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Aggression Is it safe to get another guinea pig?

tehgabster12

Member
Cavy Slave
Joined
Oct 27, 2011
Messages
12
Okay, so here's the WHOLE story of what happened and I honestly wish I had caught this sooner....

I got a Guinea pig whom I named Gigi and I got her by herself. Maybe two weeks or so later, I got a second one named Chloe, both females in a cage that is 2 grids by 3 (the C&C cage) and they seemed fine. I introduced them neutrally and eventually let them live together and such since summer of 2011.

I am now grieving the death of Chloe as of Monday and I'm pretty sure Gigi was the result of it. She would always shove her away from the food to the point where Chloe's bottom teeth were overgrown no matter how many chew toys and how much hay I put in there. Gigi would chase Chloe around, but I thought it was normal and that she might be eating after Gigi and everything seemed absolutely normal until the very last two days before she died. Gigi is pink and fat (almost obese, it seems) and happy and bright eyed and Chloe was malnourished and thin. I can't believe I didn't even notice the issue until it was nearly too late when I took her to the vet.

I know it wasn't me, because I left pretty much more than enough food and hay for the both of them and they Chloe seemed perfectly fine. Gigi would be the kind of pig to try to jump into the food bowl as you're putting it down and go in head first so I'm pretty sure she was just chasing Chloe off.

Now here's the issue - Gigi is now all by herself (not grieving or anything... which is weird...) and I'm afraid to put another piggie in there. What do I do? What if she bullies the other one and hogs up all the food again? I honestly don't want the same thing to happen to a new guinea pig... I couldn't bear losing another one like that.

Does anyone have any suggestions of what to do here? Is she just fine all by herself? I can't watch for behaviour all day because I'm commuting to college and I just want to prevent another case of this.

*EDIT As a side note, I did take Chloe to the vet - I didn't just leave her. Her teeth were taken care of and the vet gave me medication to get her nutrients back but unfortunately she died on the car ride home right after...
 
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If you have a rescue near you, you can take Gigi there and see if you can find a good match for her. Sometimes guinea pigs become bullies when their companion is ill. Gigi might have know that Chloe was sick and picked on her because of that..... kind of like survival of the fittest. I've had a couple of guinea pigs that would only prey on the weak ones. It was as if she knew there was something wrong.
 
if Gigi bullies other pigs in her cage but enjoys company, perhaps you could get her a next door neighbor if you have enough space. That way, she can see and "talk to" another pig, but there's no danger of a repeat of what she did to Chloe.
 
There is a shelter nearby but I don't think they take guinea pigs - I'd have to check but that's a good idea! Hopefully that would work..

As for splitting the cage, not sure if that would work. The cage is 2 x 3 so it would split unevenly and if I make it 2 x 4 then I may as well say goodbye to the dresser in my bedroom - it's the only place my mother would let me keep it without having to stick it in the smaller pet store cage...

Do you think if I had one in the pet store cage only at night or for the morning with its own food, hay and water and then letting it in the larger cage for the day would work? That way everyone's happy?
 
What are the dimensions of your dresser? Also do you have extra grids?
 
I think a 2X3 is much too small for 2 pigs and thus added to the whole bullying.
2X3 works perfectly for 1 pig, but add another and space is being limited.
I think the pigs would be more comfortable in a 2X4 or 2X5
If you can, purchase extra grids to create a stand like I did for Mr. Whistles cage.

Also, add 2 food and water sources. And put them on opposite sides of the cage. This way 1 pig cannot guard both at the same time.
 
The dimensions of my dresser are... immovable. xD Here's how close my space is from being filled up and there's nowhere else I can move anything.
[GuineaPigCages.com] Is it safe to get another guinea pig?
I suppose I /could/ add one more square but that's really stretching it to how much movement space I have in my already small room.
 
Aaah okay - that would work even better so I don't have to shove anyone in a smaller cage. But then again, Gigi seems to be happy and bubbly on her own so I don't know... That's the other /other/ problem. Does she really want anybody at all? Is that even possible?
 
Are you able to remove any dresser holding clothes and shove those clothes into another dresser?
If you use the grid stand idea the pigs could fit under that window or in the corner

ETA: another idea is:
move the TV set to the dresser under the window, move what small pieces you have on the floor between the dressers to the dresser under the window.
Move the storage in the corner next to the dresser under the window and remove the nightstand completely and put the cage in that spot.
 
Looks like you need to rearrange your room! You can also make a cage stand out of grids, and store your mini trash can and pig supplies underneath.

What is that white thing next to the cage in the upper right of the picture? Is that a hamper?

If you have a closet, you could also start hanging your clothes instead of folding them into a dresser. Get modern. :p
 
Looks like you need to rearrange your room! You can also make a cage stand out of grids, and store your mini trash can and pig supplies underneath.

What is that white thing next to the cage in the upper right of the picture? Is that a hamper?

If you have a closet, you could also start hanging your clothes instead of folding them into a dresser. Get modern. :p

I agree completely with this
also, her room looks much to small for a closet to be in there.
 
My guinea pig's name is Gigi too! She also bullies her cage-mate so I separated them.
 
The white thing under the window is the radiator so that's not moving. =X It's not on and it never gets hot (my room is freezing in the winter thus the mini heater... old house, y'know) and the cage is up against a second closet I now cannot use that is nailed to the wall. xD If I can find a way to get rid of that extra closet completely, then I'd be set to expand. I need to ask if my dad wouldn't mind ripping it from the wall. The TV can't actually go on the dresser - it's too tall. I'd nearly snap my neck looking up - it's taller than it appears in the picture - there's one more drawer up.

I think my last option would be to rip out the second closet that I had to put in and kaulk the holes. Big project! It'd give me more than enough space though and hopefully that should settle things.

Thanks everyone! Hopefully this works out! =)
 
I don't understand why you've jumped to the conclusion that the pig bullied the other one to the point of starvation? Were there fights? Bites? Obvious tiffs? If not, I think it's far more likely that the deceased pig had a medical condition that you missed that caused her to be unable to eat or to not want to eat.

You said the pig's teeth were overgrown - that certainly isn't the fault of the other pig and might have been the underlying medical issue that caused her death.

Pigs are called pigs for a reason, they're very good at getting food - I've never had a pig be completely unable to eat even when bullied. I think it's highly unlikely that the other pig caused the problem that resulted in the death of the one.

Going forward, I'd make a regular habit of weighing your pigs so you can catch all illness early and treat it as soon as possible. I'd take the suggestion of finding a suitable partner and expand your cage - although a 2x3 is the minimum recommended size for two pigs and is generally perfectly fine for females.
 
I agree with Paula.
 
Going forward, I'd make a regular habit of weighing your pigs so you can catch all illness early and treat it as soon as possible. I'd take the suggestion of finding a suitable partner and expand your cage - although a 2x3 is the minimum recommended size for two pigs and is generally perfectly fine for females.

This site says a 2X3 is for ONE guinea pig.
Guinea Pig Cages, Your Cavy At Home
Also, this site is quote as much as bible verses so one would think the site is pretty correct and everyone agrees on it.
 
2x3 is minimum for two pigs. 2x4 is "recommended".
 
2x3 is minimum for two pigs. 2x4 is "recommended".

makes absolutely no sense to have the min size the same for 2 pigs as 1 pig.:eye-poppi
 
makes absolutely no sense to have the min size the same for 2 pigs as 1 pig.:eye-poppi

If you look at the chart, you'll see that the minimum for 1 pig or 2 is the same 7.5 sq.ft. The preferred size for 2 is 10.5 sq.ft.

For the reasons, you'll have to ask CavySpirit (the owner of the site).
 
Yeah, I made 2x3 because they said it was the minimum. My mother's idea was to stuff it in a pet store cage so I had to fight tooth and nail for that space. Expanding it would probably mean that my room gets eaten.

I don't just leave them there, I take them to the vet and the vet had told me that there was nothing wrong (before the whole situation) and that she was perfectly fine - that's how I know it was bullying. Chloe couldn't eat straight out of the bowl, she always took a few and ran for the hills before she gets nudged off by Gigi. So I may be wrong, but I'm almost certain that was it otherwise there wasn't an issue before. The only thing Chloe would chew on would be the hay and the food (she never touched the toys, only Gigi did) and if she gets chased from doing anything, I think it's very possible.

See if I actually owned my own house or apartment, it'd be easier to "just expand" but I have to switch around my entire bedroom in order for this to work with my mother who is STILL insisting I use the cramped little Petco cage. So my options right now are:
- I stick one in the Petco cage overnight and in the morning and during the day, I let it run around in the larger cage
- I remove my nailed-to-the-wall closet to create extra space if it's even possible to
- I leave Gigi be because she's not sad... I never got another one because she was lonely and depressed. I got another one because people told me to. xD Otherwise she's bouncing around upstairs like Cinco De Mayo which is what concerned me the most - no changed behaviour since the death what-so-ever.

The house isn't my property and rent is a bit much for a jobless person in New Jersey so it's a bit tougher than just making it bigger or moving it to a bigger spot..
 
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