the sounds of guinea pigs

The Sounds of Guinea Pigs: What Do They Mean?

One of wonderful, and not to mention interesting things that owners can appreciate when they have a cavy as a pet, is learning the sounds of guinea pigs and what they mean.

the sounds of guinea pigsGuinea pigs have a range of squeaks, squeals, grunts, purrs, and coos which enable them to express themselves. As you get to know more about your guinea pig, you become more used to the sounds of guinea pigs and what they mean.

image: flickr phillie casablanca

The sounds of guinea pigs

High pitched squeals from pups

A young guinea pig pup will give out squeaks that are high-pitched that let the mother know that they want attention from her.

Cooing

When adult cavies are together, male and females may coo to each other which is a sign of affection.

Chattering of teeth

When adult males are together and there is a chattering of teeth, this means that there is a matter of hierarchy being discussed. It is a sign there is anger between the two. Something to bear in mind is that you shouldn’t put your hand in the cage when you hear chattering of teeth as you may get your hand bitten. If you feel you have to intervene, make sure you wear some protective gloves on your hands.

Squealing

If a guinea pig is squealing when being handled then this means it is not being handled rightly, and it is being hurt in the process.

Whistling

This is a shorter squeal but instead of a cry for help it is more of an excited anticipation often given out when they hear the owner coming or when they hear the rustling of a treat. This is often called wheaking as well.

Purring

This can be heard when the guinea pig is relaxed and enjoying itself. It is often heard when the owner is cuddling the guiena pig and showing affection. Guinea pig’s love being shown affection and will respond in kind with this purring sound, much like a cat.

Snoring

Guinea pigs can often be heard snoring. However often it is a sign that the guinea pig may be suffering from an illness and so you should check with a vet as to the health of your guinea pig.

Rumbling

It sounds like a deep purr and is a sign that the guinea pig is angry about something.

Total silence

This means that your guinea pig has been paralyzed with fear if you can hear no sounds from your guinea pig. This is a serious cause for concern if this occurs.

Singing

It is a strange feet of nature to hear a guinea pig sing, in fact of all the sounds of guinea pigs, this one is the weirdest!

It is said to be caused by the teeth rubbing together in a way that they don’t usually do.

During this unusual action, they are seen moving their jaws from side to side rather than the usual up and down movements.

When a guinea pig sings it is meant as a big warning to the other guinea pigs in the herd to run and hide.

If you have a guinea pig who is singing, it is worth removing the guinea pig from the pack until they stop singing.

7 thoughts on “The Sounds of Guinea Pigs: What Do They Mean?

  1. I cant tell if my piggy is angry or happy as it lives alone, but when i stroke him it rumbles or purrs. He sometimes wiggles over and i stroke his belly. This is normally when it happens. Please help

    1. Hi Tigz, if it purrs then that is normally a good thing, however I take rumbling to mean ‘please don’t do that to me at the moment’. Sounds like your piggy enjoys it mostly though and that is pretty normal as they do love attention.

  2. which is best one or two guinea pigs for me i am a new owner that has researched guinea pigs for over a year and has looked after guinea pigs before and i am 15 years old please help!!!

    1. I would go for a short haired guinea pig. They are much less maintenance than long haired ones and better for those with not much experience of looking after guinea pigs. That’s what I did anyway.

    1. No… you must always house them two at a time. A lone guinea pig is a miserable one. In certain EU countries it is illegal to sell one at a time.

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