Guinea pigs can kill each other. Although they are adorable animals, they are also relatively social. And just like humans, they can have physical conflicts. So, they also get violent when their social layout is threatened by an outsider. The violence is mostly between adult males and is majorly territorial. Although the chance that your pets might kill each other is rare, safety precautions must always be your priority.
Further Reading: “Should I Get My Guinea Pig A Freind?“
Do Guinea Pigs Kill Other Guinea pigs?
Guinea pigs are one of the most loved and owned pets worldwide. Well, their incredible good looks and their intelligence makes people find them irresistible. But can guinea pigs kill each other? Yes, they can. It’s strange that this small, cute animal would get violent. Guinea pigs naturally would not attack each other, but sometimes, situations arise. Cavies have a hierarchy; a social structure of one dominant male, one or more female, and other general males.
And when this system is threatened by a rival dominant male, that’s where the violence comes in. The fight mostly ends in the defeated pet yielding to the winner. In the wild, it rarely ends in the death of the losing guinea pig because the loser usually runs away. However, this is not always the case when the animals are caged because there’s nowhere to run. And that’s why as a cavy owner, you need to be careful own may guinea pigs.
Guinea pigs naturally would not attack each other, but sometimes, situations arise. Cavies have a hierarchy; a social structure of one dominant male, one or more female, and other general males. When this system is threatened by a rival dominant male, that’s where the violence comes in.
Further Reading: “How To Get Guinea Pigs To Come Out Of Hiding?“
Will Guinea Pigs Attack Each Other?
Guinea pigs would not attack each other ordinarily. Their attacks are majorly based on adult males trying to protect their territory. Being one of the cutest animals in the world, you would naturally not expect fights. But just the way we humans always want to protect what is ours, guinea pigs also exhibit the same traits. So, when an outsider challenges the dominant male, the latter will attack the former. To the dominant male, the outsider is trying to take his place, and he must protect his position. As such, the only way to defend its integrity would be to fight the challenger. The fight doesn’t necessarily end in the death of one of them because most times, the defeated animal runs to save his life. Hence the defeated animal becomes submissive to the winning male.
Scientists are yet to understand the entire reason for this need to settle differences with violence. But this comes as no surprise because that is mostly the pattern for most animals in the wild.
Further Reading: “Why Is My Guinea Pigs Biting Me?“
Why Do Guinea Pigs Fight?
In the wild, guinea pigs fight for survival. Most units of animals use this system to control the social statute. The fights happen because a lower-ranking male or an outsider challenges a dominant male. The challenge is for the right to mate and bear offsprings of his own with the females— this will either have the dominant male running for his life or to its death if he loses. In most cases, males within the same age group and size usually end up as rivals when they grow.
Guinea pig fights are not usually sudden. The males show off their teeth and how long they are to challenge each other. They go further to slam their teeth together to intimidate the opponent. These actions come after the dominant male has dragged his butt in the area to mark its territory. All of these are the build-up before the actual fight takes place. Why would cavies display before they engage in a physical tussle? Well, the point of this is to avoid violence by scaring the challenger away with intimidation.
In most cases, males within the same age group and size usually end up as rivals when they grow.
Further Reading: “Are Guinea Pigs Afraid Of The Dark?“
Can Guinea Pigs Fight To The Death?
In their natural environment, which is the wild, guinea pigs will not fight to the death. It is a rare occurrence for a dominant guinea pig to inflict fatal injuries on its challenger. Fights between two cavies mostly end in the loser yielding to the winner. But in some cases, the defeated guinea pig runs for its life after it has been bested.
But this majorly applies to fights in the wild. If you cage your pets together in an enclosed environment, the result may be different. And that’s because adult male-dominant guinea pigs generally do not accept roommates with open arms. They don’t allow this because they are naturally territorial animals. Their attacks on each other are based on another male cavy trying to take a standing territory. The best option is to prevent male guinea pigs from being locked up together. That takes away the possibility of fighting.
The best option to avoid your guinea pigs from fighting is to prevent male guinea pigs of the same age from being locked up together.
Do Guinea Pigs Kill Their Babies?
Although guinea pigs are naturally vegetarians, there have been cases of adults eating younger ones. In the rare instances of this happening, the parent guinea pig eats her babies. If an adult female guinea pig gets pregnant consecutively, she may eat her baby for nutrients. The rationale for this is due to a lack of food in the wild. As bizarre as this may sound, it does happen.
Further Reading: “Can The Father Guinea Pig Be With The Babies?“
Why Are My Guinea Pigs Fighting All Of A Sudden?
In the same way, like most mammals, guinea pigs are also territorial creatures. The fights that break out with them are not sudden. They are usually because the cage is not big enough for adult guinea pigs. Sometimes, they also start fights because they are bored. In situations like this, the best solution is to make sure their cages are big, and your pets are busy. After this, the likelihood of fights breaking out would be minimal.
Sometimes, they also start fights because they are bored. In situations like this, the best solution is to make sure their cages are big, and your pets are busy. After this, the likelihood of fights breaking out would be minimal.
How Can I Tell If My Guinea Pigs Are Fighting Or Playing?
Trying to tell if guinea pigs are playing or fighting can be tough. Basically, the indicator for violence in this animal is bleeding and showing teeth. Anything besides that can be considered as them socializing. Just think about it. Cavies chase themselves lightly, occasionally hump and sniff each other. These are considered harmless plays. However, biting or any action leading to bloodshed should be considered fighting.
Further Reading: “Do Guinea Pigs Have Feelings?“
Guinea pigs are some of the best pets anyone could ever ask for. They are active and are vegetarians, making their feeding easy. But sometimes, if it’s from boredom or from territorial aspects between males guinea pigs can fight and even kill each other. The entire explanation for their violent behavior is still being studied. However, it is an innate action for animals to protect their territory. This mode of action is common among several animals. The difference is that other animals mostly fight with the intent to kill. Sequel to this, they are still amazing animals and pets.
The key is to put them in a controlled environment with ample space. This limits their contact and gives them space to mark their territory. And instead of having two male cavies in the same cage, keep the male with the females. Also, provide hay in their cage to keep your pets busy. They are active animals and need to be in a constant state of action. Taking these measures will help to reduce violent attacks against each other a lot.