why do guinea pigs shake

Why Do Guinea Pigs Shake?

Have you noticed your guinea pig shaking or vibrating and wonder what it means? Here’s the lowdown on ‘Why do guinea pigs shake?’.

He’s Happy

If you’re holding your guinea pig and notice that his body is shaking, it probably means that he’s quite happy and content. A guinea pig that is at ease and joyful can express his emotions by vibrating his body. Along with shaking, he will often vocalize his contentment with some wheeks or purrs.

He’s cold

A cold guinea pig will shiver to try to generate body heat. Even if the ambient temperature doesn’t seem too cold, if he’s been in an area that is subjected to wind or drafts, he might be cold. Check his environment and make sure he’s warm enough.

He’s Afraid

Fear and anxiety will cause some guinea pigs to shake or vibrate. When a guinea pig is first introduced into a new environment or is placed around a new person or guinea pig that he’s unfamiliar with, he might shake in response to his anxiety.

He’s Annoyed

Sometimes guinea pigs will shake as a way of expressing their displeasure at something or someone. If you’re doing something to your guinea pig that he doesn’t like, he might express his feelings through vocalizations or shaking.

He’s in a Courting Mood

Male guinea pigs, and to a lesser extent, female guinea pigs, will vibrate or shake when they’re in a mating mood. Other behaviors are often observed at the same time, like swinging their hips and purring.

He’s Excited

Similar to just shaking or vibrating when they’re happy, if a guinea pig gets excited about something, he might shake. It’s another version of just being happy, but has an added element of anticipation thrown in.

He’s Sick

If your guinea pig has been ill and you’ve noticed a sudden decline, and then you find him shaking, he could be quite ill and in need of prompt medical attention.