Hamsters and Guinea Pigs – Can They Live Together?

If you are looking for a small, furry pet, then hamsters and Guinea pigs are two obvious choices. Each of them has its pros and cons depending on your preferences and available time to take care of your pet.

You might be wondering if you could keep both of them together. After all, they are both rodents, so they might interact and socialize with each other.

Unfortunately, hamsters and guinea pigs are very different furries, and housing them together is a big no. This also applies to sharing a play space and cage.

Not because there is something wrong with one of them, but because of their different personalities, needs, and preferences, among other reasons.

5 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Keep Hamsters and Guinea Pigs Together

These don’t get along well and are incompatible in many ways, as you will down below.

– Size Difference

Guinea pigs are much bigger and heavier than hamsters, meaning that the former requires more space than hamsters. Typically, a fully grown hamster will have a size of 2-6 inches (5-15 cm), while adult guinea pigs usually grow to about 8-12 inches (20-30 cm) in size.

Besides this, hamsters only weigh around 1 – 10 oz, while guinea pigs weigh about 1.5 – 2.6 lb. Typically, one to guinea pigs will need a minimum of 7.5 square feet of living space.

In other words, they require a roomier enclosure to enable them to exercise on their schedule. Besides this, guinea pigs have much larger and sharper teeth.

– Feeding Problem

One thing that these two pets share is that they munch on fresh food. Unfortunately, it can be a challenge to feed them together. Given that guinea pigs are much bigger, they consume more food than hamsters.

They also tend to poop more than hamsters, so you need to spot clean their cage regularly. You don’t want to feed them together because hamsters will feel denied because they eat in small pieces. You see, guinea pigs cannot carry food around. They tend to wolf their food in one go, then wheel for more.

– Guinea Pigs will Chase the Hamsters

Generally, guinea pigs are more sociable and they enjoy living in a herd with other guinea pigs and even other similar animals. They need a constant connection. Hamsters are more solitary and quieter, so they aren’t fussed about hanging with anyone.

In fact, they can feel as being disturbed or threatened when placed with friendly animals. As you would expect, the guinea pigs will likely disturb their peace given that they are more playful and expressive than hamsters. And because of their big size, guinea pigs will scare away the hamsters, causing more stress.

– Guinea Pigs Are Very Territorial

Both of these species are territorial in their own right. They want to claim their own space. Hamsters, specifically, are more aggressive, even to other hamsters, let alone other species.

So, the idea of adding a larger animal in one space is unimaginable. Expect the hamster to be a bit hostile towards the other species and they also fight each other. Guinea pigs are also hostile, and since they are bigger, they will retaliate, attack, and fight the hamsters.

– Activity Difference

Hamsters are generally nocturnal, meaning they are less active during the day. On the other hand, guinea pigs are diurnal, meaning they sleep most of the night and active during the day. As you can imagine, one will be sleeping while the other is active, which is a huge obstacle to keep them in the same cage.

Besides this, these two small pets love to keep their own corners, be it sleeping or personal space. So, you could imagine if the furries fight over a corner?

Can Hamsters and Guinea Pigs Breed?

The short answer is that guinea pigs and hamsters cannot breed. While they both belong to the rodent family, they are two different species. So, it is technically impossible for the two don’t mate.

Their offspring are also very different. Hamsters’ offspring are born without hair and sight. Guinea pigs, on the other hand, give birth to pups with a full set of teeth, hair, and eyes wide open.

Can a Guinea Pig Kill a Hamster?

Neither of the two pets enjoys anywhere nearly larger pets, such as dogs and cats. The bigger pets can cause damage to the smaller pets. Likewise, when a guinea pig and a hamster are kept in the same cage, the latter will be at a disadvantage because of its size.

Theoretically, because of their large size, guinea pigs can potentially harm hamsters. But it is also uncommon for the risk being revered. One of the advantages that might save hamsters from being killed by guinea pigs is that they are good climbers while guinea pigs are not.

Guinea Pig or Hamster: Which is a Better Pet?

As you can see, guinea pigs are nothing like hamsters. Ultimately, the pet you choose is merely based on personal preferences. While they differ in many ways, they also have some similarities.

Generally, guinea pigs are great pets but they require a lot of care. So, they are better for older children and adults. It is ideal for anyone who has the time to take care of guinea pigs for their entire life span, which is usually 7 – 10 years.

Other than these, guinea pigs are delicate creatures that require a lot of cleaning and feeding, space. Generally, most people who have guinea pigs are happy with their experience.

Hamsters are very small and can bond strongly with their owners. Contrary to guinea pigs, hamsters have a shorter lifespan. With good care, they can live up to 2-3 years.

They don’t require a lot of space, but they need a lot of attention from their owners and don’t like to be woken during daylight hours since they are nocturnal.


While hamsters and guinea pigs are small furries with almost a similar appearance, they are quite different in many ways. Forcing a friendship between the two is likely to lead to trouble. One of them will be injured.

The safest pet if you want to keep both of them is to set aside separate spaces. Irrespective of which of these two pets you will choose, it is advisable to not leave look after it as a family.

Do not leave the main responsibility for looking after a pet to a child.

avatar Jane
Jane is an experienced animal care specialist with a focus on rodents and small mammals, with over 10 years of experience in the pet industry. Her articles provide practical guidance on choosing the right pet and managing common health issues. Jane is an advocate for animal welfare and supports organizations dedicated to protecting wildlife. read more...

Questions and Answers

ruth soppe March 6, 2021 Reply

My grandaughter has multiple health problems which keep her confined to her apt. She has raised several Guinea pigs and has another at the present time, these little animals have been a literal life brightner for her & a great help coping with her mental issues.

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