Behavior Essentials

Some Signs Your Guinea Pig is Unhappy, and What to Look Out For

Our previous blog post talked about 4 signs your guinea pig is happy(be sure to read it before or after this one), so...
Wondering whether your guinea pig is unhappy? Look for these signs as you monitor guinea pigs to make sure they are happy

(Updated 2023.06.21)

Our previous blog post talked about 4 signs your guinea pig is happy (be sure to read it before or after this one), so today we’ll be talking about signs that your guinea pig is unhappy. The main way you can sense unhappiness in your guinea pig is through body language, sounds, and health. Although some of these signs may just signal temporary unhappiness and are no cause for worry, be sure to watch out if one of them happens frequently and extends for long periods of time. Again, all guinea pigs are different so not all of these will apply to your guinea pig.

1. Sounds

Guinea pigs make a variety of sounds and they each mean something different. Teeth chattering, hissing, growling, and whining are all some unhappy guinea pig sounds that your guinea pig may make when they are in discomfort with another piggie. Teeth chattering is one of the more common unhappy guinea pig noises that you can distinguish between the others. It may be accompanied by showing off teeth as an aggressive “back off”. To remedy this, have enough treats nearby to hand out to everyone.

Our GuineaDad Pea Flakes works great for this. This acts as a small distraction to break up the fight so that they may all be friends again afterwards. 

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Here's a short video summary on unhappy guinea pig sounds.

2. Body Language


Sometimes guinea pigs do a little “dance” called rumblestrutting. You may have seen this when your guinea pig looks like he/she is almost vibrating, or rumbling, in both the sound they make and in their body language around another piggie. Why do guinea pigs rumblestrut? Well, guinea pig rumble strutting is known to be a mating dance but can also be seen as an act of dominance. And it doesn’t just happen between a male and female, but can happen with any paired piggie! Another body language to recognize is the raising of a piggie's head and front legs and fluffing up their fur. For example, has your guinea pig ever fluffed up his/her fur while eating delicious veggies next to a companion? It means that they are trying to look aggressive and bigger so that no one will come close and steal their food.

Here's a short video summary on unhappy guinea pig body language.

3. Disinterest

One of the more obvious ways to tell that your guinea pig is unhappy is disinterest in everything, even veggies! If your guinea pig used to love playtime, but all of a sudden doesn’t want to participate, then they may be depressed or have an underlying health problem. If this symptom lasts for more than a day, there is a problem. To be safe, always bring them to the vet to get checked up. The sooner you recognize the problem and get checked, the better it will be for your piggie in the long run. 

Watch the video below for the last of our three part series on signs why your guinea pig may be unhappy.



main ways to tell if your guinea pig is unhappy is through body language, sound, and health

In the end, we have to remember that most of these unhappy signs are all natural behaviors that guinea pigs make on a regular basis. Most of which aren’t a cause for concern, everyone gets the blues once in a while! Just remember that if these signs happen too frequently, pay close attention to see if there is something wrong with your piggies and their health. The most important way to keep your piggy comfortable and healthy is by just providing them with what they need. A clean home with washed liners, nutritious veggies, and lots of love from you!

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My Guinea pig was having some lap time with me I think she got a little agitated she started to rumble and vibrate I think that was a sign she wanted her to go back so I gently picked her up and placed her back in her cage please watch out for your guineas pig body language


I’ve been trying to bond my old male Guinea pig with my new male Guinea pig and the New Guinea pig keeps walking slow and making a deep noise shaking it’s butt side to side and rubbing against my old piggy but they don’t fight there’s no mounting happening or anything just the deep noise and butt shaking and rubbing against him. I don’t know if this is a display of dominance or if it’s courting and my new piggy is “gay” or not I don’t really know what to do in this situation.


Hey I have a solo girl who seems to be low energy lately. She’s about 4 years old and has lost all of her heard. I have been hesitant getting her a companion because it would be much younger than her. And I don’t know how she would like the company. She seems to sleep outside of her hide and will somewhat rock back and forth forward and backwards puffed up. She does pause this behavior to get food water or to groom herself. She also runs around other than this odd behavior. I don’t know how to react. She also lives in a pet store cage as of right now as I save money to buy a Better cage. Is this cause for concern? What should I do to make sure she has the best years possible? Why does she do this?

Macie Byers

2 by 4 c and c cages are not equal to 4 feet by 2 feet I think.Hey my Guinea pig are new too I’ve had them for a week and they are in separate cages because one I got them from a neighbor and the neighbor had them all in these like pet store cages like one of the guinea pigs died and we got here back from the neighbors and so we had to go get another guinea pig and the neighbors had given us two cages one was not assembled yet the other was where the guinea pigs were previously in and we’re trying to bond the new guinea pig and her and so she is there still in separate cages because I cannot trust them to be together they’ve been nipping at each other mountain each other so I’m just not I’m worried for them so like I’m still working on it spot The one that I’ve had is in the bigger cage which I believe is a 2 × 4 CNC but I’m not really sure so we’re gonna get them bigger cage when we move back into my room because I am a nine-year-old my room is doing some reconstruction so we have them in here in the guest bedroom with me when we move back in I’m probably gonna give them like maybe 3 × 6 like recommended by the pig room are so they’re gonna get a huge cage but I’m just really worried for them do you have any baby tips and tricks that may work because I’ve been like just browsing all your blogs and there’s a lot of stuff that has been helping me out so I bet you have more that could probably Help.


hey, I just got my first guinea pig, everything was going good till 3 seconds ago… i got her some colorful wood chews from walmart and she seemed to love it but then she went really still and it scared me.. now she is running all around her cage making a lot of noises which isn’t normal for her to do… is she okay i don’t wanna loose her..


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