What does it mean when a Guinea Pig purrs? That has been one of the most asked questions Guinea pig owners always ask.

Purring is strongly associated with cats. As a matter of fact, it is the most frequent sound that cats make. In as much as cats are generally associated with purring, they are not the only animals that are known to purr.

Just like cats, Guinea pigs also purr. While this sound might not be the sound that they produce the most frequently, it is still an important sound associated with guinea pigs.
Since guinea pigs will always purr. If you have a guinea pig or have any plans to buy one, it is important that you know what a guinea pig means when it purrs.

Beyond just the need to know what a guinea pig means when it purrs simply because you own a guinea pig, everyone that is in any way fascinated by guinea pigs should know what it means for a guinea pig to purr.

That being said, let’s find out why guinea pigs purr.

What’s is a Purr

A purr is a sound that is popularly made by cats. It is usually low-pitched and continuous. Beyond being associated with cats, guinea pigs are also known to purr.

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Why Do Guinea Pigs Purr

Guinea pigs do not purr for just a single reason. Additionally, their purr has a different sound when the reason for a purr is different.
Let’s walk through the different reasons guinea pigs purr and how the sound of their purr varies depending on the reason for the purr.

They Purr When they are Happy

This is just one of the reasons guinea pigs purr. All things being equal, when next you find your guinea pig purring, it is safe to assume that it is happy.

Although purring does not always mean your guinea pig is happy. Nonetheless, the situation in which it purrs is a strong determinant of how it feels. So, if you are gently petting your guinea pig while it purrs, you can be certain it is doing so because it is in a good mood.

Guinea Pigs Purr when they are Content

All guinea pigs have needs and they express their different needs in various ways. Generally, when guinea pigs feel content, they tend to purr.
So, beyond just something they do when they are happy, purring for guinea pigs is a sign of

Guinea Pigs Purr When They are Frightened

Guinea pigs are prey. Due to this, they get frightened and startled very easily. When a guinea pig is frightened, one way it reacts is by purring. The sound of the purr guinea pigs make when they are startled is quite different from what they sound like when they are happy. This is regardless of the fact that both sounds are purrs.

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How To Tell What Exactly a Guinea Pig Means Each Time it Purrs

Lots of people that own guinea pigs might struggle to care for it as its purrs might mean different things.
If you have not had a guinea pig for a long time, you might actually struggle to tell what exactly a guinea pig is trying to achieve with each sound. However, things might not be as difficult as you think. This is because there is always a noticeable difference in the purr produced by a guinea pig when it is trying to pass pleasant information, as well as when it is trying to say something quite unpleasant.
When a guinea pig is happy or contented, its purr is usually low-pitched. On the other hand, it gives a high-pitched purr when it is frightened.
With this in mind, you do not have to guess what exactly your guinea pig is trying to say.

What does it Mean When a Guinea Pig Purrs

How Does a Guinea Pig’s Purr Differ From that of a Cat

Although guinea pigs and cats purr, the sounds they create are not exactly the same. The purr of a guinea pig can easily be described as a blend of a dog’ grumble and the actual purr of a cat.

So, if you are expecting it to sound like a cat, you might end up hearing something different.

Nonetheless, this does not in any way mean that a guinea pig does not purr.

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Other Sounds Produced by a Guinea Pig

This article might be focused on the purring sound made by guinea pigs. Nonetheless, there are several other sounds guinea pigs make. This makes it important that you understand the other sounds produced by guinea pigs and what these sounds mean.
Some other sounds you should expect your guinea pig to produce are;


From its name, it is almost obvious what this sound is about. It is high-pitched and can best be described as a moan. It is a sound that is produced by guinea pigs that are not too happy about an event. This unwanted event could be championed by a human or another guinea pig.
Apart from whining when they are not too happy, guinea pigs also whine when they feel pain. So, if your guinea pig whines for a short time, then, all is okay. However, if it keeps whining over a period, then, you might have to pay the vet a visit.


This sound is strongly associated with birds. Nonetheless, it is a sound that is also made by guinea pigs.
Guinea pigs do not have to feel like birds before chirping. Furthermore, when they chirp, they are known to have a seemingly strange appearance. They stare blankly and their eyes are usually wide open.
At the moment, it is not exactly clear why guinea pigs chirp. However, chirping in guinea pigs is generally associated with mourning. Going by this, if you spot your guinea pig chirping, it just might need some reassurance.

Teeth Clattering

This sound is made when a guinea pig gets agitated. It is not a sound that is made in isolation. When a guinea pig begins to clatter its teeth, the next thing it does is bare its teeth like it is going to attack. This action is a simple way to let other pets know that it does not want to have them around.
There are various reasons the average guinea pig will clatter its teeth. However, a lot of guinea pigs are known to exhibit teeth clattering the first time they meet. Sometimes, guinea pig might exhibit teeth clattering and not attack each other. On the other hand, if you notice teeth clattering has become really intense, there is a likelihood that one guinea pig will attack the other. If this is not something you have bargained for, your best bet is to separate the guinea pigs.


Dr. Sophia Bookmyer is an absolute gem of a Veterinarian. She brings decades of experience to Vetpetsguide and has overflowing talent and passion for breeding and caring for pets, their people, and the team around her. Dr. Sophia was born and raised in Columbiana, Ohio. She completed her undergraduate studies at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. After earning her DVM from The Ohio State University in 1980. She has experience of over 3 decades and is very happy to share them. Her goal is to give pets all over the world a better life and to recommend the best tips, advice, and also recommend the best product for every pet owner.