When looking for a partner for their furry guinea pig, people consider adopting hamsters.
Guinea pigs and hamsters have many similarities. Both these animals are rodents that have whiskers.
They both like eating fresh food and love munching on pellets. Plus, they have the same number of paws, fur, and long teeth.
However, while hamsters and guinea pigs may appear pretty similar to the untrained eye, there’s no denying that they’re two very different creatures.
This raises the big question— do hamsters and guinea pigs get along well and should they be placed in the same cage?
Do Guinea Pigs and Hamsters Get Along?
Guinea pigs are highly social animals that make amazing starter pets.
They are comparatively more docile than puppies yet display more enthusiasm and personality than other pets.
Guinea pigs don’t require much attention, but they sure do love company.
If you are planning to house your guinea pig with your hamster, then we have some bad news for you.
Hamsters don’t get along really well, making it a bad idea to keep them together. This also applies to sharing a cage or a floor/play place.
While they bear resemblance to one another, they have different eating habits, territorial habits, body sizes, behavior, and even instincts.
The profound differences between their habits, needs, and wants can deem them as incompatible to be placed together in the same space or to even get along in general.
Against all odds, if you do decide to place these two pets together, you can expect a world of issues and problems to arise.
Your oh-so-peaceful cage will transform into a battleground for conflict.
Can Guinea Pigs and Hamsters Share a Cage?
While it’s possible for these rodent species to share housing space, it is greatly unsuitable and unsafe.
As mentioned, these rodents only have a few similarities but a long list of differences.
If you place them in a cage together, you can expect the frequent occurrence of fights over food and other items.
Additionally, their fights will also be rather unfair due to the difference in body sizes.
Hamsters tend to be very hostile in nature as compared to the calm and composed personality of the guinea pig.
The hostility of the hamster will easily drive it towards overpowering the guinea pig.
The cage will also lack the space required for the guinea pig and would place the hamster at risk of escaping.
Keeping all their habits in mind and considering their requirements, including the space required for their toilet needs, toys, and playing area, the cage will end up getting very crowded and unpleasant.
Why Can’t Guinea Pigs And Hamsters Be Housed Together?
There are many reasons why guinea pigs and hamsters don’t get along.
Here are a few of those reasons.
Different Dietary Needs
Apart from carrots, guinea pigs and hamsters have significant dietary differences.
If you throw both these animals in a cage together along with the food they can share, you won’t be aware of which food they will pick.
While guinea pigs love alfalfa pellets, hamsters require more commercialized ‘hamster’ pellets.
Both these tiny creatures require moderate amounts of fruits in their diet. However, guinea pigs tend to consume fewer fruits than hamsters.
Guinea pigs are also required to consume a lot of vitamin C supplements, whereas hamsters tend to rely more on seeds and vegetables.
The point is, placing these two animals together in the same cage can result in nutritional deficiencies for either one of them as they don’t eat identically.
Different Territorial Behavior and Habits
Hamsters and guinea pigs are both territorial animals – they both try claiming their own space.
However, hamsters tend to be more aggressive and territorial.
So much so, that it’s even difficult for hamsters to cohabitate with other hamsters, let alone other animals.
Even the idea of adding another animal to the cage can be disturbing for hamsters.
In case you plan on doing so, you should prepare for the hamster to be extremely hostile towards the guinea pig that usually expresses their fear by squeaking loudly.
The worst part of putting these two creatures together is that they both start biting or fighting when it comes to claiming their territory.
There’s no denying that these two creatures bear some resemblance.
However, a guinea pig is much larger in size as compared to a hamster.
While guinea pigs tend to be calm and composed, they also have long and sharp teeth.
Even though both these species are herbivores, they can bite each other when they get really aggressive.
The stronger one can easily overpower the other one.
Different Housing Needs
Guinea pigs and hamsters have different housing needs that call for different cage sizes and architecture.
The space difference between the bars of the cage varies for both these creatures.
The cage bars of a guinea pig cage has wider spacing, so in case they have hamster roommates, they’ll be able to escape easily.
For those who do decide on keeping them together, place them in a hamster cage due to the closer proximity of the bars, which will prevent the hamster from escaping.
However, doing so can present a major drawback for guinea pigs, especially because they require significant space due to their larger size and other factors.
Guinea pigs need enough space to house a sleeping, feeding, and activity area.
Different Instincts and Habits
There are major behavioral and habitual differences between the two species.
Guinea pigs, like humans, are diurnal creatures that remain active during the day and rest and sleep most of the night.
Hamsters, however, are nocturnal beings that remain active at night and less active during the day.
This means that when one creature would be active, the other one would be asleep.
Additionally, all rodents prefer to have their own personal space, so even if one of them wants a particular corner within the cage, a fight could breakout.
Different Ways of Socializing
Guinea pigs are highly social animals that love mingling, while hamsters prefer their solitude.
It shouldn’t be too surprising if a hamster ends up attacking the guinea pig for interfering with its solitude.
Do Guinea Pigs and Hamsters Share Play Spaces Well?
If Guinea pigs and hamsters are both placed in separate cages, it might be possible for you to have both of them as pets.
You will just have to monitor the two when you let them out in the open to play to ensure that they don’t collide or fight with one another.
It’s also important that you give them different toys to play with. Also, guinea pigs need more playing space than a hamster does.
Can Guinea Pigs and Hamsters Mate?
It’s better to not even consider this. Firstly, they can’t mate and secondly, they shouldn’t.
Guinea pigs are much larger than hamsters in addition to both of them belonging to different species.
Therefore, mating between these two rodents is not only impossible but also inappropriate that can result in severe injuries or even death.
Choosing Between a Guinea Pig and Hamster
Since both these pets can’t be placed together, you might have to choose between them.
There are many factors to consider when deciding between the two rodent species.
Firstly, you need to have an ample amount of space and time to get a pet.
While both the rodent species aren’t very demanding, you’ll still require a few basics, such as a proper cage, play area, and food items.
Secondly, you will have to consider your budget. While both of them can be budget-friendly, you need to consider the long-term implications of adopting either one of them.
Even though it depends on your own choice, bear in mind that guinea pigs are friendlier and much less hostile than hamsters.
Also, if you want to adopt them in pairs, guinea pigs are a better option, but if you want to adopt only one, then you should go for a hamster.
The bottom line is, regardless of the pet you decide to keep, ensure that they’re happy, playful, healthy, and safe!
Other articles you may also like:
- Do Cats and Guinea Pigs Get Along?
- Can Guinea Pigs and Rabbits Live Together?
- Do Guinea Pigs Attract Mice / Rats?
- Do Guinea Pigs Need a Friend?
- Guinea Pigs Vs. Rabbits: What Makes a Better Pet?
- Guinea Pig vs. Hedgehog – What Make Better Pets?
- Guinea Pig vs. Hamsters – What Make Better Pets?
- Guinea Pig vs. Chinchilla – What Makes Better Pets?