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Guinea Pig Bonding: A Step-By-Step Guide

guinea pig bonding

Sometimes you don’t realize just how much you love guinea pigs until you fall head over heels in love with that first one. You get a best furry friend and then later realize there’s more love to go around. And you want to give your guinea pig a friend. But then you realize guinea pig bonding is a process!

There are a lot of things you can do to set yourself up for success during this transition period. So let’s get into the process and share some of our best tips for growing your furry family! 

Saskia is talking about growing your guinea pig family on YouTube!

How To Choose Your Next Family Member

Before you get started with any guinea pig bonding, you need to make sure you’re working with the same gender. We don’t want any accidental breeding going on. So if you have a male then you’re looking for a male companion and vice versa. 

It’s also helpful to find one dominant guinea pig with another subordinate guinea pig when guinea pig bonding. This way they can create a hierarchy without any aggression. If you don’t know the guinea pigs’ personalities then sometimes an older guinea pig with a younger guinea pig can help create this dynamic. 

guinea pig bonding

If you don’t have any guinea pigs yet, it’s best to get multiple cavies together from the same place. This makes transitioning to a new home much easier and you have guinea pigs that already know each other. 

But if you didn’t want to dive head first and get two from the start, you can still have a successful family with guinea pig bonding! 

Guinea Pig Bonding Step By Step

When it comes to guinea pig bonding there’s no reason to rush. Slow and steady wins the race. Have everyone settle in and let the friendship happen on its own terms. Guinea pig bonding is a bit like guinea pig dating! 


When you first get a new guinea pig many parents will quarantine the new cavy, just in case they have any illness that could spread to your other cavies. This would take 2-3 weeks prior to guinea pig bonding. 

Split Cage

Some people choose to introduce their cavies by setting up their enclosures right next to each other with just a panel to separate them. This way they can get used to seeing each other and smelling each other before their official meeting.

Meeting in Neutral Territory

Some people skip right to this stage of guinea pig bonding. This is where you put both guinea pigs in neutral territory with you as a buffer. A neutral territory is one where your first guinea pig hasn’t claimed as their own yet. 

It’s best if you can have someone help you so that you can each hold a guinea pig. You can even wrap them up in a towel to help them feel safe. Then just hang out and let the guinea pigs find each other. 

Make the meeting a fun one with some treats to share. This might encourage them to start exploring as well. Just don’t interfere too much with the process. Be available for your guinea pig to come back to for comfort but don’t be too much of a third wheel on this date! 

Give your guinea pigs multiple opportunities to meet in neutral territory. Provide some toys and chews for them to explore together.

Once you see your guinea pigs grooming each other this means they have accepted each other! Guinea pig bonding success! 

Don’t rush the meetings. Sit down with everyone when you can dedicate at least an hour to supervising the guinea pig bonding date. You need to have time to let everything play out. 

Depending on the guinea pigs and how outgoing they are, it may take many dates before they really get a feel for each other.

Moving to The Cage

When you move guinea pigs to the cage, things will seem chaotic at first. There will be more chasing and a little more settling to do. Keep a close eye on them while still letting them do their thing! 

It can be stressful as you try and figure out how everything is going while guinea pig bonding. But don’t worry. Give it a few days or a few weeks and eventually they will be inseparable buds. 

Make sure your enclosure is large enough to house all your cavies! If there’s not enough space for everyone, your guinea pigs are more likely to step on each other's toes. For 2 guinea pigs, you want a minimum of 10.5 square feet of space.

Bigger is always better if your space allows it!

You also want to have hideouts so that your guinea pigs have a space to retreat to when they’re stressed. A proper setup with plenty of hay, hideouts, and toys will do wonders in making sure move-in day goes well! 

Common Behaviors When Introducing Guinea Pigs

While observing your two new friends, it’s normal to get nervous and wonder if you should separate them again. Here are some common guinea pig bonding behaviors that just mean your guinea pigs are having a conversation and finding out who’s who.

guinea pig bonding

It’s normal for one cavy to show they are the boss and the other to submit. A fight only happens when they both think they are the dominant one. 


  • Butt sniffing
  • Chasing
  • Butt dragging
  • Mounting
  • Nose face-offs (the lower nose is the subordinate cavy)
  • Small amounts of teeth chattering can be a sign of dominance
  • Raised hackles (hair on the back of the neck and along the spine)
  • Nips
  • Big yawns 
  • Snorting
  • Small amounts of teeth chattering can be a sign of dominance

Aggressive Behaviors When Guinea Pig Bonding

  • Lounging with intent to harm the other cavy
  • Loud teeth chattering with raised hackles could happen right before a bite attack or they could back down before it starts.
  • Both pigs stand up and neither back down. This is what happens right before a fight so try and separate them! 
  • If the guinea pigs engage in a full battle you need to separate them safely using either an oven mitt or a dust pan. Something to protect your hands. They have sharp teeth!

When Things Don’t Go Well With Guinea Pig Bonding

If you find you need to separate the two guinea pigs, you can certainly try again later. If you jumped right to the neutral territory stage then try giving them some time in a split cage. If multiple attempts to connect them end badly, then it's possible that these two guinea pigs just weren’t meant to be.

Guinea Pigs Love To Live Together

Guinea pigs are very social animals. Once you have two or more guinea pigs bonded then you shouldn’t separate them. Having their bonded family around keeps them feeling relaxed and safe. 

guinea pig bonding

It’s great if guinea pigs get a chance to bond with other guinea pigs early in life. There are social skills they need to develop that help them fall into place with other cavies. Together a herd of guinea pigs create a pecking order where they all know where they belong. 

It’s best to always plan on having at least two guinea pigs. They get very lonely on their own and you may see a whole new side to them when they get to have company. Their personality really comes out!


We are not veterinarians, and none of our information should be construed as veterinary advice.


Before adding any new product, please consult your exotic veterinarian. If your pet is acting unwell and you have concerns for their well being, please contact your vet immediately.

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