Guinea pigs are incredibly unique and among the most popular small house pets. However, there is one interesting thing about them: their activity habits.
There is more to guinea pigs than just pellets and a cage. These adorable animals have some interesting habits regarding play-time or activities in and out of their cage.
Are guinea pigs active pets? Guinea pigs can be somewhat active, moving and running around, and at other times they might also be resting for long periods. It is a fact that these domesticated rodents have normal pet behavior and moderate movements.
In this article, you will learn different behaviors of guinea pigs that will be helpful to any pet owner to understand and handle them with ease and quickly. Keep on reading!
Are Guinea Pigs Good Pets?
The guinea pigs can be considered perfect pets. Their behavior is incredibly suitable for a home environment. They could be running around energetically, especially when you change their toys or food locations or if you change something inside their cage.
At other times, they might surprise you with their relaxing and sedentary moods, especially when they cuddle in your arms and are less energized for running and playing. Having this as a pet comes with its own perks since they are not high maintenance, and they are incredibly adorable and fun to have around.
Is There a Difference in Activity Between Male Guinea Pigs and Female Guinea Pigs?
When it comes to behavior and activity, it seems that both males and females can be extremely active, but at the same time, they can be sedentary for many hours. The activity level of a guinea pig is not so precisely linked to their gender, as it is linked to their personality and the owner’s personality and behavior towards them.
The majority of people who have guinea pigs as pets claim that males tend to be somewhat active and even violent sometimes. However, this behavior is similarly seen in the females as well.
What is even more interesting is that some people noticed their male guinea pigs are quite lazy, while the females are extremely active and running around. This female guinea pig behavior is logical – females tend to be more curious, active, and on guard due to their maternal instinct of protecting the offspring.
In conclusion, the females tend to be more edgy and jumpy when touched because of this. Males tend to have more lazy and sedentary moments compared to female guinea pigs.
Are Guinea Pigs More Active During the Night or Day?
The guinea pigs are quite similar to us humans. They are quite active in the daytime, and they rest at night. Compared to nocturnal hamsters, the guinea pigs rest and sleep most of the night.
As an owner, you can freely interact and play with the guinea pig since their resting schedule resembles our own schedule. They behave similarly to us humans when it comes to sleeping time. If you are away, they use that time to rest, and when you are at home, they are normally aware of this, even if they are not overly active.
Guinea pigs rarely get up during nighttime hours, and when they do, it is for their toilet needs and to nibble a bite or two, then they go back to sleep.
There is one thing to remember when it comes to their sleeping and waking hours – they get up at almost the same time every single day. Any sound you make in the morning is a sign of waking up for guinea pigs. It can be TV or music while you get ready for the day, opening the fridge, or preparing coffee; they see this as a time for waking up.
In case you oversleep, you won’t notice them being woken up. They get easily accustomed to meal hours, so if you feed them every day at the same time, they will adjust to this and even remind you when it is meal time. To let you know they are hungry, they will start moving more or running around the cage actively.
What Is a Normal Guinea Pig Behavior?
The guinea pigs are quite simple; they have a few patterns of behavior that an owner learns to interpret instantly.
They make cute and sad sounds, like quiet weeping, when they need food. Also, they stand up on their hind legs to move to signal urgency for food, and they look straight in the direction of their owner. Expect them to be very active and moving when hungry.
When a guinea pig is happy or wants something from you, it can’t stop moving by running laps, jumping a bit, constantly turning, mostly seen in the younger ones, whereas the older ones like to rest more.
An interesting guinea pig behavior is ‘freezing.’ They freeze without moving even a little bit when they think there is a danger or hear an unknown sound. When afraid, they are motionless, which is part of their defense mechanism in the wild because they need to be inactive; otherwise, they are easy prey.
If the guinea pig is restless when you hold it, those movements signal a need to go to the bathroom, or perhaps they are held too tight. Also, if it tosses its head back, the guinea pig is trying to tell you that it’s not in the mood for petting.
Yawning and Stretching
A really pleasant behavior of the guinea pigs is their yawning and stretching. They do these two activities at the same time, and it means they are relaxed, well-rested, and happy.
They sleep with their eyes closed when they are 100% sure safe and relaxed. But sometimes, you will notice they sleep with eyes half-open to be alert for possible dangers, which means they are somewhat active even when they sleep.
Can Guinea Pigs Be Hyperactive and Why?
Guinea pigs can be hyperactive, and they display this in certain hours. Usually, they are most hyperactive in the morning because they associate this time of the day with feeding. However, they are often hyperactive before bedtime because they are hungry or in the mood for playing. The nighttime hyperactivity does not last long, and they quickly cuddle up to sleep, alone or with their partner.
During the normal daytime hours, they are not so hyperactive and like to take naps every now and then. So, keep in mind, if you like to play with the guinea pig, and you don’t have time in the morning or during the day, the best time is the evening or right before bed. Then, their alertness is amazing at those hours.
In the daytime hours, they are also alert, but their energy levels are not too high and not so interactive with the owner. They should rest and nap in the daytime to get enough energy to play before they sleep at night.
Ways to Keep Your Guinea Pig Happy and Healthy
Here are some ways to make your guinea pig happy and healthy during their active time of the day:
- Provide the largest cage you can afford, as guinea pigs need a lot of space to run around and stay active.
- You can buy or create tunnels or tubes, as guinea pigs like to run and go through tunnels.
- Guinea pigs get easily bored; providing them safe toys to play and chew can make them happy and help their physical health.
- They are social animals, so you should take care of at least 2 guinea pigs for them to be happy or motivated. But if you choose one, you need to be there regularly to interact with your pet.
- Guinea pigs are prey animals. They always seek hiding places, preferably in a dark part of their cage. Providing hideouts makes them feel safe and stay away from what scares them.
The Guinea Pig Has a Unique Temperament and Needs Company
This animal is moderately active, with lots of movements and lots of resting at the same time. They love socializing, even though they might appear lazy or a bit shy sometimes.
If you have just one guinea pig, remember that you need to play with it almost all the time because this animal is really into socializing. It is even much better to keep 2 of them because they need a partner to socialize.
If you keep more than one, ensure they are both of the same sex – in case, you are not up for looking after newborns.
The best thing you can do is have two males, but expect them to fight quite often unless you neuter them. Another great option is the two females that won’t fight so much. Eventually, you can have male and female but only neutered.
These animals have a normal temper and could be strange at first, but that simply means they are shy in their new home and with their new owner – this is normal in new and unknown environments, right?
Sometimes, they could bite, but with proper care and constant playing, they’ll get to know you better and will become happy and comfortable with you.
The cute fluffy guinea pigs are quiet most of the time, and they rarely make sounds. However, when they do make a sound, it can be loud considering their small size, and it even sounds like calling out, which can be incredibly cute and funny.
And, expect the guinea pig to be active at any time during the day or night, but mostly at dawn and dusk, so don’t be scared if they call out when you sleep or rest.
The good thing about these rodents is that they are perfect for kids as well, and every family member can play with them, but only with gentle movements and proper handling.