Dunster House Ltd.
Incorporated. 1994
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Rabbit-Welfare / Back

Guinea Pigs - One House Doesn't Fit All



You’ll often find that many hutches on the market are designed for use by both rabbits and guinea pigs. These very different animals are generalised despite having different personalities, sizes and extremely different needs.


Guinea Pig

The first difference, and one that is instantly apparent, is the size difference between the two. Adult guinea pigs, on average, can grow to around 20 - 25cm (8 – 10 inches) [55], whereas a rabbit can vary anywhere between 20cm (8 inches) to 50cm (20 inches) [56]. As both rabbits and guinea pigs stand on their hind legs, they require a house that gives them enough room to stand. In addition to body height, a rabbit’s ears must be taken into consideration, which can grow to as long as 10cm (4 inches) [56], so you can see the large variation of space needed. It’s simply not logical to design a cage that suits both of these animals.


The next massive design flaw is the ramp that supposedly helps your bunny, or guinea pigs, get to the second floor of the hutch – for a guinea pig, who has pads and nails on their feet for gripping, this isn’t a problem, but for a rabbits it’s difficult. They hate ramps. They don’t have sharp claws or any pads to grip it, so end up slipping and sliding. Getting up a ramp is a struggle for a rabbit, which is why they often make two jumps: one to the halfway point, and one to the top. A guinea pig has much shorter legs than a rabbit and cannot jump and burrow in the same way [79], making the ramp ideal for them.


Rabbits and guinea pigs should not be kept together as they have different needs and dietary requirements, and behave and communicate in different ways to one another. If left together they may not understand each other, and in some cases may cause each other harm, as the rabbit will often try to mount or bully the guinea pig. [6]