Did you adopt a guinea pig? Or perhaps a pair of guinea pigs? They are adorable and you love them to bits. You have been doing everything in your power to please your guinea pigs and to get them to wheek and squeak. But they seem to “hate” you. Every time you enter the room, guinea pigs rush to their hides. You try to feed them their favorite veggies and fruits with your hand, but they won’t even come out of their cage, even if they are starving. You sit next to their cage for hours and talk to them in a soothing voice but they don’t seem to care. They seem to be terrified by your sight, your voice, and your presence, making you believe that your guinea pig hates you.
You must be disheartened and disappointed in your guinea pigs. Or perhaps you are blaming yourself that you must be doing something wrong. Well, before we discuss the 10 common signs your guinea pig hates you, you should know that guinea pigs don’t really “hate” their loving owners. What is perceived as hate or dislike by most guinea pig owners is usually guinea pigs displaying their discomfort, sickness, and fear due to their prey mindset. So, if your guinea pig is hiding in its hide as you come close to the guinea pig cage, your guinea pig is probably perceiving you as a threat—a predator.
If you have been worried about your guinea pigs’ dislike or hatred for you, continue reading, as we are going to discuss all about it. In addition to discussing common signs your guinea pig hates you, we will be discussing ways how to get your guinea pig to like you. So, give this article a read and be patient, your piglet would soon warm up to you.
Before we move forward, you should know that you are not alone. Almost every novice guinea pig owner thinks that their guinea pig hates or dislikes them.
Signs Your Guinea Pig Hates You
Guinea Pigs don’t really hate their loving owners, but certain signs and behaviors make novice guinea pig owners assume that their piggies hate them. Below we have discussed the most common signs that make people think that their guinea pig hates them.
1. Guinea Pig Not Eating From Your Hand
You offer delicious fruits and veggies to your guinea pigs but they won’t eat from your hand. Even if they are hungry, they won’t come out of their cage and at least sniff the food item in your hand. They only eat when you are at a distance or not in the vicinity of their cage.
This is devastating for most guinea pig owners. They just cannot understand why their guinea pig won’t accept treats from their hands. But they don’t realize that their piglets are scared. They might be perceiving you as a predator.
|What Can You Do? Don’t expect your piggies to start eating from your hand right away. You will have to give your guinea pigs some space and time and never force yourself upon them. You must wait for them to come to you. Perhaps, you can try waiting for those hunger pangs to hit your guinea pigs before feeding them. Only start hand feeding your piggies when they seem comfortable feeding in your presence.
2. Guinea pig Recedes Into Its Hide Whenever Your Come Close
Every time you enter the room, your guinea pigs go into hiding. Every time they spot you, they are nowhere to be seen. You never get to see your guinea pigs playing and running around. They are always hiding in your presence. This is devastating for guinea pig owners. It is just hard to understand why the guinea pigs, whom you love to the moon and back, would be terrified of you. The thought “What did I do wrong?” often keeps such guinea owners awake at night.
|What Can You Do?
Guinea pigs are very social creatures, but you should know that they are also prey animals and some are very skittish and shy. They become afraid pretty easily. You should make sure that you are not banging the door closed on your way into the room. Guinea pigs are scared of loud noises. Similarly, as guinea pigs are prey animals, they hate it when someone sneaks up on them quietly (they think it’s some predator). So, you should close the door quietly and let your guinea pig know that you are there (by calling out their name as you enter the room) before getting too close to their cage.
3. Guinea Pig Won’t Allow Petting
Guinea pigs love petting sessions. So, it might be a bit thorny to accept the fact that your guinea pig won’t even let you get near the cage. They would not come out of their hides as long as you are standing there. You might be worried that you are not petting them in the right spots, or that you are not holding your guinea pig properly. You must think that your guinea pig hates you and that’s why he is not letting your pet. If he loved you, he would love to be caressed and petted by you.
|What Can You Do?
Guinea pigs love petting sessions but for that, they must trust you. And trust is not built overnight, it takes time. So, you cannot expect your guinea pig to warm up to you as soon as you bring him home. You should be patient and work on establishing a rapport and trusting relationship with your guinea pig. You should never do anything that they hate or dislike. You should feed them on time. And soon they will be snuggling in your lap.
4. Guinea Pig Bites You
Guinea pigs rarely bite. Their bites don’t hurt but they have the ability to push novice guinea pig owners into the abyss of despair, believing that their guinea pigs hate them. There could be scores of reasons for making your guinea pig bite you like your hands smell either food or a predator; your guinea pig has to pee; the guinea pig is uncomfortable, in pain, sick, or scared. There could be many other reasons but hating you is never one of them.
|What Can You Do?
You should try to identify the underlying reason that is making your guinea pig bite you. You should check out our article Why Does My Guinea Pig Bite Me? And What Can You D About It? to identify the cause and address it. generally, you should always wash your hands before handling your guinea pig and know that the guinea pig is not biting out of hate—he could be sick or scared.
5. Guinea Pig Peed On You
Your guinea pig peed on you and now you are devastated, thinking that your guinea pig hates you. Guinea pigs shave a high metabolism and are always pooping and peeing so if your guinea pig happens to have an accident while you were holding him, you should know that it was merely an accident. Guinea pigs just cannot hold it for long. They are peeing and poop around 150 to 200 times a day.
|What Can You Do?
Just know that it was an accident. If you don’t want your guinea pig to have an accident while you are holding them, make sure that you are not holding them for long. Keep the petting session short. And try to pick your guinea pig after he has relieved himself. If your guinea pig nips at you while you are holding them, they might have to pee, so, take your cue.
How to Get Your Guinea Pig to Like You?
Neither guinea pigs are much demanding, nor do they have much upkeep; just keep their cage clean and provide them a balanced guinea pig diet and your guinea pig would love you to bits.
If you are a novice guinea pig owner, here are a few things you can do to get your guinea pig to like you.
1. Know the Things That Guinea Pigs Hate
Besides being prey animals, guinea pigs are sensitive little creatures with many fears and phobias. So the first to get your guinea pigs to like you would be to know the things that they hate.
- Guinea pigs hate loud noises. They are easily startled.
- They hate lower or higher temperatures. They are sensitive to both cold as well as hot weather.
- They hate open spaces with no hides. They are prey animals and thus feel vulnerable in open spaces with nowhere to hide.
- They are very social creatures and should be kept in pairs. They hate to live alone by themselves.
- Guinea pigs don’t like to be touched on their rear end. They think some predator is sneaking up on them.
- Guinea pigs are fastidious creatures. They hate it when their cage is dirty.
- They hate being chased. If your guinea pig is running away from you, he might think you are a predator so if you chase them, they would be scared for their life.
- They hate being held for too long. No one wants a clingy friend who will have no regard for your privacy. Besides, guinea pigs also have to poop and pee quite often.
- Guinea pigs hate swimming. They hate getting wet as they get soaked up to their skin.
2. Provide Your Guinea Pigs with Quality Floor Time
Guinea pigs are active rodents. They love to explore new spaces. Therefore, you must regularly take your guinea pig out of its cage and let him run around and explore a guinea pig-safe space. Your guinea pig would really love you for the quality floor time.
3. Keep the Temperature Moderate
Guinea pigs are sensitive to heat as well as cold. Where a hot environment would make them prone to heatstroke, a cold environment would make them susceptible to pneumonia and breathing issues. Therefore, it is crucial that you keep them at moderate temperatures. The ideal guinea pig temperature range for guinea pigs is 65° to 75° Fahrenheit. Your fluffballs would love you if you could keep the temperature of their habit in between their ideal temperature range.
4. Learn How to Properly Hold a Guinea Pig
Guinea pigs are very fragile, mishandling could fracture their bones. Therefore, it is crucial that you learn how to properly hold your guinea pig before you try to pick up your guinea pig. You should also learn where do guinea pigs like to be petted. Having learned this, you would make holding and petting sessions enjoyable for your guinea pigs and would not be hurting them unknowingly so, of course, your guinea pig would also learn to appreciate you.
5. Get them a Cage Mate
Guinea pigs are social beings. They hate to live by themselves. So, there would be nothing in this world that your guinea pig wants more than a cage mate who will always be there to play with him, run around and explore new spaces with him. Guinea pigs kept in pairs are happier and more confident than guinea kept alone. So you can expect your guinea pig living with a cage mate to warm up to you soon.
6. Understand Guinea Pig Voices
Guinea pigs cannot speak our language, but they do speak to us by making unique sounds. As responsible guinea pig owners, we should try to understand guinea pig noise and learn what they are trying to communicate. This would help build trust and strengthen your bond with your piglet. Having learned guinea pig voices, next time your guinea pig is whining, chirping, squeaking, purring, hissing, or chattering its teeth, you will know that something is wrong and would be better able to identify the cause of discomfort or fear and sort it out. This would take your relationship with your guinea pig to a whole another level.
7. Keep Them in a Peaceful Environment
Guinea pigs hate loud noise. They hate to be placed in the hallway, where they often have to face strangers and other pets in the house. The strangers (guests in the house) and the cat might not be planning on preying on your guinea pigs but they think otherwise. Because of their prey animal instincts, they get scared to death every time they spot a cat or a stranger facing in their vicinity.
Your guinea pig would really appreciate it if you placed the guinea pig cage in a quiet room, free of all the commotion. If you put a few guinea pig toys in the cage, you won’t have to worry about your guinea pigs getting bored.
8. Keep Guinea Pig Cage Clean
Guinea pigs are clean and fastidious little rodents. They like and are pretty good at keeping themselves clean, but they cannot clean their cage as well. Therefore, they really hate it when their cage is not cleaned by their owners. As it becomes impossible for them to keep themselves clean in a dirty cage. Living in a dirty cage, guinea pigs may smell bad, which they hate. Therefore, your guinea pig would appreciate it if you cleaned its cage every other day.
9. Feed Them On Time and Offer Them Treats
Guinea pigs love eating. While guinea pigs would like you if you feed them their meals on time, they would love you to bits if you offered them their favorite treats every now and then. You can try offering guinea pig-safe fruits and veggies to your piggies and learn what they like the most. You can then offer them their favorite food items when you are holding and petting them.
To find out which fruits and veggies are safe for guinea pigs, check out our guides to what guinea pigs can or cannot eat: