Both guinea pigs and rats make excellent pets to keep. They enjoy utmost human attention however, they are happier when in the presence of their own. Furthermore, they share some common characteristics that classify them as members of the same family. So in consideration of their similarities, can the two rodents get along?
Guinea pigs and rats do not get along; despite sharing some similarities in their clean personality, and affection with their owners. Guinea pigs may even fight with each other if caged together because they are extremely sensitive to territorial matters.
Both guinea pigs and rats have are highly sensitive to cleanness and as a result, they may pose a challenge when having to decide between both of them. Read on for more information on how the two rodents live their lives.
Are Guinea Pigs Classed as Rodents?
Guinea pigs are rodents in the same family as porcupines and chinchillas all originating from Andes Mountains in South America. However, their name pigs might be confusing to anyone interested in them, but despite that, they are of the Rodents family and also include mice, hamsters, squirrels, rats, and beavers
They occupy forests, rocky areas, and grasslands all in their native location, the South American continent. The guinea pigs are more famous than other species in their family for their emotional tendency not to bite or scratch when handled reassuringly; in addition to their clean habits.
Humans also love these creatures for their beauty and tame temperaments when in the presence of children, unlike mites and rats who are temperamental and nippy, harmful to children.
However, guinea pigs have a very short lifespan of about 4 to 7 years; facts that make most people enjoy their gentle love and fun. They peacefully snuggle onto your arms when picking them up and so because of their very sensitivity they need perfect handling since they can easily get stressed, or get heart attacks if mishandled.
Therefore, when picking them up, you should put one hand between their back legs and the other supporting their chest region. Whether you place them on your lap or your chest, they will always settle calmly and gently nibble you.
Do Guinea Pigs Get Along With Rats?
In addition to being of the same family, the rats and guinea pigs are both social animals that enjoy living with others of their kind. So if you intend to get them along you might need to be ready to separate huge fights between them, since both of them take their territories seriously. Guinea pigs have a sensitive sense of smell; such that once you give a bath to one of them you should give a bath to the other guinea pig right away.
Otherwise, a huge fight may break out between the two of them, because of their smell that changes once they get a bath. Rats on their side are very choosy when in the company of other rats that did not grow up with them or share their habitats. Similarly, both animals have their male fights for dominance and rats are never calm animals, they always want to climb and explore their residences, while guinea pigs mostly need their calm quiet moments. So they can never get along, meaning that caging them together could rise territorial fights.
In addition, despite some species of guinea pigs having larger bodies than rats, they are the most fragile and can easily succumb to such fights.
How Are Guinea Pigs and Rats Different?
Are you considering keeping a guinea pig and a rat as a pet? So far you already know, you can’t manage both of them in a single cage, so if you have everything ready for either or both of them at home, here is what you need to know about each one of them and their differences based on the following factors.
Most people consider rats as very dirty animals; however, in reality, they are cleaner than guinea pigs. Though, both of them need clean environments. Rats require special attention in cleaning because they do more work in keeping themselves clean than the guinea pigs.
Guinea pigs are famous for being happy animals that derive their happiness from anything in their surroundings including the type of food they feed on. So, the guinea pigs are comfortable and happy eating hay, fruits, and vegetables. While the rats need additional proteins, grains, peanuts, and slight vegetables to keep them going and happier.
- Friendliness to Humans
Both rodents are affectionate to humans; however, for the guinea pigs, their affection to you is because of mutual friendship. You have to show them love first; before they show it back to you, and this may take some time for you to get their response. However, the rats on their side; show immediate affection trusting that you will be good and considerate to them.
The rats often come off their cages for play moments with their owner as compared to guinea pigs that need to get used to you first.
Even though a pet is a lovely animal to be around, it needs to have a quick response to the owner’s guide. In this case, rats are very fast learners and they take lesser time to figure out solutions to obstacles on their paths. Guinea pigs on their own are smart and with good memories that can remember certain gestures and sounds, however, anyone with whom they are unfamiliar cannot easily give them instructions.
Both rodents are also easy to train, and once they make it in memorizing, they can all do amazing stuff. For instance, rats easily memorize their names and they can come straight to you once you call their name. However, for easier training, you will need to use their favorite treats, although it can still take long for them to master all arts together.
As guinea pigs have larger bodies than rats, as such they will require more space. Furthermore, keeping guinea pigs is quite expensive as compared to keeping a rat. It is because the habitation of a guinea pig requires special care and attention, in addition to bedding and food that are quite expensive.
Some of their similarities include:
- Both of them are naturally inclined to guard their territory.
- They have a special place in their hearts for partners with whom they have grown up together.
- They are all social with humans when kept as pets.
- They all need room to exercise their energy levels from time to time.