What Does it Mean When Guinea Pigs Vibrate?

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If you catch your guinea pig vibrating or trembling a bit, it might alarm you. Thankfully, vibrating in the cavy universe often signifies a good thing -- the simple joys of purring. Guinea pigs frequently convey their cheerful moods through giving off cozy and deep vibrating noises. Vibrating in cavies can denote feelings other than giddiness as well.

Pure Joy

If you're petting your guinea pig and feel her body vibrating, it often means that her mind is at ease and that she's in a jovial, pleasant mood. When guinea pigs are joyful, they sometimes produce high tweeting sounds, too.

Fearful Vibrations

Some guinea pigs vibrate when they feel apprehensive and anxious. If your critter's vibrating is driven by fear, it might have an extremely clipped and rapid sound. The overall tone of fear-induced vibrations is generally more subtle.

Cold Cavies

Human beings tremble when they're in cold temperatures, and guinea pigs do the same. If your guinea pig's vibrating is related to feeling chilly, it might be reminiscent of fear vibrating, rather than happy vibrating. This sometimes happens when guinea pigs get out of baths. Thorough towel drying of guinea pigs is crucial for this exact reason. It's also crucial never to allow cavies near gusts of cool or cold air post-bath. If you notice your guinea pig vibrating excessively, consult your veterinarian.

Vibrations of Annoyance

Guinea pigs sometimes produce deep, booming vibrating noises when they feel annoyed. If something you're doing is irking your guinea pig, he might make this sound as a way of alerting you to his feelings. Perhaps he doesn't want you to groom his coat. Guinea pigs also occasionally vibrate deeply when they're trying to display their higher social status to another individual.

Courtship Vibrating

Male guinea pigs sometimes make vibrating sounds when they're courting females. These wooing vibrations are usually markedly lower than other types. Female guinea pigs who are receptive to mating also occasionally vibrate. These noises typically accompany other classic courtship actions, often circling members of the opposite sex and swinging the hips.

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  • Michael Blann/Digital Vision/Getty Images