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Why Doesn’t My Guinea Pig Like Me? (Causes & What To Do)

Why Doesn’t My Guinea Pig Like Me? (Causes & What To Do)

Even if we are trying our best to build a good bond with our guinea pigs, there might be times when your guinea pigs get upset and start ignoring you. It would be worse when your guinea pig gets scared of you. You might wonder why doesn’t my guinea pig like me but the answer might not be that simple.

If your guinea pig doesn’t like you anymore, it doesn’t always mean you did something wrong. Loud noises, illness, stress, change in environment, and strong smell are the common reasons for your guinea pig to become unfriendly. Once you identify and fix the cause, the problems will go away in a few days.

An aggressive guinea pig can express their irritation in many ways, for example, freezing, running away from you, and don’t want to be in the hands of the owner, etc.

It is crucial to understand the cause of such behavior and find an appropriate solution.

Guinea pig doesn’t like me

Guinea pigs can express their annoyance by their body language.

If your guinea pig has come across something stressful or wrong, then they will show some specific signs as a warning signal.

You must take these signs seriously as it means they are really upset about it.

Why does my guinea pig hate me

Most probably, the scared behavior of your guinea pig is not because of you. Even those guinea pigs who are used to being petted and handled can become aggressive and unfriendly.

As guinea pigs are prey animals by nature, they might show some behavior of hiding, running away, etc. Such reactions are expected as it is their instinct to do so.

Why is my guinea pig scared all of a sudden?

Your guinea pigs can start avoiding you, hide from you, and run away from you apparently without any reason.

How will you identify that this is an actual problem or random feeling?

Health issues

guinea pig hiding places

Guinea pigs are known as prey animals; that is why they can easily hide the pain. However, wild guinea pig’s pain signs can grab the attention of the predators. So, they have an instinct to protect it. Domestic guinea pigs also carry the same instinct as they tend to hide their illness or injuries as well.

For example, if your guinea pig has developed a major or minor injury, they will easily hide it from you and recover it independently. Your guinea will probably keep this by themselves until they feel well and become healthy.

Loud noises

When guinea pigs are frightened, they become anxious, and the most common cause is loud noises.

Guinea pigs have very sensitive hearing. The noises which are not loud for humans can be noisy for guinea pigs, due to such noises, they become distressed.

The droopy-eared guinea pigs are the most sensitive. Because of their ear structure, guinea pigs with their drooping ears can discover the soft noises and more activities.

That can help them to detect the danger, but they are also incredible at overreacting.

Your guinea pig can be afraid of the loud noises that come from outside or from your neighbors.

If suddenly your guinea pig becomes unfriendly, then you need to find out what loud or soft sounds have scared your small pet.

Change in living environments

Change in the living environment doesn’t always mean the change in the physical area.

Food, toys, people, and even noises are also included in the zone of guinea pigs.

Sometimes guinea pigs can also be affected by hidden and small circumstances.

For example, A veterinary surgeon visits, or you got busy with your work or you have friends come over to your place. Anything like this can trigger anxiety in your guinea pigs.

Such circumstances are likely to create a stressful environment for your guinea pig, leading to a change in their behavior.

Strong smell

How important is a sense of smell to guinea pigs

The reason for your guinea pig to suddenly start hating you can be due to smell. These small animals are conditioned to hate certain aromas, mainly those smell which is related to their common predators such as dogs and cats.

Also, guinea pigs can correlate these smells with terrible experiences, like if the owner is handling them with a fragrance of a particular perfume. Guinea pig’s noses are very sensitive, and they cannot tolerate strong smells.

If your guinea pig suddenly hates to be handled, then the reason for this could be your smell. That can be because of your hand lotion, the strong perfume that you have put on, or you have just taken a dog or a cat in your hands.

Think about the unpleasant smells in your environment. The cooking smells can be associated with bad behavior by your guinea pig.

It can be possible that the new room freshener is not approving with the nose of your guinea pig.

Shift your guinea to another place if you assume that the guinea pig is becoming distressed because of the smell.

Also read: All about guinea pig’s sense of smell


Guinea pigs can easily get stressed out. Because they are known as prey creatures, and this is in their nature.

Don’t be disappointed if your guinea pig is stressed for any reason and becomes less lovable towards you.

That is the standard behavior of guinea pigs. All they need is some space and time.

You must attempt to calm them down and build a positive bond at the same time.

Why doesn’t my guinea pig like me?

A scared guinea pig will generally take one or two days to get back to a normal state. But, a terrified guinea pig can act in several ways.

Many of their reactions can be minor and not be a cause of concern. But, guinea pigs can hurt you or themselves physically with the objective of other responses.

Let us learn more about some of the common behavior of your guinea pig.

Guinea pig runs away when i try to pick him up

Sometimes, guinea pigs don’t want to be petted. That mostly happens when a guinea pig had not interacted with you when they were young.

A guinea pig can become anxious and scared if you pet an unsocialized guinea pig. If your guinea pig is worried, then they will run away from you.

While running away, your guinea pig can harm themselves. For example, your guinea pig can be hit by objects that can be risky for them.

Also, they can get stuck in between the objects. Or else they can put their feet on a hard surface that can hurt them.

Leaving your guinea pig alone for a while can be best whenever this situation occurs.

Allow your guinea pig to come towards you on their own. Slowly rebuild the trust with your guinea pig before you try to pet them again. You can offer them a treat from a distance and see if it helps.

Guinea pig freezes when held

Except running away, a common fear of your guinea pigs on which they give their response is freezing. The other symptoms of anxiety in guinea pigs always come from freezing. The eyes of a guinea pig can swell, and it can hunch up.

Freezing indicates the high levels of anxiety in guinea pigs that can be dangerous for them, just like running away. If guinea pigs are taking stress several times or for an extended period, they can cause health issues.

The solution for this is the same as the solution to running away. Don’t force your guinea pig for physical affection. Instead, build trust and connection with your guinea pig. Allow them to come to you on their own.

Guinea pig won’t eat from my hand

Don’t be shocked if your guinea pig suddenly stops consuming the food from your hand. There can be three reasons for this which can be easily solved:

  1. Maybe your guinea pig doesn’t like the smell of your hands. 
  2. Maybe your guinea pig doesn’t like the food. They are sensitive to the new food, and if their regular food is changed in the smell, texture, or flavor, they can be upset. From this, your guinea pig can feel insecure.
  3. The guinea pig can be confused by your behavior. Guinea pigs have a social hierarchal structure in their communities and are always protective of their food. Because of this, your guinea pig can’t see that you are offering them the treats, they may consider it as you have claimed it.

There is no need to be worried if your guinea pig suddenly stops consuming the food from your hand. Just give some time to your guinea pig to understand that:

  1. The smell of your hand is not a cause for anxiety, and it can be acceptable.
  2. The new food is not harmful or dangerous. 
  3. Guinea pigs are allowed to take the treat without any resistance from your end.

But, this could be more serious if your guinea pig doesn’t eat. In this condition, you need to take your guinea pig to the veterinary surgeon.

My guinea pig jump out of my hands

Will my guinea pig jump off my arms?

The most common response of a nervous guinea pig is jumping out of the arms of their owner. They have strong legs and delicate bones.

Hence, those guinea pigs who are struggling out of fear can break their back, neck, and legs quickly.

A person who handles the struggling guinea pig can also get a sudden kick or be scratched by their sharp paws.

When the problem is fresh, it is best to avoid carrying your guinea pigs.

If you immediately want to move them somewhere or need to take them to a vet, you need to invite them to a treat towards the pet carrier.

Your guinea pig will calm down over some time and allow you to hold them. The owner needs to train their guinea pigs if they continually decline to be held. These includes:

  1. Get down on the ground and place your guinea pig in your thighs. 
  2. Once they feel comfortable there, then you can take your guinea pig in your arms.
  3. If they are not coming, then allow them to go and try again in a few minutes. A fall will never hurt a guinea pig if the ground is close to you. 
  4. After a small number of training sessions, you can start sitting on a chair or sofa if your guinea pig is comfortable in your arms without any struggle.
  5. The owner can try to move and stand around if their guinea pig doesn’t respond poorly to the height.
  6. You can hold your guinea pig without further difficulties when they accept this. However, make sure that you need to keep them away from loud noises or stressful environments. As a shocked guinea pig can try to jump, doesn’t matter how pleasant or comfortable they are with you. 

Guinea pig doesn’t like to be held

By default, guinea pigs hate to be handled. Guinea pigs want to check human beings to trust them.

The Guinea pig needs to interact with human partners when it turns 6 weeks old. They have to be socialized with the presence of human beings during this time. It is the right stage to pet and cuddle them so they get used to it.

A guinea pig will be afraid to be handled if the interaction doesn’t happen at an early stage.

Hence, guinea pigs can still become socialized even after this, but this will need more effort and time. Some of the pointers are here:

  1. Before carrying them, you need to get down on the level of guinea pig. Allow them to smell your hands.
  2. To carry them, you need to drop a hand under their legs and, with the help of your other hand, support their back. 
  3. If you try to pet your guinea pig on their back and hindquarters, then they will be more comfortable being held.
  4. If your guinea pig tries to twist their body from side to side, you need to place them on the ground immediately.
  5. Don’t try to place your guinea pig on their back, even if it makes their handling easy. Your guinea pig will struggle if you do so. Thus, it can cause anxiety in your guinea pig. 
  6. Don’t ever try to hold your guinea pig by their neck. It can be painful and distressing for your guinea pig.

What do you do if your guinea pig doesn’t like you?

In some exceptional cases, your distressed guinea pig will still continue to hate you. There can be a few possible reasons:

  1. Maybe they are not well socialized.
  2. By chance, if you scare your guinea pig a lot of times, then they can see you as a danger.
  3. Your guinea can have trust issues if adopted by another owner, or because of the new environment or previous bad experiences.

In any instance, the best way is to build a bond from scratch. Here is what you can do:

Converse with them

Maybe your guinea pig doesn’t want to come near you, but the talking can help fill the gap between you and your guinea pig.

Do you remember that guinea pigs are susceptible to hearing, and loud sounds can easily frighten your guinea pig?

So, always make sure that you talk gently and softly with your guinea pig.

Because guinea pigs can also pick your tone and become emotional, so you need to be calm whenever you speak with your guinea pig.

Get down at ground level

Guinea pigs are small creatures, and they are low to the surface. From a guinea pig’s point of view, humans are just a pair of feet.

Hence, it would be best to get on the ground when you are approaching and talking with your guinea pig.

That can help guinea pigs to become less scared and feel more comfortable with you. You will not be accepted as a tall and arrogant animal.

Observe and learn about their behavior

The personalities of guinea pigs are unique. Observations are the only way to find out their characters.

It is essential to build the trust in which you need to figure out where your guinea pigs love to spend their time, what is their favorite food, what activities they enjoy a lot, and what toys make them happy.

It is better to leave your guinea pig if they don’t like to be handled. Instead of this, give some time to make them figure out the things on their own.

Observing the new smells, objects, and sounds can help guinea pigs to reduce their anxiety.

Provide them with their basic needs

Some of the guinea pigs can be fondler as compared to others. However, all of them need to have the same basic things.

It doesn’t matter for their personality; your guinea pig needs water, attention, and food.

You need to make sure that they have sufficient water, a healthy diet, and a safe place where they can rest.

After this, you need to learn and know how much fondness your guinea pig wants.

Do they like easy pets, like cats and dogs? Are they cuddly? Do they want to sit on your thighs or want to play around? By making sure of all these, your guinea pigs will feel more comfortable and fulfilled by their environment.

Also, they will give more attention and love to you.

Build a bond with them

The best way to receive the trust of your guinea pig is the bonding with your guinea pig. Try to spend some time with them in a quiet, private room.

It would be best if you made sure that there are no other pets or people in the room so that you can easily enjoy some quality time with your guinea pig.

Even you can lie down on the ground by putting yourself on the level of your guinea pig.

If your guinea pig still feels scared, try to enjoy a different task while keeping your guinea pig close to you.

They can discover you, and with your presence, they will grow more satisfied. Try to do this a couple of times a day.

Petting can also be the best way to have a bond with your guinea pig.

Give a tap on your guinea pig’s head if they allow you to give food by your own hands. Gradually, your guinea pig will be familiar with your touches.

Offer them treats and floor time

Provide more floortime

Flooring time is significant for your guinea pig, which needs to be at least three times a week for an hour. However, daily floor time is suitable.

Guinea pigs like floor time because this gives them some free period out of their enclosure. Also, you can offer treats to your guinea pigs because they love to eat them.

Source: Care of Guinea PigsRSPCA Guinea Pig Care GuideGuinea Pig Handling.

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