Do Guinea Pigs Get Along with Hamsters? (Can They Live Together?)

Perhaps you have a guinea pig and want to get your piggy a hamster, so they aren’t lonely. They are both small, fluffy creatures, but could they form a friendship? Is a hamster a good companion for a guinea pig? What happens if you put them together? Do guinea pigs get along with hamsters?

Guinea pigs do not get along with hamsters. Guinea pigs are social animals, while hamsters are solitary and territorial. Hamsters have different diets, cages, bedding requirements, and temperaments that can put guinea pigs in danger if placed in the same environment. 

Guinea pigs and hamsters should not be placed together due to their personalities and the territorial nature of hamsters. Keep reading to learn more about why guinea pigs and hamsters shouldn’t live together and what other animals can keep your guinea pig company.

Why Shouldn’t Guinea Pigs and Hamsters Live Together? 

Guinea pigs and hamsters may have similarities, but their differences prevent them from getting along. 

Guinea pigs and hamsters are different species with very different dietary needs, personalities and temperaments, cage requirements, and sleeping habits.  

Dietary Needs of Hamsters and Guinea Pigs

Both guinea pigs and hamsters love to eat pellets and fresh vegetables, but they need specific food to get the correct diet. 

It is also important to note that guinea pigs are herbivores, so they only eat plants. Hamsters are omnivores, in which they may eat insects and plant-based food. Hamsters also eat nuts and seeds, which pose a choking risk to guinea pigs.

Here are the main differences in diet between guinea pigs and hamsters. 

Dietary Requirements for Guinea Pigs and Hamsters
Guinea PigsHamsters
Hay, grass, leaves, fruits, and vegetablesNuts, seeds, and crunchy foods
Foods high in vitamin CInsects
Foods with high levels of fiber

Unlike hamsters, guinea pigs cannot produce their own vitamin C and need foods to supplement and prevent them from getting scurvy

Hamsters do not need foods rich in vitamin C, so if your guinea pig eats hamster food, they will not receive the nutrients they need. This could result in lethargy, internal bleeding, diarrhea, and even death. 

Guinea pigs also need high levels of fiber to prevent their teeth from overgrowing. While hamsters, too, need fiber, they don’t require as much and are often given nuts, seeds, and other crunchy food.

These foods are unnecessary in a guinea pig’s diet. Guinea pigs can choke on anything crunchy, especially seeds and nuts or hamster food. 

The difference in diet alone should be enough to explain why guinea pigs don’t get along with hamsters, but temperament and personality also play a huge role. 

Temperament and Behavior

While guinea pigs and hamsters are rodents and make excellent pets, they have incredibly different personalities and behaviors. 

Guinea pigs are social animals that enjoy interaction with others, while hamsters are solitary, territorial creatures that could get aggressive if placed around other animals. 

Here are some more differences in the temperament and behavior of hamsters and guinea pigs. 

Behavior and Temperament of Guinea Pigs and Hamsters
Guinea PigsHamsters
Need hiding placesNeed a running wheel
Active during the day and nightActive at night
Enjoy tunnelingEnjoy burrowing
Sleep for short periodsSleep for long periods
Can get lonelyTerritorial
Enjoys being in close proximity to other piggiesCan be aggressive

Guinea pigs are extremely social and need to interact with other animals or even people. Guinea pigs rarely bite and prefer to avoid confrontation.

Hamsters are more solitary and have a different sleeping schedule than guinea pigs, which can, in turn, make them aggressive toward your guinea pig, especially if they are sharing a living space. 

Hamsters are also protective of their food and will become aggressive to protect it, which can potentially injure guinea pigs and prevent them from getting a balanced diet.

In addition, hamsters thrive with wheels to run on and enjoy climbing. Guinea pigs cannot climb and they can injure themselves in exercise balls or running wheels.


Guinea pigs are social and often thrive living in pairs, while hamsters enjoy having their own space. 

Hamsters are incredibly territorial and can become aggressive when placed near another animal. This can be traumatic to your guinea pig, as the hamster may bite the piggie, leading to serious injuries. 

Cage Size and Bedding

Guinea pigs and hamsters also require different bedding and types of cages, making living together difficult. 

Here are the main differences between guinea pigs and hamsters’ cage and bedding requirements. 

Cage/Bedding Requirements of Guinea Pigs and Hamsters
Guinea PigsHamsters
Cage size 28” x 56” Cage size 40” x 20”
Fleece or shavingsAspen wood shavings
Bedding depth of 2-3”Bedding depth of 10”
Paper towel or paper based beddingPelleted/shredded paper litter

Guinea pigs require a bigger cage and different setups for bedding. Guinea pigs also don’t need a lid on their cage and require more ventilation on all sides of the cage. This makes their living spaces incompatible with each other. 

Sleeping Habits

Another reason guinea pigs and hamsters don’t get along is their sleeping schedule. 

Guinea pigs are not nocturnal and instead sleep for short periods throughout the day and night, typically for 10-30 minutes at a time. 

Hamsters need uninterrupted sleep throughout the day and scheduled light patterns. They also sometimes partially hibernate in the winter, only waking up to eat.

Guinea pigs do not hibernate or sleep for longer periods, so they would be constantly disturbing the sleep of a hamster. Any hamster would be irritated by a guinea pig waking him up throughout the day, so it’s best to keep them separated to avoid aggression.

Can Guinea Pigs and Hamsters Play Together? 

Due to the territorial and solitary nature of hamsters, guinea pigs cannot play with them. Hamsters often interpret the friendly nature of a guinea pig as an intrusion of their personal space, leading to aggression toward the piggy. 

Even if it is short, it doesn’t take long for a hamster to get agitated, leading to anxiety, stress, and, ultimately, fights. 

Can Hamsters Hurt Guinea Pigs?

Hamsters have sharp teeth and strong jaws. If provoked or a guinea pig invades their personal space, they may become aggressive and potentially hurt the guinea pig by biting. 

This aggressiveness would ultimately lead to stress and anxiety for the guinea pig, which is detrimental to their overall happiness. 

What Animals Can Live With Guinea Pigs? 

So guinea pigs can’t live with hamsters, but that doesn’t mean they should live alone! Guinea pigs are social animals and benefit from living in pairs. 

And although you may think a different type of animal will make them feel more comfortable, the best buddy of a guinea pig is another guinea pig. 

Final Thoughts

While you may consider getting a hamster to give your sweet piggy company, these two animals do not get along well. Hamsters are aggressive and territorial, which can hurt your guinea pig. Plus, they have different diets and behaviors. So if you want a friend for your sweet piggie, your best bet is to get another guinea pig.

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