Guinea Pig Squeaking, Purring, Wheeking, & Other Sounds – Explained!

Guinea pig making sounds through megaphone.

Your little ones are making all kinds of mysterious guinea pig sounds, but you are at a loss. Could this just mean they are constantly happy or are your piglets trying to tell you something else altogether?

What on earth could all of these guinea pig noises mean?

We’re covering all the different sounds so you can easily identify what your piggy is trying to tell you and that there are actually lots of different sounds.

  • Guinea Pig Squeaking
  • Guinea Pig Purring
  • Guinea Pig Wheeking
  • Guinea Pig Chirping
  • Guinea Pig Cooing
  • Guinea Pig Shrieking
  • Guinea Pig Hissing
  • Guinea Pig Whining

Since guinea pigs are social animals, they love to be quite vocal sometimes.

Getting a second guinea pig is awesome and seeing them interact with each other can be a real pleasure.

However, sometimes the sounds might keep us awake, especially when your guinea pig decides to shriek or wheek like crazy in the middle of the night.

Since guinea pigs are diurnal, we can easily get frustrated with them being active at times when we would prefer them not to be.

They might just try to tell you something though so let’s try to find out what that is.

Happy Guinea Pig Sounds – Know The Difference

You’re hearing all kinds of unique Guinea Pig sounds, almost a different one every time you visit the little one. What in the world is he trying to tell you, and how do you find out?

You absolutely love those happy Guinea Pig sounds (at least you hope they are happy). The more unique sounds your piglet makes, the more diverse he seems.

But what if he is upset, in pain, or enduring some other dire discomfort? What if your baby is scared or depressed?

How would you know the difference between happy and not-so-happy Guinea Pig sounds?

Body language.

The sounds your piglet makes will often be accompanied by visual cues, which are usually much easier to read.

For example, a startled, uncertain Guinea will often freeze, touching noses can be a friendly gesture, and strutting from side to side might indicate aggression.

  • Fluffing/raising fur = aggression
  • Strutting side to side = aggression
  • Raising haunches = aggression
  • Touching noses = greeting
  • Popcorning = excitement
  • Mountain = sexual or dominance
  • Urinating/scent marking= ‘This is mine’

Now, these are just for vague categorizations, this list is not limited to the aforementioned meanings and depending on the context, the exact meaning can also be quite the opposite.

Consider the context.

Ask yourself what is going on while your piglet is making the sounds she is. This is almost universal for most animals, not simply guinea pig sounds.

Is she making excitable movements, or did something out of the ordinary just happen recently? What kind of body language do you see?

By observing your guinea’s behavior over time, understanding these sounds will slowly become instinctual.

Guinea Pig Squeaking

Those guinea pig squeaking sounds are the most adorable things you’ve ever heard, but what could they mean? Is your little one happy, excited, nervous and scared, or just playful?

Let’s find out.

Why do guinea pigs squeak?

Guinea Pigs will often squeak or squeal when frightened, anxious, or nervous. Repeated squeaking could be due to a loud noise or sudden change in your Guinea’s environment.

Guinea pigs communicating though sounds.

They will also squeak when happy or excited, so you’ve really got to pay attention to the intricate differences between squeaks. What is happening to elicit these squeaks?

Feed Me

Your little piglet might simply be hungry. Guinea pigs often squeak to let you know get your attention, letting you know they want something.

Are you preparing food in front of your wee one, or is it about her feeding time?

I’m Nervous

Your little one might be nervous, frightened, or anxious. They might make these noises when not happy about something.

If something happened you don’t think your piglet would appreciate, this very well could be the reason.

Pay Attention to Me

Frequent guinea pig squeaking might be a behavior meant to signify attention-seeking desires. Your little piggy might simply want your companionship.

Do you have a set playtime? Perhaps your pet is simply trying to let you know what the time is.

I Feel Claustrophobic

Excess squeaking could symbolize a feeling of confusion or a sense of confinement. Imagine another disagreeable male, or the foreign feeling of a visit to the veterinarian.

Guinea pigs don’t tend to appreciate being bathed too much; you might hear these sounds more often during bath time. Failing to dry your guinea completely after bathing can lead to chills, along with the unhappy noises that accompany them.

I’m Happy Mom

Young guineas will often squeak when seeking the attention of their mothers. Your piglet might even consider you a motherly figure, or another cavy.

Are you about to let your piglet out of his cage, or is it playtime? He or she could just be happy about the food she is about to get, or content after eating.

Is guinea pig squeaking good?

Squeaking can be a good sign. If your guinea pig squeaking happens when he is happy or excited, he’ll probably accompany this with a set of visual cues.

You might notice your little one actively hopping up and down, indicating excitement. Some people call this popcorning (consider the resemblance).

Both older and younger pigs might popcorn, though the older usually lack the same vigor.

Why does my guinea pig squeak when I pick her up?

You already know Guinea Pig squeaking happens usually when the little guys are excited, but it can also mean your buddy is nervous or anxious. Considering those two, those guinea squeaks could mean one of two things.

  1. He or she is excited about this attention, happy to be out of that enclosure.
  2. He or she doesn’t want to be held right now, and it might be a good idea to set them down.

If your pig is very uncomfortable, this will probably be accompanied by squirming.

Guinea Pig Purring

Imagine hearing a cat’s purring when there is no cat in sight. This strange sound is coming from your guinea pig.

Does it mean he, also like a cat, is happy and content, or does it signify something else entirely?

What does it mean when my guinea pig purrs?

Guinea Pig purring can have various different meanings, determined by the pitch and accompanied by body language (noticing a trend?).

A deep purring followed by a relaxed posture is often a good thing and can symbolize contentment. In contrast, a shorter purr can symbolize feelings of anxiety.

On the other hand, a higher-pitched purr can mean something similar to annoyance or agitation. Those making that guinea pig sound might seem tense, or sort of ‘vibrate’.

Is my guinea pig growling or purring?

Think of guinea pig growling like rumbling, sounding deeper than a purr. Piglets tend to make these sounds during the mating season.

Like most others, this will be followed by visual body language cues. Your little one might do a sort of ‘dance’ if indeed attraction is the purpose.

You could see some unwanted behaviors between competing males, and mature male piglets could fight with each other.

One guinea pig hides under shelter, possibly communicating via sounds.

It’s unusual that two males that have been raised together will fight for dominance.

Similarly, if breeding is not an issue, there probably won’t be any problem between females.

Just as with dogs, these social creatures need to be trained and if you’ve gotten two of these furry fellows right away, that’s great for them to stay on top of their social skills.

Even though some may argue that one companion isn’t all that much, it’s better than none at all.


Mounting can either be sexual or show a type of hierarchical dominance, especially with females. Guinea pigs sometimes rub against or urinate on objects/ other pigs to show dominance or possession.

Guinea Pig Wheeking

Imagine several loud, continuous squeaks in rapid succession. This is the exact, stereotypical guinea pig noise you might expect.

Guinea pig wheeking is in fact the most popular sound the little ones make.

What does guinea pig Wheeking mean?

A long, loud whistling squeal might indicate the desire for attention, but most can agree on one thing. Your guinea is probably hungry.

Wheeking is a very common guinea pig sound, well known to any piglet owner. Your little one is probably excited, perhaps anticipating feeding time.

Why is my guinea pig Wheeking so much?

Well, Guinea Pig wheeking usually only takes place when the little one is hungry, anticipating feeding time, or exited and wanting to play. Your piglet might simply also be trying to get your attention.

  1. Is your pet being fed an adequate diet?
  2. Is the enclosure large enough?
  3. Does your little one get enough opportunities for play or exercise?

Some consider wheeking sounds to be a form of begging. When it comes down to the basics, this is probably all about the feeding time.

Guinea Pig Chirping

Much like the chirping you might hear from a bird, guinea pig chirping is a rare sound thought to signify fear or anxiety.

Some sources claim pigs who’ve recently lost companions do this, so it could signify a type of depression.

Can you pay close enough attention to determine the exact meaning behind Guinea Pig chirping?

Guinea Pig Cooing

When your Guinea Pig is cooing, he’s probably trying to offer a type of reassurance. Whatever you’re doing is a good thing that is appreciated. 

Mother piglets will often vocalize this unique sound with their young, but others can demonstrate it too.

Guinea Pig Shrieking, Hissing, Whining & Sneezing

Instead of the regular Guinea Pig squeaks you’re used to, one of your littles begins emitting a much higher-pitched version. She doesn’t sound happy at all.

A guinea pig’s shrieking can be a pretty big sign of distress, acting as a siren of anxiety. Either your little one is afraid of something, or in some other type of distress. 

You’re going to want to check on your little fellows, ensuring their safety and well being. If your guinea pig shrieks when being handled, he’s probably not happy about it.

Your guinea pig is hissing a lot?

Both teeth-chattering and guinea pig hissing are signals your little one is upset. This is going to sound a lot like the hissing noises cats make.

Consider hissing a guinea pig warning sound. Whether it be other piglets or you yourself, staying clear is your best course of action.

Is this hissing accompanied by any type of body language? Could it be raised back-fur or raised haunches? Is your Guinea baring her teeth?

Dealing with a whining piggy?

No one ever likes to hear this sound, unless you consider the extreme cuteness of these little guinea noises.

You might interchange a whining with a moaning type of squeak. Your piglet is probably ‘irritated’ or upset about something happening in her environment.

Consider the context along with (as always) body language. What is different now that wasn’t before?

What could have happened that seemed to draw out the desire for these whines? Work from there.

Can guinea pigs sneeze? Actually, yes.

Your piglet utters a disturbing, high pitched sound just like a human sneeze (only much smaller). Is this a good thing, or bad?

Normally it’s nothing to fret over and your little one is fine, but caution never hurts. Do you notice any other unusual symptoms that might indicate a sickness?

You may just want to get your little one to a vet. Consider the list of symptoms below, or any others you might notice:

  • Runny eyes/nose
  • Heavy breathing & coughing
  • Crackling sound from chest
  • Half closed eyes

Sneezing can result from allergens, so ask yourself if you’ve used anything different around your piggy lately. Have you sprayed anything new recently?

Conclusion: A Wealth of Guinea Pig Sounds

Guinea Pigs are so fascinating because of the wealth of sounds and visual cues they make; there is an entire language to these simple vocalizations. Can you pay close enough attention to learn the meanings behind them all?

I’ve covered Guinea Pig squeaking, purring, wheeking, & most other sounds you might hear. Now you just have to put the words on this page to use.

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