Guinea Pig Purring: What Does It Mean When a Guinea Pig Purr?

guinea pig purring

Guinea pig sounds are not just random noises; their sounds have meanings. It is by making various unique sounds our guinea pigs try to communicate with their cage mates and you—their loving owners. Guinea pigs make many sounds, and it is hard for novice guinea pig owners to make sense of what their guinea pig is trying to say. Sometimes, even experienced cavy owners are perplexed by unique sounds like chirping and squeaking made by guinea pigs.

One of the most common guinea pig sounds is purring, which will be the focus of this blog. If you have been amused but at the same time baffled by the guinea pig purring sound, you are in the right place. In this blog, we are going to discuss all about guinea pig purring: Do guinea pigs purr? Why do guinea pigs purr? And what does it mean when a guinea pig purrs?

So, without further ado, let’s dive into it while your guinea is busy chewing on its timothy hay.

Guinea Pig Purring

The purring sound is usually associated with cats—happy cats. Cats are said to make a purring sound when they are really happy or excited about something or are feeling content. But in the case of guinea pigs, purring is more cryptic than that. So, continue reading to learn all about guinea pig purring.

Do Guinea Pigs Purr?

Yes, guinea pigs purr. Guinea pig purring is a low vocalizing and constant sound made by guinea pigs. It might sound like cats’ purrs, but it is not the same. It would sound somewhere between a low purring sound made by cats and the grumbling sounds made by their canine cousins.

Why Do Guinea Pigs Purr?

Where guinea pig purrs are primarily associated with a happy and content guinea pig, it is not always the case; guinea pigs often purr to communicate their annoyance. So to know exactly if a purring guinea pig is happy or annoyed, you will have to look carefully at the context. So if you hear your guinea pig purring, you will have to take a look at its surroundings to know for sure if it is actually a sign of contentment or not.

What Does It Mean When a Guinea Pig Purrs?

Mainly purring means that the guinea pig is happy and content. But it is not always the case; sometimes, a guinea pig purr could mean that he is annoyed. In certain instances, the purrs could also mean that your piglet is scared, distressed, or irritated.

Happy Vs Annoyed Guinea Pig Purring
Happy Guinea Pig PurringStressed and Annoyed Guinea Pig Purring
Purring is gentle and low in tonePurring is higher in pitch
The Guinea pig has a relaxed postureThe Guinea pig has a stiff posture

Guinea Pig Is Happy

Happy guinea pig eating grass in garden

Usually, guinea pig purrs are an indication that your piggy is happy and content. It means that he is enjoying his meal if he is eating, and if you are petting your guinea pig, he loves it. There are a few things to look for to ascertain if purring indicates a guinea pig’s happiness.

For instance, if you are gently petting your guinea pig and she starts making the low-toned, soft, and sweet purring sound, it would mean that he is really enjoying the petting session, especially if the guinea pig has a relaxed posture and body language. In this case, guinea pig purr means that he is happy and just wants to let you know that he really enjoys it when you gently caress and pet them.

happy guinea pig purring

Similarly, you might hear your guinea pig making the purring sound out of happiness when he gets to explore a new guinea pig toy or hide, or you take her out of her cage for floor time. In the same vein, your piglet may also make a purring sound when he is being fed his favorite treat. Guinea pigs just love food, and when you are satiating their taste buds with delicious guinea pig treats, they cannot stop themselves from purring to tell you that they really like it. Some guinea pigs may even start popcorning at the sight of their favorite treat. 

guinea pig eating carrot and purring

Guinea Pig Is Annoyed

If purring is high pitched and the guinea pig has a stiff posture, it means that the guinea pig is annoyed—there is something that he really doesn’t like. Let me explain.

If you are holding and petting your guinea pig and it starts making the purring sound, you should not rush to believe that it means he is happy; as said earlier, it could also mean the opposite—the guinea pig is annoyed. If the purring sound is high pitched and the guinea pig has a stiff posture, the guinea pig is irritated, and through his purrs, he is trying to communicate his annoyance—to get you to stop doing whatever is bugging her. It means that the petting and holding session must come to an end. If you don’t let go of your guinea pig in this state, he might Bite you to free himself.

Guinea pig with open mouth about to bite

Guinea pigs may also get annoyed and make a high-pitched purring sound when you stroke their butt, which shows and asserts dominance among guinea pigs. So, if you stroke your guinea’s butt and let out a high-pitched purr, you should take your cue and back off—you know who the boss is.

Guinea pigs may also make a high-pitched purring sound when one of their cage mates is annoying them. For instance, if the other guinea pig is not letting the piggy eat his favorite veggie that the owner just put in the cage, the guinea pig might let out a high-pitched purring sound and call you to help the other piglet know that he won’t have it. Similarly, a guinea pig may also make such a purring sound if his cage mate is not letting him play with his favorite toy.

Guinea Pig is Scared

A short and high-pitched purr—could mean that your guinea pig is scared. There could be a predator close to their cage, or some sudden and loud sound might have startled them. In such cases, your piglet would be standing still, frozen in one place, and letting out a high-pitched purr to get your attention or trying to intimidate the threat. So, if you hear your guinea pig purr, you should immediately rush to check if everything is alright. You should identify whatever might be stressing your piglet and remove it from the guinea pig environment.

Final Word: What Does It Mean When a Guinea Pig Purrs?

Mainly purring means that the guinea pig is happy, but it could also mean she is annoyed or scared. So, to really know what a guinea pig purr means, you will have to take a look at the context of the situation. Where a happy purr would be soft and low pitched with a guinea pig having a relaxed posture, the purr of an unhappy or scared guinea pig would be high-pitched, and she would have a stiff posture.

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