Are Guinea Pigs Ticklish? | Information and Tips

When touching a dog, cat, or guinea pig on different parts of the body, the reaction varies. Some animals enjoy being petted on the back, while others prefer to be petted on the stomach.

Yes, guinea pigs are ticklish but just like humans, some guinea pigs are ticklish while others are not. Guinea pigs have certain areas where they like being handled. Some spots provide them with genuine joy and relaxation, while other spots can be rather ticklish. No two guinea pigs are identical so its best to experiment a little to see which body areas are safe for tickling.

Do Guinea Pigs Love to Be Petted or Tickled?

Do Guinea Pigs Love to Be Petted or Tickled

The majority of guinea pigs like being touched. The tickling, on the other hand, is entirely dependent on the guinea pig and the strength of your bond.

Guinea pigs are rodents and rodents aren’t so used to trusting the world around them. This means that when you buy yourself a guinea pig, you shouldn’t immediately grab it and start twisting it around.

A guinea pig will need some time to adapt to a new home, new environment, and the owner. When you buy a guinea pig, you should definitely spend some time with it to create a bond between you two but you should also restrain from petting it. At that point, do not even think about tickling it.

If you do everything as you should, your guinea pig will begin to trust you and you’ll be able to pet it whenever you want.

The best way to do this is to let a guinea pig sit in its cage. When you want to spend time with it, open the cage and let it approach you, and not vice versa. If the guinea pig starts approaching you often, that’s a perfect sign that it gained trust in you and you can proceed to slowly pet and tickle it.

How to Pet a Guinea Pig?

How to Pet a Guinea Pig

If not petted properly, guinea pigs can show signs of discomfort and dislike. The first thing to do before you pet them is to make sure that you’re gentle enough. Guinea pigs aren’t some big dogs that could bite off your hand but gentle animals that require patience and tenderness.

When you decide that you want to pet your guinea pig, be sure to alert them in some way. Don’t just go behind or sneak upon them. They can get scared and you’ll lose every chance of petting them.

If a guinea pig doesn’t want to be petted, you should never force it. Simply let it go until it returns and wants to be petted. Petting should be gentle and in the direction of the fur. Going in the opposite direction will cause discomfort for both you and a guinea pig. This direction is from head to hips, not the opposite.

Where Should You Pet Your Guinea Pig?

Where Should You Pet Your Guinea Pig

Many owners say that you should start by petting the back, which we don’t agree with. Petting your guinea pig on the back might trigger its natural instinct and make it scared.

The best way to start petting your guinea pig is under the chin or head. If you see that your guinea pig is comfortable, you can then move to the back. If not, petting your guinea pig under the chin or head is the way to go. In our experience, this is the area that guinea pigs like the most.

Most of the time, you won’t even need to stop petting it as your guinea pig will move away from you on its own. That’s a signal that the petting should stop.

Related: Are Guinea Pigs Affectionate Pets to Humans?

What If a Guinea Pig Doesn’t Want to Be Petted or Tickled?

What If a Guinea Pig Doesn’t Want to Be Petted or Tickled

There might be a number of issues if your guinea pig refuses to let you pet it. Some of the issues and solutions are as follows:

  • You don’t know how to pet properly. If you aren’t gentle, a guinea pig will reject you every time you try to pet it. Never force a guinea pig into petting if it doesn’t want it. Let your guinea pig approach you and then touch it gently. While this sounds hard, in reality, it really isn’t.
  • Guinea pigs don’t like to be petted or tickled. If your guinea pig behaves like this, you’ll need to get over it and stop petting it, and don’t be sad about it. You can still have fun with your guinea pig without physical contact through training and play.
  • You can bribe your guinea pig foods into petting. While it eats, approach slowly and pet it gently. Over time, it will start to associate the feeding time with you. You can use that time to pet it and enjoy your gentle moments with it.
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Some guinea pigs love petting and some hate it. It’s up to you to see and decide how you want to make your pet feel comfortable.

Enough reading for today. Go and spend some quality time with your guinea pig but don’t smother it too much! If you really have to, you can tickle it but only for a few seconds, and don’t do it often! Best of luck!

List of Sources

The Behavioral Endocrinology of Domestication: A Comparison Between the Domestic Guinea Pig (Cavia Apereaf.porcellus) And Its Wild Ancestor, the Cavy (Cavia Aperea)

Of Domestic and Wild Guinea Pigs: Studies in Sociophysiology, Domestication, and Social Evolution

Code of Practice for the Housing and Care of Animals Bred, Supplied or Used for Scientific Purposes

Caring for Your Pet Guinea Pig

Pet Ownership and Human Health: A Brief Review of Evidence and Issues