Why Do Guinea Pigs Chirp? (Is It Normal and What It Means)

One of the most mysterious noises a guinea pig can make is chirping. This strange sound is quite unusual for guinea pigs, and many will never make this noise in their lifetime. The true reason that guinea pigs chirp is largely unknown, but there are many theories about the cause.

What Does it Sound Like When Guinea Pigs Chirp?

First of all, what is a guinea pig chirp, and what does it sound like? When a guinea pig chirps, it sounds like a bird softly chirping or chattering away. This can go on for several seconds or even several minutes!

The sound can also vary in speed or frequency depending on the guinea pig and how worried they are in the moment. I attached a YouTube video below so you can get an idea of what it sounds like.

Why Do Guinea Pigs Chirp?

As mentioned earlier, there is no set cause or reason why guinea pigs chirp. However, most theories point to it indicating that the guinea pig is nervous or feels threatened by something. Typically it is a noise made by guinea pigs that are naturally a little on the timid side.

Chirping guinea pigs sometimes appear to be in an almost trance-like state. They often stand very still on alert, and they may be looking around a little.

Sometimes they will stop chirping momentarily when you approach the cage and continue when you walk away.

If you have other guinea pigs, you’ll notice that they usually pause what they’re doing to stand still and listen to the other guinea pig chirping.

Guinea pigs can chirp anytime during the day or night. It’s not uncommon for people to say they were awoken in the middle of the night thinking a bird got into their house.

Why guinea pigs chirp can be a bit of a mystery, so it’s crucial to pay attention to your guinea pig’s behavior and how they’re acting when they start chirping. Guinea pigs may chirp to cope with stress or call out and alert other piggies of potential danger.

Perhaps it’s even an instinctual way to distract a potential predator by turning their attention to the trees rather than the ground, thus allowing the guinea pig an opportunity to escape the danger.

Many things can trigger a guinea pig to chirp. It may occur after a stressful event for your guinea pig. It can also indicate that your guinea pig is feeling scared or stressed. It is much more common for them to freeze and let out a short purr when scared, but some guinea pigs may sound the alarm with a chirp instead.

Perhaps the wind is scarily blowing a curtain over their cage, or maybe they saw a shadow in the night. They also could have heard a strange noise or smell that put them on alert. If you have dogs or cats, your guinea pig may sense them and be alerting others to the presence of predators.

Most guinea pigs don’t mind dogs and cats around, but timid guinea pigs especially may feel threatened by them.

If you just moved their cage to a new place or if they are new to your home, this could trigger chirping too.

Some people claim their guinea pig started chirping after the loss of another guinea pig. This could mean they are mourning the loss, feeling lonely, distressed, or trying to call out to their lost companion.

A timid guinea pig, in particular, will likely feel insecure and more nervous than usual without the grounding force of another friend nearby.

Some guinea pigs are more likely to chirp and may make this noise several times throughout their life, while others will never utter a single chirp. I’ve personally had 14 guinea pigs and never heard one chirp, so it is quite a rare noise.

Why Do Guinea Pigs Chirp At Night?

Guinea pigs are crepuscular animals, meaning they are most active at dawn and dusk.

They also sleep in short catnaps throughout the day and night and not for extended periods like most animals and humans. This means they are often quite active during periods in the night.

Chirping at night often occurs for the same reasons as during the day. Your guinea pig may feel insecure about something and could be trying to call for you or other guinea pigs.

They could have been spooked by something like a noise or shadows. Guinea pigs have poor eyesight, so they could easily mistake normal shadows and reflections for predators above their cage.

How to Stop Guinea Pigs From Chirping

If your guinea pig makes a chirping noise a lot, particularly at night, it can be troublesome to get uninterrupted sleep. Sometimes your guinea pig will stop momentarily when you approach the cage and then continue when you walk away. To find out how to decrease the amount of chirping, you need to observe your guinea pig to find the root cause of the problem.

For example, are they acting spooky and scared when they are chirping? Perhaps covering part of the cage with a blanket can help them feel safe. Be sure to provide plenty of hiding places as well, for the same reason.

If your guinea pig is solo, consider getting them a friend! Timid guinea pigs, in particular, benefit from the presence of a companion, and this can help them feel secure and have less need to chirp.

If they can’t live with another piggy in the same cage, they can get many of the same benefits by housing another guinea pig right beside their cage. This way, they can still see and smell another guinea pig nearby.

If they continue to chirp repeatedly, you could take them to the vet for a routine check-up to see if the chirping could be related to pain. Keep an eye out for any other unusual behavior or symptoms that could indicate your guinea pig may not be feeling well.

Why Do Guinea Pigs Chirp When You Pet Them?

There is no definitive reason why guinea pigs chirp, especially when you pet them. However, they may be nervous or scared.

Watch their body language and how they’re acting in the moment when they start making the noise.

If they sit very still and refuse any veggie treats, they are most likely worried or stressed. Try giving them a blanket to burrow under on your lap to help them feel more secure.

In Summary

Guinea pigs communicate with a wide range of noises, and one of the most mysterious of these sounds is chirping.

While there is no definitive reason for this behavior, it most likely indicates stress, fear, or loneliness. Some guinea pigs are more prone to chirping, sometimes for no apparent reason.

While chirping is quite a rare noise to hear from your guinea pig, there are so many more sounds and behaviors that indicate more clearly what your guinea pig is feeling and why.

Check out our guinea pig behavior page to learn more about the various ways your guinea pig communicates with you.

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