Guinea Pig Noises And What They Mean (7 Unique Sounds)

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Guinea pigs are cute, furry pets that come in a variety of colors and breeds. They can be so fun to watch as they explore their habitat or interact with you. 

But sometimes they make strange noises. Have you ever wondered what those sounds could mean?

Short answer – Guinea pigs make a variety of sounds, including chirping and snorting. These noises are often used to communicate with other guinea pigs. Some guinea pig sounds may indicate you need to be concerned about its health.

According to studies, animals may produce certain sounds as an indicator of pain, distress, or stress, among other reasons. Sometimes it can also be due to satisfaction. It’s, therefore, important. 

So what are these sounds? Let’s have a look at them and their meaning.

7 Guinea Pig Sounds And Their Meaning

The following is a list of guinea pig noises and what they mean.

Teeth Chattering

When your guinea pig makes teeth chattering noises despite not having any food blocking its mouth and no other signs of fear, usually the cause is frustration. 

This is because something has been blocked off or because there isn’t enough space available for them to do what they want.


High-pitched whiny noises are most likely caused by fear of some kind, including being scared of people. It could also be from loud noises from the tv or music, etc. This could as well mean that they are hurt or injured. 


Guinea pigs can produce a low-pitched moaning sound that can be compared to a human baby cry. If your guinea pig starts making this noise, it means they are very sick or injured and need attention as soon as possible for emergency care.


This is the most common type of squeak that guinea pigs who are in pain or distress due to an injury or illness make. It could also mean one has mistaken you for another member of their family (such as mom). 

They may want snuggles because they feel safe with you like it would be with their mother.


When your guinea pig has something stuck in its throat, such as hair, it can make this high-pitched noise. They do this in an attempt to cough up whatever it is they’re choking on.

Ensure that you quickly check it when you hear it producing this noise. If accompanied by gagging noises, vomiting, and wheezing sound, the cause may be serious enough. 

You should take them to an emergency vet immediately if there’s no other way around it for getting help quickly.


This is a soft chirping sound that sounds like cooing noises made by humans to imitate baby birds. Sometimes go with purring vibrations when you gently pet their backs.  

It means they are enjoying themselves or happy about something (such as getting a treat). Sometimes they do this after you stroke them on their backs for long enough. 

It becomes almost like an involuntary action for them to do this without any input needed from us anymore.


When your guinea pigs make this noise, it’s either they are afraid, upset, or likely caused by something scaring them. It could be because there’s an animal around them who scares them (such as a dog).

But it could also just be related to general things like people, loud noises from tv or music, etc.


4 Guinea Pigs Body Languages And Their Meaning

A guinea pig’s general appearance and behavior are often enough to let us know how they feel. An understanding of their body language can help you understand what they’re trying to say.

Here are a few things you should be aware of:


This is usually self-defense or due to being surprised by a new item or person. They often do this if their cage isn’t changed for a while and they’re able to smell the old bedding. 

They might nip you as they would want to bite anything unfamiliar. This doesn’t necessarily mean that your piggy is feeling threatened by you.

Nipping at food held by the keeper has another meaning. If your guinea pig is nipping at what you’re holding, then they want it.

Forward Ears

Whenever you notice the ears are forward and facing the person or object they are looking at, this is a sign of interest. This movement is often caused by sniffing the air to gather more information about what they are looking at.

If it turns the head towards the belly, it’s seeking out petting from you. It can also turn the head towards the belly, moving closer to you and giving a happy chirp or squeak. 

This is its way of asking you for some extra attention. If it’s biting at your clothes, it may be attempting to get you to follow them somewhere.


Guinea pigs often sleep with their eyes open so they can see what’s around them. They only close their eyes for short periods, usually during times of relaxation or when struggling to stay awake for some reason. 

It is rare to see your guinea pig asleep with both their eyes and mouth closed as they can wake up easily that way.

Relaxed Nose

A guinea pig relaxing its nose

A relaxed guinea pig’s nose is fairly horizontal with a slight rise in the center from closed. A mixture of slow breaths and some snuffling can usually be heard when this point is reached.


The following are common questions people ask about guinea pigs’ sounds.


What Noises Do Guinea Pigs Make When They’re Happy?

 One of the good signs that your guinea pig is happy is when they make a series of noises, including squeaks and purrs. Here’s what these noises mean in different situations.

When they’re happy to see you: When your guinea pig sees you, they’re likely to emit a happy squeak.

When you feed them: Guinea pigs tend to make high-pitched, short squeaks when they see that their food bowl has been refilled. These sounds are an indicator of contentment in the piggies.

When they’re happy with their cage: When you clean out your guinea pigs’ cage, they often emit a purring noise when they see that their area is nice and clean again.

This is one of the best ways to tell whether or not your piggies are happy in their home environment.

When you’re petting them: Guinea pigs tend to make purring and squeaking noises when they’re being stroked or handled by their owner.

What Are Unhappy Guinea Pig Noises?

Sometimes your guinea pig’s noises may seem unusual or problematic. This means that there may be an underlying medical cause. 

Here are some of the sounds that can indicate a guinea pig that is not feeling well or happy:

A short, loud grunt, sometimes with a squeak after it. This usually means they want attention. Sometimes a grumpy guinea pig will give a quick snort without the squeak as well.

A harsh, fast squeaking noise. This usually means they are in pain or distress.

Coughing and sneezing sounds. If your guinea pig is sneezing or coughing, he probably has a cold or another respiratory illness. Sneezing can be a sign of an upper respiratory infection.

A guttural, hacking noise. If your guinea pig is making this sound, he may have an illness in his stomach or intestines that is trying to come up. It is sometimes loud enough that you can hear it coming from the other side of their enclosure. You will need to take him to a vet if he makes this noise.

A continuous high-pitched noise like that made by a bird: Guinea pigs will sometimes make this sound excited or happy.

It usually means they are playing or want to play, especially with you! Some guinea pigs make this enthusiastic but warbling “chirrup” noise when they see their owners also.

A squeal or scream that sounds like a really loud version of pain or distress. If your guinea pig is in serious pain, you will probably hear this sound and know it right away.

Why Is My Guinea Pig Making Weird Breathing Noises?

A guinea pig making noises

If you listen closely, you might hear your guinea pig making some strange breathing noises now and then. 

There are two types of sounds that make up the range of such noise. These are hiccups (high-pitched) and wheezes (low-pitched). 

Hiccups happen when your guinea pig gasps. This is most likely to happen after eating or drinking too much.  However, it can also come on suddenly when they are afraid of something in the environment.

Wheezes sound like whistles and often happen together with labored breathing. If you hear squeaky sounds when your guinea pig breathes, it may be a sign of asthma.

Why Is My Guinea Pig Chattering For No Reason?

In many cases, the chattering noise your guinea pig makes is entirely normal. However, there are also situations in which it may be a sign that something is wrong.

Chattering noises in guinea pigs are generally classified as either teeth chatters or content chatters.

Teeth chattering is a sign that your guinea pig is in a state of excitement, either from being happy or nervous. 

Content chatting often takes the form of soft humming and can indicate that your guinea pig finds its current situation pleasurable, such as when it’s petted or given treats.

If it’s teeth-chattering, your guinea pig may also click its teeth together. This is often done when the animal is excited about something, such as feeding time or playtime. 

Guinea pigs even use clicking noises to communicate with other members of their species.

Perhaps you hear content chatting from your guinea pig, take note of how it’s behaving. If it’s laying its ears back against its body and moving them around, for example, this is a sign that it’s enjoying whatever you’re doing.

Maybe the guinea pig isn’t happy with what you’re doing, on the other hand, it may try to get away without alarming you.

Final Thoughts

Guinea pigs make different sounds, from high-pitched squeaks to low guttural growls. These noises can be quite alarming when you first hear them, and it’s important to know what they mean so that you don’t worry needlessly about your furry friend. 

If you notice your pet making any unusual sounds or showing odd behavior, always contact your veterinarian as soon as possible for help.

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