why do guinea pigs bite each other

Why Do Guinea Pigs Bite Each Other?

Guinea pigs are one of the most popular small pets due to their sweet, gentle nature.

However, if two guinea pigs don’t get along well with each other, it can result in them biting and attacking one another.

This behavior is alarming for owners as it poses a risk of injury to both cavies.

So why do guinea pigs bite each other? Understanding the reasons behind this behavior can be helpful in preventing or resolving conflicts between your furry friends.

Why Do Guinea Pigs Bite Each Other?

Here are some facts about their fights.

Asserting Dominance

One of the main reasons why guinea pigs bite each other is to assert dominance and establish who’s in charge.

This behavior is especially common when two unfamiliar cavies are first introduced, as they must both define their social hierarchy.

Guinea pigs may also bite out of fear or anxiety when they feel threatened in any way.

Here what you have to do is to provide a calm and comfortable environment for them to interact in.

Competition for Resources

Guinea pigs can also bite each other because they feel they are competing over resources, such as food or space.

If two cavies live in the same enclosure, they may be fighting to claim the territory and resources available.

So that providing more space and making sure there is plenty of food for both can help to reduce this type of conflict.


Sometimes, guinea pigs may bite each other out of boredom.

If cavies don’t have enough space or enrichment activities to keep them occupied, they may resort to play-biting or fighting as a form of entertainment.

What you have to do is to give them plenty of toys, hiding places and other activities to keep them mentally and physically stimulated.

These can help to reduce aggression and make sure your guinea pigs are happy.

Maternal Aggression

In some cases, a mother guinea pig may be overly aggressive and bite her own pups in order to protect them. This type of maternal aggression is usually a normal behavior, but can sometimes be indicative of an underlying health issue like malnutrition or illness.


If a guinea pig is in pain or has been injured, it may become aggressive and bite its cage mates.

This can be due to a physical injury as well as an underlying health issue such as mites or parasites.

If you suspect your cavy is injured or ill, it’s important to take them to a vet as soon as possible.

Lack Of Enough Space To Play and Move Around

Finally, if your guinea pigs don’t have enough space to play and move around freely, they may become frustrated and resort to biting each other.

It’s important to make sure the enclosure is large enough for two or more cavies so that they can spread out and enjoy their own space.

Providing additional hideouts such as hay cubes and tunnels can also help to give them more areas to explore.

Poor Pairing

In some cases, guinea pigs may just not be compatible with each other and can start to fight or bite.

If you have two cavies that are constantly fighting, it’s best to look for a better pairing in order to keep them both safe and happy.


Finally, male guinea pigs can become aggressive and bite each other when it’s time for mating.

Unless you want to breed your cavies, it’s best to keep them separated or opt for neutering/spaying.

How Do I Know My Guinea Pigs Are Fighting?

The good news is that guinea pigs are quite vocal, so it’s easy to tell when they’re fighting.

You may hear them squealing or make sudden aggressive moves when they feel threatened.

Several behavioral facts that you can see if guinea pigs are about to fight are:

• Biting, nipping or chasing each other

Lunging and shoving each other with their noses

• Raised fur on the back of their necks

• Clenched teeth and closed eyes

• Posturing and standing on hind legs

• Grunting, squealing or growling

If you notice any of these behaviors, it’s important to separate them immediately.

It’s best to keep an eye on your cavies if they are living together and intervene as soon as possible if they start to fight.

Knowing why guinea pigs bite each other can help you take the necessary steps to prevent it.

By understanding their behavior, providing enough space and resources, as well as pairing them with compatible partners, you can make sure your cavies are healthy and happy!

Are Guinea Pigs Fighting Or Playing?

It is somewhat difficult to distinguish between play biting and actual fighting in guinea pigs. While they can be quite vocal during play, they may also become aggressive if they feel threatened.

Play biting is often quite gentle, while an attack will see the cavies lunging and chasing each other with their noses raised up and teeth bared. You may also notice that the fur on the back of their necks is raised.

If you think your guinea pigs are playing, then it’s best to leave them be and observe from a distance. If their behavior escalates or becomes too aggressive, however, it’s time to separate them.

How To Stop Fighting Between Guinea Pigs?

If you find yourself in the unfortunate situation of having two guinea pigs that are fighting, there are a few things you can do to help them get along better.

First, make sure both your guinea pigs have plenty of space and resources in their living quarters. A cramped cage or limited access to food, water, or bedding could be causing your guinea pigs to feel territorial and aggressive.

Second, provide plenty of enrichment activities for each guinea pig in its own space, so they are both getting attention and stimulation. You can do this by introducing fun toys like tunnels, balls, ladders or hideaways into their cages.

Finally, if you’re able, consider adding another guinea pig to the mix. This could help reduce aggression between the two by giving them a companion and reducing the feeling of competition or territorialism.

If all else fails, you may need to separate your guinea pigs into different cages, so that they cannot fight.

In this case, it’s important to make sure you give each guinea pig some time outside of their cage for exercise and socialization. This will help them become more trusting and less aggressive towards one another.

Above all else, try to be patient with your guinea pigs. With a little bit of effort, you should be able to get your furry friends back on track to loving each other as much as you do.

Can Guinea Pigs Kill Each Other?

Guinea pigs are not usually aggressive enough to kill one another.

However, it is important to keep an eye on them and intervene if you notice any signs of aggression.

If fighting between the two becomes too serious or violent, they could hurt each other, so separating them until they can learn to coexist peacefully may be necessary.

It is also essential to note that some guinea pigs may carry a type of Streptococcus bacterium in their mouths called Streptococcus mutans.

This bacterium can cause severe and life-threatening infections if it is passed from one guinea pig to another through biting or contact with saliva.

Therefore, even though guinea pigs may not usually kill each other, they can transmit diseases that can be very dangerous.

Therefore, it is important to watch your guinea pigs carefully and intervene if you notice any signs of aggression or fighting. By taking these precautions and following the tips outlined above, you should be able to help your guinea pigs live happily.

Final Thought

Guinea pigs can be wonderful, loving companions if they are given the right environment to flourish.

With a little bit of patience and understanding, you can help your guinea pigs learn to get along with each other and provide them with the best care possible.

With the proper precautions in place, your guinea pig family will be able to snuggle up and share lots of love for many years to come.

Happy Petting!