Do guinea pigs have a language?
Yeah, they do! They are just too social to not have a language.
Ok, they might not speak English, Spanish, French, or any other human language but they are talking to you and their fellow cage mates. They have a language of their own. It consists of squeaks and wheeks and many other unique guinea pig noises.
One of the most common of all guinea pig sounds is squeaking. While not all the guinea pig owners have heard their guinea pigs chirping, all of us have heard our piglets squeak. But what does the squeaking guinea pig trying to say? What does it mean when a guinea pig squeaks? Why do guinea pigs squeak?
If your guinea pig has been making adorable squeaks but you are unable to understand its meaning, continue reading. We are going to discuss all about guinea pig squeaks.
Guinea Pig Squeaking
Where cats meow, dogs bark and humans yammer, our guinea pigs squeak to communicate with their fellow cavies and their loving owners. They make a variety of different sounds, which means different things. While some sound like wheeking, chutting, and purring show that the guinea pig is happy, other sounds like whining, screaming, and teeth chattering show that the guinea pig is annoyed and unhappy.
Learning the meaning of different guinea pig sounds helps guinea pig lovers better understand their cavies and built a strong relationship with them and be better parents. One of the most common guinea pig sounds is squeaking. It covers a broad range of guinea pig vocalizations. So, understanding what your guinea pig is trying to tell you with its squeak would be a great leap forward in your relationship with your guinea pig.
So, are you ready to better understand your guinea pig and become a better guinea parent? Let’s start with why guinea pigs squeak.
Why Do Guinea Pigs Squeak?
Guinea pigs squeak for a variety of reasons. For instance, it could squeak because it was either startled or excited. Sometimes, guinea pigs squeak just to call their cage mates. At the same time, there is a possibility of a guinea pig squeaking out of pain. Squeaking covers a broad range of guinea pig noises, so let’s discuss each one.
Guinea Pig is Startled
Out in the wild, guinea pigs are prey animals. They are a meal to many animals up in their food chain. They always have to stay cautious of their surroundings. Therefore, when something happens suddenly they are startled, which could make them squeak for a while until they make sense of what just happened.
For instance, if you entered your guinea’s room too fast and they don’t see you coming, there is a huge chance they are going to be startled by the sound of sudden movement. Similarly, if you are sitting by your guinea cage and your guinea is looking in the other direction, you swoop your hand inside the cage to pet him. He will be startled big and will act jumpy and squeak. Such freaked-out guinea pigs might keep on squeaking until they freeze for a moment, assess the scene, and realize that everything is fine.
It is strongly advised that you always speak first before entering your guinea’s room or entering the guinea pig cage. Here is a video of a startled and sacred guinea pig as he is being examined by a vet.
Guinea Pig is Excited
Guinea pigs often squeak out of excitement. Below we discuss two of many situations in which guinea pigs let out a squeak of delight.
· Guinea pig is Excited About Food
Guinea pigs love food. So, when they hear their loving owners going to the kitchen or the guinea pig food cabinet, they start squeaking assuming that their owners are going to offer them food. Similarly, if you are eating some guinea pig-safe fruits and veggies like plums, Spinach, basil, avocado, etc. while sitting nearby your guinea pigs’ cage, you may hear your guinea pigs squeaking—saying they want a bite too.
Similarly, guinea pigs may also squeak when you are about to offer them a delicious treat.
Apart from anticipation of food, guinea pigs also squeak when they are hungry. If it’s their mealtime, and you somehow forgot to fill their food bowls, they are not going to sit quietly. They will squeak until you fill their food bowls.
· Guinea Pig is Excited For Floor Time
Guinea pigs are highly active creatures. They are always looking forward to their floor time. So, if you are letting your guinea pig out of their cage, it may squeak out of anticipation and thrill. Cavies also make a squeaking sound when they have new places to explore—they love exploring.
To provide your guinea pig the mental stimulation, you can provide him with interesting guinea pigs toys, tunnels, and mazes. If you are lucky, you may even witness your guinea pig popcorning out of excitement for his new toys.
Your Guinea Pig Loves You And Wants Your Attention
Guinea pigs are social creatures. They love their loving owners and sometimes all they want is some quality time with them. Besides, guinea pigs don’t want to stay cooped up in their cage throughout the day. Therefore, if your guinea pig sees you around, he may squeak to get your attention. In such cases, guinea pigs squeak in anticipation that their owners would let them out of the cage, hold them, play with them, and pet them.
While most guinea pigs love to be picked up, you should never overdo it. And before you pick up your little friend, you should know how to properly handle guinea pigs to avoid any injuries.
Guinea Pig is Calling His Cage Mate
Guinea pigs develop a strong bond with their cage mates and when one of them goes missing—out of their sight—they start squeaking while going around the cage looking for them. So, if you took one guinea pig out of the cage, just to play with him or to take him to a vet, the other guinea pig in the cage may start squeaking. This is more common in male and female pairs.
So, it is advised that you always keep your guinea pigs together. If it’s floor time, you should let both out at the same time. Similarly, both piggies must be fed at the same time. However, if you observe that one of the guinea pigs is being mean to the other, you should separate them until they cool off and forget the grudges and accept each other.
Guinea Pig is Hurt
Like other prey animals, guinea pigs do not let others, even their owners, get a hint about their sickness. However, there are many sick guinea pig signs that help their owners get a hint that their guinea pig might be sick. So, if you hear your guinea pig squeaking, you should go and check if he is doing alright. If your piglet is showing any other signs of sickness, you should immediately contact your vet.
If your guinea pig is hurt, he will let out a prolonged squeak. Oftentimes, guinea pigs fight with their cage mates and when one guinea pig gets hurt, he may squeak out of pain. If you hold a guinea pig that is hurt or you pet him in a place where he is injured, the guinea pig may bite you to let you know that “it hurts.”
Guinea Pig Is Sensing Danger
When sensing danger, often guinea pigs make a birds-like chirping sound. If there was a sudden noise or commotion in the house and your guinea pig does not know if it is safe out there or not, he may start squeaking like a bird until he becomes confident that there is no looming threat.
What Does it Mean When a Guinea Pig Squeaks?
Guinea pigs squeak when they are startled, or they are excited about something. Sometimes, guinea pigs squeak means that he is hurt or are being bullied by a cage mate. Guinea pigs may also squeak to call their cage mates or tell their owners that they love them and want their immediate attention.
The key to decoding the meaning of a guinea pig squeak is paying attention to the circumstances in that particular situation. For instance, if a guinea pig is squeaking at feeding times, he is hungry and asking for food. And when he squeaks as you suddenly move your hand into his cage to pet him, he is startled. Similarly, when a guinea pig squeaks during a fight, it means he is probably hurt.