Guinea pigs make a variety of sounds, and chirping is one of them.
There are a few reasons why a guinea pig may chirp. However, the most common reason is when it’s experiencing the loss of a loved one.
It’s important to be able to recognize these sounds and know what they mean. In turn, you can act accordingly to tend to your pet’s concerns.
This article explains why guinea pigs chirp and what you do as a response.
What Does Chirping Sound Like?
While it may seem obvious, chirping can sound strange coming from a rodent.
So, it sounds a lot like a bird’s chirping.
Double-Check If the Sound Is Coming from Your Guinea Pig
At first, it may not seem like the sound is coming from your guinea pig, as it may not chirp in front of you.
It’s best to first check if there’s any bird nearby that could be making the sound.
If not, then it’s likely your guinea pig. Thus, it’s crucial to be able to recognize what chirping sounds like.
In addition to the chirping, you may also notice that your guinea pig seems to be in a trance-like state.
Why Do Guinea Pigs Chirp?
Chirping among guinea pigs is relatively rare. Therefore, we still cannot say with certainty the exact cause for it.
Nevertheless, it is speculated that this sound is meant to communicate grief or a potential issue that it’s concerned about.
It’s important to understand that guinea pigs are social animals. Therefore, chirping is likely a form of communication.
That said, some guinea pigs may stop chirping when you enter the room.
Considering there’s no formal research on the cause of guinea pig chirping, here are some potential reasons for the act.
It Has Recently Experienced the Loss of a Loved One
There’s a common consensus among pet owners that guinea pigs chirp after the loss of a loved one.
The loved one is typically another guinea pig or pet with which it used to interact.
Guinea pigs are herd animals. Therefore, it can be seen as an acceptable form of grieving.
In addition to that, the absence of a companion may cause it to be nervous (more on this below).
It Is Nervous About Something
There’s a good chance that the chirping is a response to increased nervousness among guinea pigs.
It’s possible that being alone may increase nervousness, as mentioned above.
The Trance-Like State May Be a Way of Staying Still
Also, the trance-like state can also be likened to the act of staying still when a predator is close. This process is done to prevent detection.
In addition to that, guinea pigs often stop chirping when their owners are close to them. In those moments, they may not feel nervous or threatened by predators.
Therefore, there is certainly some evidence to indicate that chirping is associated with nervousness.
However, scientific research has yet to confirm that with tested evidence.
It May Be Warning Others of Potential Danger
If you have more than one guinea pig, one may chirp to warn others of potential danger.
If more than one of your guinea pigs chirp, then you should check for signs of predators.
It May Need Something from You
In some rare cases, a guinea pig may chirp when it needs something from you. These needs could be food, water, or playtime.
That said, it’s not easy for these animals to make this sound. So, it will likely resort to whistling or wheeking.
Those sounds typically communicate that they want their food.
It May Have a Health Condition
It’s possible that the chirping is due to an underlying health condition in your guinea pig.
So, be sure to look for any other indicators of a health condition.
What You Should Do if Your Guinea Pig Chirps
It’s never a good idea to leave your guinea pig to chirp without doing something about it. A nervous or frightened guinea pig may get stressed, which is bad for its health.
In addition to that, it may actually be exposed to a serious safety risk. Therefore, it’s best to address any possibilities of danger sooner than later.
It can certainly be challenging to identify the exact source of why you’re guinea pig is chirping. Therefore, you may not know what you can do to stop the activity.
That said, keep recent events in mind to give you some indication. In addition to that, you can monitor its body language as well to determine whether it’s nervous or frightened.
So, here are some things that you can do to help your guinea pig when it’s chirping.
Consider Getting It a Companion
If you’re confident that your guinea pig is chirping because it’s grieving over the loss of a loved one, you could consider getting a replacement.
Another guinea pig is ideal.
However, you could also consider getting it any other small animal that can pair well with it.
Do Not Wait Long to Get a Companion for Your Guinea Pig
Consider getting another guinea pig or other animal two weeks after the passing of its companion. Delaying it further could cause your guinea pig to feel isolated.
If you can’t afford to get another guinea pig, consider giving your pet more attention. Doing so may be challenging for pet owners with busy schedules.
However, it can make a difference in comforting your pet.
Check Your Surroundings for Potential Predators of Your Pet
It’s a good idea to check your surroundings for potential predators of your pet. This is because it may be nervous because of potential danger.
Make a Note When It Starts to Chirp
It can help to make a note of when your guinea pig starts to chirp. This way, you can possibly determine when it feels threatened.
After that, take a look at your guinea pig’s surroundings at that time. If there’s a window nearby, check if there’s any predator outside that is looking at your pets.
If you do spot something in the window, try to take some measures to keep that animal or bird away.
In addition to that, close the window, and place a curtain over it so that your guinea pigs can’t see outside.
Keep Other Pets Away from Your Guinea Pigs
If you also have a cat or dog in your home, they may make your guinea pigs feel threatened. This may occur even if your cat or dog doesn’t mean any harm.
Guinea pigs are prey animals. Therefore, they typically feel unsafe when predator animals are near them.
So, if you have a cat or dog, it’s best to keep them away from your guinea pigs. Try to restrict their access to the same room where the guinea pig’s hutch is.
Your guinea pig is likely to feel safer if it doesn’t ever interact with other larger pets.
After this, see if your guinea pig still chirps. If it does, there may be another reason for its potential distress.
Inspect Your Guinea Pig’s Hutch
If you cannot find any source for your guinea pig’s distress outside its hutch, check within it.
Look for anything that could potentially be causing it to worry.
Give Your Guinea Pig More Attention
As mentioned above, chirping may be your guinea pig’s way of seeking your attention. In that case, tend to its needs. Give it food, water, or more playtime if needed.
At the same time, make sure to periodically check its hutch if there’s adequate water at all times.
In addition to that, clean the hutch every now and then so that your pet is comfortable in its home.
It’s important to devote enough time and attention to your guinea pig. Leaving it isolated can be bad for its physical and mental health in the long term.
Consider a Pet Sitter If You Are Out of Your House for Most of the Day
If you can’t give it company, consider hiring a pet sitter. They can help ensure that your guinea pig gets enough time and attention for exercise and social interaction.
It’s also important to note that you should not handle your guinea pig if it doesn’t like that.
Lifting it or even petting it could make it feel nervous even around you.
Take Your Guinea Pig to the Vet
If you can’t find any remedy to addressing your guinea pig’s chirping, it’s best to take it to the vet.
The vet will also be able to tell if there’s an underlying health condition that may be causing it to chirp.
If you suspect an illness, make sure to report any other signs or symptoms that you may have noticed.
It’s typically in your best interest to closely monitor your guinea pigs’ behavioral patterns.
Last Few Words
Chirping is not the only vocalization from guinea pigs.
However, you must do something about the chirping if you notice it.
Leaving it unattended could have some negative consequences for both your pet and your relationship with it.
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