Companionship for Guinea Pigs.

Guinea pigs are sociable animals and must have companionship of their own kind. It is important that their companions share a cage so that mutual grooming and sleeping together etc can take place. When acquiring your guinea pigs let them choose their own friends as opposed to buying/adopting them seperately and hoping for the best.


Sows will live together happily in pairs, trios or groups but it is still important to let them choose their own friends or there will be continual bullying in the ranks. Even well matched sows need some time to settle into their new home and there will probably be some dominance issues at first. These must be sorted out and the sows should be left alone to do this, in most cases. It is not unknown for full on fights to happen with sows but a reputable rescue/breeder will provide you with a ready bonded group who should settle well after the initial issues when they are introduced to their new home. Expect some squealing and running around and even some back biting in the first few days, but this should settle eventually. Remember that the situation is new to all of them and they must be given time.


Boars can be kept in pairs and even in trios (though trios is not very common), boars that have been ‘raised’ in conditions where there are sows present will live together happily, even taking an interest in their female neighbours. Where boars are not used to having sows present the sudden introduction of them may cause friction between some pairs, but many continue to live together in harmony. When adopting boars be aware that they may fall out at some stage requiring seperation, this is less likely when the boars have reached adulthood.

Boars and Sows together.

Boars and sows should be matched with as much care as any other pairing. Often it is the sow that will show her dislike for the castrated boar, and in these situations it is often a strong dislike. The two should meet first to see if they are compatible before deciding on offering a home. Castrated boars should wait for 14 days before being put with a sow. This gives time for the sperm to dry up and the castrate wound to heal.

A boar and several sows is another common grouping, there is a hierarchy established between the sows, the role of the boar depends a lot on his character, some are content to let the sows organise the hierarchy etc while others seem to ‘interfere’ in the proceedings and choose their own ‘top sow’. Putting 2 or more boars with a group of sows is an unwise decision. Domesticated guinea pigs don’t have the room that their wild ancestors did and can’t spread out like them, the confined space they are kept in would lead them to fight at some stage which is unfair because whilst in the wild they would flee to the outside of the group in captivity they do not have that choice.

Any newcomer to a group will cause some mild friction while the hierarchy is established, unless ther eare 2 top sows in the group then all should settle eventually.

Guinea pigs and rabbits, or not!

Guinea pigs and rabbits should not be housed together, both have different needs and requirements. The RSPCA recommends that both these animals are only kept with their own kind. Many guinea pigs have been killed as a result of living with rabbits, rabbits are bullied by guinea pigs who love to pull their coat out, generally the pairing is not good and not recommended by reputable rescues (both rabbit and guinea pig).

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