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Do Guinea Pigs Cuddle? [How Do They Show Affection?]

Tim Rhodes
Written by Tim Rhodes Last Updated: September 3, 2021

Guinea pigs are small mammals and very social animals. They love to have company and so they bond easily with their owners. Do guinea pigs cuddle and do they enjoy being cuddled?

Guinea pigs have their own personalities. Some guinea pigs love to cuddle while others are not as cuddly as you’d like them to be. Depending on your approach to your guinea pig pet, you can create a strong bond with your furry friend.

The fact that guinea pigs are small and cute makes them an appealing pet for anyone who wants an adorable small companion that doesn’t require much maintenance such as regular walking.

And although guinea pigs are small and usually kept in cages, they still require much of your time and commitment.

Before we continue, check out these top guinea pig products on the market:

Rabbit Hay Feeder Cage, Bunny Feeder Rabbit Guinea Pig Hay Feeder 2 in 1 Hay Food for Guinea Pig...
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EONMIR Guinea Pig Bed, Hamster Hedgehog Winter Nest, Small Animals Warm Cage Cave Bed House - Gray
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Last update on 2023-05-25 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

how to play with your guinea pig

Do Guinea Pigs Cuddle?

Guinea pigs love to cuddle.

However, keep in mind that it depends on their personality and that not all guinea pigs like to cuddle as much as others.

Some animals may be more cuddly than others and if you want your guinea pig to be as affectionate as possible you need to handle it carefully.

The good news is that many guinea pig owners have already tested the waters before you, so you can learn a lot about how these animals behave and how you can train them to be cuddly.

Let’s dive into the cuddly world of guinea pigs to discover what guinea pigs like!

Understanding Guinea Pigs

The first thing anyone should know about guinea pigs is that they are prey animals.

The average lifespan of these small animals is between four and eight years.

Pets like cats and dogs are very bold because they are predators, at the top of the food chain rather than the bottom.

Humans can get along with creatures like cats and dogs the way they do because of a sort of mutual respect between predators.

The same can’t exactly be said for prey animals like guinea pigs.

Guinea pigs are small animals, used to being at the bottom of the food chain.

They are surrounded by bigger creatures that would hunt them for food.

The human-guinea-pig relationship started this way, with guinea pigs becoming domesticated as a food source.

Today, there are many places in the world where these adorable furry creatures are often seen on plates.

This isn’t a pleasant thing for guinea pig lovers to think about, but it is something you need to consider as you deal with your animal.

They will naturally be wary of other, larger creatures.

So if you buy a guinea pig you shouldn’t be surprised if its first instinct is to run away rather than cuddle.

How Much Time Before My Guinea Pig Gets to Know Me?

Getting to know each other takes some patience and time.

When you first get a new guinea pig pet, this small animal might be very nervous.

And you might be equally nervous wondering whether you will do your best to keep your new guinea pig pet happy and healthy.

You should know that guinea pigs are sensitive and react to loud noises, sudden movements, and emotions.

Your new furry friend will be afraid, which is natural. But that doesn’t mean that your relationship with your new pet will be set in stone the second you spy on one another.

Things change with time and if you take the right steps you can increase the chances that your pig will warm up to you and come to become more cuddly with each passing day.

How Should I Approach My New Guinea Pig Pet?

Set the stage for bringing your guinea pig home and getting to know each other.

The first thing you should do is prepare the space where you will keep your guinea pig.

Guinea pigs are more likely to become cuddly if they are comfortable, so you need to create an environment where the animal can feel safe and relaxed.

The standard recommendation is 7.5 square feet of floor space for one or two guinea pigs, although 30 inches by 50 inches is ideal.

The more pigs you have the more space you’ll need to give them.

Also, provide your guinea pigs with stimulating toys, hideouts, tunnels, or tubes, as they like to hide and have some privacy.

Guinea pigs love when you give them things to play with and areas where they can get some peace will help to put your pets in a better state of mind.

You should also try and ensure that the area they are in is normally somewhere in between the temperature range of 65-75 degrees Fahrenheit.

Keep them away from things like heaters and cooler and direct sunlight that might dramatically change their temperature.

You might think natural sunlight would help them, but if they start to heat things can turn bad quickly.

Once you’ve set up the environment for your guinea pig you should see how they react to it.

If the animals seem withdrawn or if they avoid certain items or areas then you should make changes until they seem content.

Here are the top guinea pig food products to keep your pet healthy:

Kaytee Forti-Diet Pro Health Food for Pet Guinea Pigs, 5 Pound
  • Larger, crunchy pieces supports dental health through natural chewing activity
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  • Naturally preserved for ideal freshness
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Kaytee Timothy Complete Pet Guinea Pig Food, 5 Pound
  • Supports dental health through natural chewing activity
  • Kaytee is a veterinarian recommended brand
  • Prebiotics and probiotics to support digestive health
  • Made with Timothy Hay
  • No loose seeds or sugary fruits

Last update on 2023-05-25 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Is Feeding Time a Good Time to Bond with My Guinea Pig?

One of the best ways for gaining a guinea pig’s trust is food, so feeding time is a good time to get used to each other and bond.

A guinea pig’s mistrust is based on the concern that you will eat it, so defying its expectations and feeding it will go a long way towards transforming the way it thinks about you.

In the beginning, you want to be slow to touch your guinea pig too much.


two hands petting a guinea pigThe best time to start initiating physical contact with your guinea pig pet is around feeding time when the guinea pig will see you as more friendly than usual.

Even then, you should start with light and limited contact.

Don’t pick up your guinea pig until it has shown itself to be comfortable around you.

Just pat it gently and scratch its ears.

These sorts of behaviors may feel more friendly and less predatory to the small creatures

Also, while feeding your guinea pig you should talk to it.

While we are here, let’s not forget how important vitamin c is for guinea pigs.

This will create positive emotions around your voice so that when your guinea pig hears you talking around the house they won’t hear the fearsome growl of a predator but rather the beautiful sound of the person that feeds them.

Another great time to bond with your guinea pig is the time for grooming.

Take Your Time

Make sure you understand that your guinea pig is unlikely to be cuddly at first, but that doesn’t mean they won’t be further down the line.

It can take weeks to go from a guinea pig moving into your home to having it hop up on your lap and rest there.

This “getting to know each other” period is as important as it is delicate for the guinea pig.

If you try and rush things too quickly to hold it then you can traumatize your little piggy and ruin your chances of ever seeing how affectionate it might have become.

This is an especially important lesson to teach children about handling a guinea pig.

Many children want to treat their new furry guinea pigs like stuffed animals as soon as they get them from the store, even though this is just about the worst thing you can do.

If you have children you should be sure to talk to them and teach them how to act with their pigs and around them.

Group Hugs

can guinea pigs be emotional support animalsBy now it should be clear that guinea pigs can be very affectionate creatures.

The reason behind this is the fact that guinea pigs like social encounters.

They aren’t designed to be alone for long periods.

When there’s a strong bond between a guinea pig owner and a guinea pig, pet owners can register guinea pigs as emotional support animals if such a need exists. 

The wild relatives of guinea pigs are known to live in groups of around ten.

Just imagine a cuddle puddle with ten guinea pigs piled up together for warmth and comfort!

It’s an adorable image, but it should also make you think about the psychology of your new pets.

These aren’t creatures that should live solitary lives, and yet that’s what all too many people offer them.

Too many people buy just one guinea pig, curl up with it for an hour or so a day, and then leave their pets alone for the other 23 hours of the day when they can’t spend their time focusing on the needs of their furry friend.

Please do not do this.

The same natural drives that cause guinea pigs to be so cuddly require them to experience almost constant companionship to live a healthy life.

That’s the reason why the country of Switzerland made it illegal to own just one guinea pig pet.

This is why you should always own at least two guinea pigs at a time.

Just make sure that you are careful that you match the gender of the two pigs correctly, or you could quickly end up with a lot more piggies than you bargained for.

If you can’t cuddle with your guinea pig 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, then this means that you should invest in a creature that can.

Don’t worry, your pet won’t get its fill of cuddles from its friend, the companionship will make them more calm and relaxed, which is just what guinea pigs like.

Guinea pigs are generally easy to take care of, you can get them toys to play with, or if you want you can give them treats while spending time with them to keep them entertained.

When you decide to get a guinea pig you should keep in touch with your veterinarian for regular checkups.

Getting a guinea pig is a great responsibility.

Depending on how many guinea pigs you have, you should be prepared to provide them with medical treatment if they get sick and know how to handle them well.

But the most valuable thing you can give them is your attention.

Give your guinea pigs love and attention and they will give you love back.

You must use your intuition when you own a pet guinea pig and let them guide you when it wants to be held or when it wants to cuddle, so that way you will keep your pet super happy.

Check out these top guinea pig products:

Last update on 2023-05-25 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Do Guinea Pigs Like To Cuddle With People?

You can buy a guinea pig, but you can’t buy a guinea pig’s love in any other way than by having some cuddle time with your pet.

Spending time with your pet guinea pig will allow you to earn your pet’s affection.

If you keep this in mind then you will have a much happier and healthier relationship with your new pets.

If you’re frustrated by the fact that your guinea pig isn’t as cuddly as you’d like, you should try and put things into a bigger perspective.

It might take you weeks or even months to make your guinea pigs, cuddly pets, fully trust you.


Tim Rhodes
Tim Rhodes

Hi there! My name is Tim Rhodes and I'm a guinea pig enthusiast through thick and thin. My mission is to teach others useful tips and tricks about these cute creatures. When I'm not writing, I enjoy kickboxing and work as an animal trainer.

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Check out these most popular guinea pig products on the market:

Last update on 2023-05-25 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API