Understanding Guinea Pig Vocalization

Your guinea pig can create many different types of vocalization to communicate. By understanding the vocalization, you can better understand your guinea pig’s wants, needs, and current state. You can also better understand how he or she is interacting with her cage mates.

Pitch and Volume for Vocalization

Your guinea pig not only makes many noises, but they also can modulate the pitch and volume. This trait was useful in the wild, where communicating could require immediate or long-range. Guinea pigs are curious and intelligent as well, so while you’re learning about them, they also learn about you. That’s why you may get ear-splitting vocalization when your guinea pig hears you open the fridge.

Guinea pig on carpet

Wheek

The most common guinea pig sound is referred to as a wheek. That’s the word humans need to say to imitate it as well. Wheeks sound like a high pitched squeal. Generally, this vocalization says your guinea pig is very excited about something, such as their daily veggie treat.

Whistle

Guinea pigs can also produce a whistling noise. This noise tends to be louder than a wheek, as well as higher pitched. Your guinea pig whistles when he or she is excited. This noise tends to carry, just like the whistle you see on T.V. to summon dogs.

Cooing

Cooing is a much lower sound. When humans think of cooing, it tends to be a soft, soothing murmur offered to babies. Guinea pigs make the low-pitched cooing vocalization when they are content with life. They also make it to show affection to their pups and humans.

Rumbling

The rumbling is a low-pitched vibration that goes through your entire guinea pig. The rumbling vocalization signals that the guinea pig is interested in mating. Rumbling is typically done by males, though females can do it too. When a guinea pig is rumbling, you may also be able to see the accompanying dance provided you don’t startle the piggles.

Purring

Purring is a multipurpose noise for guinea pigs. A low-pitched purr means the guinea pig is content. A higher-pitched purr, on the other hand, shows annoyance. Your guinea pig also tends to change the pitch of the annoyed purrs more often, especially towards the end of a sequence.

Guinea pig standing on wood

Whining

Whining and moaning are the same thing for guinea pigs, though you may find it a little disconcerting how close a guinea pig moan is to a human one. Whining communicates dislike for whatever is happening.

Hissing

Guinea pigs can hiss, though you’d be hard-pressed to mistake it for the snake sound. Typically, hissing is a warning sign to back off since the guinea pig does not like what’s happening around it. Hissing often occurs with teeth chattering.

Teeth Chattering

If you hear your guinea pig’s teeth chattering, get your hands away from the guinea pigs and grab a dustpan. Teeth chattering typically indicates a guinea pig is about to bite. If your guinea pig has a cage mate, place the dustpan between the two and use it to break up the fight. Extensive amounts of teeth chattering say you should separate the guinea pigs permanently.

Chirping

Chirping is a rare guinea pig noise, though some special piggles do it all the time. Guinea pig chirps do sound remarkably like bird chirps. Since this is a rare vocalization, the precise meaning to your guinea pig is challenging to find. Theories range from missing a former cage mate to being especially happy.

Was this article useful? Subscribe to the Guinea Pig Center email list below!