What Do Guinea Pigs Sound Like? | List of Sounds

Every animal does a specific sound and those sounds can mean a lot of different things. Some of them might mean they are satisfied, while others may be related to them being upset. Understanding your guinea pig’s behavior is just as important as feeding them

Guinea pigs make quite a lot of different sounds, each of them has a distinctive meaning. Generally speaking, there are three categories of guinea pig sounds: positive, negative, and normal.

Positive sounds mean happy or excited about something. On the other hand, there are negative sounds that signal that something is wrong. Some of these guinea pig sounds are whistling, growling, purring, rumbling, muttering and more.

Types of Guinea Pig Sounds

Types of Guinea Pig Sounds

Eek or Wheek

This is one of the happy sounds guinea pigs make. They do this specific sound when they think you are going to feed them or when they see you after being absent for quite some time. However, sometimes they wheek just because they seek attention.

Related: Why Do Guinea Pigs Wheek?


Just like humans, guinea pigs may sometimes whistle without intending to because they are very excited about something. The certain two things that entertain any healthy guinea pig are playtime and food, so they might whistle when they get one of these two. 


Just like cats, guinea pigs purr when they are petted or cuddled. Purring usually sounds like a really deep, low and soft sound.

However, they sometimes purr when they are groomed or fed, maybe even when they are discovering a new place. As you may expect, this type of purr is another happy sound guinea pigs make. 

But things cannot be so simple because there are other types of purring. One of them is the high-pitched purr. This is something guinea pigs do when they are annoyed, while a shorter sounding purr equals fear. 

Related: Can Guinea Pigs Purr?


This is one of the most interesting sounds in our opinion. A male guinea pig (boar) makes this sound while trying to mate with a female (sow). On the other hand, sows sometimes make this sound when they desire a little romance.

Also, if you hear this sound coming from a group of guinea pigs, it may be because it is guinea pigs’ way of showing dominance. 


This is definitely a happy sound and to be honest, a funny sound. Muttering sounds like your little friend is mumbling to himself. This happens when you are feeding or petting your guinea pig. 


This sound is unusual but it is also made by guinea pigs. Actually, there are a lot of guinea pig owners that have never heard their pets make this sound.

Sometimes, baby guinea pigs chirp when they are taken away from their family. But sincerely, most of the guinea pigs chirp for no reason. 


This is the kind of sound that says “something is not right”. Usually, guinea pigs shriek because they are hurt or scared. This sound might also mean others are not allowed nearby.


This is definitely not a sound made out of happiness. This is a sign that your guinea pig is not pleased with something. It can be because you petted the guinea pig on a wrong spot or in an uncomfortable way. Also, they might whine because they desire something and you are not giving it to them. 


This is another sound on the list of sad sounds. Chattering is the most obvious way that your guinea pig is ready to attack. If a guinea pig is chattering, it either feels that it is in danger or upset. Either way, it really is quite an alarming sound they make and you really have to pay attention to it.


Guinea pigs sometimes hiss. This is a sound that resembles noises that cats make. Also, this can be confused with chattering. It means your guinea pig is angry or aggressive.  


Squeaking is just your little pet’s common language, it is usually the casual noise they often do. There are reasons guinea pigs squeak: it might be out of joy or sadness. They might squeak when a person they love leaves or when they know it is time to get fed, or even when interacting with people or socializing with other guinea pigs.

If you want to know the exact reason, pay attention to the moment they squeak and try to figure out why would they squeak.

As you have probably already noticed, there are many sounds that can be confused with others. Moreover, many sounds can have a lot of meanings, but to figure out which one is your guinea pig referring to, you have to look at the big picture. This simply means you have to notice their body language, too. 

Related: Guinea Pig Sounds | Noises Explained!

The Body Language of Guinea Pigs

The Body Language of Guinea Pigs

A very important and useful thing to do is to notice how your guinea pig acts in different situations. After you have established a guideline for guinea pig behavior, you can start noticing small changes in guinea pig body language depending on the situation it finds himself in. 

  • Popcorning – This is when your guinea pig jumps out of excitement or happiness. It is called this way because when guinea pigs do this movement, they look like popcorn popping.
  • Freezing – Guinea pigs, as a prey animal, almost never fight the danger. They either run or freeze. On the other hand, freezing can mean that your guinea pig senses danger and it is analyzing its environment to see whether or not it is indeed in danger.
  • Sniffing – Just like most of the pets, guinea pigs also use their smell in order to get a clear picture of their surroundings. They also sniff people and other guinea pigs as well. 
  • Touching Noses – This is an affectionate way for guinea pigs to greet each other. 
  • Aggressive Actions – Showing their teeth (accompanied by hissing or chattering) and other aggressive actions are signs that your guinea pig is either angry, upset or sensing danger.
  • Running Away When You Want to Pick Them Up – This is just their self-defense mechanism in action, representing the flight of the fight-flight-freeze response. After they get comfortable with you, they might start to like being picked up, especially if they know it is playtime of cuddling time.
  • Licking – Everybody thinks that if a guinea pig is licking a human being, it is showing affection. This might be just as true as the fact that they love the salt on your skin. 
What Do Guinea Pigs Sound Like_1

There are a lot of people that like having pets in general, but some of them are just not educated enough to give them the proper care that they deserve. Besides feeding them and grooming them, owners also need to show affection and attention to their pets.

To really understand what your guinea pigs need, you have to understand their signals. It is the most important thing when taking care of a pet

Related: What Do Guinea Pigs Noises Mean? | Sounds Explained

List of Sources

Isolation Induced Changes in Guinea Pig Cavia Porcellus Pup Distress Whistles

Individual Differences in Infant Guinea Pig Pups Isolation Whistles

Cortical Representation of Species-Specific Vocalizations in Guinea Pig

The Rich Acoustic Repertoire of a Precocious Rodent, the Wild Cavy Cavia Aperea

Guinea-Pig Vocalizations: Their Structure, Causation and Function