Do Guinea Pigs get Jealous? (I didn’t know this before)

Do Guinea Pigs get Jealous?

If you have two guinea pigs, you might have observed that one of them seems unhappy and in discomfort. And when you attempt to hold anyone in your hands, the other gets in between to seek your quick attention. They act like they are jealous of another guinea pig. But do guinea pigs get jealous? Let’s find out!

If one of your guinea pig feels that the other guinea pig is getting more attention and care, then jealousy may develop. Guinea pigs live in a social hierarchy, and they always want to be everybody’s focus of attention. Providing more attention to one can lead to aggression and behavioral issues in the other.

Jealousy in guinea pigs should be controlled and managed at an early stage. Your life will become complicated if any one of your guinea pigs assumes that there is a partiality between them.

If you own more than one guinea pig, make sure you treat each of them equally by giving similar attention. But how would you know if your guinea pigs are getting jealous and do they really get jealous in the first place?

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Can guinea pigs get jealous?

It is unexpected, but seeing jealousy in guinea pigs is not rare.

Despite what you think, guinea pigs are smart animals. They can experience a lot of emotions, which can be complicated and straightforward too.

There are many causes why guinea pigs feel jealous. These includes:

  • If you have two guinea pigs, and you give all your time to only one of them.
  • Offering a particular food to only one guinea pig and not giving similar food to both guinea pigs.
  • If you have more than one guinea pig and you play with them turn by turn, then the guinea pig waiting for their turn might get upset.
  • When you give the favorite toy of one guinea pig to another.
  • When you spend most of the time with your human friends than your guinea pigs.

Their jealousy might appear entertaining to you for some time. As your guinea pigs will behave naughtily, and they will attempt to seek your attention.

But jealousy is something that should not grow more. A jealous guinea pig can be a challenge to care for.

What makes guinea pigs jealous?

It is quite easy to know why guinea pigs get jealous. No doubt, guinea pigs are soft and adorable to cuddle, but they are of dominating nature.

When guinea pigs believe that they are not the top of social rankings, it could disappoint them.

It may happen because one guinea pig assumes that another guinea pig is experiencing better treatment. Your guinea pigs will observe it easily if their other partners are getting more attention and care.

If there is any change in the schedule of your guinea pigs, they will shortly notice it.

A new guest in the house or the newborn baby who grabbed all the attention of their owner is likely going to make them jealous. They will notice it quickly as you are not giving them enough time as you used to.

Well, for your guinea pigs, you are the only one they have. Guinea pigs are dependent on you to fulfill all their requirements, and they get bored very quickly.

And if you stop attending them, their jealousy will make them take out their frustration on another partner or humans. 

It is your responsibility to care for your guinea pigs equally and provide them with all the food and attention they need. Guinea pigs won’t enjoy being overlooked, so make sure you give them the attention they need.

Signs of jealousy in guinea pigs

The most common hint guinea pigs show when they are jealous is they involve themselves in whatever activity you do.

For example: when you are holding one guinea pig. The jealous guinea pig will start to touch you by the nose or nip you for attention. Or else, they will begin making noises like grunting or rumbling.

Your guinea pigs will fight for it when you do not give them enough attention.

These guinea pigs will act similarly even when you are with humans. If your guinea pigs think that it’s their turn for your attention, they will place themselves in between. 

Jealous guinea pigs have many ways to seek your attention like they will start messing up there cage, start showing aggression or begin a destructive behavior.

You need to notice how your jealous guinea behaves with other animals. If they show their anger on other guinea pigs, then they should be managed immediately.

Guinea pigs who maintain a good friendly relationship with each other can also turn their jealousy on and attack each other. And if you notice any situation like this, manage them because it can spoil their bonding.

Do guinea pigs get jealous of humans?

Lots of guinea pig owners have observed this, that their guinea pigs get jealous of their mates and partners. Do not get shocked if you find your guinea pigs getting in between when you’re having human communication.

Guinea pigs understand human emotions, they will understand if you are giving more attention to your mate than your guinea pigs. This might result in a feeling of jealousy as well.

If you are spending time with someone else, your guinea pig will try to interfere by forcing you to pamper them. You should handle this situation with care; otherwise, it might result in aggressive behavior in the future.

Be sure that you spend enough time with each of your guinea pigs, putting them into a routine will make them believe that you have them as mates. However, ignoring them will make things worse.

Do guinea pigs get jealous of each other?

Most of the time, guinea pigs carry jealousy towards each other. If you have several guinea pigs, they all require your sufficient time. If they do not get it, they react in anger to every discrimination.

Familiarizing new guinea pigs to the old one also raises the chances of jealousy as the old guinea pig might feel that their attention and care are now divided between them. It can be difficult to manage until both of your guinea pigs bond with each other.

Guinea pigs are territorial creatures. They do not like it when a new guinea pig will infiltrate their territory. Misunderstandings will grow if you attempt to give your existing guinea pig’s toys and food to the new guinea pig.

It will act similarly if you give all your time and attention to only the new guinea pig. Your old guinea pigs will get annoyed at the new one.

Guinea pigs like to declare their dominant position. Jealous guinea pigs forcefully claim this rank by biting or attacking other mates.

Also read: Learn all about dominance in guinea pigs

Do guinea pigs get jealous of babies?

Our babies are one of the causes of jealousy in guinea pigs. Small babies need more attention. Thus, the time you spend with your baby is going to reduce the time you used to spend with your guinea pigs earlier.

If you cannot give enough time to your guinea pigs because of your baby, they will surely react in anger. Any disturbance in their routine can create complicated issues.

For example:- Earlier, you used to provide your guinea pig with two hours of floor time daily. But lately, you are so occupied with your baby that their time has been reduced to half an hour. This is undoubtedly going to affect their behavior.

Guinea pigs are used to their routine, which tells them they will get to eat and exercise at a particular time. And if you do not follow the routine, your guinea pigs will get angry with this. They might develop a feeling of jealousy towards the baby.

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Behavior problems of jealous guinea pigs

Placing the enclosure in a shady area

It becomes a challenge to manage a jealous guinea pig. The first thing you will experience is dent in relationship with your guinea pigs.

Also, guinea pigs do not offer unlimited love, like dogs. You have to work, earn, and maintain their affection.

Jealous guinea pigs get annoyed easily. It can be a tough challenge to manage a discontent guinea pig.

You should learn about the signals of annoyance. If you have offended your guinea pig and they are annoyed with you then it could be a sign of trouble.

  • Your guinea pigs will stare at you for a moment, and then they will look away. That shows that they are showing their superiority, saying that you are not the only important person. That is a kind of punishment given to you by your guinea pigs.
  • Your guinea pig runs towards you, then goes back, giving you a side-eye look. That shows that your guinea pigs are warning you not to create any issues with them.
  • Suppose your guinea pigs come to you and suddenly getaway while showing their backs to you, watching over their shoulders to let you know that they have done so. You can say it is a silent treatment from their side.
  • When your guinea pigs perform the above step without even looking back at you for once, this sign shows that they are not happy with you. They are saying that now you are not a part of their world.

When guinea pigs carry a mindset like that, they become bad-tempered, stops listening to you, become destructive, or attack you for no reason.

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What should you do about it?

You can handle jealousy in your guinea pigs in a similar kind as in children. You will require to be healthy but justiciable with clearing doubts.

Do not leave any reason that makes your guinea pigs jealous. All guinea pigs require to be treated with similarity. If you prefer serving good to only one guinea pig, the other will become annoyed.

Let your guinea pigs figure out things on their own; they will establish a social hierarchy by themselves. You can let them on their own as long as they don’t fight and hurt each other.

Do not control or give any reaction to their social hierarchy. Behave friendly and equally treat each guinea pig. The role of your guinea pig, whether dominant or subordinate is nothing to do with what treatment they get.

Provide similar food to your guinea pigs, attend your guinea pigs at the same time. Communicate with all your guinea pigs in a humble voice. If one of them is your favorite, do not let your guinea pigs know about it.

You should get your guinea pigs neutered/spayed, as your guinea pigs will be peaceful. It will also make your guinea pigs less territorial and easy to bond with. 

Make sure that each guinea pig knows this well that you love them. Guinea pigs feel insecure, but when their owners adore them, all problems get resolved.

Show your guinea pigs you love them

The language of affection is essential to guinea pigs. They feel scared because of their nature, and you would also feel the same if everybody in the jungle wanted to make you their food.

Creating a comfortable living space for your guinea pigs tells that you care about them. This guide will make you understand how to do this:

  • Know the body gestures and mood of your guinea pigs; they talk to you daily, you just have to recognize it.
  • Offer a joyful as well as a stimulating environment to your guinea pigs. Which includes various treats, exercises, and toys, keep sure you are treating them similarly.
  • It is well said that the wat to your guinea pig’s heart goes through their stomach; if you’re offering tasty and healthy snacks daily, they will fell your affection.
  • Provide a proper living space as per the requirements of your guinea pigs, so they always remain stress-free.
  • Provide your guinea pig with all the attention they need. Once your guinea pig is bonded with you, they will do anything for your attention.

Do not live in this misunderstanding that guinea pigs are low-maintenance pets. They are emotional creatures and know they do understand emotions as well. So, your guinea pigs will live in joy if they know they are getting equal treatment. 

Sometimes people get puzzled when they own more than one guinea pigs. On one side, Guinea pigs can get lonely and depressed if left alone. Whereas on the other hand, two guinea pigs raise jealousy for each other. 

It is suggested to keep two well-bonded guinea pigs together, but treating them equally is still crucial. Your guinea pigs must be counted as family members, no matter how many of them you own.

Your guinea pigs will get jealous if they find that they are not treated more importantly. They can be suspicious of anybody, like your human mates, babies, or even each other. Guinea pigs react in anger if they do not get attention to their demand. 

Thankfully, if your guinea pigs are treated correctly, they can become great pets. Just be sure that they are getting all of their needs fulfilled.


Source: The effect of human interaction on guinea pig behavior, Characterization of the guinea pig.

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Saurav

Hello, I am Saurav the founder of this blog that's all about guinea pigs. I am an Animal Nutritionist by education but a pet blogger by profession. My motto with this blog is to help guinea pig owners understand their pets better so they can provide them with the life they deserve.

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