When to Separate Guinea Pigs

When more than one Guinea Pigs are put together in a cage, they will show dominance behavior to establish themselves as the leader. This or other reasons can cause your Guinea Pigs to fight with each other. The fights can become serious and lead to injuries. If they won’t calm down they may have to be separated for a while. 

It is important to understand when the fight is normal and when it becomes a serious attack. This can be difficult to identify because behavior like chasing, nipping and making rumbling sounds are common with Guinea Pigs. While it may look like bullying to you, it could be a part of their normal bonding process.

Normal Behavior vs Fighting

If your Guinea Pigs are showing a stiff posture or making a rumbling sound (it sounds like a mix between a low gurgle sound with a sometimes higher pitch noise mixed in, about at a pace a cat purrs) it essentially means they are trying to dominate the other. This looks like a fight but is a normal bonding process for Guinea Pigs. 

Sometimes they could be using their teeth to dig into the fur of other pigs. Though this may look like a fight, in most cases this is just a part of their grooming and affection. These are completely normal until it leads to injuries.

If their actions become aggressive and full-blown fights break out then it means there is something wrong. If your Guinea Pigs start biting each other or are preventing the other from eating or drinking, this shows that they are incompatible and should be separated.

Signs That You Need to Separate Guinea Pigs

The most common reason for separating Guinea Pigs is because of their fighting. There can still be other signs that indicate they should be separated:

  • Excessive yawning caused by unpleasant living conditions.
  • If one is always chasing the other.
  • Mounting

All the above signs also indicate that the Guinea Pigs are incompatible and should be separated.

How to Separate Guinea Pigs?

When separating Guinea Pigs it is important to keep them in suitable pairs. To do this first you have to observe the behavior of different Guinea Pigs. Look for a Guinea Pig that is showing dominant behavior and pair them with one that has a submissive personality. This will allow one to dominate the other and reduce aggressiveness  between them.

We don’t recommend keeping a female with two male Guinea Pigs. This is because the males can become aggressive with each other hoping to mate with the female. To avoid problems remember to sex them when you get them. It will help you identify the male and female Guinea Pigs. 

You can separate them by creating partitions in the same cage or keeping them in separate cages.