Guinea pigs are very busy, relatively quiet creatures.
At night, they do the same things they do during the day.
They are quiet animals fond of eating and drinking most of the time.
One thing guinea pig owners don’t like is your animal making a wide range of noise at night.
Guinea pigs, being neither nocturnal nor diurnal, will be up in the night making noise. They periodically wake to drink water, eat some hay, and burn off energy. A guinea pig will make noise at all hours, but it will feel as though your guinea pig is exceptionally loud in the quiet of the night.
Some of the noises guinea pigs make at night are concerning.
They’re usually loud to catch your attention.
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What Sounds Does a Guinea Pig Make?
These little creatures are very vocal rodents, making a variety of noises.
Some guinea pig sounds are very alarming.
They are known to make quite a few different sounds.
Shrieking or Screaming
They do this to signal they need immediate attention.
If you hear this at any time, day or night, they are either a scared guinea pig, injured, or in distress.
Check on them immediately.
Some people wonder if their guinea pigs have nightmares, and this is why they scream.
Check out the article for our definitive answer.
A guinea pig will hiss like a cat when irritated or angry.
Listen to what they’re telling you and back away.
Teeth chattering, like hissing, means your guinea pig is mad.
A definite warning sign to give them some personal space.
Pay close attention if your animal is whining.
They are either annoyed or feeling unwell.
Or a little bit of both.
Hissing is not the only feline-like sound a pig makes.
They will purr too.
Purring isn’t always a good thing, though.
If your guinea pig purrs at a high pitch and has a stiff body, they are annoyed.
If your piggy purrs a low, gentle purr and has a relaxed body, he or she is contented.
A guinea pig chutting away in the middle of the night is very content.
They feel safe, well-fed, and at ease.
If you have a pair of guinea pigs, they will make a rumbling sound at some point. Males do this when attempting to impress a mate. A female guinea pig rumble when they are in heat.
Cooing is how an elder guinea pig will communicate with younger cage mates.
A mother or father will coo around their babies.
A pair of piggies in love will also coo at each other.
This is a common sound guinea pigs make when they are very excited or think something exciting is about to happen.
If you feed your piggy on a certain schedule, you will hear them make this sound when food is coming.
Last but not least is chirping.
It’s easy to mistake a guinea pig chirping for a bird.
They act as though they are in a trance-like state when chirping.
No one seems to know for sure what this sound means.
Why Is My Guinea Pig More Active at Night?
Guinea pigs won’t stay up all night, so they aren’t nocturnal.
They won’t be active all day either, so they aren’t diurnal.
So, what are they?
Your furry friend is a crepuscular animal.
This means they are most active at dawn and dusk, with many power naps in between.
How Do I Get My Guinea Pig To Be Quiet At Night?
Your piggy will not match your sleeping schedule.
There are a few steps to keep them a little quieter at night.
Interact with your pet frequently during the day.
Keep them moving and active.
They still won’t sleep completely through the night, but they’ll nap for longer stretches.
Two are Better Than One
It is best if your little animal has a cage mate.
They will keep each other busy during the day and will cuddle up at night.
Guinea pigs are incredibly social creatures.
They’ll be hollering at you without a furry companion to entertain them.
A noisy water bottle is inevitable.
You do have more control over what toys are in the cage.
Remove any squeaky wheels or toys with bells in them at night.
Your furry friend will start wheeking at you in the morning when they know it’s time to get their toys back.
Consider giving your pet a chew stick similar to this one.
If they feel like working on their teeth in the middle of the night, a chewing log is much quieter than the bars on the cage.
At night, a dark room is a very pleasant place for a guinea pig.
It makes them believe they are safe and hidden from predators.
Your pet is more likely to sleep for longer periods when they feel they are in a secure environment.
Create a nighttime snack routine for your pig.
Some food for a full belly is a great way to get your critter companion cozy.
Give them one cup of leafy greens, such as red and green leaf lettuce per pig, and a handful of fresh hay.
A nice serving of fresh vegetables is a good idea too.
(Make sure to take any rotten vegetables out in the morning.)
They will happily munch while you drift off.
Then your guinea pig will be nice and full and sneak in a nap.
If you happen to forget the routine, don’t worry.
They’ll remind you.
Why Does My Guinea Pig Scream At Night?
When your guinea pig screams at night, it’s pretty alarming.
If they’re screaming, their problem is experiencing pain, need attention, or are terrified of something.
It’s always worth checking to make sure they’re OK, but not every cause is as dire as the sound.
Sometimes it’s as simple as another guinea pig stealing their spot to eat or sleep.
Still, when you hear this sound, head on over to their cage to make sure they’re OK.
Why Is My Guinea Pig Always Awake?
It seems like a guinea pig is constantly awake.
You walk into the room, and they are there, ready to greet you.
Or they’re running for their favorite hiding spot, depending on the relationship you’ve established.
You’ve likely peeked in on them, and they are simply lying there, eyes wide open.
It just so happens guinea pigs will sleep with their eyes open.
This is a trait they’ve adapted from their wild ancestors as prey animals.
There are a lot of predators wanting a guinea pig as a tasty snack.
So, a guinea pig must always be alert.
They are incredibly light sleepers.
They hear you before you even make it into the room.
Some guinea pigs will sleep with their eyes closed.
This is a good sign.
It means they feel extremely safe and comfortable in their environment.
When Does a Guinea Pig Sleep?
Guinea pigs are power nappers.
They only need 4 to 6 hours of sleep a day.
This means when they decide it’s time to sleep, it will be for a very short time.
Some piggies will sleep from as little as 20 seconds to 30 minutes.
Some of these furry critters like more sleep than about 5 hours total in a day, but they are the exception.
What do Guinea Pigs Like to Sleep In?
Guinea pigs aren’t picky when it comes to their sleeping quarters.
They do prefer some sort of shelter.
There is a wide variety of options available.
One idea is to give them an empty tissue box or an old shoebox.
They will chew on it, so be prepared to replace it often.
Other options to consider include non-toxic simple wood houses like this one on Amazon.
Or a little grass-woven chew house to keep your mind at ease knowing they will gnaw on it safely.
While very cute, stay away from soft fabric tunnels and homes.
Though rare, a guinea pig will eat any loose threads, and the fabric will ruin their digestive systems.
Does My Guinea Pig Need a Bed?
As mentioned above, your little creature will not be picky with its living space.
A guinea pig does not need a bed.
They DO, however, need bedding.
When choosing appropriate bedding for their environment, some things are softness, price, and absorption power.
Look at the table below for a list of bedding options and the pros and cons of each.
|Type of Bedding
|Favorite food, so safe to eat
Encourages natural behaviors
Integral part of their diet
|Dusty and common allergen
Not very soft
|Easy to clean their poop
Soft on their feet
Inexpensive in the long-run
Requires frequent washing
Unsafe if ingested
|Repurposed bed linens or towels are eco-friendly
|Gets smelly fast
Unsafe if ingested
Needs to be washed daily
|Commercially Made Paper
|Often made of recyclable materials
|Needs to be replaced often
Pricey depending on how often the bedding is changed
|Great odor neutralizer
Not as absorbent as other options
How Much Bedding Does a Guinea Pig Need?
Your inquisitive animal loves to tunnel in their bedding, forage for lots of food as part of their daily diet, and rustle up a soft spot to sleep at night.
Depending on which bedding you choose, 2-3″ inches is plenty of depth to keep them happy and healthy.