Guinea Pigs Vs. Rabbits: What Makes a Better Pet?

While both guinea pigs and rabbits have somewhat similar needs, they come with their own set of antics.

So, which of the two makes the better pet for a future owner depends on personal preferences more than anything else.

However, as a simple rule of thumb, choose a bunny as a pet if you don’t mind tending to a demanding companion.

And if you are looking for a fur pal who wouldn’t mind being on its own for a bit and not asking for your attention all the time, a piggy is the better pet choice for you.

With that said, choosing between a guinea pig and a rabbit necessitates a bit more deliberation. Therefore, examining each animal’s personality in depth is essential. 

Guinea PigRabbit
Less demanding and can keep to themselves (not aggressive)More demanding and has more personality (can be aggressive at times)
Need less time outside the cageNeed more time outside the cage on a daily basis
Hard to Litter-trainEasier to litter train compared with Guinea Pigs
Can live in smaller Hutch (compared with rabbits)Need Bigger Hutch
Need additional Vit C in their dietDon’t need additional Vit C
Sleep multiple times in the dayNeed 8 hours of sleep straight. Can be active during the night
Live for 5-7 yearsLive for 10-12years

Are Rabbits Good Pet?

Rabbits are a popular small pet choice with good reason. They are adorable little companions who add a lot of color to a pet parent’s life.

They have unique characteristics depending on the breed you choose.

Some are super active, strong-headed bratty buds, while others are outgoing, incredibly affectionate, and intelligent beings.

Sure many bunnies take a while to warm up to their owners, but once they are comfortable with their surroundings, they can be adorably charming.

On top of being cute companions, rabbits are smart and trainable, making them an excellent addition to any home.

Naturally, when a person can litter train their pet, most of their pet parent banes are put to rest.

All in all, rabbits have distinctive personalities with (mostly) appealing qualities. That is why they are such popular home pet choices.

But of course, there are some aspects of owning a bunny that a parent may not find all that likable, such as aggression and vengefulness.

Not to mention their propensity to bite when held or carried, especially if they are yet to be acquainted with their human home.

Are Guinea Pigs Good Pet?

Like bunnies, piggy pals make great small pets.

They are endearing little fellows who enjoy creating a ruckus in the house, especially if they have a partner.

Guinea pigs love to roam about and explore their surroundings outside their cage.

They also appreciate a little public display of affection from their owners. However, not all the time, unlike rabbits.

They don’t mind being touched, even when unfamiliar with their owners. This means if you hold them, they will not attack you or try to bite you.

Of course, you cannot write off the possibility of a guinea pig acting erratically and kicking you. But the odds of that happening are slim.

While guinea pigs are mostly fun to have around, they are hard to potty-train, which is why their hutches tend to smell quite a bit.

Moreover, they like to mark their territory by wetting their home, which also adds to the stench wafting off from a piggy’s quarters.

Simply put, guinea pigs are not the most well-groomed and clean, so the parents need to put in the effort to keep their tiny pals tidy.

Going over the basics of owning a rabbit or guinea pig, it’s safe to say that both animals have pros and cons.

Therefore, choosing one requires a detailed comparison between the two.

Rabbits Vs. Guinea Pigs – Which One Makes Better Pet?

For people who have not owned a rabbit or piggy, both animals may seem similar in terms of care as both are small herbivore pets that can be caged.

But even with somewhat similar dietary and socializing needs, guinea pigs and rabbits are two distinct pets.

Similarities Between A Rabbit And Piggy Pal

  • Housing Needs: Both rabbits and guinea pigs can live in a hutch comfortably. However, the size of each one’s abode has to be different (more on that later in the article).
  • Dietary Needs: Piggies and bunnies are herbivores and enjoy chewing on veggies.
  • Attention: Rabbits and guineas appreciate frequent showers of affection from their owners but one more than the other. Nonetheless, you cannot leave any of them unattended for a long while.
  • Grooming: Since both animals come with thick coats, they require regular grooming to maintain healthy fur.
  • Cleaning: naturally, when you put a pet in a confined space, it’s bound to make the place dirty. Therefore, cleaning the hutch regularly is a requirement for both bunnies and piggies.

While on the surface, bunnies and piggy pals can seem the same in terms of domesticating, they do come with an array of differences worth knowing, especially when choosing one of the two.

Differences Between Rabbit And Guinea

Now let’s have a look at some things that make guinea pigs and rabbits different.

Living Space

Bunnies have super strong hind legs and love to hop, which means when they get up on their back legs, they will require room to stand.

So, their cage needs to be big enough to provide them space to fit in when standing and hopping from one end to another.

Guinea pigs, on the other hand, remain on their fours and don’t require a lot of space to live comfortably.

Therefore, they can survive in a smaller hutch than that of a bunny.


As mentioned earlier, both bunnies and guinea pigs consume vegetables, but they do have specific nutritional needs.

Therefore, you must pick your pet’s food carefully. If you get a piggy pal, serve them leafy greens such as cilantro, parsley, kale, celery, and lettuce daily.

You should also include vitamin C-rich vegetables such as red or green peppers and broccoli in your pig’s diet.

For treats, give them fruits, such as apples, kiwis, oranges, blueberries, and strawberries, but in controlled quantities.

For a bunny, green veggies, a small amount of fruits, and lots of hay should be included in the diet.

Also read: How Long Can Guinea Pigs Go without Food?

Sleeping Pattern

Rabbits like to get 8 hours of sleep straight during the night to wake up fresh ready to take on the day.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, guinea pigs get in multiple naps in their day to stay active.


Bunnies have a longer lifespan than pigs as they live for approximately 10-12 years, while guinea pigs only survive for 5-7 years.

The similarities and differences between a bunny and a guinea pig might still not be sufficient to help future pet owners decide on a species.

Therefore, weighing the pros and cons of each animal side by side is essential so that you can make an informed decision.

Rabbits: Pros And Cons

Rabbits are undoubtedly one of the most adorable pets a person can have, but their temperament can at times be difficult to deal with.

Pros Of Having A Bunny

  • Bunnies make great companion pets as they love to hang out with their owners.
  • They are surprisingly energetic (considering their tiny bodies) and fun to be around. So anytime you have a bad day and wish to unwind, just let your furry pal out of their cage to have a grand old time together.
  • Bunnies are incredibly intelligent and can be trained to use a little box. This quality is often the one to tip the scales in favor of a rabbit against a guinea pig.
  • They have a wide variety of species for owners, offering the ideal option for everyone. From tiny Netherland Dwarves and massive Flemish Giants to long-haired Lionheads and shorthaired Holland Lops, there is a rabbit variety for every interested owner out there.
  • Rabbits are cleaner than their piggy counterparts as they like to groom themselves and do not egest wherever they want.
  • They do not make too much noise, perfect for people who don’t like to feel as though they are in a carnival while at home.
  • Once bunnies are acclimatized to their owner’s home, they become super friendly and enjoy being petted all the time, and petting is an excellent stress-killer. So, if you are high strung and tend to get worked up more often than not, a bunny will make the best pet for you.

Cons Of Having A Bunny

  • Bunnies require a significant amount of physical activity daily. They are massive energy packets always ready for some frolicking. So, if you think you cannot be a friend of such an active pet, you should look into getting a guinea pig.
  • They can get aggressive. Although rabbits seem the most submissive, cute beings, they can get violent, especially when handled forcefully. If you have kids who may want to hold their pet, a rabbit might not be the right choice for you.
  • They prefer to be left free to go wherever they want. For this reason, many pet owners have to leave their rabbits free in the house, at least once in a while.
  • Bunnies love to chew on everything they can get their bunny teeth on, particularly when riled up. So, if you leave your furry pal open to roam around the house, they might destroy your furniture.
  • They can be high maintenance, requiring a big enclosure and toys. On top of that, they can develop health issues often, which can lead to a mountain of vet expenses.

As the first pet, a rabbit may not make the best choice as it can be rather demanding.

Guinea Pigs: Plusses And Minuses

Piggy pals are sweet little pets, but just like rabbits come with some cons too.

Advantages Of Having A Guinea Pig

  • Guinea pigs are incredibly friendly and don’t mind being picked up. That is, unlike bunnies, piggies do not try to harm anyone who tries to hold them, even if they are not ready for it. This quality of these charming pals makes them a good addition to a household with kids.
  • They don’t take a long while to adjust. Contrary to most pets, piggy pals are much more adaptable. That’s not to say; they prefer to be uprooted from one habitat and taken to another. But if that happens, they don’t get aggressive and settle in after a short while.
  • Guinea pigs are easy to carry. If you relocate a lot or may have to in the near future, a guinea pig will be the best pet choice for you as it is a little fellow that you can carry everywhere.
  • They remain content inside their enclosures. Piggy pals don’t demand to be left in the open, unlike their bunny counterparts. So, if you cannot leave your pet free to traverse around the house, a guinea pig will make a great addition to your home.
  • One of the most appealing advantages of bringing a guinea pig home is not having to visit the vet every so often. Despite being rather petite, guinea pigs don’t get sick often, saving pet owners a ton of money and vet trips.
  • Guinea pigs are not high maintenance in that they don’t require a display of affection frequently. Just give them a companion inside their hutch, and they will be happy to be on their own. That said, guinea pals are inordinately fertile, so you might want to get the same sexes when keeping a pair.

Disadvantages Of Having A Guinea Pig

  • Frequent cleaning! Guinea pigs are quite messy, so pet owners have to clean their cages almost daily and groom their pets. If you don’t mind having to clean your piggy pal’s bedding often because they urinated, you will make a decent piggy parent.
  • They are one stinky lot. Piggies are terribly smelly because of their casual excretion patterns. They will relieve themselves whenever and wherever they want, stinking up their cage. If you bring a guinea pig home, be sure to stock up air fresheners beforehand.
  • Guinea pigs are known to create a commotion. But for that to happen, you’ll have to adopt more than one piggy pal. Nevertheless, if you are up for a bit of ruckus in the house, guinea pigs will be great for you.
  • They have a short life expectancy. As pet parents, people get deeply attached to their fur babies, which makes parting ways that much more painful. If you think you have the emotional strength to deal with the loss of a beloved pet only a few years after adoption, bring a guinea pig home.

Final Verdict

While weighing the pros and cons is wise when choosing between a bunny and piggy, listen to your heart to make the final decision.

As long as you are happy with the pet you bring home; you don’t have to think about which animal will be a better choice.

However, if you are going to be a first-time pet parent, pick a low-maintenance animal not to overwhelm yourself with the responsibility.

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