Do Guinea Pigs and Hamsters Get Along {Can They Live Together?}

Are you considering putting Guinea pigs and Hamsters together?

Can these two pets get along? Or will they fight to the death?

Here, I’ll teach you everything you need to know.

Do Guinea Pigs and Hamsters Get Along

Guinea pigs and Hamsters don’t get along and putting them in the same cage isn’t a good idea. They differ in their territorial habits, instincts, and nutrition. Thus, they can’t get along.

Can Guinea Pigs and Hamsters Live Together?

Guinea pigs and hamsters can’t live together. Although they are both beautiful little pets, they have different body sizes, behaviour, and social habits.

These and some other factors are why they are incompatible to live together.

Hamsters and Guinea pigs are both rodents but belong to different families and are different species. The former belongs to the Cricetidae family, while the latter belongs to the Caviidae family.

Keeping two rodents like this of different families and species in the same cage might result in issues and consistent conflict.

Many people believe that guinea pigs and hamsters should live together since they’re both rodents. Unfortunately, that is not true.

These two pets might look alike, but they differ a lot. The following are some of the reasons why you shouldn’t put hamsters and guinea pigs together:

  • Behavioral differences
  • Conflict over food
  • Different body and cage size
  • Different sleeping routine
  • Different toy requirements

Behavioral Differences

If you put two humans with different attitudes in the same room, there’s the possibility of having an “everyday conflict” because they aren’t compatible even though they are both humans.

It is the same when it comes to hamsters and Guinea pigs.

They are rodents, but their behavior differs; thus, they are incompatible to live together. Hamsters are hostile, while guinea pigs are calm. The hamster’s hostility might be incompatible with the quiet and sedentary personality of guinea pigs, resulting in conflict.

Conflict Over Food

Hamsters and Guinea pigs might fight over food or space when kept together. Such physical conflict isn’t fair, considering their size differences. Being the more miniature pet hamster might end up injured.

Moreover, rodents like to hoard food; hence, if you put these little pets in the same cage, they might have problems hoarding food in their desired corners. Such discomfort might result in conflict.

Therefore, it isn’t a good idea to make guinea pigs and hamsters live together.

Different Cage Size

Guinea pigs are larger animals than Hamsters. Therefore, they require different cage sizes. Keeping Guinea pigs in a small cage meant for hamsters might spell discomfort, which isn’t suitable for your beautiful pet.

To find out more about guinea pig cages for hamsters, please take a look at this helpful article. 

Different Sleeping Routine

Hamsters are nocturnal animals; therefore, they sleep during the day and active at night. Guinea pigs, on the other hand, are diurnal; hence, they are more active during the day than at night. Should the two animals live together, they’ll interfere with each other’s sleeping routine.

Hamster might be active and run around while Guinea pig tries to sleep and the guinea pig might also run around while the hamster tries to sleep. This may alter their sleeping routine, resulting in conflict. It may also result in stress or complicated health problems that might eventually cause early death.

Different Toy Requirements

Hamsters need wheels to exercise, but Guinea pigs don’t. If the two pets live together and the Guinea pig tries to play with the hamster’s small wheel, it might break its back or break the wheel.

Thus, these two animals are incompatible and can’t stay together.

Do Guinea Pigs and Hamsters Have Similar Needs?

Guinea pigs and Hamsters are different animals of different species; hence, they have different needs. They require different cage sizes and different meal types. You also have to clean piggies’ cages more often than Hamsters’.

Although these beautiful pets both require fresh food and water, plus lots of playtime and attention, they also have ample dissimilar needs.

For instance, hamsters can do well in a smaller cage or even small aquariums. Guinea pigs, on the other hand, need something larger.

They live well in larger cages, especially if they’re in pairs. Such a cage allows them to explore a larger area since it is what they like.

Both pets require exercise to stay healthier, and an exercise wheel is enough for hamsters in this regard. However, Guinea pigs play with toys as well but need something more for exercise.

They need some time outside their cage to stretch their legs and explore a larger area.

Doing so will make them healthier and happier. More so, being a larger animal, guinea pigs require a more frequent nail trim.

Their nutritional needs differ as well. Guinea pigs are herbivores; thus, they need basic diets such as hay and fresh water.

They also need fresh vegetables like red leaf lettuce, bell peppers, and cucumber. Hamsters, on the other hand, are omnivores. Hence, they can eat plants and insects.

Unlike guinea pigs, Hamsters can survive on different kinds of foods, including grains, nuts, seeds, fruits, insects, and vegetables.

Can a Hamster and a Guinea Pig Mate?

Hamster and Guinea pigs cannot mate because they are rodents of different species. The Guinea pig has a larger body mass than the Hamster; thus, any attempt of a male Guinea pig to mate a female Hamster might result in severe injury or death of the Hamster.

Besides the larger body mass, Guinea pigs and Hamsters will not agree to be in the same cage, not to mention mating.

For mating to occur between two animals, they must first have a mutual relationship and be willing to stay together. That is not the case with these two rodents.

Once you put them together, it only takes a few minutes, or maybe immediately in some cases, for conflict to erupt between them.

With such incompatibility, behavioral differences, and intolerance, there can be no intimate relationship; therefore, these two rodents cannot mate.

Can a Hamster Kill a Guinea Pig?

Hamsters can kill guinea pigs if left together for long. The former is endowed with sharp teeth and strong jaws, which they can use to inflict injury on the latter. Complications from such injury might eventually result in death.

Although hamsters are smaller animals than guinea pigs, they have two incredible features that could make them kill the other rodent — aggressiveness and sharp teeth with strong Jaws.

With their hostility, hamsters can quickly lose patience.

Some Hamster species have this “fight to death” ideology which they display towards other species, and guinea pigs aren’t an exemption in this regard.

With such ideology, coupled with their sharp teeth and strong jaw, Hamsters can kill guinea pigs by inflicting severe injury. With such injury, the giant pet will be weakened, and the little one can inflict more harm until it eventually dies.

What Lives Longer a Guinea Pig or Hamster?

Guinea pigs have a longer lifespan than Hamsters. The former has an average lifespan of seven years, while the average lifespan for the latter is 2.5 years. Therefore, guinea pigs’ average life span is about three times that of Hamsters.

Guinea pig is one of the rodents with the longest lifespan. Some species of these little pets can live up to double digits; hence, if you’re planning to adopt this beautiful pet, you should be ready for a long-term commitment.

On the other hand, hamsters only live a few years, usually between 2 and 2.5 years.

However, some factors might shorten the lifespan of a guinea pig, such as poor diet, sickness, unhygienic environment, unclean water, etc. These same factors also apply to hamsters.

Therefore, to ensure that your beautiful pet lives to the fullest, you should provide them with their essential nutrients through foods and supplements.

Keeping their home clean and ensuring they engage in regular exercise can help as well. More so, you may want to consider providing ample enough living space for your guinea pigs. Doing so can help to prolong their lifespan.

Can You Keep a Hamster in a Guinea Pig Cage?

You cannot keep a hamster in a guinea pig cage because a guinea pig cage has a larger space through which your little Hammie can escape.

It might get stuck in the large space, and that might inflict injury to your beautiful little pet.

Guinea pigs are larger pets, so is their cage and the space in it. When you keep your little Hammie in such a cage, it might escape, and could fall a great distance to the floor and you might not find your beautiful pet again.

However, It may be unsafe to keep hamsters in a guinea pig cage, but you can convert the cage to accommodate a hamster.

All you have to do in this regard is to cover the cage with wires or mesh. That will help to cover up the large space between the rods that makes up the cage. You can then safely keep your hamster in it.

Hamsters will feel more comfortable in such a cage than the small-sized one meant for them. The larger cage means they can run around, climb, and hide as they desire.

What Smells Worse a Hamster or a Guinea Pig?

Hamsters smell worse than guinea pigs. However, this doesn’t mean the pet naturally stinks. Instead, it means that its urine and poops stink more than that of guinea pigs.

The foul smell of hamsters poops and urine is primarily due to the kind of foods they eat. They are omnivores and have ample option of meals to eat.

Guinea pigs, on the other hand, are herbivores; thus, they only take simple meals such as vegetables. Such meals digest quickly, with minor odor.

Since Hamsters consume more complex food that requires more digestion time, their poops and urine tend to stink more.

This is why many refer to them as one of the smelliest pets, but the animal itself doesn’t stink; their environment does.

Do Guinea Pigs and Hamsters Fight?

Yes. They are likely to fight if you try to run an ill advised and dangerous experiment of putting them together. A hamster wishes to keep their territory to themselves. They can live most of their lives in solitary and will wish to retreat.

If you leave a hamster without an option to escape from a guinea pig in an enclosed space, what do you think will happen? I have never tried this, but if the hamster cannot find a hiding space, they may have to instigate some form of aggressiveness.

A guinea pig should win the battle of size and weight over panic and stress from the hamster. They do not get along together and should never be put in a situation where a fight could break out between them.

Not only is the fight risky, you are also creating mental or emotional trauma that may reduce their chances of bonding with you or living stress free lives.

Can a Guinea Pig Kill a Hamster?

Have you ever watched a popular television program where they theoretically and scientifically pit one animal with another in a death match such as a tiger and shark? What about a hippo and a whale? How about a lemur against a fox?

What they do is evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of either animal and decide on the possible outcome of a potential winner. This is purely theory and never a reality.

Pitting together a guinea pig and a hamster in a fight should be treated as such. You would compare their size and strength and decide that a guinea pig has the capability of killing a hamster.

You then move on from this theory and continue being more practical and realistic about caring for each animal’s individual needs. Let’s start with the first lesson: do not keep a hamster and a guinea pig together.

Can Guinea Pigs and Hamsters Play Together?

No. A guinea pig and a hamster do not play together. The number one reason why this is a bad idea is because a hamster enjoys living a solitary life. They see the world as full of threats. They prefer to find a hideout and privacy to retreat and feel safe.

Never will a hamster feel completely safe around a larger guinea pig unless you are a master of creating unlikely social bonds between two very different animals with exact opposite tendencies.

Guinea pigs could be more docile as they enjoy being social, but a hamster would have to match that docility to engage with a larger counterpart in a very safe setting under your supervision.

If you are able to prove an exception to this widely agreed notion that they will not get along together, you can create a video and show the world that anything is possible.

However, we do not advise this because experience and literature backed by science regarding their behavioural patterns suggest that hamsters and guinea pigs should not be kept together.


My name is Anna and I work full time in my local pet shop where we sell many animals that I write about on this site. I love all animals and love writing about them.