How to Make Guinea Pigs Like You? Step-By-Step Guide

a boy playing with a guinea pig

Guinea pigs make wonderful pets but sometimes, they can be flighty and nervous.

 Every new guinea pig owner wants their guinea pig to like them. But many newbies struggle to get their cavies to like them and appreciate being held. Unfortunately, these pets often tend to appear aloof and even wary of their humans.

Thankfully, there are some tried-and-tested ways to make your guinea pigs like you. Your skittish pet will take a liking to you and enjoy being held, provided you know exactly what to do. 

The best way to get your guinea pig to like you is by

  • Talking to it in a soothing voice
  • Playing with it,
  • Feeding it its favorite foods (in moderation!), 

Read on to find out exactly how to make your guinea pig like you.

hands holding a guinea pig

How To Make Your Guinea Pig Like You

Step 1- Provide a Safe and Clean Environment

An important way to get your guinea pig to be more comfortable and happier is by providing it with a safe, clean, and spacious habitat.

This includes getting a roomy and spacious cage based on the number of cavies you have. For two cavies, the cage should be at least 10.5 square feet or 30 x 50 sq. inches. 

The cage should have plenty of hiding spots or nesting areas where your guinea pigs can hide or sleep when tired or stressed. This is an essential part of getting your guinea pigs to like you.

It is essential to always house at least 2 guinea pigs together as they are highly social animals and tend to get bored and depressed if they are housed alone.

Read our guide on How Big of a Cage for 2 Guinea Pigs

Step 2 – Let Your Pets Get Used to Your Voice

Before you hold your guinea pigs, make them get used to your voice.

  • Talk to your pets soothingly. This will calm and reassure your pet. This is the first step in bonding with your little guy or girl.
  • You can say your pigs’ names several times
  • You can even tell your pets about your day. This may seem strange but hearing your voice is soothing for your guinea pigs.
  • Try and place your guinea pigs’ cage near your workplace so you can talk to them from time to time throughout the day.
a girl playing with a guinea pig

Step 3 – Feed it Its Favorite Treats

This is one of the easiest ways to get your guinea pigs to come to you, like you, and get used to you.

Feed your cavies a piece of fruit or vegetable such as a bell pepper, a slice of banana, a bit of apple, etc.

You can try out different veggies and fruits until you know which one your pets like the best.

Do this at regular intervals so your guinea pigs learn to associate you with love, care, and other positive feelings.

Step 4 – Hold Your Furry Pal Properly

To ensure that your guinea pigs feel safe with you, you must learn to hold them properly. According to the PDSA, you must keep your guinea pig upright when you hold it. Also, always keep the animal close to your torso. 

Always hold one hand under your pig’s chest and lift and support its hind legs with your other hand. If needed, sit down on the floor for extra security.

If your pet appears uncomfortable or starts to wriggle, then gently release it back into its cage and try again after a few days.

Step 5 – Spend Time with Your Pet

As far as possible, spend time with your guinea pigs. This includes having them play out in a safe enclosure for an hour or two.

Make sure to cover all electrical outlets and crevices. You don’t want to lose your cavies. You can toss out some chew toys, balls, etc. 

Observe your guinea pigs- they will show you what they like in terms of rolling, pushing, chasing, etc. These are signs that your guinea pigs want to play with you.

End each playtime by feeding them a treat so your cavies look forward to these sessions.

Also Read: 450+ Unique Guinea Pig Names

a kid patting a guinea pig on its lap

How to Bond With Your Guinea Pig?

The Ontario SPCA recommends the following steps to help you form a close bond with your guinea pig:

Socialize with your Pet 

Set time aside daily to play and socialize with your guinea pig. Make sure to keep this time consistent since guinea pigs thrive on routine. At the same time, be patient and do not force your guinea pig. If it does not want to come out of its nesting area, let it be.

Create Positive Associations with Teats 

Treats are an excellent way to bond with your pet. Provide your guinea pig with small bits of veggies and fruits and also feed it hay with your hand. If your pet is still skittish or shy, then toss the treat from a distance.

Daily Enrichment

Try playing with your cavy by tossing a toy – it could be something as simple as a toilet paper roll cardboard, some chewing blocks, etc. (Just make sure these toys are safe and devoid of sharp edges).

 Toys and daily enrichment can keep your guinea pig mentally active and engaged. They will also look forward to these games and that can help them bond with you.

How Do Guinea Pigs Show Love?

Since guinea pigs are social animals, they show each other love by grooming each other, making some chattering noises, nibbling each other, and chasing and playing with each other.

To their humans, guinea pigs show love by looking forward to interacting with them. They may even come up to the cage walls and make noises or sounds to get your attention.

Your guinea pig might also climb on your hand and playfully nibble or make excited noises when you come near to feed it or play with it. Your little cavy might even lovingly kiss you by licking your hand!

How Long Does it Take for a Guinea Pig to Like You?

The time a guinea pig takes to bond with its owner may vary from cavy to cavy. Some cavies easily bond with their owners in 2-3 days while some may take up to 3 months or longer.

Captive-bred guinea pigs that have been raised by breeders and are used to humans usually bond quickly with their owners provided the owners take the time to play, feed, groom, and interact with their pets.

Try not to get discouraged if your guinea pig is still aloof or not bonding with you. Be patient, – these things take time.

a guinea pig on a lap

FAQs – How to Make Guinea Pigs Like You?

Why does my guinea pig not like me?

It may not be that your guinea pig does not like you. It might just be shy and may need more time to show you affection.

Do not get discouraged- continue to interact with it. Try some high-value treats. If things still do not improve, please talk to your vet.

What do guinea pigs love the most?

Guinea pigs love treats like bell peppers, lettuce, carrots, apples, and banana slices. But do be careful as some of these treats are sugary and could cause weight gain in cavies.

Should I hold my guinea pig every day?

Yes, as a part of daily enrichment, you should hold your guinea pig every day. Just make sure to respect its space and if your pet does not want to interact or be held, then please refrain from forcing it.

Conclusion – How to Make Guinea Pigs Like You?

The best way to make guinea pigs like you is by talking to them in a soothing voice, providing daily enrichment in the form of supervised playtime in a safe enclosure, and using positive associations using high-value treats and toys.

We hope this guide helps you form a close and loving bond with your guinea pig.

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