Behavior Essentials

Decoding Guinea Pig Sounds: Purring and Body Language

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Decoding pig sounds: Purring & Body language

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Check out this video for a quick and fun summary!

We all love guinea pigs because they are one of the cutest pets in the world! As a social animal, guinea pigs vocalize to express their emotion, including “purring”. In this blog post, we will provide an explanation of purring and what it means through their body language. By understanding the meaning behind their purring, we can gain valuable insights into their emotional state and provide them with the care they need. Let's start decoding guinea pig sounds and unravel the secrets of purring and corresponding body language.

The Significance of Purring

Purring is one of the sounds you will hear as a guinea pig parent. I can carry different meanings depending on the context and accompanying body language. Primarily, purring is associated with feelings of contentment, relaxation, and overall happiness. It is often observed during moments of bonding and affection, such as gentle petting or cuddling sessions with your guinea pig. When your furry friend emits a soft purring sound with a relaxed look, typically characterized by resemblance to a “flat pancake”, he/she is purring because he/she is enjoying it.

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However, it is crucial to understand that guinea pigs may purr for completely opposite reasons in the exact same situation. If your guinea pig is butting his/her head against your hand while purring, you can safely assume that your guinea pig has had enough of petting and is annoyed by you. If your guinea pig is nibbling your hand or the liner while purring, this is also a sign of annoyance.

As a caring guinea pig parent, you must pay close attention to their body language to distinguish the two.

Mealtime Purring and Warning Signals

Interestingly, purring can also happen during mealtime. As guinea pigs indulge in their favorite foods and treats such as GuineaDad Pea Flakes Treat Cup, they may experience joy and contentment. They may purr while showing other happy body language such as popcorning.

Pea Flack

You may provide their favorite veggies or healthy GuineaDad treats.

You might want to try our Pea Flakes go through a strict and thorough process such as an infrared heat treatment to ensure freshness and quality. If your guinea pig is still a bit skittish and easily scared, our USDA organic chamomile treat is also a great option!

Chamomile Treat Cup

Just like in previous situations during lap time, purring during mealtime can be a bad sign. Some (if not all) guinea pigs are not too fond of the idea of sharing their food. The greedy piggy may purr while showing a body language called “rumble strutting” where they will shake their hip while walking. There is no need for an urgent human intervention, but just know that your piggy is not happy with sharing. You might want to provide treats or food in a separate bowl or a cup.

Understanding Fearful Purring


If your guinea pig purrs while exhibiting signs of fear, such as hiding or displaying aggressive behavior, it is important to address their underlying stressors. Fearful purring can occur when guinea pigs are feeling threatened or anxious in their environment.

I hope this blog post and the video helped you get one step closer to understanding guinea pig behavior. Thank you for joining us in decoding guinea pig sounds, specifically purring and body language.

If you have any comments or want to share your own experience, please leave in the comment below so many other guinea pig parents can also learn! If you have any burning questions, feel free to reach out to us any time! GuineaDad team is not only here to answer product or company questions, but we spend a lot of time helping and educating guinea parents about guinea pigs in general!

Want to read more about your guinea pig’s Behavior and Sound?

Guinea Pig Sounds and Their Meanings!

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