how do guinea pigs sleep

How Do Guinea Pigs Sleep?

It is easy to think that guinea pigs sleep like humans do.

But the truth is that they do sleep but in a different way to us.

Guinea pigs are not nocturnal animals they do not have long sustained periods of sleep.

How long do guinea pigs sleep for?

how do guinea pigs sleep

The periods guinea pigs sleep for are very short ranging from a few minutes to a few hours during the day or the night, they don’t usually discriminate.

These periods, are like human power naps, and then they wake to eat and drink before sleeping again or waking

They have to get up to eat because their bodies are built in such a way that they need to continuously eat.

image wikipedia

So how do guinea pigs sleep during this time?

Guinea pigs have the ability to sleep with their eyes open or closed.

But the thing is that they only sleep with their eyes closed when they feel totally safe.

Most of the time they will sleep with their eyes open because of their natural cautiousness. This is because they are prey animals, so they naturally expect the worst and are always keeping alert for any predators. It’s the way they survive in the wild.

Quite often if you see a guinea pig lying down in their cage, they may well be sleeping with their eyes open especially if they are very still.

So how do guinea pigs sleep with their eyes open?

They have naturally taught themselves to do this to be in a state of concious alertness despite being in a light state of sleep. This is so they can be ready to run in case of any approaching danger.

The thing I can relate it to is my wife has an ability to hear our children at night despite being asleep and wakes instantly she hears one of them cry. I, on the other hand, have totally switched off! She has a maternal alertness to them.

If you happen to catch them with their eyes closed this is a great sign that they are relaxed and feeling comfortable in their surroundings.

A complement to you!

49 thoughts on “How Do Guinea Pigs Sleep?

  1. My guinea pig’s first day.
    i have a cage..
    n nothing else..
    how long should i take her out???
    n i cant arrange hay for her right now..
    is there some other subsequent for her teeth???
    pls pls pls do reply.
    thank u

    1. Hello,
      To answer your questions…

      .if you recently bought your guinea pig let it stay in the cage for 3-5 days to get used to it
      .its always better to have 2 guinea pigs because they will not be as happy alone
      .hay makes 80% of their diet and if they don’t get that their teeth will get longer which will lead them to a disability to eat which leads to death, you can find hay at your local pet store
      I Hope that helped you,
      Thank you,

    2. They have chews for the teeth. They are usually around 3- 5 bucks for 3. Its not good for their feet not having anything on the plastic. A blanket or towel could help them. Guinea pigs are social animals and need some attention. It is good for them to be out of the cage at least 15-20 minutes depending on how much time you have.

    1. They are prey animals so it is their instinct to run. It’s their only defense. The instinct to run stays even when their trusted human tries to pick them up. Don’t take it personally

    2. Hi janai! Guinea pigs are always studdering, but if you want it’s trust, then put treats on your hand and call it’s name, then you can train it to come to you when you call it’s name and it won’t be a struggle to get your guinea pig out of the cage.
      NOTE; do not get discouraged if it does not work right away it might take weeks or months, it all depends on your guinea pig.

    3. Ok I have 3 guinea pigs. One of 5 months and the others are 2 months old. The 5 month one used to be very scared when you went near him but he more you handle them the better they get and start to trust you. The two younger ones have only been home here for 3 days and they are both already calm and even sit on the laps and watch TV and also eat out of hands. They are trusting animals if you are calm around them. My 5 month one fell alseep with his eyes closed earlier which shows he is content. The best thing is be patient and calm if they run. Talk to them as you pick them up. My ones are very social

    1. When you first get a guinea pig you should feed him/her twice a day and sometimes treats. Always clean your guinea pigs cage twice a week and use soft bedding. I recommend letting you guinea pig outside at least twice a week for some exercise. Never leave your guinea pig unattended outdoors unless your watching him/her for safety reasons

    1. Well to know if yours is a boy or girl look under it .
      and I prefer carrots apples and celery to.
      Hope this helps
      I hope you have a happy and healthy piggie!

      1. Check out the guinea pigs for beginners page one the site, which will give you some basic tips on feeding and taking care of your gp

  2. Hello,
    I’ve had my piggie for almost two months. He looks like he is gaining a lot of weight and I’m not sure if I’m feeding him too much or not. He gets a bowl of mixed food, handful of hay twice a day, two cupcake cracker treats and two or three yogurt treats. Do you think I should cut back on somethings? I don’t want him to be hungry.

    1. ur clearly feeding him too much treats. don’t feed them treats/sweets everyday. maybe twice or trice a week. I don’t feed my guinea pigs treats at all. just fruits twice or trice a week. but their fine. and make sure to give ur gp fresh vegrtables everyday.

  3. This is in respond to Luna. Yes my piggy gained weight too.. but … when I got her she was adopted by me. She was in bad shape and very stressed and underweight also. Not so today but I have noticed she is pretty chubby. I have asked about this and have been told its better to be alittle overweight rather than the other way. I am feeding my Squeakie exactly what you are. She is not much for separate treats but she goes crazy for veggies such as carrots, cucumber slices …she even likes seedless grapes and will eat a grape tomato if its broken up. If your piggy is getting plenty of water and a little exercise or playtime … I am sure he will be happy for a lifetime. By the way I am convinced a piggy makes a awesome pet that appreciates the love you give it.

  4. I have one guinea pig. I will be getting two more by December. Will he get jealous of the new piggies? Also my guinea pig likes to bite me a lot, is that bad? And what can I do about it?

  5. I have 2 baby boy piggies that I feed with fresh veggies about 7 am everyday, Someone told me to much apple is no good for them so first up for being well behaved i give them both a small strip of apple each to munch on while i cut up the carrot & capsicum after a small piece of celery each as well. They then like to go back to sleep until around 9 am when either a leafy premix diced up or a hand full of fresh hay or a seed mix goes down well and then i put them into their daytime box where they go berserk for about 10 – 15 min then all is quiet until around 2 pm which is playtime out of the box. back in for a sleep until just on dark they go back into a fresh night time box where once again it’s crazy time for 10 min. Always hay,seed & water.

    1. I am concerned that eating the same thing every day is not good so today brought some Broccoli, Parsley & Cabbage to see if they like the change. I hope these 3 new varieties have the Vitamin C in it. I love my piggies and they seem very happy and even though they are both males they get the squeaks happening when separated even after having a squabble lol. They hate being apart.

  6. I have a light brown and dark brown all over the body Guinea pig he is called Tyrone he is a teenager oh yeah which one is it they’re aloud is it lettuce or cabbage, please reply thank you

  7. My guniea pig was in her little cage and her cage was in my lap and I was petting her and she was laying down with her eyes closed what does that mean? Is she safe with me?? And I pick her up some times and she doesn’t like it when I take her off of me she likes being on my shoulder when she is on me so what does that mean???

  8. Can my long hair guniea pig go in the same cage with an chinnse drawf hamster? I think not but what do y’all think

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