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Guinea Pig Families: Do Guinea Pigs Get Lonely?

do guinea pigs get lonely?

Guinea pigs are prey animals and live in family units in the wild to keep them comfortable in their environment. Having other guinea pigs around makes them feel safe and taken care of. Without predators, do guinea pigs get lonely?

They do! They still have their instincts as prey animals. Loud noises, new smells, new people - all of these things put a guinea pig on high alert for danger. When there are other guinea pigs around they can communicate with each other about any potential danger, which lowers their stress.

Guinea pigs also love to groom each other, cuddle, and play with each other! A guinea pig's social and emotional health truly suffers without another guinea pig friend.  

If you observe a guinea pig who lives alone and compare it to a guinea pig with friends you will see the guinea pig who lives with others is much more active than the guinea pig who lives alone. Sounds a bit like us humans, don’t you think? 

Saskia is talking more about why your guinea pig needs a friend on YouTube!

The Change You See In Guinea Pigs When They Don’t Live Alone

A big part of your personality is seen when you’re with your friends. This is the same for your cavy! Having someone to chase around and wake you up in the morning crunching on hay is life-changing.

do guinea pigs get lonely

Some guinea pigs appear very low energy until they get around other cavies. Then you see them popcorning and getting excited about new toys and other day-to-day things. Life can be mundane but those mundane moments are always more fun with a friend! 

Signs Your Guinea Pig Is Lonely

If you have just one guinea pig, here are some signs to look for when wondering do guinea pigs get lonely: 

  • Nervous behavior where they’re easily startled

  • Doesn’t find day-to-day activities exciting

  • Low appetite

  • Low energy

  • Chewing on their cage or trying to escape

What You Can Do If You Can Only Have One Guinea Pig

If you have one guinea pig and don’t have the means to provide for any more, there are some things you can do to make your cavy more happy with its life as a single guinea pig. 

  1. Put your guinea pig’s enclosure in a room where you often are. 

  2. Spend at least 2 hours with your guinea pig every day. This could be just cuddling on the couch while you watch TV.

  3. Make sure their enclosure is large enough with plenty of toys to keep busy with.

  4. Talk to your guinea pig! You may not speak the same language but they will know that you’re taking care of them which is a big part of their social health.

While nothing can replace the family feeling that comes with multiple cavies, you can certainly do your best to socialize as much as you can with your lone guinea pig. 

How To Care For Multiple Guinea Pigs

When you have more than one cavy, there are a few things that need changing! For one, you need a larger cage. With 2 cavies, you need at least 10 square feet of space for them. Add about 3 square feet for every additional guinea pig beyond that.

But of course, the bigger the better! If you have more space for a larger enclosure, they’ll be even happier! 

Next, you need more food! Each guinea pig should have ⅛ of a cup of pellet food each day and at least a cup of fresh veggies. If it seems like one guinea pig is eating most of the food and one is left out you can give the slow eater some time alone with the food bowl. 

As always, unlimited fresh hay for everyone! 

Guinea Pig Bonding 

Guinea pigs aren’t usually best friends at first sight. There is definitely a process that starts with them being unsure how they fit in with each other. Guinea pigs will create a hierarchy among them so the bonding process goes best when you have a dominant guinea pig with a subordinate guinea pig. 

Initial meetings need to be done slowly and carefully. Check out this Step-By-Step Guide To Guinea Pig Bonding

It’s easiest to get multiple cavies from the same litter. That way they already know each other before settling in at your house. It’s also important to have all of the same gender so there isn’t any accidental breeding. If you’re planning to have 3 or more guinea pigs together, females often go together better in large groups.

Do Guinea Pigs Get Lonely With People? 

People and guinea pigs go very well together. I mean we all love cuddles, snacks, and chatting. If you think about it, your guinea pig makes you less lonely. That’s often the reason we want a pet in the first place. It’s a sweet comforting companionship. 

You and your guinea pigs make a great family. Family is all about taking care of each other! Yes, guinea pigs do get lonely but if you’re here, then we know that you’re ready to take the very best care of them. And having someone like that goes a long way for a little cavy.

Living in the UK? We've Got You Covered! Check out the links below to guinea pig care products discussed in the blog: 


We are not veterinarians, and none of our information should be construed as veterinary advice.


Before adding any new product, please consult your exotic veterinarian. If your pet is acting unwell and you have concerns for their well being, please contact your vet immediately.

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