Having a good sleep at night is both mentally and physically restorative. When your sleep is disturbed, it affects your energy and mood throughout the day. So, if you want to have guinea pigs in your bedroom, will they be noisy during the night?
Guinea pigs can be noisy at night because they are crepuscular animals. They are most active during dawn and dusk, but they wake periodically throughout the night to forage for food and move around. The squeaking and scratching noises they make aren’t loud or excessive, however they can disturb light sleepers.
For those who value their sleep, read on to learn how you can minimize the noise your guinea pigs make at night. Also, we will tell you what those squeaks and squeals mean so you can diagnose what your cavy is wanting.
How Much Sleep Do Guinea Pigs Need?
Cavies only require 4-6 hours of sleep each day. This is broken down into short nap periods throughout the day and night. Guinea pigs are not nocturnal, but they will often be awake for periods of time throughout the night. Therefore, you may hear your guinea pig eating, scratching, or navigating around in the dark.
Can I Keep Guinea Pigs In My Bedroom?
You can keep guinea pigs in your bedroom, but it’s not recommended if you are a light sleeper. While guinea pigs are typically quieter at night than during the day, they are still awake throughout the night and often make some noise.
They are not nearly as active or noisy as hamsters at night, but you may hear them shuffling around or drinking from a water bottle. Smell can also build up faster in a small room, but it is manageable as long as you keep up on cage maintenance.
Personally, I used to keep guinea pigs in my room for many years as a teenager and had no issues with that. However, the situation can differ depending on the individual person and guinea pigs.
What Noises Do Guinea Pigs Make?
Guinea pigs are typically quieter at night than during the day. They tend to quiet down in the darkness, especially when the house is silent and calm. However, any noises they do make are often more noticeable at night when the room is otherwise quiet.
Some common noises you’ll hear from your guinea pig at night include purring or rumble strutting, quiet squeaks or chutting, scratching noises (especially if they start scratching beside a plastic hideaway or the cage walls), or rattling of toys or water bottles. These can be indicators that your cavy is hungry, content, or communicating with their cagemates.
Guinea pigs usually squeal or squeak when they are hungry. If your guinea pig does this at night, try to be proactive and give them a big handful of hay right before bed to keep them occupied throughout the night.
Guinea pigs will also sometimes squeal in a high-pitched tone to communicate with other guinea pigs. If this occurs, try adding more hiding places and food sources for your guinea pigs so they have no need to argue over space or resources.
Rumbling and Purring
Guinea pigs often purr and rumble strut at their cagemates to communicate. Males typically purr more than females, but females will often purr and chase their cagemates for a day or two when in heat (which typically occurs every couple of weeks.)
Chirping is a rare noise that not all guinea pigs make. However, guinea pigs that chirp often do it at night when everything is quiet. There are theories about why some guinea pigs chirp, but no known cause.
Out of several guinea pigs I’ve had over the years, I’ve only had one that chirped, and she only does it occasionally, usually once every few weeks or months.
Sneezing and Grooming
A guinea pig sneeze sounds similar to a human sneeze and is usually nothing to be concerned about as long as it’s not a frequent recurring thing.
As well as these sounds your guinea pig can make:
- scratching noises as part of their grooming.
- noises when eating or digging through hay
- communication with other guinea pigs in the cage
That’s a lot of noise potentially coming from your cavy, but it is possible to reduce the sounds they make at night.
How Can I Minimize the Sound Guinea Pigs Make at Night?
If you want your cavies to share the same bedroom as you, there are some methods you can try to reduce the noise they make at night.
1. Establish a daily routine
Create a daily routine that matches yours. Play and interact with your guinea pig through the day so that when nighttime comes, they will be calm and ready for some downtime. Giving your guinea pig some floor time in the evening also helps tire them out for the rest of the night.
2. Don’t feed your guinea pig after the lights are out
Guinea pigs will squeak whenever they think there is a possibility of being fed. Therefore, if you give them food after all the lights are off, you may be training them to squeak more. Feed them before bed, and ignore any squeaking or begging after dark so they learn that darkness = quiet time.
3. Nighttime toys
Make sure your guinea pigs only have access to quiet toys and chew items, especially at night. For example, gnawing blocks or wood is often quite loud when guinea pigs chew it. A ball weaved from hay or a little tunnel they can explore are some better options to quietly occupy your piggy.
4. Have a water bowl
If your cavies drink noisily from a water bottle, you may want to try swapping it out with a bowl. They can still have a drink throughout the night, and you get your sleep. Before you do the swap over, see if your cavy is keen on drinking from a bowl. Some guinea pigs don’t mind, while others do.
5. Have some chamomile
You have to be careful with this option as it can have negative health effects on some guinea pigs. Have a chat with your vet before proceeding with this method.
Chamomile contains apigenin, which is a sedative. Providing your guinea pigs with chamomile can help calm them down at night. That equates to less noise from them.
If you want to try this method, introduce the chamomile slowly into your cavy’s diet. Offer it in very small amounts only and keep a watch on the health of your guinea pigs. If they have a reaction to the chamomile, then stop immediately.
6. Feed your guinea pig before bed
If your guinea pig is hungry during the night, they will let you know! Avoid this scenario by feeding them before bed and providing a large pile of hay to munch on throughout the night.
7. Move the cage
As a final resort, after you have tried everything else, relocate the cage.
Ensure the place you will move the cage to is safe and secure. You don’t want to stress out your guinea pigs. Have an environment that is dark and relaxing. Make sure that your cavies won’t be disturbed by sudden noises or from other pets within the house.
It’s trial and error
When it comes to working out ways to reduce the noise your guinea pigs are making, it’s a matter of seeing what works and what doesn’t. If you want your guinea pigs in the same room with you, it’s important to stay patient and try a few different methods.
Since guinea pigs only need a small amount of sleep, they can be somewhat noisy at night. However, they are generally not as loud as nocturnal animals like hamsters, mice, and rats. You can also decrease the amount of noise they make by creating a daily routine that is in line with yours and feeding them before bedtime.