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What Does It Mean When A Guinea Pig Jumps?

Tim Rhodes
Written by Tim Rhodes Last Updated: November 14, 2021

What does it mean when a guinea pig jumps?

Guinea pigs belong to one of the rodent species that is known as cavy.

The family and genus of this species are Caviidae and cavia respectively.

Their name suggests that they have some resemblance with pigs but biologically they are different from pigs and they are not local to the Guinea city.

The origin of their name is still a mystery, and they’re known to have originated from South America (Andes).

They are domesticated as a food source.

Can Guinea Pigs Jump?

Because of its short legs and chubby nature people think that guinea pigs can’t jump.

But the fact is that these small animals can jump and like to be active and moving around.

Maybe jumping is one of the adaptive behaviors of our domesticated guinea pigs.

And we don’t know if the predecessors of our domesticated Guinea pigs were able to jump.

Why Do Guinea Pigs Jump?

Guinea pigs have very interesting behavioral activities and popcorning is one of them.

Popcorning is a physical activity when guinea pigs become delighted.

They suddenly jump into the air out of nowhere, twisting and extending his legs just like poorly riding a pogo stick.


Have you ever noticed when do your guinea pigs start jumping and moving around?

If yes, then don’t worry, it’s a good sign for their health and normal behavior.

They do so when they are excited and happy and in most cases when they get their favorite meal or fresh food to eat.

This behavior is called popcorning mostly seen in juvenile guinea pigs as compared to adult ones.

You can easily make your guinea pigs happy by ensuring these things.

  • Fresh and healthy food (favorite one)
  • Plenty of clean water to drink
  • Healthy and relaxing environment
  • Daily exercise and good interaction

Favorite foods for your guinea pigs that can make them happy and excited are cucumber, carrot or carrot tops, and dandelion leaves.

Sometimes access to juicy grass makes him delightful.


Sometimes guinea pigs get scared due to some louder noise outside your house.

In this case, guinea pigs start squeaking and moving around haphazardly.

They want to tell other guinea pigs that there is some danger and run with little jumps to find a cover or any shelter.

But in such situations keep an eye on your pet because they lose control and don’t know what is happening around them.

There may be a chance of injury when they hit themselves on the cage, wall, or anything.

In such cases, go to your veterinary doctor immediately.


Sometimes guinea pigs start moving speedily due to health problems mainly due to blood-sucking mites.

In addition to running fast, there are some other signs and symptoms like…

  • Dullness
  • Loss of appetite
  • Itching
  • Dried or greasy skin patches

Might be a fitness freak

Sometimes guinea pigs run fast, moving around and stretching his body because he wants to play and exercise.

He wants to release some of his energy and relax.

Do Guinea Pigs Jump Often?

It’s considered that the guinea pigs don’t like to move fast and they are docile.

This is just a myth and the fact is just the opposite, they like to run and jump.

As compared to rabbits and rats they are not much clever but they are active enough.

They like to jump on small hurdles, ramps, ladders, little high platforms, and on steps.

When they sense any danger or feel the presence of any predator they run very fast.

Allow your guinea pigs to roam free instead of keeping them in a cage, considering that they are very docile.

What Is the Highest Jump of a Guinea Pig?

They can jump up to 20cm, the highest jump recorded of a Guinea pig named Puckel Martin (10-20cm).

A boy claimed on the internet that his guinea pig jumps higher than this.

Because of their body shape and short legs they are not able to jump high.

However, this ability varies from individual to individual.

The age and weight of the guinea pigs also play an important role in jumping.

Adult and heavier guinea pigs cannot jump too high, they jump like they’re bouncing off the surface (which we consider a jump).

How Far Can a Guinea Pig Jump?

Guinea pig named Truffles, from Scotland, holds a place in the Guinness Book of World Record, for jumping across a gap of 19 inches or 49 cm, and this is the longest jump recorded in history.

Again this ability depends upon different factors like age, weight, and training, etc.

Can Guinea Pigs Climb?

Yes, they can climb, but they are poor climbers.

As I explained earlier they like to jump on small obstacles so they can sit high up and have an eye to their environment.

I want to mention one thing here that guinea pigs need horizontal or floor space for exercise and to play.

They cannot use vertical space of the cage-like of other pet animals, so keep it in mind for your pet’s health.

Why Does My Guinea Pig Climb on Me?

It’s because guinea pigs like to sit on your chest when you are taking a rest on the floor or the bed.

Climbing on you makes him happy, it happens when he wants to interact with you.

Why Do Guinea Pigs Jump on Each Other?

During playing and fighting they usually jump on each other.

Have you ever seen your guinea pigs fighting each other?

Because it’s really difficult to differentiate whether they are playing or fighting.

Guinea pigs fight in three different ways:

  • Jumping on each other
  • Use their teeth (biting)
  • Use their head

Male Guinea pigs are strong and supreme so they often fight with each other to show their dominance in the new house.

If you notice that they are not only jumping but also using their heads and teeth, separate them to avoid any injury.

Be careful during separation because sometimes the owner gets caught with a nasty bite.

Use gloves and separate them in different cages or room for a night where they cannot see each other.

Why Does my Guinea Pig Jump When I Pet Him?

It’s observed that when owners try to touch their Guinea pigs they become afraid and run away.

Some guinea pigs are afraid of being touched, so they don’t allow their owners to pet them.

But with time and with proper training they become used to it.

But still, if you are facing this problem after some time you have to go to your vet doctor for a suggestion.

Do Guinea Pigs Twitch?

Twitch is a small compression of the muscles due to some irritation or nerve damage.

If your guinea pigs start twitching, go to your vet doctor for a checkup because it may be due to a mite problem.

These mites suck most of the blood making your guinea pigs dull and stressed.

Can Guinea Pigs Jump Out of the Cage?

Yes, there are chances that guinea pigs can jump out of the cage.

A good owner always cares about his pets and ensure their health.

So how can he help his pet to avoid any injury in case if his pet can jump out of the cage?

As we discussed early in the article, a guinea pig can jump up to 20cm (highest).

Select any cage which is covered by four walls and each wall is 20cm high.

You don’t need to cover the roof of the cage and your pet is safe and remains healthy.

But keep in mind, these guinea pigs may not be good jumpers, but are very good climbers.

They can use different toys in the cage as steps or a ladder to climb on the cage.

And sometimes they get afraid even in their safe cage and want to escape.

In such cases do ensure that your cage must have a roof and its gate is not open to avoid any unexpected injury.

Here is the list of some best cages for your guinea pigs:

Should Guinea Pigs Roam Free?

Guinea pigs like to roam free as it allows them to feed on natural vegetation.

But at the same time, there is a danger of predators like neighbor’s cat.

Toxic plants and sprinkled or spray water make your Guinea pigs wet leading to hypothermia.

Allow your guinea pigs to roam free inside the house and trained them to litter inside the litter box or use diapers to avoid the smell of urine.

Can Guinea Pigs Jump from My Hands?

Because of their prey nature guinea pigs run and hide when someone approaches them.

So, always speak normal and approach in front of guinea pigs offering their favorite food.

They are very soft and need some extra care and support during handling and management.

They can easily become tired when you holdthem in one position for a long time.

So when you hold guinea pigs, don’t squeeze or hold tight and make sure to give them full support to the spine.

If your guinea pig feels any stress, can jump out of your hand and hurt itself which is not a good thing.

If your child wants to hold his pet, make sure you are always there and keep things fine.

Why My Guinea Pig Doesn’t Jump?

As we explained early in this article the guinea pig jumps and move around crazy when he became excited and happy.

But my guinea pig does not jump, is it mean he not happy?

All the pigs don’t need to jump and popcorn all the time when they are happy.

Some guinea pigs are active and don’t like to move fast and jump.

It doesn’t mean they are not healthy or there is something incorrect with your guinea pigs.

Try to train them to jump because we are not 100% sure that their descendants were able to jump or not.

But if you feel due to some reasons your guinea pig stops jumping then go to your vet doctor.

Because it happens mostly when your guinea pig has some health problem.

How To Teach a Guinea Pig To Jump?

Training to jump might be the initial and common thing to start with.

If your piggy hesitates to jump use small temporary jumps like the roll of a paper, plastic pipe, pole, baton, or any book for the first time.

And remember don’t force your piggy to jump rather offer good food each time he jumps over the pole.

You can go around with these steps for proper and healthy training.

Material required

  • A close safe place with some toys
  • Your Guinea pig
  • Some sort of horizontal stick, pencil, pole, or a baton
  • The favorite food of your guinea pig
  • Few books
  • And readymade artificial jump (up to 5 inch high)

Step one

Place the pole horizontally on the floor and set boundaries on each end of the pole.

Now hold the favorite food in your hand and lure the guinea pig over this pole and reward this each time on his win.

Practice the same step until the guinea pig becomes confident.

Again lure the guinea pig over the pole using one of your hands with no food but this time reward with the other hand.

Step two

Increase the height of the pole by adding one book under each end of the pole, and repeat the first step until the guinea pig starts to jump over the baton easily.

Step three

Continuously add more books and guide your guinea pig to jump over it again and again unless the guinea pig familiarizes with this.

Step four

Now you can use your maximum jump of 5 inches to make your guinea pig pro in this game.

You can use different patterns and methods to train your guinea pig.

But if you think that your guinea pig is confident and jump from the normal height easily for the first time, you can skip these steps.

When Do Guinea Pigs Stop Jumping or Popcorning?

With age, the frequency of jumping decreases as the younger one likes to jump and popcorn as compared to adults.

But there is no specific age at which guinea pigs stop popcorning.

The average life span of Guinea pigs is 5 to 8 years and they are quite capable of jumping at the adult age.

Can Guinea Pigs Control Popcorning/Jumping?

Yes, guinea pigs can control popcorning.

The fact is that jumping is linked to emotion every time they popcorn, stimulated by many reasons.

The degree of jumping in the air and moving around crazy depends upon the degree of happiness, that how good and favorite food they got.

Popcorning due to excitement and happiness is of voluntary type and can be controlled by the guinea pig.

As we explained early in this article that they do jump when they get scared due to some loud noise, but this type of jumping is involuntary and cannot be controlled by the Guinea pig.

Is a Guinea Pig Jumping or Having Seizures?

First, you must know what is a seizure.

It’s an automatic behavior or response of the guinea pig to the parasite attack due to irritation and pain.

There are 3 main differences between a guinea pig having seizures and popcorning.

  1. In seizures, guinea pigs start twitching and fall on one side of the body while in popcorning they squeak and leap in the air due to excitement.
  1. In contrast to popcorning, seizures last for a longer time while in popcorning they get back to normal after some time.
  1. Guinea pigs may have dried or greasy skin patches and the presence of parasites on the skin.

Final Thoughts

After reading this article you can understand why guinea pigs jump.

It may be due to happiness, excitement, or maybe due to scare or health issues.

They do jump and like to move on different steps, plat-forms, ladder and like to sit a little bit higher.

Guinea pigs can jump and climb out of the cage using different toys in the cage and if you don’t give proper support they can jump out of your hand or arms, which is dangerous.

The highest jump recorded is about 20cm and the gap of the horizontal jump is about 48cm.

Take care of your piggy as they are adorable and cute.


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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