Guinea pig vs. rabbit: which is the better pet for you? Both of these furry pets charmed many pet owners. But if you want to know which is an ideal pet for you, we help you decide. This blog post tackles the pros and cons of having rabbits and guinea pigs. Continue reading to discover if a guinea pig or rabbit is your next pet!

guinea pig vs. rabbit

Guinea Pig vs. Rabbit: Which is more costly?


First, we have to check the price of acquiring guinea pigs. The average cost of a guinea pig ranges between $25 and $50. However, the price may vary depending on the breed and the location where you will buy the pet. American guinea pig costs about $25, while you can buy Peruvian guinea pig for about $40. Meanwhile, a long-haired Alapaca is about $45 and $50 for an Abyssinian guinea pig.

For the initial set-up cost, you have to prepare at least $500. The price of the guinea pig’s cage often costs $100 upwards to $400 for a deluxe pen. On the other hand, you must spend at least $85 to $100 for bedding for a few months. You also have to spend on its accessories such as the water bottle, hay rack, pet carrier, and more. Overall, the accessories often exceed $150.

But how much will it cost you to keep guinea pigs? Although guinea pigs are small furry pets, you may have to spend close to $1000 or more each year.  Maybe you are wondering why. Here is a breakdown. Since guinea pigs have large appetites, you must spend at least $800 for the food. Their bedding expenses can range between $85 to $100 a year. On the other hand, health is about $300, including check-ups, insurance, and dental work.

Of course, you might be able to reduce these costs by buying a used pen and buying the food supplies in bulk. If you do choose to buy a used pen and supplies, be sure to disinfect it completely before using it. 


Rabbits can be more costly…or not


Now, it is time to compare the price of guinea pig vs. rabbit. A rabbit’s price may depend on its breed, age, or source. It may cost you about $25 to $80 each. Some young pets may cost $10 to $20, while slightly older rabbits might cost a little more. We are assuming you want a pet rabbit, but if you decide to purchase a show quality, you might expect to pay much more, perhaps even over $100.

Next, let’s check the initial set-up cost of a rabbit. Rabbit supplies may cost you at least $300. If your bunny is staying with you indoors, you have to spend on making your home rabbit-proof. You have to buy wire covers, plastic mats, fencing cubes, and scratching mats. You might spend as much as $50 to $100  to make your house rabbit-proof.

In terms of yearly expenses, you may spend over $500 yearly for food, toys, and litter. Aside from that, spaying or neutering surgery may cost over $100, depending on your vet. An annual wellness exam may cost $75 to $200. There are also emergency costs that you have to pay throughout the year. It may range between $300 and $2,500. However, a small rabbit finds happiness in a smaller pen and needs less food. When you are considering a budget, a smaller rabbit or a guinea pig might prove more budget-friendly.

Of course, just as with the guinea pig, you might save a lot of the initial investment by purchasing a used pen and supplies. Rabbit food and hay costs much less when purchased in larger quantities. You might find a friend to share a bulk purchase with.

When it comes to the overall expenses, rabbits and guinea pigs often cost about the same. While we provided a range of prices for your initial purchase, keep in mind that you might find your pet at the local animal shelter. Sometimes people have a pet that needs a good home for less or even free, too. These animals need good homes, too, so don’t hesitate to look for that bunny in need!

a rabbit with two guinea pigs

Guinea pig vs. rabbit: Which is easier to feed?


In this section, we will learn which pet is easier to feed: a guinea pig or rabbit. Since both are herbivores, rabbits and guinea pigs have almost the same diet! Like rabbits, guinea pigs need an unlimited supply of hay. However, these furry pets need enough vitamin C since they don’t produce it.

When choosing a commercial pellet, it must be C-fortified with no added dried fruits and seeds. But Vitamin C quickly degrades, so guinea pigs need fruit or vegetables rich in this vitamin. You must also feed it with Timothy hay to aid its digestion and help trim its teeth. Some vegetables for guinea pigs are cilantro, kale, and romaine lettuce. Broccoli and green pepper are also good sources of vitamins. Although carrots and zucchini are nutritious, they must be given to a guinea pig at least once or twice a week.

Our guinea pigs loved their oranges and squealed with delight when they saw them coming. The vitamin C in oranges, strawberries, and kiwi fruit kept them healthy and happy.

Similar to rabbits, fruits must be given to guinea pigs occasionally. Feeding them plenty of fruits may lead to diarrhea. Orange, apples, blueberries, and bananas can be given to them in small portions. Fruits high in vitamin C, like strawberries and kiwis, are recommended.


On the contrary, rabbits don’t require extra vitamin C!


Unlike guinea pigs, rabbits can produce vitamin C in their livers. Hence, they don’t need to consume these vitamins from what they eat. In fact, excessive vitamin C may lead to kidney damage. In choosing pellets, rabbits need those that are rich in crude fiber. They also need to consume enough hay to have good digestion.

In choosing vegetables for rabbits, the veggies and leafy greens must be fibrous. Giving too much broccoli and kale to bunnies may lead to painful gas. Citrus fruits can be given to rabbits but in small amounts only. Some fruits recommended for them as treats are berries, melon, and nectarine.

Although rabbits and guinea pigs are both herbivores, they differ in their diet. Guinea pigs need vitamin C because they cannot produce it. Rabbits don’t require too much vitamin C in their diet since their livers can create it. However, both furry pets’ primary food is hay.

guinea pig vs. rabbit

Guinea Pig vs. Rabbit: Which of them needs a larger space?


Now, which of the two furry pets requires a larger space? Is it a guinea pig or rabbit? Let’s take a look. A single guinea pig needs at least 30” x 36” space to move and exercise comfortably. Since these pets are highly social, you must keep at least a pair. In this case, consider  least a cage with 30” x 50” space or more.

Unlike other small pets, guinea pigs don’t require a vertical space since they don’t usually jump or climb a lot. These furry pets prefer to utilize the floor space for running. You can provide them with an enclosure made of cubes and coroplast. Many guinea pig owners discouraged cages with wire floors.

If you want to increase their usable space without adding much floor space, consider using two or more levels with good solid ramps between them. Some guinea pigs enjoy exploring multi-level condos.

In any case, your guinea pig needs a solid floor, not the wire type that many rabbit pens have. Their little toes and feet easily catch in the wire, often causing serious injury. A solid floor with good bedding material is essential. And the floor should be easy to clean and disinfect, when needed.

If you are wondering if guinea pigs can live with you indoors, the answer is yes! In fact, they are safer indoors than outdoors. However, guinea pigs are sensitive to extreme temperatures. Keep them in a room at 65 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit. Prevent placing their cages near heating vents, fireplaces, and wood stoves. They don’t tolerate drafts well at all.


Meanwhile, small rabbit breeds require less space!


As for rabbits, breeds under 8 lbs require a minimum space of 24” x 36”. However, larger bunnies need at least a 30” x 36” enclosure. Giant breeds need even more space. As we can see, smaller rabbit breeds require less space than guinea pigs. However, they prefer taller hutches since they love to hop and climb.They need at least enough height to be able to stand on two legs to stretch.

Likewise, some rabbits should not be provided with cages that have wire floorings. They are more prone to sore hocks because their paws don’t have pads. Breeds like the mini rex need to use either a solid floor or at least a mat to enable them to get off the wire. The enclosure must be well-ventilated since some breeds are prone to heatstroke. Extreme cold temperatures can also lead to respiratory illnesses, but heat is worse than cold. And drafts are not well-tolerated, either.

In terms of space requirements, a single guinea pig needs a larger space than a small breed rabbit. However, the larger the rabbit is, the bigger space it requires. Both rabbits and guinea pigs need ample areas to move and exercise comfortably. They should also not be provided with enclosures that have wire floorings.

A curious rabbit and guinea pig

Guinea pig vs. rabbit: Which of them is more active?


Activity levels vary according to breed and also by the individual. However, we can draw some basic similarities.

Guinea pigs need to exercise daily to remain fit. They like to run and play around inside their cages. Surprisingly, these furry pets are active during the day and rest at night like humans! Contrary to popular belief, guinea pigs are diurnal and not nocturnal. This makes them ideal to keep in the home.

So, what do the daily activities of guinea pigs look like? Because of their schedule, humans can interact more with them. These furry pets also know when you are at home. When bedtime comes, they enjoy their sleep. However, they may wake up to have a nibble at their food or for toilet needs. But these furry pets usually go back to sleep.

If they hear noises in the morning, it is an indication for them to wake up and start their day. They can also be hyperactive in the morning since they know it is time to eat. You may also notice that they are active before bedtime. It is because they want to eat or they want to play. Although guinea pigs are diurnal, they prefer to socialize at night. However, we found that ours easily adapted our family schedule and even looked forward to their bedtime treats and sleep time.


On the other hand, rabbits are crepuscular!


On the contrary, rabbits are crepuscular pets. It means that they are active during dusk and dawn. As prey animals, bunnies stay awake when the predators are asleep. It is also a way for them to avoid predators lurking during the daytime and nighttime. Besides, it is easier for them to spot predators when the sun is low.

As crepuscular pets, bunnies are more active early in the morning. It would be better to schedule their activities during this time. These bunnies become less active in the middle of the day. A few hours before noon until evening, your bunny will have its sleep. However, it may wake up to chew some hay or use its litter box.

At night time, your bunny has more energy to interact with you. You can cuddle or pet it, giving it the attention it needs. It is also the best time to play with your bunny. You may hear your bunny running and hopping during the dusk. As long as it is safe in its hutch, you don’t have to worry. 

To answer the question, rabbits and guinea pigs are active at different times of the day. Guinea pigs are diurnal; hence, they awake during the day and asleep at night. On the other hand, rabbits are crepuscular animals, so you can expect them to be active during dusk and dawn. Watch this video below and know why rabbit is a crepuscular animal.

Guinea pig vs. rabbit: Which of them is more sociable?


Although both furry pets are adorable, you may wonder which is more sociable. Is it a guinea pig or rabbit? A guinea pig thrives in companionship. It needs to have another pig to prevent loneliness and boredom. So, if you plan to keep this furry pet, ensure that you have another pig that can accompany it.

Similar to rabbits, guinea pigs crave the attention of their owners. They may adapt for a while if they are in new homes. But the good thing about these pets is that they are easy to tame. They also loved being cuddled and petted. Because of their playful personality, guinea pigs can quickly get along with kids.

Amazingly, these furry pets are chatty! They can make sounds to communicate with their owners. Some vocalizations are chirping, squealing, squeaking, whistling, and purring. Knowing what their sound means will make it easier for you to understand them. You will also be entertained whenever they vocalize to express their excitement.


Same with guinea pigs, rabbits are sociable, too!


Despite their quiet nature, rabbits are sociable pets. However, some breeds are more friendly and affectionate than others. But all of them long for their owners’ love and attention. You may find your bunny sitting on your lap, asking for cuddling and petting. These pets also love playing with their owners and other rabbit companions outdoors.

Furthermore, most rabbits are great family pets. It is because they can get along with everyone. Some breeds will rarely bite and show aggression. Because of their playfulness, rabbits can quickly get along with children. They can also be wonderful pets for seniors and singles since they are affectionate.

Unlike guinea pigs, rabbits rarely make sounds. However, there are different ways they can show their appreciation to their owners. They may nudge or rub against you to tell you they want your attention. Chinning, binkies, and flopping down near you are indications that your pet likes you.

Overall, rabbits and guinea pigs are both sociable pets! They are great family pets because of their affection towards their owners. Because of their personality, these furry pets can also get along with all family members. However, they may express their appreciation to their owners in different ways.

guinea pig vs. rabbit

Guinea pig vs. rabbit: Which of them has a longer life?


Now, let’s take a closer look at which has a longer lifespan between guinea pig vs. rabbit. The average lifespan of guinea pigs can last four to eight years. But with proper care, these furry pets can live for about ten years. Compared to hamsters, rats, and gerbils, guinea pigs can live longer.

According to the Guinness Book of Records, the oldest guinea pig lived for almost 15 years. Domesticated guinea pigs live longer compared to wild ones. It is because wild piggies are more exposed to harsh environments. They are also most likely to encounter predators outdoors than indoors.

When a boar is three to four months old, it reaches maturity. On the other hand, a sow becomes fully mature when it is already six to eight months old. Guinea pigs that are three years old are considered seniors. At this age, they might experience chronic disease. Moreover, hairless breeds of guinea pigs live longer than long-haired ones. 


Compared to guinea pigs, rabbits can live longer!


A rabbit can live between 8 to 12 years. However, some bunnies can live longer. In fact, the oldest bunny recorded lived for 18 years and 10 months. The lifespan of a rabbit may vary, depending on its breed. Some breeds with long lives include Mini Rex, Flemish Giant, and Giant Papillon.

However, domesticated rabbits live longer than those that are in the wild. Because of accidents and stress, wild rabbits only live for about one to nine years. Medium to large rabbits mature after 6 to 9 months. Meanwhile, smaller breeds like Netherland Dwarf and Polish when they are 3.5 to 4 months.

Apparently, rabbits have longer lifespans than guinea pigs. Whether you choose a guinea pig or rabbit, you can spend a lot of time with it. The longevity of the lives of these furry pets may also depend on how you take care of them. Rabbits and guinea pigs need a proper diet, enough exercise, and suitable enclosures.

Guinea pig vs. rabbit: Which of them is much cleaner?


Lastly, which furry pet is much cleaner: a guinea pig or rabbit? When it comes to their hygiene, guinea pigs are known to be meticulous. They love grooming themselves, especially if they feel they are already dirty. Since they are prey animals, they must protect themselves by masking their scent. 

However, the urine and droppings of guinea pigs have distinct smells. But is not as strong as the pee and poop of other animals. Keeping its enclosure clean can prevent the smell from spreading inside your house. Furthermore, guinea pigs suffering from urinary tract infections have strong-smelling urine.


As opposed to guinea pigs, rabbits’ pee and droppings smell less!


As with guinea pigs, rabbits love to groom themselves. You will usually see them cleaning their coats from time to time. If they have rabbit companions, they will groom each other to show affection. It is also rare for a bunny to smell unless it’s living in poor condition or ill, preventing it from self-grooming.

Moreover, the urine and droppings of rabbits don’t have a smell. These pets also have good litter box habits, keeping their enclosure clean. They also don’t want to pee near their food. As long as you clean their litter boxes daily, you don’t have to worry that they will stink inside their enclosures. 

When it comes to being clean, rabbits and guinea pigs love to groom themselves. However, the droppings and pee of bunnies smell less than the guinea pigs. Also, piggies suffering from urinary tract infections may have strong-smelling pee.

a rabbit and a guinea pig

The Verdict


In conclusion, there are pros and cons of owning a guinea pig or rabbit. When it comes to prices, keeping either a pet guinea pig or a pet rabbit costs about the same. However, piggies require larger enclosures compared to small-breed rabbits. But overall, rabbits and guinea pigs are great pets. They are both clean, sociable, and long-lasting companions!

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