Guinea pigs are adorable small fluffy animals that make the perfect pet for a smaller home. They come in as many solid colors and variations of colors as dogs or cats do. They can also require as much care, but since they are smaller, it may be a little big easier for that busy family to care for a guinea pig pet.
Whether you’ve had a guinea pig for years, or you’ve just adopted one, you may be wondering why they make that high-pitching chirping sound, much like a bird. In fact, the first time you heard it, you may have thought that a bird had come inside your home! And then you saw your guinea pig open their mouth wide, exposing their four sharp teeth to make that sound!
It’s not what you think. Guinea pigs aren’t related to the bird species. This little animal makes a wide range of sounds, and each sound means something different. Chirping in the guinea pig doesn’t just mean one thing either. There can be up to four different reasons for the chirping sounds coming from your pet.
What Is the Chirping Sound?
At times guinea pigs are very quiet, while at other times they can be loud and annoying. The chirping sound is just one of the loud sounds that they can make. Chirping is also one of the strangest. This consists of a loud short tone that is quickly repeated, much like a bird chirping outside. The first time you hear it, you will be confused until you see and hear it for yourself.
When Can You Hear the Chirping Sound?
Guinea pigs chirp for distressing reasons, but they usually happen when they’re alone. You may hear these sounds at any time of day, in the morning, afternoon, evening, or middle of the night. But for some reason, the guinea pig will chirp more at night time when it’s dark. You’ll find out more further down the page.
How Long Does a Guinea Pig Chirp for?
Chirping usually lasts for about ten minutes, but can go on for a big longer. You’ll be surprised to learn that a guinea pig chirps when they’re alone. If you enter the room, they will stop. Once you leave, they will start up again. This is because your presence provides them with comfort.
How Often Will a Guinea Pig Chirp?
It’s actually quite rare to hear a guinea pig chirp. You may have a guinea pig for years and never hear it make this sound. Or, you may have a pet that makes this sound on a regular basis at night time. You may hear it only once, then never again. You may even have several guinea pigs, but have never heard it. This is good news!
Why Does a Guinea Pig Chirp?
There are four main reasons why a guinea pig may chirp. Generally, the chirping sound is a negative one, unlike with birds. If you hear it, you may wish to check on your guinea pig to see if they are okay.
Chirping can be warning sounds from your guinea pig. It may occur when animals go past the window outside, or it could be from someone they don’t like inside the house, or from another pet. This is to alert the family to impending danger. Since a guinea pig doesn’t understand that other family or pets will not harm them, they’ll continue to do it. If you do bring a new pet or child into the home or have visitors, slowly introduce them so you can avoid this situation in the future.
They’re Just Nervous
Guinea pigs are prey animals, so they have many fears, especially about people or other animals who are bigger than them. They may also fear change, such as their cage being moved into a different room, or being taken outside where the rest of the family are. Do changes slowly for them, so they can adjust, or wrap a small towel around their cage.
It can be surprising that such a small animal can suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, much like a human can, but these small animals remember tragedies too. These situations may have occurred from being attacked or chased by another family pet or a young child.
If they see the other family member again, they may start chirping as a way to soothe themselves. In these situations, you should provide your guinea pig with a small cage that can be placed in a safe area away from the common traffic flow of a home.
They’ve Experienced a Loss
Have you just brought your guinea pig home, or was one of their brothers or sisters re-homed? Did a member of the family pass away (pet or otherwise)? They may be experiencing grief, just like when a human loses a loved on. This chirping won’t last forever, but may be a good time to spend some extra time gently petting and talking to them.
What Can I Do to Help a Chirping Guinea Pig?
The first thing you should do is notice any immediate changes in their environment. Are there animals or other humans nearby that they’re not familiar with? You can easily move their cage into another room. This should be a room that they are already familiar with too.
You should make them familiar with different rooms for just this scenario. You can also gently talk to your guinea pig and give them gentle strokes. If the human is happy and content, that will signal to them that there really is no danger, and everything is fine.
A guinea pig’s chirping sounds will make us smile. But it’s also important to understand the different sounds they make, in case they need immediate caring and attention. When you have a happy and healthy pet, they are happy and healthy too, and certain to provide years of happiness and companionship to you and your family!