I recently had one cavy die and I needed to get a new friend for panda, the surviving one.
I adopted Buttercup from the local SPCA. Here is were I messed up. I cleaned the cage that Panda and her former cage mate used. washed it down with vinegar to remove any smells. I then proceeded to introduce the pigs in that cage as opposed to a neutral area like I have done before. While Panda has not drawn blood from Buttercup she is being a bully, stealing food and chasing her away from things. Buttercup is completely terrified of Panda.
The other thing Panda does is chase Buttercup into a nut and just sit there with her. They don't fit but Buttercup makes complaining noises.
Is there anything I can do to help them get along better? should I try a buddy bath and see if that works? If so should I clean out the cage again and try to make it a neutral as possible?
Anything would help thanks.
I take it you mean a hut? It is best to only have shelters that have multiple openings. Small plastic stools work well. Make sure you have a really big cage!
Links to good info here:
A room with stools:
- Supporter in 2019
A wealth of information and tips on how to introduce guinea pigs to one another can be found here:
All of this said...any new pig should be quarantined before attempting introductions, unless one has adopted from a reliable rescue (and even then, I keep the new guinea pig separate for a few days to allow him to settle in and make doubly sure there is no hidden health issue). An animal shelter is a stressful place, and Buttercup could develop mites or other stress-related illness from being in that environment and now being in a new home. See:
If I were you, I'd start over and follow some of the tips in that link on how to make this work. You can also search keyword "introductions" on this forum for other threads on the subject. I would not try to again use Panda's existing cage as a meeting place.
- And got the T-shirt
But I have a small nit to pick here. You didn't "bond" the pigs, and it's not within your power to do so. You can introduce them, but whether or not they "bond" is up to them. Some pigs become best buddies, hardly leave each other's side, sleep together, complain when one is taken out of the cage, etc. Others just coexist in the same cage but don't seem to have any special attachment to each other. Both situations are perfectly normal, but as I said, you can't control that part of it.
Update: After putting them both in a neutral area(my bathtub with some towels, veggies, and hay. and replacing everything in the cage with new stuff and re cleaning the cage. things seem to be getting better. while Panda is still being a little bit of a bully she is no longer keeping buttercup from food and water it seems. IN fact buttercup stole a carrot right from under Panda just a little bit ago. hopefully this is a turning point.