The present study was designed to evaluate the effects of mice cohabitation with a sick conspecific cage mate on peritoneal macrophage activity and on resistance to Ehrlich tumor growth. Female mice housed in pairs were divided into control and experimental groups. One mouse of each control pair was inoculated with NaCl (0.1 ml/10 g) intraperitoneally and the other, called ‘companion of healthy partner’ (CHP), was kept undisturbed. One animal of each experimental pair of mice was inoculated with 5.0 × 10<sup>6</sup> Ehrlich tumor cells intraperitoneally and the other, the subject of this study, was called ‘companion of sick partner’ (CSP). Peritoneal macrophages were removed from CSP and CHP mice to analyze resident macrophage activity (experiment 1), macrophage activity after Mycobacterium bovis (experiment 2) or Ehrlich tumor cells (experiment 3) in vivo inoculations. The resistance of CSP and CHP mice to Ehrlich tumor growth was also analyzed (experiment 4). Differences between groups were not found on resident macrophage activity. However, Onco-BCG- and Ehrlich tumor-activated macrophages from CSP mice presented a decreased intensity and percentage of phagocytosis and an increased respiratory burst in the presence of Staphylococcus aureus stimulation in vitro. CSP animals at the same time displayed a decreased resistance to Ehrlich tumor growth. These data were discussed in light of a possible psychological stress effect imposed by the housing condition on mice’s peritoneal macrophage activity and, as a consequence, on their resistance to Ehrlich tumor growth.