Popcorning Guinea Pigs

Popcorning can be alarming the first time you see guinea pigs do it. After all, it usually happens out of nowhere! However, this behavior is perfectly natural for your guinea pigs, and you should look forward to seeing it.

What is Popcorning?

Popcorning is sudden jumps in the air, usually accompanied by some twists in your guinea pig’s body. These jumps appear to come out of nowhere, just like the pop of popcorn in the microwave. That’s where the term comes from.

Check out this compilation from Guinea Pig Dad!

Why Does Popcorning Occur in Guinea Pigs?

In human equivalents, the closest thing is the happy dance. Now, there are many reasons your guinea pigs might start popcorning. Here are a few of the most common reasons, and you can absolutely experiment to see what causes popcorning.

Young Guinea Pigs

There’s something to be said for youth in this case. Young guinea pigs often seem more prone to popcorning as they get used to being here. Young guinea pigs often have boundless energy as they explore new places. Well, at least until they want a nap.

Happy and Secure

One of the best things about popcorning is that it is a sign that your piggles feel happy and secure. If your guinea pigs are always popcorning, you’re doing all the right things for them. It’s a great feeling.

Favorite Foods

Some guinea pigs will popcorn with joy when you offer them their favorite foods. Whether that’s strawberries or cucumber will change guinea pig to guinea pig, but there’s no mistaking the happy sounds and jumps.

Pair of guinea pigs on grass

High Energy

Sometimes, guinea pigs will popcorn because they have so much energy. This option is one of the more random ways to see popcorning, but you may also find your guinea pigs popcorn with energy if you feed them fruit due to the high levels of natural sugar.


Some guinea pigs will also popcorn when they feel mentally stimulated. Guinea pigs are intelligent pets, so providing them with a lot of stimulation and companionship is vital to their overall health. You can take the popcorning as a sign you’ve created a great space.

Are Popcorning and Zoomies the Same for Guinea Pigs?

Zoomies and popcorning are not the same thing for your furry friends. Zoomies tend to be on the ground and more of a sprint forward. However, some guinea pigs will popcorn while they have the zoomies.

Was this article helpful? Subscribe to the Guinea Pig Center email list for more!