So you already own a Hamster and want to get a pair of guinea pigs, or you already own a pair of guinea pigs and want to get a Hamster too. In either of the case, you might be wondering, what should you do? Do Hamsters get along with guinea pigs? Can I keep them both? So, I did some research and consulted some experts, and here is what I have learned.
As a general rule, Hamsters and guinea pigs should not be left together. Hamsters should be kept alone, while guinea pigs are social and need company. Hamsters are likely to consider your cavies as a threat or an intruder in their territory. So, it is best to keep them away from each other to avoid any fights.
If you are planning to keep both of them, it is advised to keep them in separate cages. Also, they must have separate playtime. You should never leave them alone to play together.
There is a lot more to learn about the topic. So, keep reading the article till the end to understand every aspect of the same.
What Do Hamsters And Guinea Pigs Have In Common?
There is nothing much common in Hamsters and guinea pigs. However, both of them are rodents that belong to Class Mammalia. However, they do not belong to the same family. Hamsters are the members of Family Cricetidae, while guinea pigs belong to Family Caviidae.
Besides this, both of them must be provided with utmost care and attention. We must treat them as a part of our family, and provide them with the life they deserve.
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Can Hamsters And Guinea Pigs Be In The Same Cage?
You should never house your Hamsters in the same cage as your guinea pigs. Both of them have severe differences when it comes to their personality and lifestyle.
As guinea pigs need to be kept in pairs, they need a relatively larger cage size. A pair of guinea pigs need at least 8 square feet of space. A larger cage in turn applies more expenses and frequent cleaning.
On the other hand, Hamsters can live in a comparatively smaller cage. They can stay comfortably in a 30-40 gallon tank or say 4 square feet of space and 20 inches height square feet of space.
Another thing to keep in mind is that Hamsters love to burrow. Burrowing is in their natural instincts. Therefore, they must be provided with a lot of bedding material in their cage.
A guinea pig, on the other hand, does not need any burrowing material in its cage. They just need lots of hay to chew throughout the day.
Also, the guinea pig cage needs to be spot cleaned every other day and the bedding must be changed every week so that debris from hay doesn’t build up. A Hamster’s cage, on the other hand, does not require much cleaning. You can easily get away by spot cleaning their cage once a week and deep cleaning their cage every 30-40 days.
Would A Guinea Pig Kill A Hamster?
Hamsters are solitary animals, while guinea pigs need company. If you leave them alone, there are high chances that they will continue to fight until one of them is dead.
There are high chances that the Hamster will turn aggressive seeing a guinea pig in his cage. They will have the feeling that now they have intruded into their territory. They may also feel that soon they would have to fight for their food.
As guinea pigs have a large body built (in comparison to Hamsters), the fight will leave you with a severely injured guinea pig and a dead Hamster.
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Hamster Vs. Guinea Pig: Which Is A Better Pet For Me?
There are a lot of things that you must take into consideration before choosing the perfect pet for you and your family. Both of them have their pros and cons. You must do some research to understand which one would suit your lifestyle the best.
The first thing that you must keep in your mind is that Hamsters prefer to stay alone, while guinea pigs need to be kept in pairs.
If you do not have adequate space, a flexible budget, and want to get a single pet you can always go for a Hamster. On the other hand, if there are no such issues, then you can pick guinea pigs.
Another thing you must take into consideration is Hamsters are nocturnals/crepuscular, while guinea pigs are diurnal. Some Hamsters stay active throughout the night and sleep during the day, while some stay active both day and night. Usually, they sleep in small laps of few minutes throughout day and night.
On the contrary, most guinea pigs play throughout the day and sleep during the night.
Have a look at this in-depth guide to understand all the aspects of the situation thoroughly: Hamster Vs. Guinea Pig: Which Is A Better Pet For You?
Can Hamsters And Guinea Pigs Play Together?
One must never leave their Hamster and guinea pig alone to play. Playing together might result in stress and anxiety among them.
Both animals have different body structures. Hamsters are quite energetic and cannot sit in a place for too long. Their lean body and incredibly designed paws make them excellent climbers. Besides this, they love to burrow. They can spend their entire day running on their Hamster wheels.
On the other hand, guinea pigs are much calmer. They are mostly quiet. They cannot climb at all. Even if they try, there are high chances that they will end up hurting themselves. We should never let our guinea pigs run in a Hamster wheel.
Hamsters are solitary and territorial animals, while guinea pigs are social animals. Leaving them together might instigate a fight. There are high chances that your guinea pig will cause potential harm to your Hamsters. This is because guinea pigs have a large body when compared to Hamsters.
Therefore, the best option would be not to let your Hamster and guinea pig play together.
Can Hamsters And Guinea Pigs Eat The Same Food?
Hamster food and guinea pig food are quite different. The two rodents have different nutritional requirements. Both of them need to be served food based on their nutritional and dietary requirements. However, a few types of food are common to both.
Hamsters are omnivores, which means their food and energy requirements come from both, animal and plant matter. The pellets (Hamster-specific) available in the market are specially formulated keeping in mind their nutritional requirements. However, there are pellets that are suitable for both, Hamsters and guinea pigs.
On the other hand, guinea pigs are herbivores. This means their food and energy requirements come from plant matter only. Unlike Hamsters, they do not eat any meat. Their major nutritional requirement comes from hay.
Most pellets available in the local market are indicated as suitable for guinea pigs, rabbits, gerbils, chinchillas, and other small animals. However, such pellets do not provide our Hamsters with appropriate nutrition.
Hamsters have a sensitive digestive system, the introduction of non-specific hamster food might lead to digestive problems.
However, you can serve fruits and vegetables to both, your Hamsters and your guinea pigs. If you have run out of food for either of the two, fruits and vegetables will come to the rescue. You must keep in mind that neither Hamsters nor guinea pigs can survive on fruits and vegetables only. Therefore, you must arrange for their regular food pellets as soon as possible.
What Is Better For A Child: A Hamster Or Guinea Pig?
Hamsters are likely to be more skittish around humans when compared to guinea pigs. If you have very young children, guinea pigs would be a perfect choice for them. However, school-going children are seen enjoying more with the Hamsters.
Guinea pigs are friendly and docile. They are mostly calm around humans. Also, they are less likely to bite. On the other hand, Hamsters are quite aggressive and difficult to handle. They are nocturnal/crepuscular too, which can be a problem for the children.
However, there is another thing you must keep in mind. Guinea pigs need to be kept in pairs whereas Hamsters prefer to stay alone. So, if you are planning to go for guinea pigs, you need to get two. This in turn means extra care, extra efforts, and extra expenses.