Guinea Pig sounds and noises, and what they can tell us!

Understanding Guinea Pig Sounds

Guinea Pigs have developed a wide range of sounds and noises to communicate with fellow Guinea Pigs and humans alike.

By understanding the different sounds, we are able to identify when our pets are happy, sad, excited or frightened, which is key in understanding our little buddy’s needs and moods.

Understanding our Guinea Pig noises is not always straight forward, as each Guinea Pig has its own personality. For instance, Some Guinea Pigs may demonstrate happiness with a Purr, where as other’s purrs can indicate anger or displeasure.

Generally speaking, we can classify sounds into happy good sounds, and not so happy bad sounds. We have listed the more common noises below and used this general classification to help you identify what they mean.

Every piggy, of course, is different. So, it pays to keep a record of the noises and actions your little buddy uses to signal his pleasure or displeasure.

Happy Guinea pig Sounds

Purring

A low soft purr usually indicates that your Guinea Pig is comfortable and happy. You will potentially hear this noise when stroking and petting your Guinea Pig. Generally speaking, this noise indicates that your Guinea pig is enjoying his time with you.

Purring can often be mistaken for Rumbling, which we have discussed below in the mating noise section. Although a similar noise, this can have a very different meaning, so it is important to try and distinguish between the two!

Wheeking

Wheeking is a high pitched continual squeaking sound. It is a sound commonly associated with anticipation and excitement. Guinea pigs have been known the use this high-pitched noise to gain attention from their owners, usually in anticipation of a snack or favorite treat. Guinea Pigs are quite clever, and will often use this sound more and more if they get a favourable response i.e a tasty treat everytime they wheek. So be careful not to encourage the sound too much if you enjoy the peace and quiet.

Chutting

Chutting sound like a series of short sharp noises in quick succession, which indicates your Guinea Pig is happy and comfortable.

The endearing little noise is often associated with physical activity such as playing or exploring, so be sure to listen closely during activity and play time.

Video Credit: Bee Tee

Unhappy or distressed Guinea pig Sounds

Guinea Pigs also have also developed a repertoire of noises to indicate unhappiness or displeasure. Just as it is important to understand what it is that makes your pet Guinea pig happy, it is also vitally important to understand when he is unhappy or even frightened so you can act quickly to reduce the discomfort or remove a threat.

Teeth Chattering

Guinea Pigs often chatter their teeth when unhappy or agitated about something. This can be anything from being disturbed from rest or sleep by another Guinea Pig or a human, or a display of dominance when male Guinea pigs meet for the first time.

It is advisable to watch this closely, and if the chattering dosent subside, look to seperate the Guinea pigs and introduce them in a controlled manor. Using timed intervals where both Guinea Pigs can have time to relax in between. Eventually both Guinea Pigs should get used to each other enough to be left alone safely.

If you see an extended period of teeth chattering from newly homed Guinea Pigs, then you may also see them puff up the hair on their necks in an attempt to make themselves look bigger and more dominant. They may also accompany the chattering with a high-pitched squeak and a slight rocking movement from side to side to side.

It is advisable to watch this closely, and if the chattering doesn’t subside, separate the Guinea pigs and introduce them to each other gradually. Using some timed intervals where both Guinea Pigs can have time to relax in between should allow them to become familiar without the dominant displays and eventually become housemates.

Growling

Growling is a sign that your piggy is feeling threatened or vulnerable. The first thing you need to do is to eliminate any danger that may be close by. The next job is to calm and pet your piggy softly to put him at ease. Obviously it pays to be careful in this situation, as a Guinea pig who is growling is likely to be on the defensive and may nip or bite.

Hissing and clicking

Hissing and or clicking can be a sign of hostility and aggression. if you have been petting and playing with your buddy for an extended time, then let him have a rest and recoup. If she is showing signs of aggression towards other Guinea pigs in the living quarters, perhaps look to give them a bigger enclosure to reduce territorial tendencies.

If this behavior does not stop over a longer period of time, then you may need to separate your pets on a longer term basis and introduce them to each other slowly, perhaps for periods inside the run, or in an enclosed larger area.

Shrieking

A shriek is a sign that your pet is in some physical discomfort. Firstly eliminate the source of the pain, and make sure your Guinea pig’s living conditions are safe and comfortable.

You might experience the ‘Shriek’ on a trip to the vets for any routine inoculations. Ideally, the less Shrieking your Guinea pig does, the better!

Squealing

Squealing indicates some form of discomfort. Hunger has been associated with this particular noise so ensure your piggy has a decent supply of Hay and has access to his food and water. should this continue, it is best to consult your vet about the cause, as there maybe some underlying health issues not apparent to the naked eye.

Guinea Pig Mating sounds

There are several noises and actions you can look out for which can indicate a pair of Guinea Pigs are mating!

Rumbling and Cooing

As mentioned above, Rumbling can sound like Purring with a slightly lower tone. If there is a female close by, then chances are your male Guinea pig is planning a romantic move and may even start to perform a mating dance known as ‘Rumble Strutting’. Although this is a fascinating sight, perhaps it is time to draw the curtains and leave them to it if you are planning on breeding your pair of piggies! if not, its time to evacuate the female immediately.

The Female guinea Pig, or the Sow can also make this noise, which can be a signal to the male of her availability, or a demostration of dominance in the enclosure.

Other Guinea pig Sounds

Coughing and Sneezing

Coughing and sneezing could indicate some respiratory issues, so it is important to keep your Guinea pig’s living quatres clean and tidy. If you start to see more frequent coughing and sneezing, accompanied by a loss of appetite and reduced activity levels then consult your vet immediately.

Singing or Chirping

This is one of the more unexplained Guinea Pig noises. This sounds very much like a bird singing, and as yet no one really knows why they do it. Some have attributed the noise to be happy and excited where others seem to think its when a Guinea pig is startled or surprised. Either way, it is quite a spectacle! If you keep other guinea pigs, they may react quite strangely to this phenomenon, so it’s advisable to remove the ‘piggy Pavarotti’ from the shared enclosure until he has finished singing!

Guinea Pig Silence

A completely silent Guinea pig is usually a very scared or petrified Guinea pig. If your Piggy freezes solid and goes completely silent, then you should identify what is causing the fright and remove it immediately.

Once the source of the fear has been removed, talk to your Guinea Pig gently until he resumes activity and returns to a normal state. Perhaps provide a little treat to reassure him everything is OK.

Guinea pig Sounds and what they mean Video

this is a really handy guide to the various Guinea pig sounds explained above. Credit to Little Adventures.

Summary

We have covered some of the more common Guinea pig sounds and noises which should help you communicate with your buddy effectively.

By understanding these key sounds, you should be in a good position to keep your Guinea pig happy and healthy and tend to his needs when he is feeling scared or feeling in danger. It’s also a great way of finding out what his favourite food is, and how much play time is acceptable!

It is a really exciting exercise to record and log what sounds your pet makes and when. This is sure to give you even more insight into your Pet Guinea pig’s world!

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