Baby guinea pigs are super cute and curious, and their noises and behaviors are just as adorable! Perhaps you just brought home a pair of baby guinea pigs, and you’re wondering what’s normal or what it all means. Read on to uncover 10 normal baby guinea pig behaviors and how your young piggy uses them to communicate.
Normal Behavior for Baby Guinea Pigs
Baby guinea pigs express much of the same behavior and noises as adults. However, some aspects are much more exaggerated when they are young, and others they may outgrow within 6 months to a year old.
Why Do Baby Guinea Pigs Squeak?
You may hear your baby guinea pig squeaking softly or making a quiet chutting noise in many circumstances.
They are often very vocal, expressing a series of small squeaks in their cage, while exploring outside their cage, or while popcorning.
These little squeaks typically indicate a happy and curious guinea pig. They also may stop and squeak softly while sniffing a certain spot or object. This means they are excited and intrigued by the new scent.
What Does It Mean When Baby Guinea Pigs Squeak Loudly?
Baby guinea pigs can squeak loudly, just like adults. However, they may squeak for slightly different reasons. Adult piggies often squeak when they hear bags rustling or when feeding times are near. Babies usually take some time to learn this, so their squeaking is often for different reasons.
For example, they sometimes stop and squeak loudly when they want something. As young babies, guinea pigs often squeak when separated from their moms or to say they’re hungry.
For a period of time after they are weaned, they may continue to squeak to try to call out to their mom, siblings, or another guinea pig.
Squeaking (loudly or quietly) is also common when they are popcorning and zooming around. This is very normal, and it indicates a happy and excited guinea pig.
If they are letting out a high-pitched squeal while interacting with another guinea pig, they may be protesting or overstepping their boundaries with their cagemate. This is common if you have a baby bonded with an adult. Most unrelated guinea pigs don’t tolerate space invasions as their mom would.
A baby may think it’s normal to squeeze in close or even run under the belly of an older guinea pig. If they do this, they will likely be told off by the older pig or chased out of a hidey house. It may seem harsh, but it’s totally normal, and they learn fast.
Do Baby Guinea Pigs Chirp?
While it is rather uncommon, it’s not unheard of for baby guinea pigs to chirp like a bird. They may do this as a way to call for their mom or say they want food.
What Does It Mean When Baby Guinea Pigs Whine?
Guinea pigs may whine to other guinea pigs as a way of saying they’re not a threat. It’s common with babies when bonded to adults.
The whining is basically a passive behavior saying they don’t want to challenge them and pose no threat.
Most adult guinea pigs will be more tolerant of a baby guinea pig than they will of another adult because they know the baby is too small and means no harm.
If your guinea pig is whining when you pet them, it could mean they are a bit worried or scared.
Baby Guinea Pig Extreme Popcorning
Popcorning is a very normal behavior for baby guinea pigs. It can occur while running zoomies or from a standstill. Baby guinea pigs can popcorn to extreme levels at times, involving little jumps, twists, and head twitches. It’s often accompanied by a series of little happy squeaks.
At times, it can look like a borderline seizure fit. Babies will often twitch their heads and jump multiple times, sometimes bumping into cages or other guinea pigs. If it is a true seizure, you can tell based on the behavior of your guinea pig.
If they are having seizures, they typically fall onto their side and seem disoriented or unresponsive to a degree. Popcorning guinea pigs will be exploring and running around in between popcorning episodes.
Some baby guinea pigs may also jump and popcorn when you pet them. This means that your guinea pig has a burst of energy or got excited about something.
Baby guinea pigs are often ticklish, so the tickly feeling when you touch them can trigger them to get a burst of energy and pop!
Enjoy this stage of your guinea pig’s life and take lots of videos because it doesn’t last forever! While adult piggies popcorn, it’s not nearly as epic as when baby guinea pigs do it. It can be hard to picture a crazy popping, zooming baby turning into a lazy lounger, but the time will come!
Baby Guinea Pig Zoomies
Zoomies are when your guinea pig runs wildly around the room. They may dart in and out of hiding places and race circles around the room. This is affectionately referred to by guinea pig people as “running piggy laps.”
It often occurs along with popcorning, and usually when you let them out of their cage to explore. Running zoomies means your baby is happy and excited to be out!
It’s also a way of expelling all their excess energy. Baby guinea pigs are full of beans when they are young, so it’s important to give them lots of floor time or provide them with a big cage where they can run.
Normally, baby guinea pigs will outgrow the bulk of this stage of their life by 6 months to a year old.
Adult guinea pigs typically prefer eating and sleeping to running. Some stay relatively active, but zoomies are less and less frequent as they age.
Baby Guinea Pigs Have Short Attention Spans
Baby guinea pigs also have extremely short attention spans and get distracted easily.
This is important to remember when you are training or holding your baby piggy.
When you offer them some food in your hand, they may come over and take a few nibbles and then take off to zoom and sniff things. This is perfectly normal as they are young and want to explore their new world.
Babies also don’t like to stay still, so they’re likely to get impatient and try to leap out of your arms or try to escape when you hold them.
When holding young guinea pigs, be sure to sit on the floor and keep them close to the ground in case they manage to jump. They can be easily injured from falling even the shortest distances.
Baby Guinea Pigs Are Very Curious
Baby guinea pigs are extremely nosy and love to get into everything. Make sure any space you give them access to is very well piggy-proofed. Babies love to sniff and nibble everything they come across, so it’s crucial that their environment is safe.
Why Do Baby Guinea Pigs Nibble and Bite?
Baby guinea pigs explore their environment with their mouth. Guinea pigs don’t have strong eyesight, so listening to sounds and observing taste, texture, and smell is largely how they discover the world. As a result, they are likely to nibble your arms, hands, or anything else nearby.
When holding your guinea pig, this is a good thing to keep in mind. You may need to wiggle your fingers or move your arm a bit, so they know it’s not an object to chew on. You can also try to distract them with veggies or chewable toys while they’re on your lap.
Many babies are also bubbly and crazy and dislike sitting still for too long. They may get more nibbly when they want to be let down to explore. It’s a good idea to keep your interactions short to match their limited attention span.
However, when guinea pigs are young, it’s a perfect time to introduce them to a variety of fruits and veggies.
Since babies are so curious and nibbly, they’re generally open to trying new things. This can prevent them from becoming fussy eaters as adults.
You can check out the safe foods list for some ideas to try. Be sure to introduce new foods one at a time in very small amounts to avoid any stomach upsets for your baby piggy.
Guinea pigs generally outgrow this stage and become less nibbly. While some adults can still be nibbly, it’s not to the extreme of young ones. They also get better at distinguishing human fingers from food and other objects.
Baby Guinea Pigs Can Be Skittish and FAST
Baby guinea pigs can be skittish at times and easily spooked by fast movements or noises.
As they adjust to life and their new environment, they will learn what’s normal and become desensitized to certain things.
Young guinea pigs are also insanely fast. They can be delicate and hard to pick up.
In addition, they have piercingly sharp nails that will inevitably scratch you as they scramble in your arms.
For these reasons, it’s important not to let children handle them without close supervision and sitting on the floor.
You can place the guinea pigs on their lap with some blankets or towels around to create a barrier so they can’t jump off as easily.
Try not to carry baby guinea pigs around any more than necessary, as they could squeeze out and try to jump out of your hands if they get spooked by something.
Baby guinea pigs generally start to outgrow many of these behaviors by 6 months, so it’s important to enjoy this stage!
Babies are incredibly cute, and they grow like a weed. In fact, guinea pigs will almost reach their adult size by just 4 months old!
Be patient with your young guinea pig as they form a bond with you and learn about their new world. Babies can seem crazy at first, but they will mature with time.
To learn about more common guinea pig sounds and behaviors, check out the guinea pig behavior page.