Guinea pigs and rabbits are both great pet options, for both adults and children, so the choice is entirely up to you. However, they don't actually get along too well, largely because GPs tend to be intimidated by the bolder, bulkier bunny.
Guinea pigs and rabbits have the same space requirements, but rabbits tend to eat a little bit more than GPs, and also live longer. A rabbit's lifespan is between eight and twelve years compared to a guinea pig's five to eight. It's slightly more difficult to provide guinea pigs with all the nutrition they need, as they can’t manufacture their own vitamin C, unlike rabbits.
A friendly guinea pig enjoying a cuddle
Guinea pigs are very gentle creatures, though, and this is a huge part of their appeal. Bunnies can sometimes be vicious - something that may surprise unsuspecting owners. A few years ago one Omlet customer reported a pet bunny called Babbish who had started biting whenever a hand or leg came within reach. The problem turned out to be a mixture of male hormones and loneliness - poor Babbish had been kept on his own. But it's the kind of story you never hear in relation to a guinea pig!
Can Guinea Pigs and Rabbits Live Together?
In brief, no. Rabbits are slightly bigger and slightly more aggressive, so the guinea pigs will usually end up as nervous wrecks. The combination can only work if you have lots of space, and you may well have seen the animals cohabiting in large enclosures in zoos.
Too young to know better? Older guinea pigs and rabbits don't mix too well
If you’re extending your current guinea pig community, always opt for more guinea pigs, rather than other small mammals. Even if there is no aggression between different species, only GPs will fit into the guinea pig herd structure.
Also, rabbits have slightly different nutritional requirements to GPs. Tussles at mealtimes can result in injury to the guinea pig, as the rabbit is larger and prone to powerful kicks, clawing and bites. These could cause serious damage to a GP.
Keep rabbits by all means - but keep them separate from the guinea pigs.