Find out why your Guinea Pigs are aggressive and learn how to keep them and yourself safe from fights and bites
Why are my guinea pigs fighting? | What to do if your Guinea Pigs are fighting | How to stop a Guinea Pig fight | Can you put male guinea pigs in the same cage? | How do I stop my Guinea Pig from biting? | What to do if two female pigs are fighting | Do Guinea Pigs attack or eat their babies?
Why are my Guinea Pigs fighting?
Guinea Pigs are social animals and are usually happy living with other cavies, however, bust ups do happen.
It’s not recommended to house two male pigs and a female together as this can cause the males to become aggressive.
Make sure your pets are properly sexed before you take them home so that you know you have a group that won’t cause problems and you don’t accidentally end up with a pregnant female.
Even without a female, two males living together can end up fighting. When they move into a new home they’re likely to try to assert their dominance over each other. This can seem aggressive but might not be a full-blown fight and it can be a necessary process.
Your Guinea Pigs may circle each other, shake and bare their teeth. If one backs down that should be the end of the process. But it can get more physical if they lunge at each other and carry out non-sexual mounting.
If this happens, keep a close eye on them. Again, one may give in and the fight for dominance will end but if no one gives in it can escalate to biting and you’ll have a dangerous situation on your hands.
Bites can draw blood and cause serious injuries. If they’re biting you’ll need to separate them.
If the Pigs have been living with each other for a while and are unlikely to be fighting for dominance it may because they are unhappy or in pain.
It can be difficult to identify what is causing the problem but check your pet for any obvious sign of illness or injury, make sure the cage is clean and they have enough food, space and things to play with.
One Guinea Pig might have just got too grumpy and lashed out. You will need to separate them for a day and reintroduce them to see if it happens again.
Find out how to set up a Guinea Pig cage.
What to do if your Guinea Pigs are fighting
First, identify if it is a proper fight or if they’re asserting dominance.
If they are fighting you’ll need to separate them. Read the next section below to learn how to do it safely.
Once they’re separated it can be a good idea to keep them in separate rooms for a night. Make sure neither is injured from the fight and that they’re generally healthy.
Check the cage is big enough, clean and has objects they can interact with, and be sure they’re eating and drinking normally.
After a night apart, you can try to reintroduce them. They might circle each other but if everything has blown over they may be fine to live together again, however, you’ll need to keep an eye on them for a few days after the fight.
If they do start fighting again you should separate them and it may be worth taking the aggressor to the vet. There is a chance your Pigs might not be able to live in the same cage.
Find out how much Guinea Pig insurance is with ExoticDirect.
How to stop a Guinea Pig fight
When Guinea Pigs are fighting it’s easy for an owner to get caught in the crossfire and end up with a nasty bite. Before you attempt to break up a fight make sure you have thick gloves or a towel to protect your hands.
If you feel you can grab the aggressor, try to get to it quickly before it harms the other Pig. You may be able to put something between them, such as cardboard, to break up the fight but they can be difficult to separate.
Once you have hold of one of them, follow the steps above and separate them so they’re different rooms and can’t see or hear each other.
Can you put male Guinea Pigs in the same cage?
Yes, as long the cage is big enough for two cavies. Guinea Pigs are social animals and housing them together can prevent loneliness.
When they first meet or move in together they may need to assert dominance. It’s rare that fights break out and even rarer that two male Pigs aren’t compatible but it does happen.
Learn about Guinea Pig diet here.
How do I stop my Guinea Pig from biting?
If your Guinea Pig is biting toys or objects in a cage, that’s not a problem. But bites to its cage-mates, you or other handlers are an issue.
Pigs can bite when they are scared, unhappy or in pain.
One of the best ways to avoid bites is to acclimatise your pet to its surroundings and being handled when it is young or first moves into your home.
Try putting your hand in its cage to let your Pig sniff it and climb on it. Once it is comfortable, pick it up and take it out of the cage.
Don’t hold it too far from the ground otherwise it will get scared.
Guinea Pigs can have sensitive areas that you’ll want to avoid putting pressure on while they’re being held. They may let you know with a little nibble.
And don’t hold them or keep them out of the cage for too long. If they need the toilet, which they like to do in private, again they may let you know with a nibble. And the longer you hold while they need to do their business, the more they’re likely to bite you.
If a Pig is grumpy because they’re ill, injured, hungry or unhappy with the space they have they may be likely to bite.
If it is a regular occurrence, try to work out what is causing the problem, you may need to take your pet to the vet. You can find a vet here.
What to do if two female pigs are fighting
Like males, females can fight for dominance. It’s not as common but sometimes one needs to show it is boss. Follow the above steps to separate them and try to work out what’s causing the rumble.
Do Guinea Pigs attack or eat their babies?
It’s extremely rare that Guinea Pigs harm their young. Some people suggest mothers attack their babies if they’re in pain, underfed or threatened by other Pigs in the cage. It’s best to speak to a vet if you’re concerned about a pregnant Guinea Pig.