5 Reasons Why Your Guinea Pigs Might Be Fighting

Title banner picture of the article why your guinea pigs are fighting showing guinea pig rumbling and growling in the GuineaDad Crunchy Condo

Do Guinea Pigs Fight? How to Stop Guinea Pigs From Fighting!

 

 

Guinea pigs are social and adorable pets that are typically calm in most situations. But no matter what type of species or gender we are dealing with, there is bound to be tension one way or another. Whether it be humans, cats, rats, or birds, male, or female we all experience frustration now and then. So the real question is, why do male and/or female guinea pigs fight? And what are the best ways to prevent future fights?

reasons why your guinea pigs might be fighting

1. Guinea Pig Establishing Dominance

guinea pigs fighting

Typically, in a herd of guinea pigs, there will be a dominant piggie and you can tell who it is by the way they fight. The last one to stand their ground is usually the more dominant. Fighting over dominance is common in guinea pig herds and are fine as long as one guinea pig backs down and acts submissively towards the other. The real problem is when neither piggie backs down and things reach a more aggressive nature. This is when you must intervene and stop guinea pigs from fighting.

 

2. When Guinea Pig has Physical Pain/Illness

guinea pigs hurt

Guinea pigs are usually very peaceful pets that work well together if paired correctly. If one of your guinea pigs starts acting up out of the blue, they may be feeling discomfort somewhere in their body. Similar to any other human or pet, feeling sick or being in pain can lead to an aggressive and cranky nature. Be sure to examine your piggie and bring them to a vet just to be safe. Always remember to properly feed and clean their cage often to avoid having any one of your guinea pigs fall ill.

 

3. Pairing Guinea Pigs

bonding two guinea pigs

Pairing guinea pigs together correctly is a key role to keeping things balanced in your guinea pig kingdom. Keeping males and females separated would be advised. Mixing both genders of guinea pigs together could lead to mating fights. Another way to pair a guinea pig is by introducing them to a much younger one. This way the guinea pigs establish dominance much faster. Here's a blog post on 6 Tips to Introducing New Guinea Pigs.

 

4. Small Cage

guinea pig cage size

When multiple piggies are set into a small, cramped space, they will obviously start having issues! With little space to roam, there is nowhere for one to get away from the other. If they are stuck together for too long, they will start becoming annoyed at each other and start a fight. This is completely normal for these fur babies to fight, for any type of animal, so this should be no surprise. Cages should provide plenty of space for all guinea pigs to hide in. If you only have one hidey, at least put down a pocket liner for the other to rest in. This way they can have some privacy from each other.

 

5. Boredom/Unhappiness

unhappy guinea pig

When you aren’t stimulating your guinea pig with toys, vegetables, or something to do, they become bored and uneasy. This means there will be a higher chance of guinea pigs fighting. To avoid this, make sure they have something to do. It can be something as simple as munching on hay or letting them out for floor time, just make sure there is plenty of fun to go around. You can replicate some of the fun activities we made such as our DIY Cottage Hidey and Orange Bear Snack.

 

Conclusion

In the end, not all guinea pig fights need intervention. Most fights occur when there is no actual issue present and most likely will end sooner than you expect. Just keep watch for when fights become more serious to stop guinea pigs from fighting any further.

 


10 comments


  • Cant even.....

    My guinea pig killed my other guinea pig. Now I am living in grief, I wish I found this sooner. Tt_tT


  • francespren

    I just got my two 9mo girls, Sybil & Jovie, from a rescue on Saturday, and already they’re fighting :(
    I was told they were a bonded pair, but Jovie startles Sybil and makes her squeal and run away so often throughout the day, it’s concerning me. From what I’ve seen, Jovie keeps lunging at Sybil – at her bottom & sides. Little Sybil is so jumpy, bless her. Jovie also takes her food off her even though I feel them equally. Is there anything I can do?


  • Monica

    I have two female piggies that are paired. They have been together for about two years. Today, I adopted a 6 month old piggy, but I have her in a separate cage for now. My paired pigs are now fighting.. chasing around their cage, biting and chattering. Are they trying to re- establish who is dominant? I don’t want them to hurt each other :(


  • Diz

    I’m trying to mate my pigs, I have 2 males 2 females. I took one of each gender and separated them in two cages. Both sets of male and females started fighting. Like jumping at each other looking like they’re trying to kill. I want to get into breeding (& if you don’t agree cool for you keep your comments to yourself. Please give me tips and advice.


  • WerewolfSkinnyPig

    I piggy-proofed my home by covering all wires with PVC tubing; setting pee pads and fleece under my couches, low tables, and my bed; and then setting up a specific “piggy only” area under an end table where my buddies can go if they want some privacy (this area is away from my cat, other people, and right near a high window for some fresh air). I DO own a large cage but I actually modified the cage so they can go in and out of it as they wish. I only have male pigs and aside from fighting the first time they met, they’ve been fine otherwise, likely because they have so much space and there are no female pigs around. If you’re able to do it, piggy-proof your home and let them run free, like you would a dog. It’s a pain to constantly clean up their droppings from all their different hidey spots, but my pigs love to have all that space, and it really has made a big difference in their level of happiness. Not everyone can have this setup but even having just a room for them seems to do a lot for their happiness and really distracts them from fighting. Hope this advice helps someone!


Leave a comment