If you are looking to add a new pet to your family, you may be considering between a rabbit and a guinea pig. I found myself asking the same question 7 years ago because it can be a difficult decision to make. Both animals are adorable and cuddly, and they both make great house pets.
However, there are plenty of differences between guinea pigs and rabbits. They have different habitat and dietary needs as well as different patterns of behavior.
When you are choosing a new pet to add to your family, it is crucial to consider how they will fit into your daily routines. I’ve provided some important information on guinea pigs and rabbits to help you make a decision.
What is the difference between a guinea pig and a rabbit?
One of the first differences you will notice when looking at guinea pigs and rabbits is their size. Rabbits are typically larger than guinea pigs, which means they need more space to live and run.
Both animals require a cage designed for their living environment and provide room to run and exercise, but rabbits require a bigger crate than cavies.
They also eat very different foods. While both species need plenty of fresh food each day, the types of food they eat will not be the same.
There are specific pellets sold in pet stores and online designed to meet the dietary needs of rabbits and cavies. Rabbits also tend to eat more than guinea pigs due to their larger size.
It is worth noting that rabbits live longer than cavies. My guinea pigs have tended to live an average of five to seven years, which is common for cavies. Rabbits can live longer, with an average lifespan between eight and twelve years.
When choosing a pet, I recommend considering your ability to care for the animal long term. You will be responsible for them their entire life.
Guinea pigs need companionship. If you are adding a piggy to your family, you will need to add two instead of just one. Cavies can get very lonely and sad on their own, which reduces their lifespan and damages their health.
I always keep at least two guinea pigs together.
Are rabbits friendlier than guinea pigs?
Rabbits may be more open to human affection than guinea pigs. While each individual animal will be unique, cavies sometimes do not enjoy being picked up and cuddled as rabbits do.
Over time, I have learned to build trust with my piggy. This helps them feel safe and secure with me, and they allow me to pick them up and hold them.
If you have small children at home, it may be difficult for them to build trust with a piggy. Rabbits are typically easier to play with and can be left out to roam around your house while supervised. Guinea pigs are not as easy to play with, and they may be better suited for adults or older children.
Can guinea pigs and rabbits live together?
No, guinea pigs and rabbits cannot live together. They both may be small and cute, but they will not get along. Differences in their diet and behaviors make it difficult for the two animals to live together.
I recommend keeping species together, instead of mixing them. This will prevent fighting and increased anxiety with your pets.
Will rabbit food kill guinea pigs?
Rabbit food may not kill your guinea pigs, but it will not provide the nutrition they need. Pellet food for rabbits and cavies are specially designed to keep each animal healthy. Swapping their food can lead to decreased levels of vitamin C for your piggy and cause them to develop scurvy or another serious issue. Check out my guide to get a complete list of fruits and vegetables that guinea pigs can and can’t eat.
Do guinea pigs poop as much as rabbits?
Guinea pigs and rabbits have similar bathroom habits. However, I have noticed that my cavies poop a lot because they eat a lot.
They do not follow a set schedule like rabbits or other small animals. Rabbits may also be easier to litter-train than guinea pigs, which makes messes easier to clean up.
Are guinea pigs cheaper than rabbits?
When you go to buy a new pet, you should pay attention to more than just the price tag. However, it is vital that you ensure you can financially provide for your pet each year.
Guinea pigs may cost less than rabbits upon initial purchase, but both animals have considerable costs for food, cages, and toys.
Rabbits can cost up to $1100 each year. This amount incorporates their food, litter, and bedding. Cavies can cost about $800 per year because their food and bedding carries a high price tag.
Can rabbits kill guinea pigs?
Yes, unfortunately, a rabbit can kill a guinea pig. Rabbits are much larger creatures, which makes them stronger than cavies. If you let the two species live or play together, they will fight.
A rabbit can easily kick a piggy or jump on them, causing serious damage and injury. I find that it is best to keep the animals separated at all times. There is no reason to ever let them spend time together.
Are rabbits or guinea pigs better pets?
The best pet depends on your family and your ability to care for them. If you have smaller children that will interact with and care for your pet, a rabbit may be the better choice.
They are a bit sturdier than guinea pigs and live slightly longer lives. However, if you want a smaller animal that does not require a larger cage, cavies are the choice for you. You can provide them considerably less space in your home.
Rabbits and guinea pigs make great small pets. They are both soft and furry, and they are absolutely adorable to look at and play with.
Selecting the right pet to add to your family can be a long process because you should take the time to research each animal and their unique needs.
I prefer cavies because they are smaller, and we do not have small kids in our house. However, a rabbit could easily be the pet of your dreams!
Lydia King is a huge animal lover and has always been fascinated with learning about the animal kingdom. She enjoys writing about anything animal related from scientific information about rare species to animal references in pop culture.