Can Guinea Pigs and Rats Live Together? (4 Reasons Not To)

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So you have both a guinea pig and a rat as pets. You’ve thought of keeping them in the same cage but you don’t know if it’s a good idea.

After giving it a second thought, you wonder – can guinea pigs and rats live together?

No! Guinea pigs and rats can not live together. 

They both have different preferences on their diet and housing. Guinea pigs are herbivores and prefer a long horizontal space. 

On the other hand, rats are omnivores and love vertical space. Since they don’t belong to the same family of rodents, it means they communicate and act differently. 

These can only cause misunderstandings and fights. Guinea pigs will suffer the most as rats are more stronger and aggressive.

Now, let’s look at detailed reasons why a guinea pig cannot live with a rat and can’t live together.

4 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Put Your Guinea Pigs & Rats Together

1. Space 

One of the reasons why Guinea pigs shouldn’t be put together is the space they need.

Guinea pigs need large cages that are horizontal to freely run around. This is why most guinea pig owners set up large hutches for their guinea pigs to freely move about.

Guinea Pig in Cage with Horizontal Space
A Guinea Pig’s Cage

Rats, on the other hand, love heights! They need to climb so a high vertical cage is very important for them.

This means they need separate cages that suit their needs. 

Rats in a Cage with Vertical Space
A Rat’s Cage

2. Diet

Guinea pigs are primarily herbivores. They eat plant foods such as hay, pellets, fruits, and veggies. On the other hand, rats are omnivores. 

This means they have a wide range of choices when it comes to food. They even eat meat and other foods that can be toxic to guinea pigs.

You might decide to offer them separate foods in one cage. However, do you think it will be safe that way? Not at all!

Here’s why.

Guinea pigs might want to try out pieces of the rats’ food. This way, they can end up eating foods that aren’t healthy for them, which can cause serious health issues.

Now you see, keeping them both in one cage is a bad idea when it comes to the food they eat. It’s best if they are separated and fed in different cages.

3. Behaviors

Both rats and guinea pigs are social pets. Moreover, they also mark territories. This can be a problem. 

Guinea pigs will fight to defend their territories. Moreover, they’ll also want to show dominance as the bigger pets. 

But believe me, a guinea pig stands no chance! Rats are stronger and can get pretty aggressive when it comes to defending their territories.

In addition, you should imagine staying with someone that doesn’t speak your language. It’s just hard to understand each other.

This is how it is for rats and guinea pigs. They don’t share so much in common. There’ll just be lots of misunderstandings that’ll cause fights.

4. Health

Guinea pigs are very sensitive animals. They get sick easily. 

You should know that rats carry deadly viruses and bacteria in them. Pet rats are no exceptions!

The worst of it all is that these diseases can easily spread to other animals. A rat can drop its feces or urine in a guinea pig’s food. As a result, your guinea pigs can get infected. 

Moreover, your guinea pig can also get infected through direct contact with the rat. Therefore, it’s not just safe to allow them to live together.

Can Guinea Pigs & Rats Play Together?

No, guinea pigs and rats can’t play together. You should never allow it!

They have different ways they play. So It’s something they do well with their kind only.

So when it comes to playtime, it should be a guinea pig with its fellow guinea pigs. The same goes for rats.

You should know that If a guinea pig plays with a rat, there could be a misunderstanding. 

This way, a fight can always happen. So don’t allow it to keep both pets happy and safe.

Can a Guinea Pig Get Pregnant By a Rat?

No! A guinea can’t get pregnant by a rat. Scientifically, only animals belonging to the same species can produce young ones together.

So it’s impossible for a guinea pig to get pregnant by a rat. Even if they mate by chance, they can’t produce a young one.

Guinea pigs should get pregnant by their fellow Guinea pigs. Moreover, the same goes for rats too.

Can Rats Kill Guinea Pigs?

Yes! Rats can kill guinea pigs. Moreover, they won’t kill guinea pigs for food as long as you feed them. well.

However, If they bite guinea pigs, they would not only injure but infect them with deadly viruses and bacteria.

When your guinea pigs get infected, they can suffer serious health conditions. If the infection stays without treatment, the guinea pig can die suddenly. 

Rats can be very aggressive during fights and can kill guinea pigs. This is why a guinea pig living with a rat is a bad idea.

ALSO READ: Are Guinea Pigs Aggressive?

Owning Guinea Pigs & Rats- What To Do

Here is what to do when you own a guinea pig and a rat:

  • Set up separate cages for the guinea pig and rat and keep them far from each other.
  • You should get both pets another pet of their kind as cagemates. They both don’t like being alone. 
  • Be careful not to feed the food meant for the rats to guinea pigs. Bad things can happen!
  • Never let a guinea pig and rat play together. You don’t want to start a fight. They don’t understand each other.

RECOMMENDED READING: Can Guinea Pigs and Ferrets Live Together?

What Animals Can Live With Guinea Pigs?

Two Guinea Pig Living Together

Guinea pigs can comfortably live with only their fellow guinea pigs. It’s easier for them to bond well, understand each other and play together.

They can share the same food and even sleep together. It’s just easier for them to get along rather than any other animal.

So when deciding on a housemate for your guinea pig, there’s no other option than a fellow guinea pig.

RECOMMEND READING: What Guinea Pigs Can Live Together?

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, guinea pigs and rats can not live together. They share so many differences despite the fact that they’re both rodents.

Your guinea pigs are the ones to suffer the most if they live with rats. Rats are way stronger and can behave wild towards a guinea pig.

A rat is omnivorous and guinea pigs are herbivorous. They also have different behaviors making it hard for them to understand each other.

Guinea pigs can live better with their kind. Consequently, the same goes for rats.

I hope this article is helpful and you learned a lot from it as well.  

Do forget to share it with your friends! 

Share it with Your Friends!