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Old 09-09-2017, 10:02 AM   #1
Tateopotatoe
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Default Guinea Pigs and Rabbits?

Before I begin, yes I have read all the articles that say no, and yes I would prefer to get another bunny.

Before I got my bunny I did a lot of research and most places said you didn't need to have a pair of rabbits; apparently just one is fine. So I got my rabbit and have now realised she doesn't like playing with any toys. No matter what I give her she looses interest in a matter of minutes. I want to get her a friend, but my parents refuse to let me get another rabbit (when I was little we had two that were supposedly female. Fast forward a couple months and we had around 10 babies on our hands. My parents aren't keen on this happening again). They don't even think she needs to be spayed (I'm trying my hardest, the last thing I want is for her to get ovarian cancer), and the other would need to be spayed/neutered, too, which I think would further discourage them from letting me get another. The only thing I think they MIGHT let me do is get a guinea pig to keep her company. I get that everyone says they don't make great companions, but most of them don't have any experience. Is there anyone who has experience keeping them together who could give me advice? Is it as bad as everyone says it is, or do they not know what they're talking about? Tips on keeping my bunny from getting bored are also appreciated. Thanks so much in advance!


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Old 09-09-2017, 04:18 PM   #2
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Rescues and shelters have rabbits that are already spayed/neutered. It's a great deal and you could take your bunny there to meet and choose a potential mate. But she'd have to be spayed first. Start saving. In the meantime research toys and activities, give her some tunnels and cardboard boxes to destroy. How much time out of her cage does she get every day?
I would not go the guinea pig route.


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Old 09-09-2017, 05:15 PM   #3
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Rabbits are often carriers of Pastuerella which may show no signs whatsoever to a rabbit. However, if a guinea pig is exposed to a carrier rabbit, it is likely to get ill. Piggies are less able to fight off the respiratory infection and more likely to die from it. So even someone who has piggies and rabbits that are housed separately, should never allow them to interact.

Rabbits and piggies also have different dietary requirements, so one or both will suffer from improper diet if housed together.

The two species 'speak' different languages. This means that while they may appear to get along (ie. not fight), that doesn't mean they are friends. They can't understand each other. So bunny may bow his head in an attempt to get groomed but piggie won't understand and so will ignore the request. This only frustrates bunny (and could even escalate to irritation and lashing out). They simply can't communicate to form a bond.

All this said, there was a member here on RO awhile back (can't remember name) who disregarded all the advice she received here. She insisted that her rabbit and piggie got along just fine. Then, one day, an inadvertent happy kick from bunny gave her piggie a couple broken ribs and internal injuries. Now she is an advocate for keeping piggies and rabbits separate.

Neither a rabbit nor a guinea pig can thrive if they are made to live together because their well-being will be threatened by foreign pathogens, improper diet, a cagemate with whom they can't communicate and risk of injury.
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Old 09-09-2017, 05:21 PM   #4
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Concerning toys, I wouldn't worry about that. I've had some rabbits that totally ignored chew toys and some that seemed to like them. It is just the way they are.

Try thinking bigger when it comes to play. Get cardboard boxes with doorways cut out. Tunnels, sea grass mats, towels or a sheet draped over items to create hidey areas. Some rabbits prefer to explore rather than play with a toy. Give them places to investigate (and then change it around when they seem tired of it).
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Old 09-10-2017, 02:57 AM   #5
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Thanks for all the advice! My parents agreed to let me get another if I move her outside, and I'll try making more houses from cardboard boxes. They also agreed to let me build a shed for them, which I'm super exited about. Again, thanks so much!
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Old 09-10-2017, 03:05 AM   #6
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So does that mean you are getting her spayed? She needs to be spayed in order to bond with another rabbit -- even if the new one is a female. Once she's spayed, you can follow stevesmum' suggestion of having her meet other rabbits at a rabbit rescue that are also already fixed.

You'll want to be sure they are both bonded before putting them outside in a hutch. Otherwise, if one rabbit has been housed in the hutch without the other, then it may stake claim on the hutch and fight off any newcomer. Be sure to read up on bonding. One can't just put two rabbits together and expect them to get along. They both need to be fixed, regardless of gender, to rid them of hormones.
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Old 09-12-2017, 12:33 PM   #7
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I'm not sure getting a friend in exchange for being kicked out of the house and being exposed to mosquitoes / mice / humidity / wind / the heat / fly strikes is a good deal for your rabbit. I think getting her spayed and having her inside in a safe and comfortable setting is more important than getting her a playmate (and I'm a huge advocate of the pairing thing). Also, I agree 100% with everything Blue eyes said.
I say, before thinking of doing anything, find about 150$ and a good rabbit vet to get her spayed - I commend you for being worried about your rabbit getting bored, but I would worry about keeping her alive and well first. Cardboard boxes and cisal mats are great to keep a rabbit occupied. Giving her hazelnut or apple tree branches from time to time is also good as a lot of rabbits like to eat the small branches and the bark.


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