Hearing your guinea pig chirping like a bird is bound to leave you with many questions. You will want to know whether this is something that other guinea pigs do, or it is unique to your cavy. You will also want to know what it means – and especially whether it could be an indication that something is wrong with your guinea pig. And you may want to know whether there is anything you need to do, about your guinea pig’s chirping. Read on, for answers to all those concerns.
Why is my guinea pig chirping like a bird? When a guinea pig makes a chirping sound similar to that of a bird, it may indicate that he has sensed danger and is frightened, or they want to mate. That is what many animal behavior experts theorize about this behavior.
The fact that the guinea pigs freeze and don’t move while making the chirping sound supports the idea that it is due to fright or sensing danger.
Therefore, a guinea pig may chirp like a bird because it is nervous. There are also instances where the guinea pig may chirp because it wants to catch your attention. Further, if one of the guinea pigs in the cage dies, the others may chirp as a way of mourning ‘the fallen soldier’. A guinea pig making chirping sounds may also be a sign that it is under stress.
Can Guinea Pigs Chirp?
Before proceeding to deal with the question on why is my guinea pig chirping like a bird, it is important to first ask ourselves whether guinea pigs can chirp, in the first place. We normally associate chirping with birds. Therefore the idea of a guinea pig chirping can be rather strange.
And some people who hear accounts of guinea pigs chirping may dismiss them outright. This they do under the impression of guinea pigs (which are rodents and not birds) being incapable of chirping.
So, can guinea pigs chirp? The answer is yes. Guinea pigs are capable of chirping. It is a rare thing though. Indeed, relatively few people ever have the privilege of hearing a guinea pig singing like a bird. There are actually people who keep guinea pigs for many years, without once ever hearing them chirp. But guinea pigs are capable of making chirping sounds.
Therefore if you happen to hear guinea pig chirping noises from the cage where you keep your cavy, don’t assume that it is something unique to him. Chirping is something that other guinea pigs do, under certain circumstances. But it is relatively rare.
Do Guinea Pigs Chirp?
The question on why is my guinea pig chirping like a bird is usually preceded by another one: do guinea pigs chirp? If it turns out that guinea pigs chirp, it would mean that it is a normal behavior. And if it turns out that guinea pigs don’t chirp, it would mean that it is an abnormal behavior that requires exceptional measures.
So, do guinea pigs chirp? The answer is yes. Guinea pigs do chirp. But it is not something they usually do frequently. So it is a rare but normal cavy behavior.
What Does A Guinea Pig Chirp Sound Like?
The sound of guinea pig chirping is similar to that of a bird chirping. It is a short, high frequency repeated sound. In fact, the first time you hear it, you are likely to get the impression that a bird has entered your house. It is only upon closer investigation that you will realize the sound is coming from your guinea pig!
Sometimes, a guinea pig may make just a few chirping sounds. But there are other times when the chirping goes on for as many as 10 minutes at a time.
Often, the guinea pig chirping sound will be loud and persistent enough to keep you from sleeping. That is especially the case where the cavy chirps for long periods of time at night. All in all, the guinea pig chirping sound is similar to that of a bird chirping.
Why Do Guinea Pigs Chirp?
Before proceeding to explore the question on why is my guinea pig chirping like a bird, it is important to first address the question of why guinea pigs chirp generally. So, why do guinea pigs chirp? The most probable reason why guinea pigs chirp is fright.
When guinea pigs sense danger or become nervous, they may make this chirping sound. The guinea pig chirping trance supports this theory: where the guinea pigs freeze completely while making the chirping sound.
So, for instance, in the wild, when a guinea pig detects a predator nearby, he may make the chirping sound. The sound may also serve the purpose of alerting other cavies nearby about the predator. Then the guinea pig freezes, in order to minimize chances of detection by the predator. And the other guinea pigs nearby also freeze during the chirping duration, for the same purpose.
In the domestic setting, a guinea pig may chirp because of strange scary sounds in the environment. Such sounds make him sense danger, hence the chirping. The cavy may also chirp because of the shadows that appear at night, due to moon movements.
So, the shadows scare him, hence the chirping sounds. Further, the guinea pig may chirp upon seeing or sensing the presence of a cat. The cat is a potential predator, so the guinea pig reacts by chirping.
There are also those who argue that guinea pigs chirp as a way of trying to catch attention. Indeed, if you go through the comments in a guinea pig chirping Reddit thread, this is a sentiment you are likely to see.
Others will argue that the guinea pigs chirp because of loneliness, or when they are in mourning. So there are many explanations for guinea pig chirping sound meaning.
Why Is My Guinea Pig Chirping Like A Bird?
There are several angles to explore, while trying to figure out why is my guinea pig chirping like a bird. The first angle is that of there being something that is making the guinea pig nervous. For instance, the guinea pig may be sensing danger, and responding by making the chirping sound.
Another angle is that of there being something that is stressing the guinea pig. So in this case, the chirping would be a guinea pig stressed sound.
Yet another angle is that of the guinea pig chirping as a way of mourning. This is highly plausible if, for instance, one of the guinea pigs the cavy used to spend time with died (or left the cage) recently.
Then again, your guinea pig may be chirping just to catch your attention. Perhaps he wants something (food, water and so on).
You may ask: do guinea pigs chirp when they are happy? And the answer is that this is a possibility, though not very likely. The guinea pigs sounds we associate with happiness are things like whistling and low pitch purring.
But, when you research on what are unhappy guinea pig sounds, that is where the likes of squealing, hissing and the chirping in question appear. So all in all, the guinea pig is most probably nervous about something, hence its chirping.
There are folks who argue that guinea pigs are among those animals that are capable of imitating the various sounds they hear in their surroundings.
According to this school of thought, the guinea pig may just be imitating the sounds of the birds he hears around. But this may not explain the freezing behavior we see in the guinea pig (and others around him) while making the chirping sound.
Why Is My Guinea Pig Chirping At Night?
If your guinea pig ever chirps, it is most likely to be at night. This will lead to the question on why is my guinea pig chirping like a bird at night? And the most probable reason for your guinea pig chirping at night is fright.
So if something is frightening the guinea pig at night (perhaps the strange sounds of the night or the moon shadows), he may react by chirping. This is the most plausible meaning of guinea pig chirping at night, and not during the day.
Then again, the guinea pig may be chirping at night due to loneliness. For instance, if there used to be two cavies in the cage, and one has left, the remaining one may chirp at night due to loneliness.
All in all, the night chirping is unlikely to be one of the guinea pig happy sounds. It is more likely a sign of some sort of distress – nervousness, grief, loneliness and so on.
Why Does My Guinea Pig Chirp When I Hold Him?
Sometimes, you may notice a trend of guinea pig chirping and vibrating whenever you hold him. This will naturally lead to the question on why is my guinea pig chirping like a bird when I hold him? And the answer is that it could be due to nervousness. The way you hold the guinea pig may be making him nervous. So he responds by chirping.
But in this context, it is important to differentiate chirping from squealing. If it is a scenario where the guinea pig squeals whenever you hold him, it may mean that he is experiencing pain somewhere. So he expresses it by squealing.
The guinea pig chirping when held could also be an expression of excitement. But it is not typical. Cavies normally don’t normally express excitement by chirping, but rather, by whistling or making low tone purrs.
Why Is My Guinea Pig Chirping So Much?
Your guinea pig may be chirping so much because something in his surroundings is making him nervous. He may also be chirping so much because he is mourning the loss of a mate he used to spend a lot of time with. Further, the cavy may be chirping so much to call for your attention or out of loneliness.
What Does It Mean When A Guinea Pig Is Chirping?
Another way of dealing with the question on why is my guinea pig chirping like a bird is by exploring the meaning behind it. So what is the deeper guinea pig chirping like a bird meaning? Well, there are several theories to explain this phenomenon.
The most plausible one is that which says a guinea pig chirps when it senses danger or when it is frightened. Just ask yourself, when does guinea pig make a noise similar to chirping? You will see that it is mostly when it is nervous.
But your guinea pig could also be chirping because of loneliness or stress. Perhaps one of the cage mates left, and it is chirping to mourn him or her. Or the guinea pig is chirping to catch your attention, so you can provide it with food, water and so on.
Guinea Pig Chirping – How To Help?
After getting the answer to the question on why is my guinea pig chirping like a bird, the next logical question is on how to help. As we have seen, the most plausible reason for the guinea pig chirping is fright or nervousness. So you may need to figure out what is frightening or making the guinea pig nervous. Then remove it, in order to get the guinea pig to stop chirping.
For instance, if there is a cat that is always within the guinea pig’s view, move it away. If the guinea pig is in a place where it is in full view of the shadows formed by the moon movements at night, move it to another location. Where it is due to loneliness, consider getting the cavy a cage mate. If it is due to mourning, just let the mourning phase pass.
How Do You Make Your Guinea Pig To Be Quiet?
More often than not, the person posing the question on why is my guinea pig chirping like a bird will have an interest in knowing how to make a guinea pig to be quiet. And the answer is that you first need to figure out what sort of noise the cavy is making. Is it a chirping noise? Or is it a squealing, purring, rumbling or whistling noise?
First identify the sound. Then try to understand the reason as to why guinea pigs make that sort of noise. For instance, if it is a chirping sound, the possible reasons are nervousness, loneliness, mourning or the need for attention. Once you understand the specific reason behind the noise, you can figure out ways to get the cavy to stop making it.
For a chirping noise, that may be by getting rid of whatever is making the guinea pig nervous. Or giving the cavy attention it requires. Or it may be by getting the guinea pig cage mates.
Ultimately, once you understand the type of noise the guinea pig is making, and the reasons behind it, then you deal with them, your guinea pig is likely to eventually go back to its normal quiet self.
Final Verdict – Why Is My Guinea Pig Chirping Like A Bird
As we have seen, your guinea pig may be chirping like a bird upon sensing some sort of danger. Or it may be nervous, lonely or just keen on catching your attention. It may also be making the chirping noise as a way of mourning a cage mate who has left.
The most important thing for you to do is try to figure out exactly why the guinea pig is chirping: especially if it becomes too frequent. Then try to deal with the underlying reason (for instance, getting rid of whatever is making the guinea pig nervous).
If you have a scenario where your guinea pig is persistently making chirping sounds, and your best efforts to mitigate the situation aren’t bearing fruits, you may consider consulting a vet.