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Do Guinea Pigs Cry? (In Pain, Hungry, Attention)

Do Guinea Pigs Cry? (In Pain, Hungry, Attention)

If you have heard your guinea pigs scream for some reason, you may already know how distressing it sounds. It’s a weird kind of noise that is tough to put into words, but I believe you know what I am talking about. But why do guinea pigs make such noise? Are they in pain? Do guinea pigs cry?

Guinea pigs will make loud noises and scream when they are in pain, hungry, or scared. Even though guinea pigs make crying sounds, they don’t cry in tears. If your guinea pigs have wet or weepy eyes, that means they have some medical conditions like allergies, dental problems, or an infection.

Guinea pigs do scream for other reasons as well. Sometimes your guinea pigs might scream when you are passing by just to gain your attention.

That doesn’t mean they are crying. Thus, it is essential to pay attention to their behavior along with the sound to understand what they are trying to convey.

One of the most common mistakes we as a human make is we compare our emotions with that of our guinea pigs.

While it may be partially correct with other pets like dogs, however, the same is not right for guinea pigs. When we human beings cry, then it is mostly out of emotions like sadness, joy, etc.

However, guinea pigs usually squeal in response to physiological emergencies like hunger, pain, fear, etc.

I don’t want to convey that guinea pigs don’t have emotions like sadness, loneliness, etc. but what I want you to understand is crying in guinea pigs means they are in urgent need of something.

They may convey their emotions by other behaviors like pulling out fur(anxiety), Biting the cage bars(boredom) & chasing their cagemates(dominance).

Why does a guinea pig cry?

Guinea pigs cry for a number of different reasons. Some of the most common ones are:

HungerGuinea pigs cry when they are hungry or there is something missing out of their regular diet.
PainGuinea pigs cry out loud when they are in pain. For example: Bladder stone in guinea pigs can cause unbearable pain.
Fear or StressBeing a prey animal, guinea pigs might cry out for help when they are stressed out or frightened by some object or being. For Example: A coyote in your backyard trying to reach your guinea pig’s hutch.
Health problemsSome health issues can also make you feel that your guinea pig is crying tears while it might not be true. For example: bedding allergies can lead to watery eyes.

Can guinea pigs cry tears?

No, guinea pigs do not cry tears until and unless there is an underlying medical condition leading to it.

Guinea pigs do indeed have tear ducts that help them keep their eyes moist(as they don’t blink often) and drain away any excess tears.

These ducts also produce white milky fluids(white discharge) that the piggies use to groom themselves.

However, no evidence proves that guinea pigs produce tears when they cry or when they want to express some emotions like sadness or loneliness.

Healthy guinea pigs must have bright and glossy eyes. If your guinea pig’s eyes are wet along with the fur beneath it, then chances are they have some health problems rather than an emotional one.

A damp or watery eye mostly indicates a condition called ‘weepy eyes in guinea pigs.’

What does a guinea pig cry sound like?

Guinea pigs are vocal animals, and they produce a wide range of noises. It can be challenging to understand what different sounds mean without matching it to their behavior.

Some guinea pig owners describe ‘Whimpering’ or ‘Grunting’ as crying while others consider ‘Sharp pitch screech’ as one.

However, to better understand whether guinea pigs are grunting to prove dominance or it is a call for our help, we must watch their behavior at that very moment.

If your guinea pigs seem sick, in some sort of pain or anxious, then it might mean a call for your help. However, if two guinea pigs have a faceoff, then it means they are trying to prove dominance to each other.

What does it mean when guinea pigs cry?

Guinea pigs will cry out for various reasons. The most common reasons are hunger and fear.

You can prevent the same by providing them with an adequate diet and getting rid of the stress element from their living space.

However, it can be concerning if your guinea pig is crying out for an extended period. You should investigate the issue and look out for the possible cause.

If you are unsure about it or you feel they have some sort of health problem, then it is best to consult a vet immediately.

Apart from those today, we shall discuss some common issues that make guinea pig cry out loud.

Do guinea pigs cry when hungry?

Guinea Pig Diet

Guinea pigs do cry out when they are hungry. A guinea pig needs a pile of hay and a cup of fresh vegetables daily.

As guinea pigs have a faster metabolism than other pets, they need a constant supply of hay and vegetables to keep them full.

Thus, if you are not providing your guinea pigs with an adequate diet, then they may cry or screech out of hunger.

You can check this out by looking at their tummy. If your guinea pig’s belly is caved in and they are screeching out, then that means they are hungry. Apart from that, guinea pigs may also cry out of thirst.

Sometimes, the bottle nozzles get blocked that their owners may not notice, thus leading them to dehydration.

A regular check of their water bottles is also crucial for the same.

You can check out the size-o-meter chart for reference to understand if your guinea pigs are malnourished.


Do guinea pigs cry for attention?

Yes, sometimes, your guinea pigs might cry for your attention as well. This usually happens when they see you around, or it’s their veggie time, and they know you are about to serve them veggies.

They will start making “Wheek Wheek Wheek” noises to grab your attention. All they want from you is their cup of fresh vegetables or their favorite treat.

Make sure you get them what they need, and they will stop making those loud noises.

Do guinea pigs cry at night?

Yes, some guinea pig owners compliant that their guinea pigs are noisy at night.

This usually happens when they are hungry.

Sometimes your guinea pig may even cry out of fear. There may be something around your guinea pig that has frightened them.

For example: other pets in your house(dogs, cats, birds) or loud noise(music, lightening), etc.

Do guinea pigs cry when separated?

Yes, guinea pigs do cry out when they are separated. Guinea pigs are social animals, and they feel secure and happy when they are in groups.

They might also fight among themselves for establishing dominance in the cage, but if you separate them, then they might cry out loud.

A study conducted on young guinea pigs shows that when a pair of guinea pigs are separated, they cry out loud for the first few weeks, and subsequently, they move on and stop crying out by 12 weeks. 

Thus, if you feel that your guinea pigs are fighting aggressively, then you might need to separate them, then you will notice such behavior for a while.

Similar behavior is also seen when a cage partner passes away. However, after sometimes they get used to it and everything goes back to normal within 12 weeks of timeframe.

Sometimes guinea pigs do get lonely when you keep them alone. It is better to get a partner for your guinea pig or keep them in groups, especially if you can’t give them enough floor time.

Some signs of lonely guinea pigs are:

  • Lethargy
  • Sleeping all the time
  • Biting the cage bar
  • Avoiding being picked up
  • Loss of appetite
  • Fur pulling

You can learn more about it from our article: Can guinea pigs live alone?

Why does my guinea pig cry when i pet him?

Your guinea pigs might whistle when they are excited to play with you and when you pet them.

However, sometimes guinea pigs might also screech or squeal in pain when you touch them. You need to look out for their behavior to understand the cause.

If your guinea pig is happy, excited, and is making a whistling noise when you pet them, then it means they enjoy your company, and you can keep doing what you have been doing so far.

However, Sometimes your guinea pigs might be suffering from scurvy, arthritis or other health conditions that lead to joint and body pain in guinea pigs.

When you touch them, then that alleviates their pain, and they make a squealing or screeching noise.

If you notice such behavior in your guinea pigs, you must take them to a vet immediately.

You can check out our exhaustive vet list to find a reputed guinea pig vet in your area.

Why do guinea pig cries when peeing?

If you notice that your guinea pig is squealing or grunting when passing out urine, that means they are in pain.

This pain could be because of some severe health issues like Urinary Tract Infection, GI stasis, or Bladder stones.

You might need to look out for some other symptoms like:

  • Teeth chattering/ grinding while peeing
  • Sick appearance
  • Loss of appetite
  • Taking longer time to eat
  • Hunched appearance
  • Milky white/Blood color urine

If your guinea pig is making those noises and showing some of these symptoms then you must make a visit to a vet immediately.

Do guinea pigs cry when they die?

Yes, guinea pigs can make a loud noise before passing away. This might not be a common occurrence in every scenario, as some sick guinea pigs might pass away silently.

However, If your guinea pigs pass away due to sudden health conditions like a heart attack or seizures or a heat stroke, then they may make a loud noise before they pass away.

There is no concrete evidence to back this, but it is based on some occurrence in the community.

Why do guinea pigs cry white?

Guinea pigs don’t cry white, but their tear glands to secrete a white thick greasy substance that they use to groom themselves.

It is more like a wax which they use to cover their fur to stay clean and tidy. Guinea pigs don’t shed tears, but they do have moist and shiny eyes at all times.

It looks like my guinea pig is crying

Guinea pigs do not produce tears like some other pets and human beings.

If you notice that the skin below their eyes is wet at all times or they have gunk coming out all the time, then it inevitably means your guinea pigs have medical conditions like weepy eyes.

Weepy eye in guinea pig

The weepy eye is a common problem in guinea pigs. There are a lot of factors that can lead to watery eyes.

Some of the most common causes of watery eyes in guinea pigs are:

Hay PokeIf you notice any discharge from the eye, then gently wipe it with a soft cloth soaked in either saline solution or warm water. You must take them to a vet immediately as serious hay poke can lead to ulcer and eye infection as well.
Dental IssuesOvergrown teeth can build a pressure leading to the eyes of your guinea pigs that can lead to watery eyes. Sometimes overgrown teeth also cause immense pain. Thus, getting the teeth trimmed quickly is recommended.
Blocked tear ductUse a damp cloth or an earbud to clean the eye. Gently massage just it under the eye, close to the nose for a few days to get it cleared.
Urinary Tract InfectionUrinary tract infection can also lead to discharge from the eyes in some cases. You need to get your guinea pigs under medication ASAP for quicker recovery.
AllergiesSome guinea pigs might be allergic to some aspects like a particular type of hay or bedding or other food items. This can also lead to watery eyes. Look out for elements around the cage and get rid of it immediately to relieve the allergy.

What to do if your guinea pig is crying?

You should never ignore a guinea pig’s cry. If your guinea pig is crying, then it means they are in a physiological emergency.

Thus, they may need your help. You must visit your guinea pig and check out what is wrong with it.

Maybe they have run out of food supplies or water supplies.

Perhaps there is something around their cage that is stressing them out, or maybe they just want your attention.

In any case, you must be there by your guinea pig to understand them and provide them with anything they need.

Sources: Care of Guinea PigsRhinitis or SinusitisAllergic conjunctivitis in guinea pigsAsthma in guinea pigsAllergic Contact Dermatitis in the Guinea Pig, Diet Composition and Mineral Balance in Guinea PigsBladder and Urinary Tract Stones in Guinea Pigs.

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