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Why Do Guinea Pigs Chirp? 4 Reasons for This Behavior

Nicole Cosgrove

Guinea pigs are fascinating animals, and they make great pets. It does not require a large cage, and it likes to be near people, so you can bring it out of the cage and bring it with you while you watch television or surf the internet. It also makes a wide variety of interesting sounds, and we are going to take a look at why they make the strange chirping sound you sometimes hear right now.

Join us while we discuss the different theories people have about why your guinea pig might make a chirping sound.

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What is the Chirping Sound?

Guinea pigs are normally quiet creatures, and many people that have not owned one may not know that they make any noise at all. However, those of us who have had a few as pets know they can make a wide range of unique sounds that they will use to let us know how they are feeling. One of the strangest of all is the chirp. The chirp is an unexpectedly loud short repeating tone produced by a guinea pig. If you have never heard it before, you will likely think that it is a bird outside your window until you make a closer inspection.

When does the chirping occur?

Your guinea pig can begin chirping at any time during the day or night, but we found it to be more common at night when things settle down. In some cases, they can continue to chirp for ten minutes or more and may stop when we enter the room but start again when we leave.

Why do guinea pigs chirp?

Unfortunately, the sound is quite rare, and many people may never hear the sound despite owning several guinea pigs, so there is no definite answer, but there are a few theories.

1. Loss of a Loved One

sad silver fox guinea pig
Image Credit: Pixabay

Because many owners notice that the guinea appears to be in a trance-like state while it’s making the chirping sound, it can be that it’s mourning the loss of a loved one. Since it often occurs after another dies, there seems to be some evidence to this theory. If you keep two pigs together for an extended time, you may hear this sound after one of them dies.


2. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Some owners noticed that their guinea pig might make this sound if they have been through a stressful or dangerous series of events, like after being chased and narrowly escaping a cat. This idea suggests that the chirping sound results from post-traumatic stress and is a way to cope with a tense situation.


3. Warning Sound

stressed guinea pig
Image Credit: Pixabay

Some owners that have experienced their guinea pig making this sound noticed that it occurs when predators are nearby and suggest that the sound is a way of alerting the others of impending danger. The chirping seems to occur more often in large open environments where the guinea pig might see a danger, like a cat, far off in the distance and is afraid it will come closer.


4. Nervous

Many owners that have heard the chirping sound coming from their guinea pigs remark that it’s usually coming from pets that are naturally a little more nervous than the others. In our opinion, the nervous theory holds the most weight and has the best evidence behind it for why the guinea pig makes the chirping sound.

  • A nervous or scared animal may well attempt to stand perfectly still to prevent detection by predators, giving it a trance-like appearance.
  • A nervous or scared animal will be even more scared and anxious when it detects a predator nearby.
  • A nervous and scared animal will be more anxious after a close encounter with a predator like a cat.
  • A nervous and scared animal will feel vulnerable after a longtime companion is no longer with them.
  • A nervous and scared animal may feel comforted when you are near but return to the chirping sound when you walk away.

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Other Sounds your guinea pig might make that are better understood

Purring

Purring is a common sound that your guinea pig will make and is something you will regularly hear. Lower pitched purrs mean the guinea pig is more comfortable, while higher-pitched purrs tell it’s feeling anxious.

Hissing

Hissing is another sound that anyone who had a cat will quickly recognize. This sound Is a little different, however, and some people describe it as a tooth chattering. Either way, it’s an unmistakably aggressive sound that means your guinea pig is not too happy about something and wants you to get rid of it.

Squeel

The squealing sound might sound tricky, but it’s usually not. If your pig is squealing, there is a good chance it is hurt. It will immediately begin squealing if it is hurt. However, it can also start to squeal if it is experiencing extreme happiness. You may notice your guinea pig start to squeal I you give it its favorite food, or after a long-time friend returns to the cage. In these cases, it is easy to see your pet is happy. However, if you are not sure, it’s best to take them to the vet to ensure they do not have internal pain.

Whistling

Whistling is often confused with a squeal and sounds similar but is usually a little higher pitched and quicker paced. It’s a sure sign your guinea pig Is very happy, and you will usually hear it as you are feeding them. It can also start to whistle if it senses it’s about to be playtime.

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Summary

We believe that a chirping guinea pig is one that is a little more nervous than usual. These pets may need a little extra comforting and bonding time with their owners If one of their mates passes away. They may also require a little more distance from household pets, and they may prefer to be in a room with you, so they don’t feel alone or in danger. However, there is no documented answer to why your guinea pig makes the chipping sound, and you may still hear it after you take precautions. It could just be something they do when they are bored.

We hope you have enjoyed reading and found the answers you needed. If you have found it helpful and informative, please share this guide to four possible reasons your guinea pig chirps on Facebook and Twitter.


Featured Image Credit: Pixabay

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.