Guinea pigs are calm and social animals that usually get along well with their own kind.
However, sometimes putting two guinea pigs together that aren’t as compatible could lead to fights, leading to you wondering what to do when your two guinea pigs fight.
First, figure out why your two guinea pigs are fighting. If they’re just going through their dominance process then leave them alone. If it’s an actual fight then you need to separate your two guinea pigs into different cages or with the split cage method.
There are different ways you can handle the situation, but the cause of the fights should determine your action.
Figuring Out Why Your Two Guinea Pigs Are Fighting
Your first step is to figure out what’s making your guinea pigs so aggressive, that way you’ll be able to take the right kind of action with long-lasting solutions.
In the meantime, you can separate the two to prevent them from injuring each other. As long as you do it quickly, you can keep them separate until you find a permanent solution.
It has been proven that guinea pigs do well in the company of their own, especially when they are opposite sexes.
That being said, if you put two males in a cage they will try to establish dominance which can look like fighting sometimes.
That’s a natural behavior and they should not be separated if that’s what they’re doing. If you separate them while they’re trying to establish dominance it can actually create more problems.
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If you put two males and one female in the same cage the same thing could happen but on a bigger scale.
Putting two females together is also a bad idea because they could become aggressive as well, especially when they feel like they want to mate.
Reasons Your Two Guinea Pigs May Fight
One possible cause of fights between two guinea pigs is if one gets injured. This can be an injury from another guinea pig or just one that happens in their everyday life.
When guinea pigs get injured or become sick, they tend to lash out by attacking their cagemates.
Unlike the aggression from their dominance behavior that builds up gradually, aggression from injuries or illnesses happens instantly.
It can even seem like one guinea pig starts attacking the other one “out of nowhere.”
Another of the more common reasons guinea pigs fight is because they don’t have enough cage space. They can get very territorial which can lead to more aggression.
Sometimes they can have enough space in the cage, but not have enough space to move around within the cage.
Too many huts and toys can crowd their living space and force them to always be next to each other.
Fixing The Reason Why They’re Fighting
Find out which, among these is making them fight, then act accordingly. If they are cramped up in the cage, then get them a bigger cage.
If they are both going through their dominance process, then don’t separate them, it’s natural.
If they are bored, give them some new toys. Make sure you clean their cage every day and visit a vet in case one of them gets injured.
It’s important to know why, and what kind of fighting your guinea pigs are doing before taking any action.
You want to separate them if they’re really fighting and leave them alone if they’re going through their dominance behavior.
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Separating The Two Guinea Pigs With The Split Cage Method
The separation technique you choose for your guinea pigs should depend on the reason why they are fighting.
Sometimes it’s better to leave them in the same cage with each guinea pig having their own section instead of buying another cage for one of them.
The split cage method is where your guinea pigs will still use the same cage, but they will be separated by something like a mesh wiring.
If the reason for the fight was injury or sickness, then you can use the split cage methods to keep them apart until the injured one gets better.
One of the main benefits of the split cage method is that your guinea pigs will still feel close to each other, but they will not be able to physically get to each other to continue fighting.
This method can also work if you’re introducing two guinea pigs to each other, especially if one of them is new.
When trying this method make sure the material you use to split the cage still allows them to get see and smell each other, otherwise this method won’t work correctly.
Separating The Two Guinea Pigs Into Different Cages
Putting your guinea pigs in two separate cages is necessary if they are both dominant and they become more aggressive with their continuous fights.
If you think that they’re just not compatible and splitting the cage won’t give them enough room for comfort, then you can also get a separate cage.
Sometimes you can let them stay together during the day and separate them at night so see if there’s any chance they can still become compatible.
They still need to socialize with each other, and during the day, you can monitor them closely to ensure they don’t start another fight.
Stopping Your Two Guinea Pigs From Fighting
There are different ways that you can try to stop your guineas pigs from fighting.
Having a bigger cage: sometimes guinea pigs enjoy roaming around free, you should make sure you give them a big enough space for them to explore.
The smallest cage for just one guinea pig should be at least 7.5 square feet. This means if you want to keep two of them in the same cage, then that size has to be more significant.
More places to hide: as prey animals, guinea pigs feel safer when they can hide. So you should include some hideouts in the cage.
You can buy some or make some using old containers in your home. Make sure to replace them regularly, especially the ones you make yourself.
More toys: to stop your guinea pigs from getting bored and lashing out, you need to give them enough toys to share.
Toys that they can drag around and chew on will be best for them. Just be sure to not overdo it.
Pairings that can work: other than being of the same sex, guinea pigs can also get aggressive when their personalities don’t match.
To keep the peace, keep a more submissive male and a dominant male together or you can keep males and females together.
If you decide to keep a male and a female together you have to take measures to prevent accidental pregnancy or prepare for it.
Frequent checkups: take your guinea pigs for regular checkups to ensure that they remain in excellent health.
Your Vet may identify a problem that could make them aggressive in the future, and that aggression can lead to fighting.
Food/water source and hygiene: Make sure they have enough food sources for both of them.
That means the more guinea pigs you have, the more food bowls and water bottles you need to keep for them. Making sure the cage is clean all the time and replacing any worn material will keep your guinea pigs happier.
Make sure you inspect them for any injuries if you have to separate them. You should also check whether they have been eating and drinking well.
If one is injured or hasn’t been eating, then take them to the Vet. If they both seem okay, then you can keep them apart for a while and later try to reintroduce them to each other.
Monitor them carefully, and if they show that they can’t live together, you have to look into permanent separate living arrangements.
Always be careful when trying to end a fight between guinea pigs because they could easily bite or scratch you.
Cover your hands with a towel or wear a glove before you reach out to pick one of them up. You could also place an object like cardboard between them before you grab them.