Can rabbits get along with rodents such as Hamsters or Guinea Pigs? A simple question with a complex answer.
Rabbits don’t get along with hamsters while the combination of rabbits and guinea pigs might be a better one, still, it’s not recommended by the experts. Rabbits are fairly large, social animals, totally opposite to quite small, timid, and solitary hamsters. Guinea pigs are more like rabbits in terms of social needs but both breeds have completely different housing requirements, ways of communication, nutritional needs. Guinea pigs can even get sick if ingest rabbit’s fur.
Do Rabbits Get Along With Hamsters?
This is not a good combination. They shouldn’t live together. There are several reasons for this :
Rabbits are rather relaxed animals, unlike hamsters who are a totally different story. They are very nervous and heavily timid creatures. Although rabbits, as prey animals, also can be scared of other animals or humans this is nothing comparing to hamsters.
Both hamsters and rabbits are very territorial. Hamsters will fight with any intruder they run into. The thing is the hamsters are far smaller than rabbits so that will be an unfair fight. Even a small bite or kick from a rabbit can be fatal for a hamster.
Like hamsters, rabbits would also gladly show anyone who comes into their space, who is in charge. This constant fight over territory and the presence of someone that is bigger than a small hamster could be very stressful for a tiny hammy. Too much stress can cause death in hamsters.
Don’t think that if both of them (rabbit and hamster ) have fairly large territories that they can live together. They can’t! Simply they are very attached to all their things and don’t want to share with anyone else.
Rabbits will share their things with other rabbits considered as part of the family but the hamster can never be a member of the rabbit’s family.
Unlike hamsters, rabbits are social creatures. They live in pairs or groups, they like to play together, to groom each other, to cuddle. Everything that hamsters as solitary animals don’t like. Even good intentions of the rabbit, the hamster sees as a threat which makes him very nervous and frightened.
Food can also be a problem. Rabbits will not mess with hamster’s food, simply because hammy’s food has nothing especially good for rabbits. Hamsters are omnivores and rabbits are herbivores. But hamsters would definitely find bunny’s food interesting.
Rabbits need a lot of hay in order to keep their digestive tract healthy and hamsters will find hay as the perfect nesting material. Also, rabbits need a lot of fresh fruit and vegetables which also would attract a tiny hamster. As you guess, rabbits don’t like hamsters eating their food.
Do Rabbits Get Along With Guinea Pigs?
A Bit better but yet not the happiest combination. Many owners and experts agree that rabbits and guinea pigs shouldn’t live together although you may see them together in the same cage in many pet shops.
There are numerous reasons that are against this kind of community.
Rabbits and guinea pigs have totally different diets and nutritional needs. For example, guinea pigs don’t need too many veggies, as rabbits do.
Pellets are completely different for rabbits and guinea pigs. You cannot feed a bunny with guinea pig’s pellets and vice versa.
Although their digestive systems are fairly similar, unlike rabbits, guinea pigs cannot synthesize vitamin C, so it should be provided through the food
It is quite important to know the dietary requirements of both rabbits and guinea pigs so you can provide proper care to all your pets. In case you insist on keeping them together, make sure they are separated during feeding time.
Another issue is communication and behavior. These two species have completely different systems of communication. While rabbits are using body language to express themselves, guinea pigs are more vocal. This means that they don’t understand each other which can be quite frustrating. Besides the fact that a lack of proper communication can be annoying also can lead to stress. Simply, not a rabbit nor guinea pig would benefit from each other company.
To make it easier to understand, imagine that you are very lonely and you need a friend ( both guinea pigs and rabbits are very social creatures, the same as humans). So you buy a fish or a turtle for a companion. Do you think that you would be less lonely?
Housing requirements are also different. This is not a big issue but it is important to know that rabbits need far more space than guinea pigs although they might be similar in size. If you put them together note that you need to provide a really large area and hiding spots for each animal. As bunnies and cavies are prey animals, they can be frightened easily and need a safe place to hide.
If those two species live together you should be aware of the fact that rabbits can hurt or even kill the guinea pig. Rabbit has strong back legs and can kick out guinea pigs which can cause serious injury. Cavy’s spine is really fragile and can easily be broken.
Rabbits are in general stronger than guinea pigs and can bully them. If your rabbit is neutered the chance to bully a guinea pig is smaller.
There are other health challenges that you need to cope with if you want to keep rabbits and guinea pigs together. There is a bacteria called Bordetella Bronchiseptica that lives naturally in the nasal passages of the rabbit. These bacteria cause no trouble to a rabbit but if passes to a guinea pig can make big problems, causing different respiratory issues, pneumonia, or even death. By the way dogs and cats also carry these bacteria so keep your guinea pig at a safe distance.
Guinea pigs can also experience health problems if they ingest rabbit’s fur.
As you can see, the best buddy of the rabbit is another rabbit. If you like to keep other animals besides bunnies and those animals happen to be hamsters or guinea pigs follow basic steps in order to make a safe and healthy environment for all of them. The only thing they all can share without consequences is your love.