View Full Version : new cavy mom..5m old fighting for dominance what should I do?

02-21-14, 10:17 am
I need some help with my fighting cavies!! I got two new cavies within the same week, Roxy...is 2 1/2 years and comes from a home, and Cherry is 5m and comes from petsmart(we have no shelters here, and rarely does anyone post guinea pigs for sale so I thought it would be better to have two even if one came from a petstore.) Anyways Roxy is pretty easy going but Cherry is nipping her like crazy, she also won't let her into the same hideout so we have two hideouts. I read here that dominance fighting is normal...but is it normal for the 5m old to be fighting for dominance and not sharing the hideout? Anytime Roxy and Cherry come out they fight. Should I take Cherry back and get a new one? Or how long do I wait to see if this will stop?

02-21-14, 11:08 am
If the hideys only have one opening, take them out and replace them with something that has both an entrance and an exit. One-door hideys are just an invitation for squabbling.

Also, how large is your cage? Lack of space is a major reason for squabbling. See the Main tab at the top of this page for suggested cage sizes, and remember that bigger is always better. If you bought the cage from PetSmart, it's guaranteed to be too small for two pigs.

Also, turn them both over and compare the pertinent parts. Pet stores are terrible about missexing pigs, and you may have a male fighting for dominance rather than two females.

02-21-14, 11:23 am
If it's suddenly started, and they are two females, (definitely check though), they could be in heat. But since they're new to your home, regardless of the sex, expect this behaviour to continue for up to a few months while they establish cage hierarchy.

02-21-14, 11:31 am
The cage is 21x44 inches I got it with Roxy from her previous owners... That's 3 inches short of the 2x4. So should I take out the second home to allow more room in the cage? Would a tunnel then work better as a home?

02-21-14, 11:38 am
Each grid is 14 inches. A 2 grid X 4 grid is 28"X56" so I would definitely create a larger space for them to live in. It could also be their age and especially if you got them from different locations, you bypassed quarantine. Did you do proper introductions before plopping them in the cage together? Any or all of those things could be the cause.

02-21-14, 11:44 am
No I didn't really know much before I got them just what the previous owner and the pet store told me, so they didnt get quarantine or proper intros. After I got them I started looking in here and realized I should have done that... Is there anything I can do now to amend that?

02-21-14, 11:46 am
Should I take the pet store one back and start again?

02-21-14, 12:01 pm
Take the pet store cage back? Absolutely. It's just a little over six square feet, which isn't even enough for one guinea pig, much less two. A 2x4 grid cage is over 10 square feet, so you'd have nearly double the space.

It just drives me nuts that pet stores sell cages that are too small for their animals. But they do, and I've argued 'til I'm blue in the face with my local PetSmart manager, and have gotten nowhere.

02-21-14, 01:00 pm
I think she means take back the pig, not the cage. To which I say no. A lot of times that's a death sentence for the pig from what I understand.

02-21-14, 02:11 pm
No, I wouldn't take the pig back. I'd recommend that you enlarge the cage and see if that fixes things. But if they're not into all-out fur-flying fights, I'd let them alone to work things out themselves. My two bicker occasionally, and they're littermates who've been together their whole lives.

02-21-14, 03:17 pm
Thanks Melynda and bpatters I will enlarge their home. Where can u buy the supplies from... Walmart? Building store, canadian tire? we don't live in a very big city, not a lot of options. And should I put a grid in to seperate them?

02-21-14, 03:28 pm
I wouldn't separate them with a grid.

You can order grids from Walmart to be delivered to the store, no shipping charges. Be sure they're the ones with nine holes across rather than five holes.

02-21-14, 03:40 pm
Are they called "grids" as I searched online at walmart and they don't show up

02-21-14, 04:18 pm
Sometimes they're also called storage cubes.

If a bigger cage with different hideys doesn't work, your next option would be a buddy bath, followed by some neutral territory playtime, while you vinegar clean the cage to get all scent off and basically act as if everything's new. But try just enlarging the cage first, as that could be enough.