By nature, guinea pigs are extremely curious and they love to play. They’re very social animals and can express a wide range of behaviors.
Learning to understand these behaviors can go a long way in building a better and more fulfilling relationship with your pets.
Because of their intelligence and their need to be social, guinea pigs can easily get bored.
They need consistent and regular playtime, constant entertainment, and love from their owners to be happy and energetic. So how can you tell when your guinea pigs are bored?
The signs that your guinea pigs are bored are if they’re:
- Making whining sounds.
- Chattering their teeth.
- Showing general disinterest towards normal activities.
They are very similar to young children, always ready to run around and play, and get grumpy and irritated when they’re made to sit quietly in one place without getting their energy out.
If you want a more in-depth look at the signs of a bored guinea pig and how to prevent them from actually becoming bored, check out the rest of this post.
Signs Your Guinea Pigs Are Bored
Guinea pigs can show that they’re bored through different ways like their sounds, their body language and by showing general disinterest.
It’s good to note that all guinea pigs are different, they have their own personalities so not all of them will act the same way when it comes to being bored.
Keeping these different signs in mind, however, can help you stay aware and understand if your pet guinea pigs may be unhappy and bored.
The Sounds Guinea Pigs Can Make When They’re Bored
Bored and unhappy guinea pigs can create different sounds that may show that they are not very comfortable with their current environment. The sounds include all types of:
Of all these sounds, it is easiest to distinguish teeth chattering from the others.
On rare occasions, these sounds may also be accompanied by bared teeth and is a strong indicator that they are unhappy.
Guinea Pigs Show Disinterest In Activities When They’re Bored
One of the most obvious signs of your guinea pigs being bored is when they lose interest in all types of activities.
If your guinea pigs always loved playtime, and they suddenly being to show complete disinterest, it may be a hint that something is not right.
If they show this type of behavior for more than a day or two, it is a strong sign that your pets are bored or possibly may have health issues.
If that’s the case, it’s recommended to take them to a vet for a thorough check-up. The earlier you recognize the problem, the better it is for your guinea pigs.
Body Language That Can Be Confused As Guinea Pigs Being Bored
Guinea pigs perform a lot of interesting actions. One of these is known as rumble strutting and looks like a dance.
This action is common and does not mean they’re bored. Guinea pigs sometimes rumble strut when they are around another guinea pig, and can be looked at as an act of dominance, or as a mating dance.
Another action that doesn’t mean their bored and is a form of aggressive behavior is the raising of the head and fluffing up of the fur.
You may have noticed that when you place some food near your guinea pig, sometimes it fluffs up its fur. Especially when there is another guinea pig nearby. This is to look more intimidating so that their food is not stolen.
If this type of aggressive behavior is being displayed regularly, it may be a sign that something is wrong.
What Are The Reasons Why Guinea Pigs Can Become Bored?
When guinea pigs are out in the wild they are always on the move, seeking new terrain and food.
However, when they are kept as pets they can become a lot less active sometimes.
So one of the reasons why they can become bored is that they are only able to do the same tasks over and over again and they are kept in smaller spaces as well.
The main reasons why guinea pigs get bored are:
- Less social interaction with other guinea pigs and humans.
- Being stuck inside a cage for most of the day.
- Bad nutrition.
- Lack of toys and items to play with and chew on.
When the environment they’re in is stale or boring for a very long period, it can lead to guinea pigs becoming bored and miserable and if not corrected, even depressed.
How To Stop Guinea Pigs From Being Bored
You can help prevent your guinea pigs from getting bored by entertaining them in several ways:
- Giving them toys.
- Keeping their cage in a busy area of the house.
- Giving them more playtime.
- Allowing them to eat food with different tastes.
Give Your Guinea Pigs Something New To Play With
Crumpled Paper – Take a piece of paper, and crumple it up into a ball. Let your guinea pigs play with this ball of crumpled paper. It can be out in the open or by placing it inside their cage.
The crumbling sound is something guinea pigs enjoy and will keep them occupied and engaged for a while.
Stuffed Sock – Take a sock and stuff it with some regular or hypoallergenic guinea pig hay. Use a string or rubber band and to tie off one end, and cut the excess part hanging off.
This acts as a nice pillow and also as something for your guinea pigs to chew on.
Cardboard Tunnel – Pick up some wrapping paper tubes and cut them up into small sections. This can act as a fun play tunnel for your guinea pigs.
Just ensure that the sides are cut down so that your pets cannot get stuck inside the tubes.
Place Your Guinea Pigs Cage In A Good Area
Busy Area – As I mentioned before, guinea pigs are social creatures and they love interacting with their owners.
Placing their cage in the most active part of your house will make them feel connected to the people nearby and help keep them entertained.
Add Items – Simple items such as DIY tunnels and hiding spots are an excellent addition to your guinea pigs cage.
These items give them something new to explore and will leave them satisfied.
Replace the items once every few weeks to make sure they have something new to explore and play with.
Give Your Guinea Pigs More Playtime In And Out Of Their Cage
Obstacle Courses – Guinea pigs have been shown to enjoy simple puzzles and challenges.
Mazes and obstacle courses are something they absolutely enjoy. You can use cardboard and tape to build the perfect maze.
Just be sure to give them a treat when they complete the activity to reward them.
Roaming Time – Exercise is an important part of the routine of any guinea pig.
Let them out of their cages to roam around the room. Ensure that you have made the room guinea pig proof so that it’s safe for them.
Let Your Guinea Pigs Eat Something New
Fruit – Let your guinea pigs enjoy different tastes from different kinds of fruit like:
Note that since these foods have higher sugar content in them, they must be fed fruit only a few times a week.
Vegetables – Give them some vegetables that you can mix in with their normal diet to switch it up a little like:
You can also be more liberal with the number of vegetables you feed it since they don’t contain as much sugar, and also help them remain healthy and happy.
Knowing the signs that show they’re bored and the number of different ways to keep them from actually becoming bored will make it easier for you to keep your guinea pigs entertained.
They’re gentle animals and excellent pets. They form great bonds with their owners and are very expressive and intelligent creatures.
So sometimes keeping your guinea pigs from becoming bored can be a lot of work, but it pays off in the long run because they’ll feel better and happier overall.