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Introductions What Should I Expect?


Well-known Member
Cavy Slave
Mar 27, 2012
Hi! This is my first thread here. Yahoo!

Anyway, I just recently got a piggie. He's about two months old, I think, but he may be closer to three. Anyway, I've had him for three days. In two days I'm going to pick up his (hopefully) forever friend! The new pig is a year old, and from what I've been told by his (soon to be former) mom, he's very calm and purrs a lot. I plan on introducing them, but I have some questions:

How should I treat the new pig?
When should I introduce them?
When will the new pig warm up to me (and for that matter, when will the pig I have fully warm up to me)?

Basically, I know how to introduce the two pigs, but that's about it.
Thanks for any advice you'd like to give me!
How should I treat the new pig?

I'm not sure what you mean by how you should "treat" the new pig.

When should I introduce them?

Introduce in neutral territory, after 21 days of quarantine in separate rooms.

When will the new pig warm up to me (and for that matter, when will the pig I have fully warm up to me)?

Depends on the pig. Most pigs take weeks to warm up to new owners, some take months. To them, we are giant predators and until they know we aren't out to hurt them, they will hide from us and be afraid of us.
What I mean by treating is, how long should I give him before I try taking him out, getting close to the cage, etc. I've lived with most other rodent species before but as I am finding out, guinea pigs are radically different.

Also, by separate rooms, do you mean cages or completely different areas of the house?
Make your own judgments about how well your pigs react to you; if they seem comfortable with being petted, then good. If they stay skittish for a while, perhaps leave them be and try again some other time. Overloading them with attention and attempts at holding isn't going to help them warm up to you any faster. Remember to have something tasty to feed them when you pick them up. Also, keep their cages higher off the ground, on a table or something. You're less intimidating when you're not so high up to them.

As for quarantining, the official recommendation is three weeks of complete separation (as in, different rooms of the house, not different cages of the same room), although some degree of personal judgment is also reasonable in this situation. If you know where the pig is coming from and are certain that it's in good health (preferably with a vet's assurance), you can probably introduce them earlier than that. Quarantining is basically to ensure that neither pig has any sort of illness that they could transfer to the other pig.

When it comes to the actual introduction, let them meet somewhere neutral, like on the floor on freshly cleaned sheets, with plenty of room to walk around. They'll establish dominance, and there will likely be some fighting. Resist the urge to interrupt them unless there is blood being drawn or fur ripped out; this is normal behavior. Eventually they'll figure it out. Let them play around on the floor for a couple hours and get used to each other before putting them together in a cage. The cage should preferably be brand new, and of course large enough for both (ideally at least 2x4 grids). If it's not brand new, at least wash it out while they're on the floor to make it smell as neutral as possible.
So, with the pig I have now, avoid handling until he allows me to pet him in the cage?
Just don't force it too much. Our older pig always runs from our hands, but once we catch her and pick her up, she calms down. Just know when to retreat, especially if she starts chattering or trying to bite.
If you don't handle him, he may never allow you to pet him in the cage. Catch him by shooing him gently into a box, put him in your lap and give him goodies. Be very patient and calm, but handle him frequently, and he'll get used to you.
Yes, I agree. Most pigs will never allow you to pet them while in their cages. I like to think of it as their home, and so don't mess with them while in there.
Our pigs come to the side of the cage for attention. They get brief but gentle reminder everytime we come near the cage that hands are O.K. We try to stop while they still want more to make sure each 'sesssion' ends on a positive note. It took time but they now both enjoy being touched, even in their cage.
Update- right now Mochi (cavy) and I are having lap time with piano music. He's wheeking along to his favorites and purring when he gets petted. I teared up...I'm in love.
Awww that's a great feeling, eh? Or when they finally feel comfortable enough with you to stretch out on your lap.
Yeah, he was all cuddled up in a pair of my fuzzy pajama pants and he looked like he was about to fall asleep! Then he got slightly antsy and I wasn't sure why until he peed on me...lol! Now I know his "gotta go mom" signs! <3
Oh my gosh! Ever since laptime he's almost like an entirely different pig! He's scurrying around wheeking, wheeked a whole bunch when his hay got refilled, and he seems so full of life all of a sudden!
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