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Chat Rabbits VS Guinea Pigs


Well-known Member
Cavy Slave
Nov 18, 2014
I have been debating between a rabbit and a guinea pig pair off and on for a while. And it gets confusing as to which to get. I really love Holland Lop rabbits.

Does anyone have both? What are the main differences? especially when it comes to smell.
My last bunny passed away last month at 10.5 years old. They are both great pets so you can't go wrong either way. Rabbit urine smells a lot worse than guinea pig urine, so that's the big difference in regards to smell. On the flip side, rabbits can be litter trained, and usually pretty much train themselves, but guinea pigs pee and poop wherever they please. Rabbits are also much quieter than guinea pigs.
Boyfriend is really leaning towards rabbits. He likes that they can be litter trained and don't make as much noise.

I assume what I have bought can be repurposed, Cuddle cups, hay bags, Hides and bowls, Plus materials for liners and a cat litter box I am cutting down to make a " kitchen area"
Rabbits also are much more destructive than guinea pigs. They chew on everything so rabbit proofing the room is a must. They need to be allowed to freely roam and really only stay in their cage to sleep.
I have had rats I am use to chewing :)

I am also checking with my vet about spaying and neutering. Not sure if I am getting a male or female just that it will be small.

I do think that cage size also matters as to how much free roam they need. but I do plan on working out how to make the turtles cords inaccessible. Those will be the only cords in the room it would even remotely be able to reach.

The room will be designed as a pet room. Only pets and their things in there :)
I agree with @Kelsie about bunnies being standoffish. It's a bit like the difference between cats and dogs. We group them together because of the similarities, but they are quite different creatures. Same with rabbits and guinea pigs. They have their common characteristics but are also different from one another. Just pick the one that will best suit your lifestyle.
I didn't know anyone grouped together rabbits and guinea pigs. I don't consider them similar other than they both need hay and plenty of space.
I will most likely look for an adult that likes attention.
You would be surprised. Some people house them together (terrible idea). I just know it's hard (thankfully) to buy a rabbit in a pet store now and I'm looking forward to the day guinea pigs are sold less commonly (preferably not at all) in pet stores.
Rabbits are easy to get in pet stores here, But I am looking on craigslist and petfinder. I do not want to support the pet store that sells rabbits. They are so horrible :(

Mankind's idiocy doesn't surprise me anymroe. it just makes me sad.
Thankfully, all the stores that used to sell rabbits here are either closed down or just don't sell rabbits anymore. It's way too easy to get a guinea pig here though.
Only one here sells rabbits that I know of and they are notoriously awful, mixed genders, small cages, selling feeder animals. Not a store I even go in
Every store sells rabbits. Petland often has 3 of their glass bins full of them and they often don't separate gender unlike with the guinea pigs. Petco and petsmart found chinchillas and ferrets do not sell anywhere near as well as rabbits so their hexagon (octagon?) large locked cages often have the rabbits now instead. There are 3 family owned pet stores that have rabbits and guinea pigs not separated by gender. Small feed stores make special orders of pallets of rabbit pellets because of the number of breeders under contract to sell to the stores. Especially small lops.

I find my guinea pig cages smell worse. With pine pellets in both the rabbits pee a lot less even if individual rabbit pee smells more and more often the rabbits pee in a specific spot. The sheer amount of guinea pig pee overwhelms the pellets if I don't keep spot cleaning and stirring softened pellets in with solid pellets. Rabbits can pick up a habit of peeing out of their cage though. Neutering them may help and other things that reduce the need to feel territorial can reduce or stop the behavior but even my little netherland can cover a wall 4' up when in the mood. Every time I've moved I've had to scrub rabbit pee off a wall. On the other hand rabbits often only pee in (and occasionally around) their cage, especially the more you work with them. You don't get surprise pee showers when they hide in your hair, find you are trying to dry your blanket late at night so you can finally go to sleep with it, or spray the couch with lots of febreeze and baking soda solutions for a week or 2 to get rid of the smell. Kumo the netherland buck will sprawl across my pillow or above my head on the back of the furniture for hours without peeing or pooping. He just watches the tv or my computer while I pet him and play with his ears. Long before that I have a pile of guinea pig poop and probably at least one spot of pee. That is also some of their difference in handling as well. Rabbits like to be pet on their own terms. If you try to hold Kumo in place he turns in to sharp claws and strong back legs. You might get lightly nipped even. If you let him find his place to settle you can pet him all you want.

Rabbit personalities are really hit or miss. Many breeders throw temperament out of the equation and breed for color, money, show type... This is especially true of the really small breeds. The large breeds are actually easier to handle in many cases. If they also haven't been handled much while young you can get a bit of a nasty rabbit. Often they can be turned around and neutering helps, particularly the females, but it will take more work and risk of skin than taming a guinea pig. I have a chocolate netherland buck I am working with who is very aggressive over his food dish. Last week he nailed the side of my hand below my thumb. He left 1 groove and then 2" farther down 2 teeth grooves. All of it bleeding and turning purple and it hurt to use my thumb for the past week. Just 1 week later though I can slowly reach in to fill his food dish without even grunting and pawing much less chomping. Rabbits have more body language and can take patience but I find they can be more interactive. They are actually comparable to cats in their amount of interaction and opinion of things. I was talking with someone who had a flemish giant that runs loose 24/7 and when they get home the rabbit follows them to their chair and unties their shoes so they will take them off, stay home, and pet the rabbit.
I've had 4 house rabbits over the years and many guinea pigs. Guinea pigs are an "easier" pet IMO on many levels.
-Rabbits may be able to be litter trained but their litter box needs to be changed daily or at least every other day due to smell and the fact they eat and pee in the same spot. you should be filling their litter box with hay to encourage using it but this means it needs changed more.
-Rabbits also have seasonal shedding so you have hair everywhere sometimes. This is a bigger deal than you might think!
-rabbits, no matter their size, need a LOT more room than a guinea pig. Ideally, a large x pen (think dog kennel) is great for their "home" but they need to run too daily.
-rat chewing does not compare to rabbit chewing. You can lose numerous electrical cords in a few hours. A table leg can be chewed to nothing in a few hours, they can chew the corner drywall off a wall! They can dig holes in your carpet in places you don't see like under beds or chairs. They are natural burrowers. Seriously
-rabbits generally don't like to be held as much as pigs do
-rabbits can live 14 yrs. that is LONG time and if you're planning on going to college or moving, will your rabbit have a home?

Im not trying to say rabbits are a bad idea but they are a lot more work IMO, and since I work at a rabbit shelter, we have people CONSTANTLY surrending their rabbits because they had no idea the level of work they are. It's a sad truth.
I already got my rabbit, and honestly I would rather vacuum poops daily and clean the litter box daily than deal with bulky pee soaked liners. and doing their laundry.

I am 24 ... if I go to college its going to be online, I am in a longterm relationship and in a home. If we move the rabbit(s) would come with us ... Just like the cat and dog.

Hair everywhere is not a big deal in our home, My terrier is a wirehair and sheds NON-STOP lol. and it CLINGS .. and that doesn't bother me.

I have two 4x4 pens. That I hope to someday make into an 8x8 pen PLUS roam time.
I am actually using the hay bag I bought for the guinea pigs for my rabbit, he is not an avid chewer so its working great his hay stays clean and its still hung above his litter box so we get the same benefits.

Also that chewing would only happen if you let them in a place where they have access to cords. I have no intention of letting him anywhere he can reach cords. also " a few hours"? Why would I ever leave him alone for a few hours? :( Especially in a place with cords or other things he could be hurt on.

My rabbit boy was bred by a breeder who breeds for temperament as well as show quality. My boy is a show reject. but he is a lovely little guy. Its really a matter of finding the right pet for you.
Cords? Don't forget about the drywall. And the baseboards. And the furniture legs. And the corners of the cabinets.
Their pen is 2 inches away from the wall on any side. and with supervision how could the rabbit even chew on these things more than a nibble?

Also every rabbit ... every ANIMAL is different.
I have both a rabbit and guinea pig! I have a mini holland lop and him and my guinea pig, Trixie, get along great! He is super gentle with her and they will play. I did get my rabbit neutered due to the fact that males do have an odor but neutering has other benefits such as less aggression and they won't spray. Neither of my animals put off a smell and they are perfectly happy together. They got along even before my rabbit was neutered. And my rabbit is litter box trained. When im home he's out and stays out the whole day and just hops back in his cage when he needs to do his business.

Harvey, my rabbit, is crazy sweet and has never been standoffish to me. He comes when I sit down on the floor and loves to be petted and rubbed. I've even taught him a few tricks like how to give kisses and stand on his back legs for a treat.
@kmearsss It is NOT recommended to keep rabbits and guinea pigs together. Although they may seem fine all it takes is one kick from a rabbit to break a guinea pig spine. Even if the rabbit is small, he is a lot stronger than the pig. Not only is there a threat for injuries, rabbits can pass on bordatella and pasturella to the guinea pig. I strongly suggest you do not house them together and you do not allow them to interact with each other.
@sallyvh I don't house them together, they are in totally seperate cages
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