Are Guinea Pigs Affectionate?

Before getting our guinea pig I wasn’t quite sure what to expect, and our first one was before the age of the internet. I had a lot of fun learning some great things about the guinea pigs affection from first-hand experience. I’m sure you will find them interesting.

Are Guinea Pigs Affectionate?

As a whole, Guinea pigs are affectionate pets that bond with their owners through interaction and socialization. They show affection through nuzzling, licking and cooing sounds. Regular handling can strengthen the bond between pet and owner. A safe and comfortable environment along with opportunities for play is important for the well-being of guinea pigs.

I will get into some details of how they will show you affection later in this post. Also some quirky things they will do to get your attention and affection in return. There are many things about the guinea pig that you will want to read further to find out.

Which Is The Most Affectionate Guinea Pig?

As a whole the Abyssinian guinea pig is known for being social and interactive. Affection depends on individual personality, upbringing, and the bond with the owner.

While Abyssinian guinea pigs are the most affectionate and friendliest of all the guinea pig breeds. The Abyssinian guinea pig likes to cuddle is easily trained to be handled by children as well as adults.  Small children may fear the energetic nature of the Abyssinian guinea pig. Because of their excitability, this breed may not be ideal for a new guinea pig owner.

American Guinea Pigs, are short-haired and are quite popular. The American guinea pig breed is a medium size and easy to maintain. They are very friendly and easy-going and enjoy spending time with their human family. American guinea pigs usually have great health and live longer than some other breeds, this contributes to their popularity.

Do Guinea pigs like to be held?

As a whole Guinea pigs may or may not enjoy being held as it depends on the individual and handling technique. Handle guinea pigs gently and securely to make them feel safe. Regular handling can build trust and bond between pet and owner. Let the guinea pig sniff and investigate your hand before picking them up, and always support their body and legs while holding them.

Always talk to your guinea pig as you are approaching so he will no be alarmed. If you are always gentle when picking them up being careful to not hurt them, they will generally become accustomed to being picked up and even come to you when you want them. 

Once you have picked them up, they enjoy being held and petted, and even cuddled with. They will enjoy sitting with you while watching tv. Or you laying on the floor for them to crawl around on. They love it when you feed them treats of vegetables and fruits and even hay from your hands.

Do They Become Attached To Humans?

Yes, they become very attached to their human family. Guinea pigs are herd animals by nature and thrive on interaction with others. They need to be with others regularly and if you have only one guinea pig they that other will have to be you. It is best to have them in pairs if possible so they will have companionship when you are not there.

We got our American guinea pig before we knew this and we wanted him to be a family pet. We took turns on a weekly basis of who was to feed him and take care of his cage. This was also the week that member had to initiate all playtime. Whether for watching tv or just out of cage time. On that week it was your responsibility not to neglect anything.

After about 4 months Porky didn’t seem to have a preference as to who’s week it was or to whom he went to during his time out of the cage. We were all his family and I was glad that we had everyone take a part in his care so he was everyone’s pet, not just mine. We had the pleasure of having him with us for longer than normal for a guinea pig as he was with us for 14 years.

As the kids started moving away it was amazing to see how excited Porky would get when they would come back to visit. He never forgot them even when they had been gone for a year or more. 

There is still more to come so please keep reading. You will be more informed about the guinea pig as a pet when you get to the end.

Do Guinea Pigs Understand Affection?

Yes, guinea pigs understand affection. They will have a favorite spot they want you to rub or scratch. They will let you know where that is and move so that you are hitting it just right. They will want to be near or on you and will want you to be happy to have them there often. 

They will show you affection in many ways. They have a little cooing purr sound that they make when they are delighted to be around you. You will get several licks and kisses from them, they do not use their teeth they will just nibble with their lips to let you know they love you.

They can become very excited when they know that you are around them and starts running and hopping erratically, this is called popcorning. When sitting together they may rub their head on your arm or just rub on you all over. This is their way of nuzzling with you.

Between their noises and their actions, you can not miss that your guinea pig is thrilled to have you with them. And you will not be able to help but be thrilled to have them with you too. They will steal and melt your heart, you will find they are every bit as great a pet as anything else.

Can A Guinea Pig Live Alone?

As a general rule, guinea pigs should be kept in pairs. You can However, this will mean much more work for you as you will have to be his companion and he will require more of your time. A guinea pig can actually die if it is left alone to much. They are very needy of companionship. 

It is best to keep 2 of them together so they have each other during those times when you have to be away at the office. Guinea pigs do not do good when left alone for hours every day. They need to feel the touch and sounds of someone or a friend close around.

We had just one guinea pig for 9 years, however, there were 5 of us and I was home all day with a home day-care. Our guinea pig was almost never alone. He was 8 when he started losing his hearing and didn’t want much to do with the kids so we picked up 2 more young ones and kept them in a different cage from our old guy. 


Guinea Pigs make great pets for both adults and children. They crave attention and enjoy giving you their affection back. They are fantastic for homes with multiple people and can enjoy them all equally. They have little quirks that will make you laugh and keep you on your toes. 

They thrive best when they get time out of their cage to spend with you. They will nuzzle you, cuddle with you, lick you, and even give you kisses. Guinea pigs will give you a cooing purr sound to show you they are excited you are there. They will popcorn around the cage as if to say I am here come and get me. 

You will have to spend time talking to your guinea pig to get him used to your voice, you will need to spend time to get him to feel comfortable with you and his surroundings. Once this has happened you will find being the companion to a guinea pig is quite rewarding. 

Rick Matthews

Hello, I am Rick Matthews, I have helped raise 100's of pets in my life living with my Father who while we did not live on a farm, raised all sorts of animals to sell them to families. We had so many different pets we all quickly became experts intending to them and helping them stay healthy. Back then we did not have the internet to look up thing on how to take care of their kids. As my kids got older, they wanted pets and of course, I did not want to have as many as we did when I was a child, but wanted to share my experiences. Many of these articles are written to help educate families on what to expect when looking to get a new pet for their children.

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