If you’ve kept guinea pigs—especially a pair—you may have observed aloofness in one of the pets. Worse still, one may struggle to get your attention, especially when you’re petting the other.
We all know that guinea pigs are intelligent. However, nobody expects them to know how to hate one another. Therefore, that leads us to a question that baffles many: Do guinea pigs get jealous of each other?
Sure, guinea pigs get jealous of each other. You know guinea pigs hate each other when they bare and chatter their teeth, chase each other or even drag themselves around the cage. And yes, guinea pigs get mad at each other, especially when paired in the same cage for long.
Let’s dig deeper.
Do Guinea Pigs Get Jealous Of Each Other?
Jealousy among guinea pigs is real. My friend, fond of keeping them, told me that he once held two piggies on his chest. To his shock, once they set eyes on each other, they started yelling at each other furiously. Once he started stroking them both, they clasped and cast aside their aggression.
When you take one of the piggies out of the cage, it’s common for the other to squeal at the very instant. Guinea pigs need the full attention of their master and react if a favor is shown to their colleague.
So why does jealousy occur in the first place? One thing you should realize is that guinea pigs are highly social rodents. They want to be the center of attention. If one rodent feels that it’s getting less attention, it becomes envious of the other.
Since envy comes along with aggression, it’s important to control the matter early. If you own more than one guinea pig, give them equal attention.
Of the two sexes, it’s the male-to-male guinea pig jealousy that could get to alarming levels. Out of pure jealousy, a male pig can bite you for actually smelling like “his rival.”
How Do You Know If Guinea Pigs Hate Each Other?
Hatred among guinea pigs is usually discernible, and it’s hard to go unnoticed. If your guinea pigs violently run after each other, bare their teeth, and snort, that should worry you. All those are visible signs of discord among guinea pigs.
Guinea pigs occasionally compete for dominance. A guinea pig dragging its butt around the cage is marking its territory. He wants to assert its authority over the other. Many times, these rodents also expose their teeth, snort, and run after each other in a move to assert dominance. Trying to establish a hierarchy is quite natural and, at most times, manageable. When one of the pigs submits, the issue is resolved.
However, hatred breeds an actual fight. If your rodents erect their hackles, bare their teeth and stand on their hind legs, you’re dealing with a case of raw hatred. Very soon, angry chatters coupled with a few bites and bruises will follow.
Do Guinea Pigs Get Mad at Each Other?
It’s normal for guinea pigs to get mad at each other. Well, when does this happen?
Just like human beings, they need some personal space sometimes. Guinea pigs are quite territorial and thus need some freedom to roam. If they turn around and bump into their cage mate at every turn, they’ll get uncomfortable.
You need to ensure that the cage is big enough to comfortably house two or more guinea pigs.
Moreover, if you introduce a new guinea pig in a cage, buy new toys and food for the new rodent. If you let them share the resources, the older one feels that his territory is infiltrated, and aggression results.
Sometimes, guinea pigs get mad at each other due to personal injury or discomfort. When human beings get ill, they get stressed and shun the company of other people. The same happens for guinea pigs.
Although it looks unlikely, aggression among guinea pigs could be triggered by boredom. When these pets have nothing to do, they get uneasy, and a fight isn’t always far from them. Try as much as possible to keep your guinea pigs occupied – try doing so using toys or some huge ball of cabbage to munch on.
Why are my Guinea Pigs Hissing at Each Other?
Your guinea pigs are hissing at each other because they’re angry at each other. An irritated pig bares its teeth and becomes very aggressive. Hissing sounds similar to chattering teeth is a common cue for discomfort among guinea pigs.
It’s important for you as a pig keeper to understand some of the vocal behavioral patterns of guinea pigs and what they mean. Such helps you know when your little buddies are irritated or when they’re excited.
High-pitched animated whistling is associated with excitement and merrymaking. You’ll likely find Guinea pigs whistling or squealing during meal times or when they’re playing. If a guinea pig instead lets out a high-pitched shriek, it may be afraid of something.
Further, guinea pigs purr like cats. Like cats, a low-pitched relaxed purr is associated with peace and contentment. A high-pitched one signals annoyance and irritation and should always prompt your action.
How Do You Tell If My Guinea Pigs are Fighting or Playing?
You can tell if your guinea pigs are fighting or playing by the intensity of their interactions. If they’re playing, guinea pigs chase each other occasionally, lift their heads, hump, and sniff each other’s butts and noses.
A more aggressive interaction involving baring of teeth and biting has crossed the boundaries–it’s a fight. You should carefully separate them.
Furthermore, it’s considered a fight when the two pounce at each other with malicious intentions or when blood is shed.
However, guinea pigs who interact frequently have slightly aggressive conduct. Therefore, you need a keen eye for well-bonded pairs to know when play is no longer play.
If you own some guinea pigs, it’s very important to tell the difference between fighting and playing. Stopping a play between two rodents may be detrimental to their future relationship.
“Playing” is a natural social game between two guinea pigs that weren’t staying together. It’s an interaction to determine the most dominant rodent. If one backs down, a social hierarchy is established, and no more aggression is experienced.
The “play” remains just “play.” However, you should conduct some research to know the optimal period for bonding pigs.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Do You Know If Your Guinea Pigs Are Getting Along?
You know if your guinea pigs are getting along if they explore (learn) together, lick each other’s ears, sniff each other’s mouths, and sleep together.
Moreover, if guinea pigs are copying each other’s behavior, they’re getting along pretty well. The younger rodents treat the older rodents as role models. They copy, among other things, eating habits to develop the typical guinea pig behavior. Imitation is a sign of respect.
Ultimately, if your rodents make angry sounds at one another but never cross boundaries to a fight, then it’s a sign that they adore each other. Nevertheless, if your guinea pigs lack one of these signs doesn’t mean they don’t get along well.
How Do You Bond Two Guinea Pigs Together?
You bond two guinea pigs by using a split cage, allowing them to meet on your lap, moving them to a new territory as a pair, and making them a simple cage.
A split cage is where one cage is subdivided by a wire mesh and where the two rodents can smell each other and interact without being able to come together. They finally bond.
Allowing the rodents to perch on your lap makes them calm, especially if they meet there to eat.
When a guinea pig stays at a particular place for long, it claims dominance over the territory, and bringing in another rodent becomes a problem. Additionally, when the cage is simple and clean, then the rodents won’t fight over space and hideouts.
Though these methods have successfully worked before, they may not necessarily work for all guinea pigs.
How Long Does It Take Guinea Pigs To Bond With Each Other?
It can take a day or even months for guinea pigs to bond with each other. The pig’s personality is a key determinant of the period it takes to bond.
If you want a shorter bonding period, try to match a dominant personality with a subservient one. Pairing an old guinea pig with a younger pig does the trick in most cases since the natural hierarchy takes effect.
Above everything, you should exercise patience, regardless of the bonding technique, you’re using.
It’s a reality; guinea pigs get jealous of one other. What follows is making angry noises and running after each other, and biting.
Some of these bust-ups are controllable. When determining which rodents to pair, mind their sexes and their dominance. For instance, housing two male and one female guinea pig in the same cage can create competition, jealousy, and fights.
Although you need to intervene when your rodents fight, sometimes you just need to sit back and watch. What looks like a fight might be a normal social process of setting up a dominance hierarchy.