Can you keep a rabbit, guinea pig or hamster together in the same cage?

While a rabbit, guinea pig or hamster will invariably look fluffy and cute, these animals exhibit very different behaviours from each other. As a result, keeping animals of several species together can have dire consequences. Let's take a look at why it's not a good idea to put them together in one cage.

Guinea pigs and rabbits

General rule: don't put a guinea pig and rabbit together. Why not?

  • They have different nutritional needs: guinea pigs need food with extra vitamin C; this is not necessary for rabbits.
  • A rabbit is much stronger than a guinea pig and can injure it or cause it excessive stress.
  • Rabbits can spread bacteria that cause respiratory infections in guinea pigs.

Have your rabbit and your guinea pig created a bond? Then go ahead and keep them together, it’s better for their well-being. Make sure they are fed separately and that the guinea pig has a shelter that your rabbit cannot enter. Get the rabbit neutered too, as trying to mate with your guinea pig could badly hurt it.

Guinea pigs and hamsters

General rule: Under no circumstances should you keep a guinea pig and a hamster together, even temporarily. Why don't they belong in the same enclosure?

  • The guinea pig is a very social animal. The hamster, on the other hand, is a loner who, despite its small size, can become very aggressive if it has to share its territory with another animal. And it can go wrong very, very quickly.
  • Hamsters are nocturnal animals, guinea pigs are not. So they would keep each other awake day and night.

Rabbits and hamsters

General rule: no, rabbits and hamsters cannot be kept together. The reasons are roughly the same as what we have given above for guinea pigs and hamsters. In addition:

  • Rabbits are a lot bigger and stronger than hamsters. One strong blow from a rabbit's foot is enough to kill a hamster.
  • A rabbit that wants to cuddle can intimidate a hamster. The hamster will then defend itself by biting out of anger.

Although there are always exceptions, it is usually in the interest of each animal that you only put it together with its kind. Except for hamsters, it’s better to keep them alone. While they’re very cute, a rabbit, guinea pig or hamster isn’t a good mix.

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