in captivity. If you keep a guinea pig alone, they are more likely to be standoffish because they do not have adequate social interaction.
Guinea pigs feel more comfortable around humans when living in pairs. They establish social relationships and are less likely to get lonely.
Dominant Guineas Thrive With Subordinates
Wild guinea pig clans or pairs consist of a dominant member and at least one subordinate. Maintaining a strict relationship between the dominant and subordinate guinea pigs is critical to balancing the social hierarchy. The social hierarchy is just as important in captivity as in the wild. When housing guinea pigs, consider this wild behavior. Never house two dominant guinea pigs, or you will have problems.
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