Although guinea pigs (Cavia porcellus) and chinchillas (genus Chinchilla) are furry rodents and near kin, they are at the same time totally different animals. Since animals from different species don't have the same care demands, it's important that they never live together, period.
Chinchillas With Other Animals
Chinchillas should never share living quarters with guinea pigs or any other critters, whether rabbits or hamsters. Chinchillas have their own lifestyle needs, and those lifestyle needs aren't the same as those of other animals. Because of that, housing them with guinea pigs is unsafe and inappropriate for both parties.
Guinea Pigs With Other Animals
Guinea pigs too should never live alongside animals from different species. Whether the animal is a chinchilla, rabbit or gerbil, a guinea pig should never live with him. Guinea pigs and chinchillas have totally different nutritional requirements, for one. You don't want a guinea pig to accidentally eat a chinchilla's food, and you also don't want the reverse to happen. If they share a cage, food sharing is inevitable. Guinea pig pellets are tailored to the dietary requirements of guinea pigs, and chinchilla pellets are catered to those of chinchillas. If a critter eats food made for another species, it could lead to potential nutritional issues and health problems.
No Roommates for Chinchillas
Not only do chinchillas not work well alongside other types of animals, they don't even usually get along with individuals of their same species. It's optimal for single chinchillas to live all by themselves, in their own personal enclosures. When chinchillas live together, they can be extremely fierce, often ending in violent and dangerous results. Female chinchillas are usually even more truculent than the males. Keep your chinchilla healthy and safe by keeping him free of any roommates. Chinchillas can occasionally live peacefully alongside siblings they've known for their entire lives, however.
Roommates for Guinea Pigs
Guinea pigs, unlike chinchillas, generally flourish with companionship -- especially if they've been together since their tender early days as littermates. Female pairs of guinea pigs usually can get along well together, as duos of the opposite sex swiftly reproduce. A single fixed male guinea pig can usually exist contentedly alongside one, two or three females, as well. Always carefully monitor interactions between guinea pig roommates. If they behave aggressively, split them up immediately.
- VCA Animal Hospitals: Chinchillas - Owning
- VCA Animal Hospitals: Chinchilla Care and Husbandry
- Guinea Pigs; Janice Biniok
- Forever Feisty Chinchilla Rescue: Emotional Health & Behavior
- Petfinder: Guinea Pig Health and Safety
- Ness Exotic Wellness Center: Care of Guinea Pigs
- Small Animal Care and Management; Dean Marvin Warren
- Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals: Company - Guinea Pigs
- Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images