Can I socialize guinea pigs and rabbits?
Both guinea pigs and rabbits are very social animals and must be kept in groups. This gives some people the idea that you can just keep guinea pigs and rabbits together. This would have solved the problem and at the same time the chance to enjoy two species of animals.
In fact, the animals usually tolerate each other – in a cage they finally have no choice. This does not mean, however, that this is a species-appropriate housing. On the contrary, guinea pigs and rabbits have completely different needs and can even hurt each other. Apart from that, there are two different species, not congeners.
Reasons against the common attitude
An obvious problem at first glance is the physical superiority of the rabbit. A guinea pig weighs between 700 grams and 1.6 kilograms. The weight depends on the sex, size, age and health of the animals, but should be within this range. A full-grown rabbit can – depending on the breed – bring between 1.2 kilograms and 8 kilograms. So no attack is needed to have a guinea pig injured or even killed by a rabbit. An unfavorable jump or an accidental kick will suffice.
Together lonely: The animals do not understand each other
Rabbits and guinea pigs also have a completely different sound and body language. For example, while rabbits cuddle with their mates and seek their closeness, guinea pigs do not do so. If the rabbit cuddles up to the guinea pig, it means great stress for the piggy. Mutual cleaning is not anchored in the social behavior of guinea pigs, but very well in rabbits. The guinea pig is in such a form of incontinence at worst forced plaster, the long ear, however, lacks this form of rapprochement. Even the varied phonetic language of guinea pigs can not reciprocate a rabbit. Since rabbits only squeal when in pain or anxiety, the permanent sounds of the guinea pig are rather disturbing to rabbits.
Different eating habits
Also, the diet of the animals is not compatible. Small animals and rodents are unfortunately often fed wrong, which can have serious consequences for the health of the animals. This also applies to guinea pigs and rabbits, but especially if both animals are kept together. Because in contrast to rabbits, guinea pigs need to ingest vitamin C through their diet. For rabbits, this is unhealthy and, in the worst case, can lead to illnesses.