Did you know that the sounds that your precious guinea pig makes are not just simple noises that you don’t need to pay attention to? In fact, guinea pigs are real chatterboxes that love communicating not only with one another but also with humans!
Imagine how much more fun and exciting it would be to own a guinea pig if you could literally understand everything that the little thing is saying! The great news is that you can totally learn to differentiate the various noises and later on decipher them. With this knowledge, you will be the best owner for your little ball of happiness because you will know exactly what’s on the guinea pig’s mind.
Learning to understand guinea pig sounds is very important for every owner. Guinea pigs have a wide range of expressive sounds flowing from their mouth. Some of these guinea pig sounds are chutting, purring, wheeking, growling, shrieking and more.
However, unfortunately, things are not that simple. Guinea pigs have extremely strong personalities and that means that the same sound can signify different emotions in the guinea pig. That’s why it is important to pay attention not only to the noises that your guinea pig makes but also to its body language.
Moreover, you can manage to decipher the meaning of each sound if you simply pay attention to the situations when your guinea pig makes the noises. The chances are extremely high that the little guy will be making the same sound when you are approaching it with food and a different one when you stroke the tiny fellow.
Learning to understand your guinea pig certainly is a pretty long road. But, believe us, both of you will be so much happier after this process.
Let’s start our ultimate guide on guinea pig sounds and what they mean!
Happy Guinea Pig Sounds
We all know that it’s not enough to simply feed the little guinea pig and clean its cage from time to time. If you’re an amazing owner, you certainly do have some playing sessions with your pet. Many people mistakenly think that it’s impossible to play with guinea pigs and that they are boring animals, unlike dogs and cats, for example. That’s 100% not true! Guinea pigs love playing and having fun, so make sure to buy the little one some toys and spend enough time chatting and petting the guinea pig.
The chances are high that during your playing sessions the guinea pig will start making short noises. This noise is called ‘chutting’ and that simply means that your guinea pig is comfortable and it is having a great time. Your guinea pig might make the same sound when it’s exploring the surroundings. After all, the little fellows are extremely curious animals.
Purring is, possibly, one of the most difficult noises to identify and decipher. Simply because this sound…can have different meanings!
We are used to thinking that purring occurs when the animal is happy and content (like with cats, for example). And the fact can be true about guinea pigs as well. Generally, purring is a ‘happy’ sound and you will hear it when you are petting the little guy.
However, purring can be mistaken for rumbling. And even though rumbling is not an indication of something bad on its own, it’s a totally different noise. So, a good owner will learn to differentiate these two sounds.
But that’s not where the difficulties end. Purring might also be a sign of…annoyance!
How on earth can you manage to find out if your guinea pig is happy or not when they make this sound?
Well, you need to pay attention to the pitch of the purr and to the body language of the guinea pig. A deep purr is great. It means that the guinea pig is happy (of course, if it also has a relaxed posture). If the pitch of the purr is high and you can vividly see that the poor thing is tense, then this kind of purring certainly does mean that the little fellow is annoyed with something.
A wheek is a high-pitched squeaking sound that is used by the guinea pigs especially to communicate with us, humans. You will most likely hear this distinct sound when you get the food or treats out. It is a noise of anticipation and excitement.
In case you feed your guinea pig during certain periods of the day (and that’s, basically, what you have to be doing), the little guinea pig will start getting more and more excited closer to the feeding time and might even wheek to gain your attention (have you forgotten about dinner?).
But be careful! Guinea pigs are smart animals. And if these creatures figure out that they can get a treat every time they wheek, they will start making this sound more often.
Unhappy Guinea Pig Noises
If you hear your guinea pig making a drrr drrr sound, then the chances are high that the little thing is growling. This is certainly not a happy noise. Guinea pigs growl when they are scared of something or threatened by someone. If you spot anything next to the guinea pig that it might find dangerous – eliminate the object.
After that, you can try to calm your pet down by petting the guinea pig or talking to it in a soft voice. However, be careful. If the guinea pig feels like it is threatened, then it might want to defend itself and start biting.
This is one of the scariest sounds that a guinea pig can make. If the little fellow is shrieking, then something is terribly wrong. In most of the cases, it means that your guinea pig is in some sort of physical pain or extreme discomfort. You have to eliminate the cause as soon as possible and try to avoid such situations in the future.
However, the guinea pig can make this sound when you pay a visit to the vet as the little thing will be really scared. Do your best to calm the furry ball down.
In the best case scenario, you will never even hear this sound from your pet.
This is the type of sound that requires you to pay some extra attention to the behavior of your guinea pig. The guinea pig might start to teeth chatter whenever it is disturbed by another animal or by a human. However, teeth chattering can also be a sign of deeper problems. Especially, if you happen to have two males.
One of the lads or both of them could start to teeth chatter in case you have introduced one of the guinea pigs to the cage recently. By making this sound, the guinea pigs are trying to show their dominance. You can also notice that male guinea pigs sometimes make their hair puff up in the neck region. In such a way, the boy is trying to make itself look bigger. While the guinea pigs are teeth chattering, they can also make high-pitch squeaky noises.
Make sure to pay attention if you have two males. They can live peacefully, but they might also start fighting, so be careful. If the teeth chattering doesn’t stop for a long time, then separate the two guinea pigs and try to reintroduce one of them to the cage gradually the next time.
Hissing and Clicking
It is relatively easy to understand when your guinea pig is hissing. Cats make the noises that pretty much sound the same, so you won’t mistake hissing with anything else.
The little guinea pig might start making this distinct noise whenever it is angry. If you have been playing with the furry ball for too long, for example, the guinea pig will start to hiss to let you know that it would like to have some rest now.
The guinea pig might also start hissing at its cage mates. In such a case, you might want to consider buying a bigger cage, so that the two wouldn’t need to defend their territory. If the aggressive sounds persist, then you need to separate the guinea pigs.
This is certainly not a pleasant sound to hear. You will immediately understand that something is wrong with your beloved guinea pig. In most of the cases, the little fellow might start to squeal when it’s hungry. Make sure that the cavy has enough hay and fresh water at all times. However, if you feel like the squealing is not associated with food, then you better take the little one to the vet as the root cause might have to do with some health issues that you are unable to spot on your own.
Whining is simply another type of squeak. Sometimes you might feel like your guinea pig is moaning. This particular sound does not signify anything new. It means that the cavy is unhappy with something.
Other Guinea Pig Sounds
This is the most interesting and mysterious sound that guinea pigs make. The chances are high that you might not even hear it. But if you do, then you will surely be astonished by how much the noise sounds like an actual chirping bird. No one knows for sure why guinea pigs make these strange sounds. Some say that a guinea pig appears to be in a trancelike state, while others suppose that the guinea pig is showing its excitement.
If your guinea pig makes this ‘song’ that will certainly be a rare and wonderful experience. However, if you have a few guinea pigs, then the ones that are not chirping will start to act…strange. So, you might want to separate the pets, before the ‘singer’ finishes his serenade.
Rumbling and Cooing
Rumbling can sometimes be a bit difficult to identify because it sounds like purring. However, the rumble sounds a bit lower and you will probably hear this sound if you happen to have a female and male paired in one cage. Yes, the male might start rumbling whenever it is trying to get closer to the lady. The guinea pig might even perform a cute dance.
In case you are willing to mate the two, then the time has come to leave the two lovers alone.
Cooing is a sound that the mother guinea pig might make to calm their babies. It is a really calming and pleasant sound.
Sneezing and Coughing
Even though a guinea pig’s cough might sound very cute, you have to understand that these sounds can be an indication of respiratory illness. Keep the cage clean to make sure that nothing irritates the nose and lungs of the little fellow. However, if the coughing and sneezing do not stop, then you will need to take the fluffy ball to the vet.
If you notice that the guinea pig has lost its appetite and if there are some discharges from its nose and eyes, then take the guinea pig to the doctor immediately.
What Does It Mean If Your Guinea Pig is Always Silent?
Now, you are practically an expert in all the different sounds that guinea pigs can make. However, we still need to understand what it means, if your guinea pig prefers to stay silent. Does that simply mean that it’s shy and doesn’t like to communicate? Or is the root cause a bit deeper?
Usually, if the guinea pig is silent, it means that the poor fellow is absolutely petrified of something. The guinea pig will also freeze in such a case. The best thing that you can do is try and identify the cause that is scaring the pet and then talk to the little guy in a soft and calming voice.
Understanding Guinea Pig Body Language
It is so much easier to decipher the noises that your guinea pig makes in case you are familiar with the body language of the cavies as well.
As we have already mentioned, a guinea pig that is scared of something prefers to not move. The guinea pig can also be motionless if it’s uncertain about something. The little fellow will start moving as soon as it gets used to the alien thing in the cage.
Just like with practically all the other animals, sniffing is a way of checking out what’s going on. This way, guinea pigs get familiar with their surroundings and other cavies. These little guys like to sniff each other around the ears and nose, and, of course, the back end.
This is a delightful thing that only guinea pigs do. The guinea pig will start to repeatedly jump up and down (similar to popcorn in a microwave). If you see that your beloved pet is popcorning, it means that the little fellow is extremely excited or happy about something. So cute!
Even the older guinea pigs sometimes popcorn. Even though they won’t jump as high as their younger friends as their legs might hurt.
Tossing Head in the Air
You might see your guinea pig toss its head in the air when you’re petting the little guy. It means that the cavy is not in the mood right now and would prefer to be left alone.
This is an interesting thing that guinea pigs perform and it can mean different things. In case the little guy is rumbling while moving from one side to the other on stiff legs, it is a mating dance that guinea pigs sometimes perform and you can totally enjoy the show. However, if the fluffy ball is simultaneously teeth chattering, then it means that the guinea pig is in an aggressive mood.
Once again, mounting can be a sign of sexual behavior (in case you see a male perform such an action). If a female is mounting then the chances are high that you have another girl in the cage and they are showing dominance in such a way.
Congratulations! Now, you know how your guinea pig feels and you can become an even better owner to the little ball of fur. Just remember that all guinea pigs are different and some might not meet the descriptions we have mentioned.