Why do Guinea Pigs Squeak? (5 Best Reasons)

You might have heard of love at first sight, but how about love at first squeak? Hoards of pet owners have fallen in love with guinea pigs after hearing their tiny, adorable vocalizations! While little squeaks and sounds might seem like a cute quirk, they have a very simple and straightforward function.

Why do guinea pigs squeak? It all comes down to communication! The dramatic, highly theatrical sounds guinea pigs make help them to show off a broad range of emotions, from anger to contentment. 

Now that you know that there’s a little Shakespearean performance taking place in your guinea pig’s enclosure, it’s time to interpret what they mean! Luckily, a guinea pig’s vocalizations are a lot easier to decipher than Hamlet! Keep reading to learn the true meaning behind Why do Guinea Pigs Squeak & different guinea pig sounds!

Why do Guinea Pigs Squeak

“I’m Hungry!”

At their core, guinea pigs are very simple creatures. When they’re hungry, they want food! Even even-tempered piggies will begin screaming when they feel the first signs of hunger in their bellies! 

This high-pitched, persistent squeaking is a clear message intended for their human: I’m hungry, and you haven’t filled my dish yet! 

Though guinea pigs may be simple, they do have distinct personalities. A guinea pig who loves to eat might cry out for treats even when they aren’t hungry. Use your best judgment to figure out when to give in and when to ignore this dramatic racket!

“I’m Scared!”

If you’ve ever taken your guinea pig to the vet’s office, you might have heard a squeak that means “I don’t like this!” Usually, these are quick, sharp, high-pitched little squeaks. You can expect to hear these little cries for help whenever anything scary or novel is happening in your guinea pig’s world. 

The reason that guinea pigs respond so dramatically is because they are prey animals. They spend their lives in the wild responding to threats and trying to stay alive.

To confirm that their squeak is a squeak of fear, watch your guinea pig’s body language. If they are jumpy or moving rapidly and then freezing up, odds are good that they have clocked a threat. 

“I’m Sick!”

It’s a good idea to listen out for sick guinea pig sounds. As mentioned, guinea pigs are prey animals, and you can hear this in their vocalizations. To stay alive in the wild, guinea pigs naturally try to hide all signs of weakness so they don’t become dinner. 

If you listen closely, however, you can sometimes hear signs of illness in their vocalizations. This will usually not be the case unless their situation has become serious. A tiny, sad squeak might be a sign of illness if accompanied by one or more of the following symptoms:

  • Weight loss
  • Hair Loss
  • Lack of Movement
  • Tumors
  • Changes in diet
  • Bleeding
  • Red eyes or eye crust
  • Limping 

Guinea pig owners must be vigilant when it comes to the health of their pets. Regular vetting can help catch small illnesses or injuries that have the potential to become more serious over time. In other words, don’t wait for the squeak!

“I’m Mad at You!”

Yes, even sweet, fluffy guinea pigs have a dark side, and they’re capable of anger! The name for a guinea pig’s temper tantrum squeak is “chuttering.” It is a fast, persistent sound that is reminiscent of birdsong. 

What could a guinea pig possibly have to be angry about? Usually, a guinea pig’s anger has something to do with space. They can sometimes be territorial, and don’t like it when another guinea pig gets too close. 

General chaos can also overwhelm a guinea pig. “Chaos” to a guinea pig might simply mean that their habitat is not the way they like it. Right whatever seems to be wrong in their world, give them some space, and they will quiet down. 

Another sign of aggression in guinea pigs is “teeth-chattering” behavior. Usually, this behavior means that someone or something is in their space and they want it gone! It might come before a fight or a bite, so be vigilant! 

Finally, some guinea pigs will hiss when another guinea pig violates their space. Hissing is rarely directed at people. If you observe hissing, you might consider separating the unhappy cagemates.

“I’m Happy!”

There is nothing better than hearing a guinea pig’s happy little squeaks! It’s hard to miss these high-pitched, excited vocalizations! When you care for your guinea pig well, they won’t have much to get upset about!

Foremost, you’re likely to hear happy squeaking from your guinea pig while they’re at play! They love to vocalize while exploring their surroundings. They may also make happy squeaking sounds if you give them new toys, which provide them with enrichment and excitement!

If you treat your guinea pig well, they might have another reason to produce happy squeaks: seeing you! Guinea pigs are very affectionate, and will quickly learn to identify the humans who love them. A guinea pig will squeak happily when they spot a beloved friend, hoping to get a few scratches out of the deal!  

mother guinea pig sometimes coos at her babies. Once they learn this behavior, however, they might use it on other guinea pigs, too! It’s not unusual for a happy guinea pig to coo at its fellow guinea pigs with affection! 

The best sound of all is the quietest. Did you know that, like pet cats, guinea pigs purr when they are very comfortable and content? This is rare behavior from an anxious little prey animal, so make sure to savor every last moment! 

So, Why Do Guinea Pigs Squeak?

All behavior is communication, and that goes for guinea pigs, too! The answer to “Why do guinea pigs squeak” is, ultimately, to express their emotions in the only way they know how! Enjoy those happy guinea pig sounds and continue giving your little friend the kind of life that makes them a common occurrence! 

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