Some people prefer guinea pigs as pets over other rodents because of their intelligence and because they’re easy to take care of. You can have multiple guinea pigs living in the same space and they will live comfortably.
But what happens when you separate one from the group or pair they were with? Will they still remember each other?
Guinea pigs remember each other very well even after being separated for a month, and they can remember other guinea pigs they are related to as well.
This isn’t a surprise given the intelligence level of guinea pigs. So, they will remember each other, but you still have to practice caution when putting two guinea pigs back together.
Their dominance behavior towards each other can make it hard for them to get along after a while apart.
How to Tell if Your Guinea Pigs Remember Each Other
Sometimes when you place guinea pig’s together, they start to get along instantly especially if they are compatible.
Their compatibility comes in when one of them is dominant but the other is submissive.
If they get used to being with each other in the same cage then when you separate them for some time and bring them back together, they may start to chase each other around as they play.
Some may snuggle or sniff each other, but others may start to show dominance behavior especially if they were separated for a long time.
What are the Ways Guinea Pigs Remember Each Other?
Guinea pigs remember each other in different ways with scent being the best, but some other ways can include:
- Dragging their bottoms
- Chattering their teeth
Chasing is one of the ways that guinea pigs try to remember each other. If you place the two of them.
In a cage when they are not very familiar they’ll start to run around the cage with the one that was in the cage taking the lead in the chasing.
They could also try to sniff each other on the bottom. This method is usually associated with nudging as well. You may see the two piggies nudging each other at their bottoms most of the time.
Another way to determine whether your guinea pigs remember each other is by dragging their bottoms.
This method is sometimes associated with the sniffing method above because they will go around sniffing the ground where the bottom of one of them is being dragged.
One more way you can tell they remember each other is when they chatter their teeth.
All these signs are usually associated with the dominance behavior and can get confusing if you’re not clear on guinea pig dominance. This is why you should be careful not to assume that they have forgotten each other when you bring them back together.
How Long can Guinea Pigs be Apart Before They Forget Each Other?
How long can guinea pigs remember each is another common question that many pet owners have.
There isn’t always a specific timeline but in most cases, they can still remember each other even after a month of separation.
However, the longer they are kept apart, the higher the chances of them showing dominance behavior towards each other when they are finally brought back together.
This is because during the time they’re apart, they grow as individuals. They will try to showcase their strength to the other one once put back together.
They could also be undergoing some emotional changes that drive them to want to dominate over the other guinea pig.
This means that you have to be careful after bringing them back for the first time.
Watch over them to ensure that they don’t fight each other. It’s important to note that even if they are fighting, they will still remember each other.
They will be fighting for control and may need to be separated again if the dominance behavior becomes too aggressive and leads to actual fights.
Try to keep them in a cage that has separate sections. This will allow them to bond faster and become friends like they were before. If possible try to keep them in the sectioned cages at night.
But during the day you can leave them in the same space with enough food and water for each guinea pig so they’ll be comfortable enough to start the bonding process.
Can They Live Separately and Still Remember Each Other?
Maybe your guinea pigs live in separate parts of the house or you had to separate them because one of them got sick.
Either way, they can still remember each other if they once lived together for a while.
Guinea pigs are very smart animals that have good memories. Their memories usually allow them to identify their owners as well as other guinea pigs.
They not only can smell each other, but they also hear and talk to each other. This allows them to create a strong bond that in turn enables them to remember each other even when they are apart for a while.
They also can learn from each other and will carry the lessons with them for a long time after they have been separated.
The fact that guinea pigs remember each other when they are brought back together shows that they can remember each other even when apart.
This is why they are usually able to identify their family members when brought to them.
It’s important to note that just because they remember each other doesn’t mean that they will not act aggressively towards each other. It’s just natural for them to show this behavior.
So if you feel like it’s getting too aggressive and you need to find some ways to make sure they stay relaxed, check out my post on tips for keeping your guinea pig calm.
Do Guinea Pigs From The Same Litter Remember Each Other Better?
It would seem natural for guinea pigs from the same litter to remember each other better than ones from mixed litters. But for guinea pigs, that’s not really the case.
Guinea pigs indeed remember their family members but they don’t usually interact based on that alone.
This means that you shouldn’t expect two guinea pigs to get along just because they are from the same litter.
Especially if they are male. Male guinea pigs tend to act aggressively towards each other even after a short separation because of the dominance behavior.
Female guinea pigs tend to be more calm and friendly towards their counterparts even after a long separation.
They will remember their origin but that will not determine how they act towards each other.
It also doesn’t mean that they remember their family members better than they do other guinea pigs. Their memories work the same either way.
But sometimes, especially when they are growing up and facing hormonal changes in the adolescent stage or when they are injured, they don’t act friendly towards fellow guinea pigs. Even though they are from the same litter.
Use The Split Cage Method for Guinea Pigs That Don’t Remember Each Other
If your guinea pigs have been apart for a while and you’re not sure if they’ll remember each other, you might want to try using the split cage method.
This method is perfect for guinea pigs that have separated or just for introducing a new guinea pig to the cage.
To use the split cage method you should have a big enough cage where you can split it right down the middle with wiring that they can’t get through. This will allow them to interact and get used to each other’s scents.
The best way to tell this is working is when you start to see them nest and play close to the wiring. Once you see that you can try removing the wiring to see how they react.
If they still don’t seem to like each other you may need to leave the wiring in for longer.
But if they get along fine with each other then let them go through their normal guinea pig introductions, like trying to establish dominance.
Guinea Pigs Remember Each Other Because They’re Social Animals
Guinea pigs are social animals naturally and that’s one of the main reasons why they tend to remember each other. So when bringing in a new one, always try to pair them properly.
For instance, you could place a female with a male if you want them to have babies or you could put a younger guinea pig with an older one.
You could also put female piggies together because they are usually less aggressive, which makes them easier to manage.
Once you’ve successfully paired them for the first time, they’ll be able to remember each other and will be happier.