Guinea pigs can seem like quiet creatures, but they make various sounds to convey their emotional and physical state.
So, why does my guinea pig squeak when I pet him?
Guinea pigs use a variety of sounds to communicate. A high-pitched squealing or whistling sound usually denotes excitement. During playtime, it means they’re enjoying themselves. However, it’s a distress sign if a cavy makes a shriller shrieking sound.
To better understand these communicative rodents and what this squeaking sound means, keep reading, and we’ll cover everything you need to know!
Reasons Guinea Pigs Squeak When Pet
Squeaking is among one of the more common guinea pig noises.
If you scoop your pet guinea pig and they start to make a squeaking sound, it probably means they’re excited!
Just like you look forward to the quality time you spend with your pet, they do too!
If they enjoy your time together, they might squeak when you start to pet them.
You may also hear these guinea pig noises when they’re excited in other situations.
For example, you might also see this sign of happiness around dinner time as your cavies start getting excited about their favorite food.
Why Does My Guinea Pig Vibrate When I Pet Them?
As you pet your guinea pigs, you might also notice other common guinea pig behaviors conveying their emotions and distinctive animal sounds.
They use body language just as much as vocalizations.
It’s not uncommon for a guinea pig to vibrate while being pet, either.
Vibrating with Happiness
Much like squeaking, this might signify joy denoting your guinea pig’s relaxation.
Usually, if you’re petting your furry friend and they seem at ease, pair the motion with a positive sound like a squeaky purr sound or tweeting to express their contentment.
The concept is similar to how you might lay your hand on a purring cat and feel the vibrations of the sound when you pet them.
Just like a cat, it’s a sign your cavy is content.
You’re more likely to see this vibration in your cavy babies.
It’s usually an expression of guinea pigs they grow out of as they age into an adult guinea pigs.
Vibrating in Fear
On the other hand, there are a few negative reasons this species of animals might start vibrating.
Typically, as far as negative responses go, vibrations can signal fear.
Remember, your guinea pigs are a type of prey animal and often have a lot of anxiety accompanying it.
If you notice your guinea pig vibrating and showing other signs they’re startled, such as freezing or high-pitched, staccato sounds, they’re likely frightened.
This could happen for several reasons.
With such high anxiety levels in guinea pigs, sometimes something as simple as an unexpected movement or a loud sound may startle them.
If you notice them looking fearful during playtime, it’s best to make sure they have their feet on the ground, and a bit of quiet and space to feel safe and calm down.
If they were suddenly startled, they should start to settle after a couple of minutes of calm.
Vibrating from the Cold
Just like you might start to tremble outside on a snowy day, chilled temperatures can also make your cavy vibrate.
They’re likely cold if you pick them up and notice slower and longer vibrations as their bodies warm up.
This is a common problem when holding your guinea pig right after a bath.
To help them warm up, in this case, make sure to dry them off thoroughly.
If cold in their guinea pig cage, add hay to their enclosure to burrow into for additional warmth.
Further Reading: Why Do Guinea Pigs Vibrate?
Are Squealing Guinea Pigs Happy?
Guinea pigs make a sound called wheeking which sounds like a repeated squeal sound.
Interestingly, this is one guinea pig sound they direct mostly at their owners and other human caretakers.
If you hear guinea pig squeals when you come in the room, they’re likely excited to see you or a sign of affection.
This could be for a few reasons, such as excitement in reaction to upcoming quality time or, more typically, an excitement for food.
The latter is why this sound is targeted at humans.
According to The Anti-Cruelty Society, this is a behavior that guinea pigs likely picked up after being domesticated by humans, which they use to demand food from us.
It’s worth noting wheeking is also notably different from shrieking.
If a guinea pig starts to shriek, the sound is shrill and high-pitched because it’s meant to get your attention.
A loud shriek is a common sign your guinea pig is in distress and isn’t enjoying its current situation.
This can come from various negative emotions and feelings, including discomfort, pain, or even fear.
If you notice your guinea pig is squealing or letting out shrill squeals with no apparent cause, you might worry about these piercing vocalizations.
When these worries crop up, it’s a good time to make a veterinary appointment to make sure they get any care they need if it’s necessary.
This will help eliminate any fears of this sound as an expression of pain.
How Do I Bond with My Guinea Pig?
When you notice your guinea pig isn’t quite excited to spend time with you, it might come from this animal’s natural apprehension.
Taking the time to properly bond with your guinea pig will help you enjoy your time together to the best of your ability.
To start, let them get used to you.
Before you start playing with your cavy by handling them, it’s a good idea to let them get used to you.
Talking to them in a calm, steady tone and getting them used to your scent is a great place to start.
Over time, start bonding with them through methods such as feeding them by hand or even some gentle, cozy petting.
Before picking them up, spend quality time with them on the floor.
This way, they trust you before you attempt to hold them aloft.
When you are ready to pick them up, start sitting on the floor and staying close to the ground.
Most importantly, you’ll want to consistently spend time with your cavy.
If you only spend time with them occasionally, you’re not going to forge the same strong bond with them as if you take a little time daily to bond with your pet.