Guinea pigs are known to fight in order to establish dominance over their cagemates. They may also compete for scarce resources such as treats, hiding places, and other amenities. In the case of two male guinea pigs who are physically superior to one another in terms of size or age, a fight between them can be fatal.
Fights between two female guinea pigs rarely result in the death of either compared to the male ones.
There are a variety of factors that influence the likelihood of an argument, a few of which are the age of one guinea pig versus the age of the other.
A male guinea pig (boar) will fight to prove its superiority for the right to breed with a female guinea pig (sow).
It is possible to ensure that only the strongest and healthiest male guinea pigs will be used to produce the next generation in this manner, if necessary.
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Why do guinea pigs fight with each other?
My Guinea Pigs are Fighting!
|Male vs. Male||– Compete to breed with female counterpart|
– To control its territory
– One guinea pig is larger than the other
– Struggle for food
– Include activities like toys, tunnels and hiding places
– Routine based feeding
– Separate the guinea pigs if fighting continues
|Female vs. Female||– One guinea pig is larger than the other|
– One guinea pig is older than the other
– One guinea pig is more aggressive
– Struggle for food
|– Keep guinea pigs of different age separate|
– Routine based feeding
|Female vs. Male||– Female isn’t interested in mating|
– One breed is larger than the other
– Struggle for food
|– Separate the two guinea pigs|
– Routine based feeding
Why are my male guinea pigs fighting all of a sudden?
Guinea pigs reach sexual maturity in as little as 3 to 5 weeks, which is astonishingly fast. When the two male guinea pigs reach the age of puberty, they are more likely to get into a fight. As a result, it is preferable to keep them apart.
As soon as he reaches sexual maturity, the male guinea pig becomes aggressive and seeks to establish dominance over his territory. All of this is due to the hormonal changes and mood swings that occur as a result of sexual requirements.
Male guinea pigs frequently engage in combat over the right to breed with female guinea pigs, which is a common occurrence in the animal kingdom.
Because of the increase in testosterone levels and the desire to mate with female counterparts, the male guinea pigs engage in combat with one another. The winner will have the opportunity to breed with a female guinea pig or a group of female guinea pigs.
It is possible that the guinea pig will die as a result of these fights. In these fights, both the guinea pigs and the participants frequently sustain injuries.
This fight to establish the legal right to breed is a natural way to encourage healthy guinea pigs to participate in the breeding process. Those who are in good health and strong enough to participate in the reproduction process are permitted to do so.
Territorial Behavior in Guinea pigs
The onset of puberty in guinea pigs results in a wide range of behavioral changes, particularly in the area of territory dominance.
The male guinea pigs’ fight for food is also influenced by the availability of food sources. If the food available isn’t enough for them, they will fight for the feeding grounds. They are extremely aggressive.
The guinea pigs defend their territory with every ounce of aggression they possess. It is possible that the territory under their control is still small. It is something that they are concerned about. Rumbling, circling, and mounting are some of the ways in which they express their aggressive nature towards other people.
In guinea pigs, removing or sterilizing their reproducing organs has been shown to reduce their aggressive behavior.
Even when there is no social hierarchy among the comparable ones, fights are common between them until such time as they do. As the guinea pigs become more aware of their responsibilities and follow the rules set by their elders, fights become less frequent.
As a result, only one male guinea pig is housed with the female guinea pigs in a cage at any given time. It is insecure for both of them to have a second male partner in their relationship. They start defending their home territory immediately. This frequently results in a lethal fight between the two of them.
Why are my female guinea pigs fighting?
When compared to the fight between two male guinea pigs, the fight between two female guinea pigs is far less lethal.
It has been observed that female guinea pigs do not compete for dominance of territorial regions, as has been suggested.
They are comfortable with other female guinea pigs in the same enclosure as they are with each other. Female guinea pigs have been known to fight each other to the point of death in rare instances.
Female guinea pigs fight each other when they have an advantage or if they have an advantage over another.
Having an older or larger breed of female guinea pig gives her an advantage, whereas being weak and too old to dominate puts her at a distinct disadvantage.
With the introduction of a new female guinea pig into the cage comes an increase in fighting among the other female guinea pigs in the cage.
It is recommended that you separate the guinea pigs if they are fighting amongst themselves in order to protect them. Make an effort to make them more friendly with one another.
If they continue to fight after being reintroduced to one another, you should make plans to permanently separate them from one another.
Why are my male and female guinea pigs fighting?
A fight between a male and a female guinea pig occurs only in rare instances.
The situation in which an eager male guinea pig attempts to mate with a female guinea pig, but the female guinea pig does not respond or consent in a proper manner.
It is possible that the female guinea pig will show little aggression toward the breeding. It is possible that this will lead to fights among them. Such disagreements are not as severe as others and do not cause as much harm.
It is important to note that any fight between two guinea pigs, whether it is between two females or between a male and a female, should not be ignored. The behavior of the two guinea pigs should be carefully observed for any signs of hostility between them.
The following are some of the most common reasons for guinea pig fights:
Boredom in guinea pigs
Guinea pigs always like to do physical activities like hiding, running through tunnels, toys, etc. These activities stimulate them and keep them engaged.
Guinea pigs become frustrated if they don’t find enough space to play and not many things to do, which then is seen as aggressive nature towards the fellow ones.
A fight for Delicious Food
Competition for food is yet another factor that contributes to guinea pigs getting into fights with one another.
It is inevitable that they will fight if the food available to them is insufficient or if one of them is more greedy than the others.
Guinea pigs are accustomed to following a schedule. Aggression can also be triggered by a change in a pet’s regular activity schedule, such as changing feeding times.
The cage of the guinea pigs is likely to be found full of furs that your guinea pigs might pull out.
When guinea pig owners leave their pets alone while on vacation, the animals’ behavior becomes aggressive toward them. It is possible that a caretaker or a member of your family who is looking after them will not serve them the appropriate food or at the appropriate time.
Late Introductions of cage mates
Guinea pigs that are kept in a large independent space may still have some area that overlaps with the other guinea pigs in the same enclosure.
It has been observed that while the behavior of the guinea pigs in response to the scent of the neighboring guinea pig is not always altered, they do show signs of discrimination toward the stranger when a stranger is introduced.
The best time to introduce someone to something is during their early stages of life or before they reach sexual maturity.
Neutering is required in order to avoid unnecessarily aggressive behavior. When guinea pigs are introduced later in life, they are more likely to fight.
In order to avoid confusion, it is best if the new guinea pig is introduced to the existing ones in a phased manner. The guinea pigs are susceptible to the effects of their environment. Any new member’s intrusion is not acceptable in our community. Direct introductions of new members can result in life-threatening fights between them.
If a new member is a baby guinea pig, it is more dangerous for it to be introduced to the older and stronger members right away. Young guinea pigs stand no chance against older and more experienced guinea pigs.
Guinea pigs require time to form close bonds with one another, and they must be assisted in this process. Unwelcome introductions to new members are not tolerated under any circumstances. The guinea pigs may become stressed, and you may experience negative consequences as a result of the change.
Do guinea pig siblings fight?
They are more comfortable with the young guinea pigs than with the older ones. They should be introduced to each other at a young age in order to avoid any fights, and they tend to form strong bonds with one another as they grow older.
There have been a few instances of fighting between the siblings, but they have been on a smaller scale. It is important to ensure that they do not become involved in any violent battles.
Both of them are in their adolescent years when the fight breaks out between the two of them.
Their bonding is usually repaired by themselves, but if the fighting continues, they should be separated from one another for the time being.
Are my guinea pigs fighting or playing
The guinea pigs frequently get into minor disagreements and fights amongst themselves.
These, on the other hand, do not cause as much damage as those that are fatal. Bringing guinea pigs back together after their bond has been severed as a result of fighting is extremely difficult.
Guinea pigs are endowed with a keen sense of recall. This is what they remember about the fight with their friends. It has been observed that a small number of guinea pigs can be kept comfortably for an extended period of time before becoming aggressive.
The day-to-day struggle between the guinea pigs is quite different from the lethal fights that they have experienced. Keep a close eye on what they are doing. The regular disputes do not necessitate the intervention of a human, and they immediately resume play.
It is preferable not to intervene in the guinea pigs’ fights when they are in the middle of them. It is only when they become aggressive that they can cause harm to one another. We should speak immediately in order to put an end to this situation.
Acceptable Behavior in guinea pigs
The frequent friendly fights among the guinea pigs are:
Rumbling, chasing, and retreating: These are ways of expressing uneasiness or dispute with others. If it is done repeatedly and again with the intent to harm others, it is a matter of concern. They usually show such behaviors among each other to communicate with actions.
Mounting: This behavior is typical among guinea pigs to show dominance on the other one. It is not usual between two male guinea pigs where one tries to dominate the other, whereas in other cases, it is a sign of acceptance as a partner.
Nipping: It is non-verbal communication among guinea pigs warning others to stop something. Instead of nipping if it is biting to harm others is not usual and needs intervention.
Nose bumping: This is also non-verbal communication to get the attention of the partner.
Following each other: A guinea pig having a bond with the other guinea pig follows each other while playing. It is to observe that they are not aggressively chasing each other to harm.
Unacceptable Behavior in guinea pigs
It is essential to distinguish between minor tiffs and deadly fights. The following signs should be looked to figure out the unacceptable behavior:
Chasing: The guinea pig aggressively follows another guinea pig; they should be separated immediately.
Bites: The guinea pigs bite may result in bleeding occasionally. The bitten marks are visible, and the fur ripped off. The skin tears in extreme cases. These actions not only cause harm to the guinea pigs but also increase the chances of infection.
Rough mounting or persistent mounting: The dominant guinea pig bites and thrashes the other guinea pig while mounting. These indicate hostile behavior.
Circling: An excited guinea pig starts circling in any direction. When this is done persistently in the manner of chasing the other guinea pig, it is abnormal.
Grunting: A visible sign of an angry guinea pig, they grunt and express their aggressiveness.
All other actions which may cause harm to the guinea pigs.
What should I do if my guinea pigs are fighting?
The guinea pigs are playing among themselves, but suddenly, you observe that they are fighting fiercely. The warm environment and bond between the guinea pigs are lost.
One guinea pig is trying to escape the grip of the other. They are making loud noises and trying to hump and mount each other.
So, here are the steps to follow when you find your guinea pigs fighting.
Don’t Ignore the Fight
It is widely believed that guinea pigs who have formed a bond with one another will never fight. If they are fighting, it is assumed that they are playing or engaged in some sort of minor conflict. However, this may not be the case in every instance.
When the guinea pigs fight, they can cause serious injury to one another. Aside from the physical harm done to the guinea pigs, it will eventually cost you money in the form of increased veterinarian bills in the long run.
Guinea pigs fighting can be distinguished by a large amount of fur being spread on the floor or in the cage, as well as aggressively following one another and attempting to bite one another.
Make a Loud Noise
Producing a high pitched sound by clapping and squeaking or blowing a whistle can stop the guinea pigs from fighting. Keeping the whistle nearby is also a good idea.
A high pitched or shrill sound gives stress to stop the ongoing activity of the guinea pigs. The bonded guinea pigs often position themselves tightly when afraid of something.
It is used when guinea pigs not familiar to each other are taken for a ride.
At times when the guinea pigs are involved in serious fights, producing sharp sound is also not good enough to stop them.
Separate Them Immediately
If the guinea pigs do not stop fighting as a result of the loud noise produced, they will need to be separated from one another. Separate your hands with a towel to keep them safe from any bites or scratches while you’re separating them.
Guinea pigs fight with a lot of vigor and may continue to fight until one of them succumbs to their injuries. Even if the guinea pigs are bonded to each other, it is best to keep them apart and to exercise caution around them.
Keep in mind that using your bare hands to restrain your guinea pigs is not recommended. This can result in scratches and bites that are so severe that they bleed.
Assess Your Guinea pigs for Injuries
When looking for injuries, it is critical to conduct a thorough examination of all body parts. Because of their fur, it is not always possible to see the injury. Keep an eye on the guinea pig’s movements for clues. Is it able to walk on its own two feet?
Whenever you notice an injury, take your guinea pigs to the nearest animal hospital for treatment. Allowing the guinea pig to calm down while you inspect the area for damage is recommended. It will lick the injured area, so keep an eye out for those areas.
Keep Your Guinea pigs Separated
Guinea pigs need to be separated for some time or as long as required. They have sharp memories and remember their fight.
Even a brawl of a few seconds can end the close bond between guinea pigs just because of their inability to forget things. Keep your guinea pigs separated for a few hours or more as needed.
The guinea pigs are unable to bond again once they are engaged in a fight. They should not be put in one cage after the fight. Likely, they may fight back even more violently.
Separate guinea pigs with separator:
In order to prevent them from touching each other and communicating, the guinea pigs are separated by a separator or in some other way. Their inability to come close enough to each other prevents them from fighting, which allows them to coexist peacefully.
In extreme cases, they may continue to fight despite the fact that the separator has only a few small pockets of territory. If the fighting continues despite the use of a separator, they should be separated and kept in separate areas.
Covering the separator with a towel will prevent it from working for a short time. This prevents the guinea pigs from being able to see each other.
The cloth is removed after a period of time, when they have calmed down enough to interact with one another again. Nonetheless, they should be kept an eye on because they do not engage in combat.
It is possible for closely bonded guinea pigs to reunite at some point in their lives. They should be separated for a few hours or a day and then given the opportunity to repair their relationship.
Guinea pigs have the unfortunate ability to retain the memory of their unfortunate fight experience for longer periods of time. All of the pleasant memories of the mate have been replaced with unpleasant ones.
Measures should be taken to reduce or eliminate the occurrence of violent fights. A guinea pig owner may become stressed if his or her guinea pigs engage in a constant fight.
What to do if guinea pigs injure each other while fighting
If the guinea pig is injured during the fight, it should be removed from the situation as soon as possible. Take a look at the injury. If the problem is severe, you should consult your veterinarian.
Guinea pigs that fight and injure each other must be separated for the rest of their lives.
The two of them will never be able to reconnect after such a long and intense battle.
Guinea pigs of varying ages and sizes can be kept together, provided that all necessary precautions are taken.
The smaller or younger guinea pig is at a higher risk of being injured by the dominant elder or stronger guinea pig because of its smaller or younger size.
The larger guinea pigs can attack the smaller guinea pig if they are kept together. They should be closely monitored in case they become involved in a fight. It is a problem that many guinea pigs experience.
How to stop your guinea pigs from fighting
The bond between guinea pigs can be improved through the following steps:
- Keeping them in a new place that they are not familiar with.
- Once there has been a fight between the guinea pigs, they should be carefully observed when kept together. Their body movements and actions should be monitored to prevent any further battle.
- Guinea pigs that were once tightly bonded take time to develop the bond again. One of them will mount on the other to determine the dominance and submissive nature.
- A pleasant smell promotes mutual grooming between the guinea pigs during redefining bonding with each other. Rub their fur with any herbs having strong essences like parsley, cilantro, or dandelion.
- Avoid any cooking spices, perfumes, or any powders as it may have adverse effects on the health of the guinea pigs.
- The guinea pigs should be fed together. They can be offered a special treat of their choice.
- A time span of at least 1-2 hours should be provided for the guinea pigs to build bond again. If no fight is seen in this time, then such sessions can be tried yet until they form a strong bond to live together.
- The time required may vary for different guinea pigs from a couple of hours to an entire night.
- They should be provided with a small space for interactions with each other and prevent them from chasing each other.
I hope this can help you understand and learn more about your guinea pigs.