Tortoises are solitary animals that will happily live alone without any companion.
They tend to be aggressive with other tortoises that will share space with them.
But, what about other animals like guinea pigs?
Would they mind these piggies’ presence or would simply not care?
What are the differences and similarities of tortoises and guinea pigs?
Can Tortoises And Guinea Pigs Live Together?
In general, tortoises and guinea pigs cannot live together due to their differences; likewise, they can harm each other. However, there are successful cases where they can share a similar space under great husbandry.
As an animal lover, you cannot just set aside the desire to get more pets as they are simply charming! The more, the better, right?
But not all kinds of animals can blend well with others. Some are not fit to be put together with other kinds of animals.
Tortoises and guinea pigs are two wonderful creatures that you might wonder if can harmoniously live in one place.
Well, they are not meant to share a place, in general. They are different species – tortoises are reptiles while guinea pigs are mammals.
Yes, they have similarities.
You can say that they are both herbivores. Both of them are vegetarians consuming only fresh leafy vegetables, fruits, other herbs, among others.
Yet, they have more differences!
The personalities of tortoises and guinea pigs are quite far from each other.
Tortoises are solitary animals while guinea pigs are highly sociable.
Tortoises enjoy their time being alone while guinea pigs cannot live without companionship.
Guinea pigs simply love lots of cuddles while it is the opposite for tortoises as they can get stressed if they are touched or carried too much.
Though both tortoises and guinea pigs can live indoor and outdoor, the requirements for their home setting are different.
Tortoises need lots of soil or substrate as they love to dig. Meanwhile, guinea pigs need grassy land to play and feed on.
Guinea pigs need warm bedding while tortoises do not.
Temperature is very important for tortoises as well since they are cold-blooded creatures.
Their home needs to have sufficient lighting and heat that must have regulated temperature. If they are inside the house, perhaps in an aquarium, they need artificial lighting and heat to sustain their health and growth.
On the other side, guinea pigs just need a fairly warm temperature. Just like humans, they can adapt to any environment with a normal temperature.
Aside from the different personality and home setting needs, tortoises and guinea pigs cannot be put together as they can cause harm to each other.
Guinea pigs are fast creatures while tortoises are slow. They may hurt the tortoises while they are running and playing actively.
Both tortoises and guinea pigs are curious creatures as well.
Guinea pigs may try munching on the shell of tortoises. Tortoises have the same hobby as these piggies as they love chewing on anything that they can see. They may try to bite some of the body parts of guinea pigs like their cute ears.
They may not be recommended to be put together, but there are successful stories of raising tortoises and guinea pigs together.
There are cases where these animals can peacefully live in a similar enclosure without having a tragic ending.
However, the personalities of these creatures vary so you will never know whether they will blend well or not with one another unless you try. And this trying scenario is, definitely, risky!
Will Tortoises Attack Guinea Pigs?
No. Tortoises will not attack guinea pigs as they are not predators and not an aggressive type of animal.
Tortoises are recognized as docile and defensive creatures.
During times of danger, they would just hide inside their shell rather than fight head to head with their rivals.
Their thick shells are strong enough to protect them from any type of threat.
There are just some unexpected scenarios when a tortoise may suddenly try to bite a guinea pig.
But this is just out of curiosity or perhaps, it thought of it as food especially if the two creatures just met and they are not familiar with each other.
By nature, tortoises are just like chewing on everything that they can see!
As a tortoise owner, you need to ensure to always keep the enclosure clean to prevent your pet from swallowing dangerous things or unrecommended food.
Nonetheless, tortoises are not the type of animal that would attack and hurt others.
Do Tortoises Eat Guinea Pigs?
No. Tortoises do not eat guinea pigs as they are herbivores; they do not consume meat.
Tortoises are vegetarians. Their diet mainly consists of plant-based food such as vegetables, fruits, and other leafy greens.
Their mouth is designed to only munch on these nutritious plants.
Tortoises are not carnivores that solely consume meat or even omnivores that can eat both plants and meat.
They are not predators that will hunt other animals for their flesh.
Being slow-moving animals, tortoises cannot simply chase and kill prey.
Likewise, their personalities are not fit to be predators as they are gentle creatures that mean no harm.
They will not fight and would rather hide inside their shells if they are being attacked.
As herbivores, they love vegetables like cabbage, carrot, mushroom, and kale.
For fruits, they would like some bananas, melon, berries, and kiwis as treats. They are also eating edible flowers.
In captivity, they are consuming commercial food and supplements to sustain their growth and wellness.
Should You Put Tortoises And Guinea Pigs Together?
No. It is not recommended to put tortoises and guinea pigs together as they can hurt each other and they have different living requirements.
Putting two different kinds of species in a similar space is risky.
If two animals are proven to be safe sharing their homes, then there will be no problem.
But as for the case of tortoises and guinea pigs, only a few attempted to do so.
Some were successful, but some caused injuries to the pets.
Tortoises and guinea pigs are way far from each other so many owners are not attempting to cohabitate them. They may show aggressiveness or may simply cause stress to each other.
With their different personalities, they may just clash!
Tortoises want to be alone, but guinea pigs love companionship.
The requirement for their home setting is different as well. Since tortoises are cold-blooded, they need artificial heat to sustain their temperature.
This is not the case for guinea pigs that require only the normal environment temperature.
The setting for tortoises may be too much for guinea pigs that can negatively affect their health.
Both tortoises and guinea pigs can curiously nibble each other. This might cause injuries and stress for them which is not good, of course!
What Animal Can Live Together With Tortoises?
Tortoises can live with other reptiles such as lizards (bearded dragons) if all their needs are properly taken care of inside their enclosure.
Tortoises are one of the oldest animals that were able to survive previous eras.
They can live up to 100 years or even more in the wild. This made them the longest living animals worldwide.
If you are a tortoise owner, you might want to give your pet a companion knowing that it will live a very long life.
It would be great to have some pets to accompany your tortoise.
However, you should not worry much about this as, by nature, tortoises are solitary creatures.
This makes them not a very good companion to other animals as they might naturally feel irritated, stressed, or scared.
There is also a possibility that they can get hurt or injured or the other way around.
If you really want to get your tortoise a mate, it is recommended to choose from the lizard family.
Bearded dragons can share a space with your shelled reptile. It can get along well with tortoises since they are both solitary.
Just like tortoises, this kind of lizard shows no hostile behavior.
But remember, bearded dragons may be harmless but some unexpected circumstances can make them aggressive.
Thus, it is important to always keep an eye on your pets to prevent fights and injuries.
How To Keep Multiple Tortoises Together?
In keeping multiple tortoises together, you must ensure getting the same species and size, no two males, and to have a big space.
Tortoises cannot just put a number of them in one enclosure without doing preparations.
Since tortoises are solitary, they do not want to be with others, even if with their own kind.
If you want to keep multiple tortoises in one space, they should be of the same species. This avoids the transmission of viruses from another species.
It will be better if you will get tortoises of the same sizes to prevent the bullying of smaller-sized tortoises.
Also, always remember not to put two male tortoises together as it can lead to aggressive behavior. There will be a battle for dominance among these males.
Keeping multiple tortoises means having a very big enclosure. Remember that your tortoises can share space but want to still keep their privacy.
Bradford, A. (2015, April 29). Guinea pig facts. livescience.com. https://www.livescience.com/50658-guinea-pig-facts.html
Hiller, I. (1983). Warm- and Cold-Blooded Animals. Texas Parks & Wildlife Department. https://tpwd.texas.gov/publications/nonpwdpubs/young_naturalist/animals/warm_and_cold_blooded_animals/