The best time for learning all about guinea pigs is before you bring them home. This way you can brace yourself for the wide range of noises that guinea pigs make. You can still continue to learn about guinea pigs after you get your pet but you won’t have such a steep learning curve to negotiate. Here are some of the most common guinea pig noises.
This noise is only used by guinea pigs to beg food from their human handlers. You will soon hear this whenever you open the refrigerator or rustle a plastic bag. This is usually a two note squeak which often sounds like “GA – WHEEEEEEEK!” Since younger guinea pigs have more piercing voices than older guinea pigs, your older guinea pigs may leave most of the begging to the youngsters and then swoop in to beg only when humans appear with food in hand.
Muttering or “Chutting”
Muttering or “chutting” guinea pig sounds somewhat like the guinea pig is talking to itself. It sounds somewhat like “wha-wha-wha” or “chut-chut-chut” and is used when the guinea pig is not scared or begging food. Guinea pigs often make these soft noises when eating or getting back into a nice clean cage with fresh bedding ready to toss about.
Guinea pigs grind their teeth as a threat. However, the noise produces is a gentle “chuff chuff” and not very threatening to humans. Guinea pigs that are really upset will chatter their teeth and may whine or vocalize when doing so. Guinea pigs often threaten veterinarians with this noise.
Guinea pigs do not purr in the way cats purr, but the noise they make is similar to a feline purr. It comes in short bursts. Purrs can be used when guinea pigs are making a mating dance or when a dominant guinea pig is threatening lower ranked guinea pigs. This purr is accompanied by a slow bum-wiggling dance. Guinea pigs also purr when their humans pet them in a way that they particularly like. Some guinea pig owners call this “rumbling” instead of purring.
This is a piercing alarm call. It’s an ear-splittingly loud “EEEEEEEEEEEEEE!” This is done when the guinea pig is in extreme distress, such as if the guinea pig is in pain. Baby guinea pigs will also shriek when they cannot find their mothers. Newly weaned guinea pigs that have just gone to their new homes may shriek but eventually will grow out of it.