Guinea pigs vibrate as a form of communication to show both positive and negative emotions. Your guinea pig could feel uneasy or annoyed, or their environment may be too cold. Male guinea pigs also vibrate to attract females.
Since few animals vibrate for communication, you may be surprised when your guinea pig seems to tremble. However, it is simply their own unique way of communicating, and could be conveying a wide range of emotions. This range can make the vibrating difficult to interpret.
When petting your guinea pig, you may notice it start to vibrate. Much like when cats purr, these vibrations show that they are at ease and are in a good mood. This response is more commonly seen in younger guinea pigs, a characteristic that they grow out of as they get older. Ideally, this should be the only type of vibrating you see in your pet. Guinea pigs may also make high tweeting sounds to show joy.
Each pet guinea pig is different, and will respond in unique ways to stressful or confusing environments. However, if your guinea pig is puzzlingly vibrating, it will usually be for one of the following reasons.
Your guinea pig may vibrate when it is uneasy or alarmed. These vibrations are accompanied by a quick, snipped sound when they are created by fear. If your guinea pig is new to your home, they may vibrate due to alarm from you or the new environment. It may also be due to loud or sudden noises.
These vibrations should stop after you spend more time with your pet, as long as you are always gentle. Guinea pigs can also feel more at ease with a companion, since they are naturally social animals. You may be better off with two females, as they can get along quite well and don’t fight like two males. You can also have a male with a female if they are neutered.
Much like humans and other animals, guinea pigs tremble when they are cold. These vibrations are long and slow. If your guinea pig has just come out of the bath, it is important to towel dry them thoroughly to warm them up and to keep them away from cool draughts. If they are shivering within their hutch, you should fill their hide with soft hay into which the guinea pig can retreat. During freezing weather, you can use pet-safe heating pads, which are usually microwaveable rubber disks.
When annoyed, guinea pigs can produce deep, strong vibrating noises. This could be due to something you are doing, like brushing their coat or holding them too tightly. They can also show anger by hissing or showing their teeth.
Sometimes new guinea pigs feel threatened if you are near them when eating and will become frustrated. This is easily resolved by moving away after you fill their bowl. They will then eat calmly.
Vibrating in courtship
Male guinea pigs can sometimes vibrate to attract females. These vibrating sounds are usually lower than the other sounds they make. They also vibrate deeply like this to show dominance and their high social status to other guinea pigs. Sometimes females can vibrate in response to these sounds.
Overall, vibrating can be a successful form of communication between you and your guinea pig. However, since it can mean so many different things, it can be hard to decipher how your guinea pig is feeling from vibrating alone. You can read about pther guinea pig behaviours here.
Animal-Club provides animal parties or animal handling workshop where your will be able to see, learn and interact with many wonderful animals with the help of our presenters. Our mobile zoo has many friendly animals such as rabbits, tarantulas, geckos, vinegaroons and more that will be perfect for an animal party. We can also come over to your school for an animal school visit or arrange for an animal workshop with us where the children can learn about looking after animals and animal behaviour, and have fun too.