Are Guinea Pigs Cuddly? Do They Like To Be Held?

guinea pig in hand

Guinea pigs are one of the cutest animals you can have as a pet. They are fluffy, small, kind, and playful!

But have you ever wondered if guinea pigs are cuddly? We are going to give you the rundown on all things guinea pig today.

We will answer if guinea pigs are cuddly and if they like to be held. Last but not least, you’ll learn how you can work on bonding with your new furry friend.

Do Guinea Pigs Like to Cuddle?

Like we mentioned above we are going to give you all of the facts you need to learn about guinea pigs. The short answer if guinea pigs like to cuddle is yes.

The long answer is that it depends on your specific pet’s temperament in regards to how much cuddling they will enjoy and how soon they will accept it.

Do Guinea Pigs Like to Cuddle With Humans?

Like any other pet, it’s important to remember that when they are adopted and brought into a new family it’s normal for them to be a little scared. This does not mean they do not love you!

Guinea pig being petted

It just means they need some time to get comfortable with their surroundings.

In general, guinea pigs do enjoy being cuddled by humans. But the way in which you act around them will play a huge role in this.

When you want to hold your guinea pig, make sure you are calm and collected. You can even try talking to your pet in a soft voice.

This will help them feel comfortable with you and get comfortable with the cuddling.

Something else to remember is to follow the queues of your furry friend! They will show you with their body language how they feel about cuddling.

If they seem stiff or scared, maybe give them a little more time to get used to their surroundings before you try to cuddle them again.

If they seem extremely comfortable with you, then you can try cuddling with them for a longer period of time.

How Often Should You Cuddle Your Guinea Pig?

The frequency of your cuddling with your guinea pig should be tested by your pet’s personality, reactions, and temperament.

All animals are different and some may adjust faster than others. Unfortunately, there is not a clear answer to give regarding how often to cuddle your guinea pig.

If you notice your guinea pig is enjoying cuddling with you, you can usually increase the amount of cuddle time.

On the other hand, if they seem nervous about cuddling time, give them some space to get comfortable with you. You can decrease the amount of time you spend with cuddling your pet and observe their reactions over time.

Patience is key.

Don’t force anything on your furry friend because this will only make them more uncertain about the idea of cuddling. If you give them the space to get comfortable, more often than not, they will love cuddling with you after some time.

Are Guinea Pigs Affectionate?

Yes, guinea pigs are affectionate creatures.

They are social in nature and enjoy being around humans. Like we mentioned in the above sections, building an affectionate relationship with your furry friend takes time and patience.

The most important thing to remember about your new pet’s affection is that the more they feel comfortable with you – the more love they will show you!

If you would like to know the specific temperament of your guinea pig before you bring them home, you can try scheduling a meet and greet with the shelter or breeder.

This “trial meeting” can help you to see how comfortable your future pet is around you or if you have natural chemistry among first meeting.

Adult guinea pig socialising with a younger guinea pig outside on the grass.

How to Hold a Guinea Pig

One of the most important things to think about in regards to the question of whether guinea pigs like to cuddle is how you hold them.

Believe it or not, there are a few correct ways to hold your new pet. This will directly affect how comfortable they are with you in general.

Where Do Guinea its Like to Be Touched?

In general, guinea pigs like to be touched on their head and the top backs. They usually do not like their legs and backside touched.

When you are building your relationship with your guinea pig, you will get hints from them on whether they like where you are petting them.

Similar to when a cat purrs, guinea pigs will make adorable little noises to let you know that they enjoy how you are petting them.

We will touch more on this later, but establishing a relationship with your guinea pig includes them getting comfortable with you touching them.

Similar to all of our tips thus far, it’s important to wait for signals from your new pet that they are comfortable before you start touching them frequently.

Can I Hold My Guinea Pig on the First day?

You can certainly give it a shot to try holding your guinea pig on their first day home.

It’s important not to put too much pressure on your new pet because guinea pigs are often a bit scared when they are first introduced to a new environment, it’s best to read their body language and then see if you should hold them on their first day home.

How Do You Bond With Guinea Pigs?

Bonding with your guinea pig can be an extremely rewarding experience. If you are able to successfully create a strong bond with your new pet, they will continue to trust you throughout their lives!

It is recommended that you try bonding with your new pet as soon as possible. You should make sure that the first few weeks of having them you put a lot of effort into strengthening your bond.

Start small.

It’s important to take small steps when easing into creating a relationship with your new furry family member.

You should start first with touching your pet, then more frequent touching, followed by holding and then continued by longer periods of holding and cuddling.

Try not to get discouraged with your pet’s progress. It’s normal for the bonding period to take some time. After all, all good things don’t come easy!

Some tips and tricks.

If you have other pets in your home, try keeping your guinea pig separated from them so they are not getting exposed to too many things at once.

If you do have other pets, it can be helpful to wash your hands before handling your guinea pig. If they smell the scent of another pet they may be frightened and have a harder time adjusting.

It’s important to get on your guinea pig’s “eye-level”. You can do this by laying on the ground with them or having their cage on a table or desk.

Being at the same level (physically) with your new pet can help them feel less threatened by you. This will help them get more comfortable with you at a quicker rate.

You can try using food association to encourage your guinea pig to be interested in you from the start. Providing treats or some sort of encouragement will help them trust you.

These are all the tricks summarised for you:

  • Slowly expose your guinea pig to other pets
  • Wash your hands before touching if you have other pets (sensitive to smells)
  • Get on their eye-level
  • Positive reinforcement with treats
Guinea pig lays on the couch next to a large dog.

Listen to your fur baby.

It’s extremely important to pay attention to your new pet’s body language and vocal queues when you are starting to bond with them.

Pets can’t speak to us in a way that we understand, so they have to use their body language and noises to let us know how they are feeling.

The various body language positions to look out for are:

  • If your pet tries to hide or tenses up.
  • If your guinea pig starts to shake or show other signs of nervousness.
  • If your pet tries to bite or scratch you.
  • If your pet attempts to hide from you when you hold them or cuddle them in certain ways.

As with every relationship, communication is important. This is very relevant when it comes to creating a bond with your new pet.

Show them you care.

There are many ways to show your new furry family member that you love and care about them.

Grooming can help with that.

Spending time each day grooming your guinea pig can help them understand that you are there to help them.

Grooming your guinea pig will keep them feeling good which will make them less nervous about their needs being met overall.

If you are able to spend even small amounts of time per day grooming your furry friend you are working on them getting used to your touch at the same time. This is a total win-win! 

Making grooming time comfortable for your pet is important also. You can do this by laying down a towel or soft blanket for them to lay on while you groom them.

Guinea pigs may show you they care about you by cuddling up to you when you hold them, falling asleep on you, licking you, or even requesting your attention through their adorable noises. 


By far the most important thing to remember when bonding with your new pet is to have patience.

Your guinea pig will love you eventually but rushing them will only make the experience more difficult. 

Practicing patience means being able to leave your guinea pig alone if they seem agitated by your interactions. This does not mean they will be this way forever. It simply means they might just take a little longer to get used to you and your new relationship.

Try your very best to not be too hard on your new pet. Humans are much bigger than they are, so it’s normal for them to be a little skittish at first. 

Guinea pigs are such a wonderful pet to have become a part of your family! They are small, easy to care for, and are great with children.

They can be extremely affectionate as long as they are given the appropriate amount of time to get comfortable with their surroundings. 

Any pet parent (or animal lover) understands that being patient is incredibly crucial when first bringing your new family member home. Some creatures may adjust faster than others and that’s okay!

We promise you that even though they require a bit of a time commitment, guinea pigs are one of the most loving creatures you can own as a pet.

If you follow the steps we mentioned here (and are patient with both yourself and your pet) we guarantee that your guinea pig will turn into a grinning pig with a huge smile on their face before you know it!

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