What is Your Guinea Pig Saying?
Published on Thursday, 28 October 2010
Guinea pigs are vocal animals. They love to express themselves and communicate with each other through a range of noises. Some may sound alike but if you pay enough attention to those noises, you will eventually be able to hear the difference and better understand what your guinea pig is saying through its vocalisations.
This is a sound they emit when they are hungry and want to be fed. They are seeking for attention. Guinea pigs are intelligent creatures and can identify the sound of plastic bags being opened or when the refrigerator doors are opened and closed – they assume that food is on the way.
Similar to purring, the sound of rumbling is deep and intense, with a vibrating effect. You can hear it when a male guinea pig is romancing a female guinea pig. Rumbling indicates excitement, more specifically sexual excitement, and is most often heard from male guinea pigs.
It is best to leave your guinea pig alone if you hear or see its teeth chattering. Not to be confused with the chattering sound, this is a warning signal to other guinea pigs to back off or stay away. This happens when they are upset, agitated or frightened. This sound can also be associated with the display of dominance when two males chatter at each other.
Purring is an indication of happiness, contentment and pleasure. It is usually accompanied by a relaxed and comfortable position. Just like cats, guinea pigs purr when you pet them. Do note that a purr can also mean something else. If it sounds like a “durr” (short purr) together with a “statue-like” posture, it may be a sign of fear or uncertainty.
The reason behind chirping is unknown and it is quite rare to hear guinea pigs chirp. It sounds similar to a bird chirping and typically happens when the guinea pig is in a trance. Once the “song” ends, he or she may simply resume nibbling on a piece of food as if nothing has happened.
A shriek will sound like a piercing, high-pitched squeak – most likely an indication that they are in pain or fear. If you do hear something like this, hurry over and check that your guinea pigs are fine and unharmed.