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Bonding How can I make this lonely piggie happy?


Cavy Slave
Feb 25, 2012
I have a male piggie and his cage mate has just passed away. He seems a little confused, I'm not sure that he understands that his buddy is gone. He is adventurous and likes to explore and play but his deceased friend was always the friendlier of the two - he would always come up to greet me first and then my other boy would follow.

So, some questions that I need answered!

How can I bond more with this piggie seeing as his leader/role model is gone? He can be quite shy sometimes.

What toys can I give to him to keep him entertained while I'm out?

Does he need a companion? Bear in mind that he is a 3.5 year old male pig and I think that finding him a friend would be hard as they may fight. Would he get on with a new friend?

I'm giving him lots of love and cuddles and I may put him in a pen with a rabbit to give him some social time tomorrow.

Thank you :)
Watch for weight loss. I suggest changing the cage location, arrangement, etc, so the focal point in the cage isn't who's missing. If you can look to adopting a similarly aged or otherwise appropriate companion, do that.
I found with Winifred that she became completely silent and withdrawn, which was highly unusual for the loud, outgoing monster that she normally is. Then she became hugely dependent. She wouldn't stop screaming unless I sat with her. It became difficult for me to leave the house without her because of how stressed she became.
Winnie now has a little sister whose name is Anise and has returned to her usual highly-strung self. I study full-time and work part-time so having a friend for her quickly became the best thing I could do for her.
I had a similar situation with my little guy Snoop - when his cage partner died, he was like a little lost soul. I did manage to bond him with another boar, though - it took a few weeks to do it properly, but they now get on really well and it was worth the effort. Piggies always respond better to having friends to live with and despite common misconception, you can normally bond boars. It just take a bit more effort and care.

In the mean time, just try and spend as much time with your piggy as you can. Sit with him during floor time and try and participate in his play. Even if he is shy, he'll appreciate the company and you should start to see him 'warming' up to you the more time you spend together.

However, PLEASE don't put him in to a pen with your rabbit. Whilst Guinea and Rabbits generally get on, bunnies are far more rambunctious and scatty than guinea pigs and can often hurt piggies by accident when they run around, kicking out their back legs. If you are able to put them in pens next to one another, so they can have contact through bars, that would be fine. But I would not recommend them being together in the same pen just to be on the safe side.
I took in a senior male and paired him with my 3 year old male. They have never fought and get along really well. You might want to consider getting an older one.
Ditto missbounce about the rabbit. Aside from the possibility of the rabbit accidentally hurting your pig, rabbits carry bordatella, which can be fatal to a guinea pig.
I'm very sorry for your loss. From your other post, you have 3 females? You could get him neutered and put him with the females (3 weeks after the surgery).
For now, you can house him next to the girls. Make sure the cage has a secure lid so he can't climb into the girls' cage.
At 3.5 years old he actually shouldn't be too difficult to pair with the correct match. One of my 3 month old foster boys just moved in with an older boar and the two are best buddies. Neutering would also be a great way to not add any more pigs to the house but make him as happy as possible.
My first pig's cage mate had prior passed away before I got him. He would sit by himself in a hidey unless he was hungry or thirsty and just did not want to interact. I decided to try to find him a compatible friend to try and bring him out of the depression it felt like he was having. After I got my second male piggy I kept him in quarantine before taking him to an exotic cavy-savvy vet to make sure he was in good health and just introduced him to my original pig today. There was a complete turnaround in his behavior and he started jumping and popcorning like crazy, like he found a long lost pal! It was so cute and made me so happy that they were able to coexist peacefully and wouldn't have to be separated, even though I was prepared for that it I had to. My advice would be wait a while and monitor weight and if you are ready and you think it will help to find a pal for him/her, that you should. I am amazed at how quickly these two got along, hopefully everything turns out well for you and your piggy, I'm sorry about losing his buddy as well :(
I feel that he is too young to be a single pig, and not too old to be neutered. I would either neuter him and add him to your girl group, or find him a companion. Most rescues will work with you to find the right one.
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Most rescues will work with you to find the right one.
That's what I did. Winifred came with me to meet her potential buddies. It's was really helpful given how highly strung Winnie is, I had to know how another pig would react to her.
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