Do Guinea Pigs Fight with Each Other?

Do Guinea Pigs Fight with Each Other

When keeping two male Guinea pigs, it’s crucial that they get along pretty well, especially if we’re talking about two or three dominant males.

In this case, you’re wondering do Guinea pigs fight, the answer to that question is YES. Guinea pigs can fight each other, and it can have serious consequences. Despite being generally sentient and peaceful animal, a Guinea pig who is dominant and wants to have his territory will surely fight.

For some reason, fights between male Guinea pigs are more common, unlike fights between female Guinea pigs. Although females can be a bit aggressive when they carry offspring, males are always more aggressive.

Why do Guinea Pigs Fight?

Generally speaking, Guinea pigs fight on very rare occasions. Many Guinea pig owners keep more than a dozen of Guinea pigs and fights are still very rare.

So, why should a Guinea pig attack other Guinea pig?

The first and the main reason why two male Guinea pigs can fight is that a female is there. Yes, much like humans, male animals are often fighting for their time with the female. It’s not only the case with Guinea pigs, but animals in general.

Some animals even have their moves and sounds which they perform to impress the female and let them mate with her. In the animal world, it’s all about being able to mate and reproduce offspring. That’s why housing two male and one female Guinea pig in the same cage is not recommended.

The worst thing is that even without that female, two male Guinea pigs can also end up fighting, which is troublesome.

Another reason why Guinea pigs can end up fighting is food. Food is what we all need, and if a person or an animal is hungry, it tends to be more aggressive. And when there isn’t enough food for both of your male Guinea pigs, they can start a fight. That’s why it’s important always to feed your pigs properly.

Can Fights be Severe?

In some cases, yes. In most cases, a Guinea pig fight isn’t all that aggressive and bloody. They can usually become aggressive to each other, and that’s quite a normal process in achieving dominance over another Guinea pig. The light and non-serious fight usually consist of circling, shaking, and baring teeth at each other.

In most cases, one of the Guinea pigs will back down, meaning that his opponent is now a dominant pig and is in charge.

But, what if neither of them backs down?

In this case, the fight will escalate. Guinea pigs will then start mounting each other and even lunge or bite the opposing pig. Unfortunately, this fight can lead to some serious issues for the beaten pig, as bites can draw blood and leave bruises that can be painful to the touch. This is something you want to avoid if you want to keep your Guinea pigs healthy.

However, Guinea pigs that are living together for a long time aren’t prone to fighting. If your Guinea pig lives with another Guinea pig for a few months, it’s unlikely that any fighting will occur.

What to Do in Case of Fight?

If a serious fight starts happening, the smartest thing to do is to split them. You don’t want your Guinea pigs getting seriously injured, as they are small animals. Small animals move around a lot, meaning that the process of recovery will be greatly abolished. Before you try to stop a fight, make sure to wear a pair of thick gloves. If you go in without gloves, you’ll be caught in a crossfire and get a serious bite. And Guinea pigs can bite pretty strongly – believe me!

When you get your hands there, you can quickly grab the Guinea pig that started the fight. In some cases, you can put something between them, yet I don’t recommend that. The best thing to do is to grab the Guinea pig and put it in a separate cage. Not only that but make sure that these two don’t see each other – it’s very important!

After separating the Guinea pigs, checking for injuries is of high importance. Usually, if you broke the fight early, none of the pigs will be injured. This is the best case scenario.

If you see signs of injury, you should always visit the vet and prevent any further damage. If not, simply move the aggressive Guinea pig in another cage, make sure it’s big enough, and give it lots of fresh water and food. When a Guinea pig is aggressive, it needs to calm down by either chewing something or eating. That being said, you can always throw some toys inside.

Unfortunately, the fighting pigs should spend some time apart not seeing each other. It can either be a night, two nights or the period that you think is the best. Sometimes, even after the reintroduction, the pigs can start the fight once again. If this happens, these pigs simply can’t live with each other and separation is needed.

How to Prevent Guinea Pigs from Fighting?

As we mentioned earlier, Guinea pigs fight for dominance and when they’re generally unsatisfied with their lives.

The new question is how you can prevent the fight even before it happens?

Here’s what you should do:

  • Get a Bigger Cage

If you have two Guinea pigs, you need a lot more than a standard cage. When two animals live in a small cage, always snuffed against each other, biting is very common, especially in male Guinea pigs.

When you buy a bigger cage, the sheer size of it should be enough to give both of them some space to maneuver. Since Guinea pigs are generally active animals, they love to push their physical boundaries and run around, which is the main reason you should increase the cage size.

In case you can’t find a cage with a decent size, you can always build one by yourself. The materials can be bought online, and you can get some hay to make quality bedding. It’s not hard at all!

  • Bring some Toys

Guinea pigs love chewing some toys. If a Guinea pig loves chewing its toy and not other pigs, then it’s good. But, if your Guinea pig starts chewing every pig in its surrounding, something’s not right. In this case, bring in some toys and let them do the job.

Not every Guinea pig is aggressive, and some of them are even lazy. But, as we mentioned, if you have a Guinea pig with an excessive amount of energy, this is a great solution.

  • Give a Lot of Food

Never leave a Guinea pig hungry – never!

Almost 90% of fights between animals is because of food. Food is important, and Guinea pigs love eating some delicious vegetables and fruits. And since we’re talking about small animals, you don’t need a lot of food for them.

By providing your Guinea pigs with a solid portion of fresh vegetables, you’ll do a good deed. It will reduce the change of fighting and make Guinea pigs happier. When the animal is happy, it won’t attack anyone.

  • Let them Outside

Finally, you should let your Guinea pigs outside from time to time. It can get pretty boring for them in the cage. And animals can get bored, too! Spending some time outside the cage can be a remedy for aggressive behaviour and can also make your Guinea pig learn a thing or two.

Remember that Guinea pigs love running around and playing with their owner, which is the reason why you should let them out.

Be sure to do this on a daily basis and you’ll most likely prevent any fighting.

Do Female Guinea Pigs Fight?

Female Guinea pigs can also fight. But, on the brighter side, these are VERY rare. The main reason for a fight between female Guinea pigs is dominance. A dominant female will always try to fight a less-dominant one to further assert dominance. If the fight between your female pigs starts, you can repeat what we said above. Put your gloves on and separate the aggressive female from the attacked one. Female Guinea pigs can also bite pretty hard, so don’t forget your gloves.

We’ve learned that any kind of animal can fight, even the sentient Guinea pigs. Luckily, breaking a fight between two small animals is easy, but they need constant monitoring. In case you find out that your Guinea pigs are fighting, it’s always recommended to separate them and let them cool down.

Generally speaking, your Guinea pigs shouldn’t fight, and fighting is very rare behaviour in Guinea pigs.

Clarissa Moolbrock

Clarissa Moolbrock is one of the founders and editor at Guinea Pig Tube. She is also an author of "Complete Guinea Pig Care Guide: The Essential, Practical Guide To All Aspects of Caring for Your Guinea Pigs" (available on Amazon). Being a veterinary technician helping animals and sharing her experience and knowledge with other guinea pig owners is her passion. Her life goal is to popularise guinea pigs as pets and that is why she has started Guinea Pig Tube website.