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9 Guinea Pig Sounds and Their Meanings (With Audio)

Nicole Cosgrove

February 23, 2021

Guinea pigs are fun pets that love to interact with people and each other. They can get along well living with a group of other guinea pigs, but they can also live alone and still thrive. Guinea pigs make a wide variety of different noises, most of which are a form of communication that lets other animals and human companions know what they are feeling. But what exactly are guinea pigs trying to tell us when they make different noises? Let’s explore the most common noises and their meanings!

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1. “Wheeking”

This is a common sound made by guinea pigs that are excited or are anticipating something to happen that they enjoy. This noise sounds like a loud, long squeal combined with a whistle. Most owners hear their guinea pigs wheek when mealtime is about to take place.


2. Rumbling

Sometimes referred to as motorboating, rumbling is a noise that males usually make during mating season to catch the attention of a potential female companion. However, some females will make this noise when they are in heat. As the name suggests, this noise sounds like a deep rumble that is sometimes accompanied by an awkward mating dance.


3. Purring

When a guinea pig makes a purring sound, it could be a positive or a negative thing. When the purr is low in tone and gentle and the guinea pig’s posture is relaxed, this generally means that the animal is content and feeling safe. If the purr is higher in pitch and the posture is stiff, this typically means that the animal is stressed out or annoyed.


4. Hissing

When guinea pigs get irritated or angry, they will make a hissing noise to let you know that they want to be left alone. This is an aggression that could lead to biting and running away if the situation that is upsetting them is not resolved quickly.


5. Teeth Chattering

Like hissing, teeth chattering is a sign of aggression. When a guinea pig does this, it usually means that they are extremely agitated and fed up. These animals typically show their teeth while chattering, and this is a sign to stay back and away. They may chatter their teeth at humans or other guinea pigs depending on the situation.


6. Shrieking or Screaming

This is a noise that will get your attention immediately, but luckily, it is not something that guinea pigs do often if they are well cared for. Guinea pigs typically only make a shrieking or screaming sound when they are scared or injured.


7. Whining

Whining tends to happen when a guinea pig feels annoyed or disagrees with something happening around them. They may also do this when they are not feeling well and need medical attention. Anytime a guinea pig whines, they should be checked to make sure that nothing unsavory is going on and to ensure that they are not ill in any way.


 

8. Chirping

Nobody seems to really know why a guinea pig chirps. They do not seem to be in distress nor overly excited while doing it. In fact, some owners think that their guinea pigs look like they are in a trance when they chirp. The chirping sounds like a bird. However, the meaning behind the noise seems to be lost on us humans.


9. Chutting

Guinea pigs like to make a chutting noise when they feel content with their surroundings. They may chut in their habitat when they feel safe and well-fed, or they might chut around the house when they are exploring in a calm environment. When these animals chut, their owners can rest assured that all is right with them.

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In Conclusion

Now that you know more about how guinea pigs communicate, you can better understand how to take care of their needs and wants as time goes on. Whether you already own a guinea pig or two or you are simply thinking about adopting one, you now know the language of these animals and should be able to effectively tap into their thoughts and feelings. This will help you better bond with them and ensure that their health and happiness is always put first.  Let us know which guinea pig sound is your favorite in the comments section below.


Featured Image: Mary Swift, Shutterstock

Nicole Cosgrove

Nicole is the proud mom of Baby, a Burmese cat and Rosa, a New Zealand Huntaway. A Canadian expat, Nicole now lives on a lush forest property with her Kiwi husband in New Zealand. She has a strong love for all animals of all shapes and sizes (and particularly loves a good interspecies friendship) and wants to share her animal knowledge and other experts' knowledge with pet lovers across the globe.