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Are Guinea Pigs Cuddly Pets (Do Guinea Pigs Like To Be Held)

Guinea pigs are tiny fluff nuggets. Furry bodies, innocent eyes, and those little squeaks – it’s no wonder you can’t resist scooping them in your arms and nuzzling with love. But are guinea pigs cuddly?Have you asked these cuties if they like being held?

Key Takeaway:

Whether or not a guinea pig will enjoy cuddles depends on his temperament. Gender, breed, and past experiences also make a difference. Some enjoy human love, while others take their sweet time in becoming comfortable to touch. Then there are some who are very reluctant when it comes to snuggles.

Don’t get disheartened, though. There are ways to warm up even the most hesitant huggers into the cuddly, cozy zone.

Can’t wait to know how? We have answers.

happy little girl casual orange sweatshirt hugging cute guinea pig while standing against purple background

Are Guinea Pigs Cuddly Pets?

People keep guinea pigs as pets because they are low maintenance and super stinkin’ cute. Watch one wiggle his little nose, and your heart will melt into a puddle.

And the size? Ah, perfectly huggable. So, it’s natural to think, “Yes! This piggy will be my cuddle buddy.”

Are all guinea pigs ready for a hug?

It might break your heart, but not all guinea pigs appreciate touchy-feely vibes. While some may eagerly jump on your lap, some may give you those “I’m judging you, human” looks.

Do guinea pigs like being picked?

Can’t say they “like” being picked but, yeah, they tolerate it. Give the little one some time before you get mushy with him.

Yes, even this tiny creature has a personality of his own. And the circumstances he grew up in play a major role.

In essence, how cuddly your guinea pig is (will be) depends on four factors:

  • Temperament
  • Past Experiences
  • Gender
  • Breed

Guinea pigs also require time and patience to bond with us. So, if you’ve brought a new guinea pig home, and he’s showing you the cold shoulder, it’s because he needs more time to know you. It’s not because he doesn’t love you. You need to gain your guinea pig’s trust.

Coming up next, we’ll look at these four factors considering our pint-sized puff balls, so you know what you’re dealing with.

Guinea Pigs’ Temperament

Guinea pigs are very social animals. But they have trust issues.


Guinea pigs are prey animals. In the wild, they are really low down on the food chain. The constant threat of being hunted down gives them their typical timid behavior. Their instinct is to hide and stay safe.

Therefore, guinea pig owners must gain their trust before they start to enjoy cuddles.

How can I gain my guinea pig’s trust?

Well, for starters, respect his boundaries. Give him time to get familiar with his new environment. Talk to your new furry friend and give him whatever he needs. He’ll eventually come around.

What can I expect once I’ve gained his trust?

Once your piggy is comfortable with you, he’ll greet you with happy squeaks whenever you’re around. They are good when it comes to recognizing their owners, surroundings, and cage mates.

Guinea Pig Past Experiences

Guinea pigs are forgetful creatures. Their short-term memory is bleh. But their long-term memory? Not so bad. They remember traumatic experiences like being grabbed by the scruff or treated aggressively. If your guinea pig has experienced something like this, chances are he won’t be too keen on cuddles.

In such a case, it is best to give your guinea pig some extra time to adjust and build trust. Be gentle and talk to him in a soft, soothing voice. It will give him a feeling of safety and security.

Also, don’t be pushy. Forcing him to cuddle will only make things worse.

Male Guinea Pigs Vs. Female Guinea Pigs

cuddly guinea pig

Does gender have anything to do with cuddliness?

Yes. Male guinea pigs generally tend to be more affectionate and outgoing than females. They aren’t as timid and usually take less time to warm up to their humans.

Female guinea pigs, on the other hand, are more independent. They prefer keeping it to themselves. Also, they take their sweet time to adjust to new environments. Female guinea pigs are also skittish, making gaining their trust harder.

So, bonding with boars (male piggies) is more natural and effortless. Sows (females) need more patience and understanding.

Cuddly Guinea Pig Breeds

Wow! So, every breed has a different cuddling style, huh?

Yep! Some guinea pig breeds have been specifically bred for their sweet temperament.

Most cavies are faint-hearted because of the fear of being eaten. Remember, they are prey animals, so we can’t blame them.

But, lucky for us, some have an extra bravado gene. They are bolder and cuddlier.

OMG, which ones?

Below we have a list of the top four friendliest cavies for you.

  • Abyssinian Guinea Pig – These cuddle buddies are playful, friendly, and energetic. Their ‘rosette’ fur adds to their jolly demeanor.
  • Teddy Guinea Pig – Teddy guinea pigs are the ambassadors of guinea pig love. You can expect kisses and cuddles from this breed as they are super affectionate.
  • Peruvian Guinea Pig – This fluff category has a gentle, docile nature and loves to be the center of attention. A Peruvian piggy will hop into your lap for petting.
  • American Guinea Pig – These easy-going puffers show immense love for human affection. They are also easy to care for.

So, which softie are you going to adopt?

When Should I Cuddle My Guinea Pig?

Do guinea pigs like to cuddle all the time?

Nope! Would you like cuddling all the time? Even when you’re eating or taking a nap?

No, right?

Like humans, guinea pigs also need some “me” time. They also have moody days. So, before you pick one in your arms, make sure he’s up for it.

How will I know?

Guinea pigs are vocal little creatures. They have a unique set of noises that tell us their state of mind. For instance, purring indicates contentment and love. If your guinea pig is whistling, he is excited. But if he’s awkwardly quiet, he wants to be left alone.

There are some other signs that your piggy is happy and in the mood for some love. Look for signs like:

  • The signature popcorn move (jerking and jumping)
  • Spinning around in the cage
  • Happy while roaming outside

Are there times when I shouldn’t cuddle my piggy?

Yes, there are! Don’t disturb your munchkin during his meal time. Let him eat in peace. Also, allow him some privacy when he’s going to the toilet. A guinea pig will fidget when he needs to pee. That’s your cue.

If you notice your guinea pig is throwing his head back when you’re holding him, put him back down. That’s a sign he’s uncomfortable and preparing to bite.

Bite??? Do guinea pigs bite?

Guinea pigs are calm and loving. But if they feel scared while you’re holding them, they might nip. However, that only happens if they are not used to being handled and have had no prior human contact. If your guinea pig nibbles your finger, he needs more time to trust you. So, don’t be scared.

guinea pig receiving massage

How Long Should I Cuddle My Guinea Pig For?

Is there a time limit for cuddle sessions?

Not really! It totally depends on your guinea pig’s mood and how comfortable he is with you. Don’t force the little guy.

Do guinea pigs like cuddling for long?

Again, it depends on how he’s feeling. If he’s comfortable with you, he won’t mind some lap time. Generally, five to ten minutes of cuddle time is enough for a guinea pig. Start off with small amounts of cuddles, and as you gain his trust, your buddy will start to enjoy it more.

If you have a new cavy, start with two to three minutes of lap time.

How will I know he’s had enough of me?

As we mentioned, guinea pigs are expressive. Your whisker puff will let you know when he’s done. If he starts to squirm and wriggle in your arms, let the poor baby go.

Ways to Make Your Guinea Pig More Cuddly

Can I make my piggy more cuddly?

Yes, there are ways you can induce your pet’s cuddling mood. We have some tips for you below.

Give Him Time to Know You

Guinea pigs are low on trust because of their prey instinct. If you bring a new cavy home, he’ll be reluctant to jump in your lap and snuggle. Give the piggy some time to adjust and get to know you better. Talk to him softly and show him that you mean no harm.

Also, let him get used to his surroundings. Leave him in his cage, so he can sniff around and check things out. Don’t try to hold and snuggle the little explorer right away. You’ll stress him out, increasing the chances of illness.

If your guinea pig climbs up in your lap, he’s telling you, “Hey, I trust you!”

Use Food to Your Advantage

Guinea pigs love treats. Use this to your advantage. Bring some veggies and fruits for your fuzzy friend whenever you want to cuddle him. That way, he’ll be more likely to jump into your lap and stay there.

What treats should I give my guinea pig?

Good question!

Ideally, offer whatever your guinea pig likes. Fresh vegetables like carrots, cucumbers, bell peppers, oranges, zucchini, and kale will work like a charm.

You can also give him some pellets or hay. But keep in mind, these should be given in moderation.

Provide Ideal Settings

Guinea pigs are delicate creatures. They get stressed out easily.

How can I help?

Well, give your piggy a nice, cozy home. Here’s what you can do:

  • Make sure his hutch is a good size with enough space for him to explore and roam around.
  • Always keep fresh water in the hutch.
  • Set up a hidey-hole or two in the cage, so your guinea pig can take some time off when he needs it.
  • There should also be enough toys for him to play and exercise.
  • Give him comfy bedding like paper, aspen shavings, or hay.

Bonus Tip: The location where you place his hutch is as important as what’s inside it. Keep your guinea pig’s home away from direct sunlight or where it gets too cold.

Help Your Guinea Pig Socialize

Your guinea pig loves company, either a human or another cavy. If you own just one guinea pig, he might get lonely.

To solve this problem – adopt a buddy for your piggy! If you have extra space in the hutch, add another guinea pig. This way, he can have some good company when you’re not around.

Won’t two guinea pigs fight?

No, if two guinea pigs are brought up together, they form a strong bond.If you’re still dubious, divide the hutch into two compartments – one for each.

Do guinea pigs cuddle each other?

Oh, they do. Guinea pigs love to groom each other, cuddle up for warmth, and sleep together. Sometimes, they even play tag!

Keep Your Piggy Healthy

A healthy cavy is a happy cavy. When your piggy is happy, he’ll let you snuggle him.

So, what are the essentials of guinea pig care? Let’s take a look.

  • Provide your guinea pig with a balanced diet.
  • Give him fresh water daily and check for leaks in the water bottle.
  • Clean his hutch at least once a week.
  • Give him dust baths for hygiene.
  • Include playtime in a ball pit once a week.
  • Go to the vet for regular check-ups.

The Right Way to Cuddle a Guinea Pig

Are there right and wrong ways of cuddling a guinea pig?

Yes, there are. Guinea pigs are delicate. Their bone structure is fragile, so you must always handle them with care.

Not sure what you must and mustn’t do while cuddling your piggy? We have some tips for you.

  • Don’t scratch your piggy’s belly and buttocks. He wouldn’t appreciate that. The areas he likes being petted are his head, neck, and back. Chin and ears, sometimes.
  • Always approach your piggy from the side. If you pick him from the top, it’ll make him feel like an eagle snatched him. It’ll scare the poor baby.
  • Never hold your piggy like a baby on his back. It can cause spine injuries.
  • Keep your grip firm but not too tight. Hold your piggy’s front legs between your fingers so he doesn’t jump out of your lap and hurt himself.
how soon can i hold my guinea pig

Snuggles and Squeaks: Decoding the Cuddliness of Guinea Pigs

Do guinea pigs like cuddling? 

The answer is yes! Guinea pigs crave affection and love getting cuddled. It might take some time for your guinea pig to warm up to you, but once he trusts you, he’ll look forward to your hugs. Just avoid belly rubs and buttock strokes, those are no-go areas.

Cuddle your guinea pig for no more than five to ten minutes. That’s usually enough for him. If he wriggles, it means he’s had enough.

If you feel your cavy is taking too long to get into the cuddling mode, bribe him with some treats. It’ll help speed up the process.

Did you find the information in this article helpful?

At Oddly Cute Pets, we want our pet parents to have the best guinea pig experience ever. That’s why we always provide factual, up-to-date information for you to make informed decisions. If you want to learn more about your fur babies, head to our website. We have a ton of information for you there.

Thanks for reading.

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