My sister and her husband are big guinea pig fanatics.
Every time I visit them and hold the little guys, though, I usually get peed on at some point, and I started to wonder why.
After some thorough investigation, I have plenty to say on the topic.
Guinea pigs pee on people for a variety of reasons, including nervousness, displeasure, dominance, and simply an overly full bladder. The most common reason is they just can’t hold it. While annoying, the phenomenon of a guinea pig peeing on a human is entirely normal.
You may still have questions, though, about what could be going on with your pet in these moments and whether this affronting behavior may be stopped.
Read on to learn more on these topics!
The Reasons Guinea Pigs Pee On Humans
As caretakers of guinea pigs, you’re probably familiar with lap time becoming a suddenly damp experience.
As creatures with high metabolisms, guinea pigs expel urine and feces quite often.
They also drink a lot of water regularly and eat a lot of foods high in water content, like lettuce, cucumber, and other juicy vegetables and fruits.
The frequency with which they pee alone means increased chances the event may occur when you’re holding them.
These creatures are not the best at holding in the urge either.
If they are physically pressed (from being handled or smushed down in a lap) or emotionally triggered (from the panic of going airborne and being suddenly trapped in a new environment), the likelihood their already full bladder will release skyrockets.
Other less common reasons include a possible self-defense mechanism if they don’t want to be held or feel threatened in such a position.
On the other hand, they could be so relaxed in the comfort and warmth of your lap they don’t even realize it’s happening until it is and is unable to stop once it starts.
Baby piggies are also more likely to pee on you, as they haven’t mastered their bodily functions as well as they will once they mature into adulthood.
Most of the time, though, a guinea’s urinary accident while on your lap is no particular sign of anything beyond their bodily need to let loose.
Don’t take it personally!
How Often Do Guinea Pigs Pee?
As mentioned, guinea pigs naturally pee and poop quite frequently.
They also have very tiny bladders, which can’t hold much!
Guineas can poop more than 100 times in one day, which will appear in dry pellets.
They will also eliminate some cecal pellets, or loose stools, though they will actually eat this kind of feces quickly, so you won’t see them.
This behavior is completely acceptable and necessary, as the cecal pellets contain vitamins, nitrogen, fatty acids, and microbial proteins essential for guinea pig gut health.
In the end, “a lot” is and should be expected when it comes to how often your pet pees and poops—if your pet piggy does not excrete or release urine for 24 hours, consult a vet immediately.
What Are The Signs Your Guinea Pig Is About To Pee On You?
Some guinea pig owners will find they can tell when their pet is about to pee on them, which in turn can help prevent it from happening.
Here are some common signs your quality time with your piglet is about to get wet:
- Pulling at your clothes
- Backing up
If your guinea pig delivers any of these warning signals, you will want to quickly place them back in their cage or other enclosure.
Since guinea pigs can’t communicate directly, keep an eye out for these developments during lap time.
If your guinea is suddenly restless, starts pulling at things, nibbling at you, becoming vocal, or backing up into position, these are ways they are communicating a basic need.
Be sure to listen if you don’t want a bathroom accident to occur!
Can You Train A Guinea Pig Not To Pee On You?
As a guinea pig caretaker, you certainly don’t want cage time to be the only time with your pet.
You may be wondering if there’s a way to experience guinea pig cuddles with the guarantee of no pee.
The best solution is to limit lap time to no more than 10 or 15 minutes.
Remember, guinea pigs can urinate often!
The shorter your sessions, the more likely you’ll come away unscathed.
Another safety measure is to put a soft towel on your lap when holding your piggy.
This way, even if your pet does pee, you’ve got a solid (but cozy) barrier to soak up the damage.
Get to know your individual guinea, too—the frequency with which a guinea pig urinates and the triggers setting them off can vary greatly.
Is Guinea Pig Urine Harmful To Humans?
While guinea pigs are likely to pee on their pet owners, they’re also quite likely to leave behind feces.
It’s rare for a guinea to pass on any diseases to their humans, but not impossible.
Guinea pig feces, in particular, can carry bacteria like Salmonellosis, which can lead to Salmonella in humans, an infection causing symptoms like stomach pain and fever (though it’s likely to pass on its own within a week).
Guinea pigs infected with LCM may eventually demonstrate weight loss and hunched postures, and it may be life-threatening for them.
Symptoms in the human will be similar to those of the common flu, and those with compromised immune systems or pregnant women are most at risk.
Most cases of LCM in humans stem from house mice.
To minimize any chance of infection, be sure to clean your guinea pig’s cage and accessories regularly, wash your hands after handling them, and avoid contact with the face.
We have a great guide on how to clean guinea pig cages to help you maintain a healthy environment.
Ensure your piggy is up to date on vet visits and vaccinations as well.
Do Guinea Pigs Pee On Each Other?
Guinea pigs will tend to pick a specific area to use as their bathroom site—you may notice your piggy continually relieves themself in the same part of their enclosure.
As we now know, though, nothing stops them from peeing on a lap either when the time comes.
Curiously, guinea pigs are known to pee on not just humans but also each other.
Oftentimes such action is a sign of dominance, in which one guinea (if you have multiple) is attempting to subjugate another.
One guinea might pee on another if they feel bothered too—in this case, such a statement acts as a warning sign for the other to back off.
They could be marking territory, too, if you notice one of your piggies peeing on another.
In mating times, a male guinea might pee on a female to claim them as their mate. Sometimes they will pee on items in the cage as a means of marking territory.
Most of the time, this behavior is entirely normal, but be sure your piggies have enough space if you have multiple and separate any guineas who appear consistently aggressive with one another.