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Accueil ยป Interspecies cohabitation with a degu

Interspecies cohabitation with a degu

The degu cohabitates in nature with a number of rodent species that share its lifestyle or from which it can benefit. It can thus live with rat-chinchillas (Abrocoma bennettii) and members of the Ctenomys family. More broadly, it shares its environment with other small animals such as Akodon olivaceus, Akodon longipilis, Phyllotis darwini, Oryzomys longicaudatus, and Marmosa elegans 01.

The images used for this article were generated by the DALL.E artificial intelligence to avoid putting animals in danger.

In captivity, interspecies cohabitation is often linked to the presence of other pets kept in the same household. However, these species are very different from those the degu may encounter in nature and pose significant risks to the health and well-being of the animals.

Predation risks

Certain species such as dogs, cats, ferrets, or certain birds and reptiles pose a significant danger to the degu due to their lifestyle and diet. Indeed, the degu is a herbivorous animal that is not adapted to hunting (except for plants) and is prey to many birds and other carnivorous mammals. Even the most affectionate cat or calmest dog can instinctively attack a degu, whether through the cage (which can damage the tails and legs of the degu) or during an outing. The mere presence and sight of certain predators can already cause significant stress to the degu 02.

Animals posing a significant risk to degus should not have access to the cage on any occasion. The use of a room prohibited to cats, dogs, or other potentially dangerous animals is highly recommended to avoid injuries or accidents.

Risks of transmissible diseases and parasites

Some diseases are transmissible between species, as are many fungi (ringworm) and parasites (fleas, ticks, mange), etc. Cohabiting degus with untreated animals and/or those that regularly go outside, such as dogs and cats, can lead them to develop various pathologies. It is very important to always vaccinate your animals when possible and to treat them with appropriate products against mites and parasites.

The main diseases and pathologies in degus

Conflict risks

It is not uncommon to see pictures of degus living with chinchillas or rabbits on the Internet. In reality, these cohabitations are dangerous and can lead to conflicts and fights resulting in serious injuries. The degu is a very territorial rodent with a diurnal to crepuscular lifestyle. It already tolerates intruders of the same species poorly, who communicate in their own language. Other rodents or new pets, in addition to having different lifestyles or diets, may have very different modes of communication, which the degu will struggle to adapt to and will generate significant stress for all animals. Furthermore, the difference in size, whether in favor or against the degu, can exacerbate injuries in case of fights.


Interspecies cohabitation with the degu is an extremely risky endeavor, with potentially serious consequences for the health and well-being of all animals involved. The dangers of conflicts, predation, diseases, and the associated financial and emotional implications highlight the need to avoid cohabiting the degu with another species. The welfare of the animals must be considered before deciding that one species or another will live together.


  1. A NEW PET: THE OCTODON, octodon degus[]
  2. Visual snake aversion in degu and C57BL/6 mice[]

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