Guinea pigs usually live in groups when found in the wild. They are social animals that love company because it helps them feel happy and can more easily resist and help themselves when threatened by predators.
The guinea pigs that we keep at home in a cage also want to live together, but most of the time all of us owners keep only one guinea pig each.
So you must be wondering if the guinea pig will be happy or sad when it is alone in a cage.
How to keep a solo guinea pig happy?
To maintain a happy solo guinea pig, you need to give him more attention, play with him, let him out of the cage for several hours a day, and hold him in your hands.
A single guinea pig can be happy even though it is left alone in the cage, but it should not be ignored, because it wants to socialize with its environment.
In today’s article, you will learn how to keep your guinea pig happy even though it is single in its cage, what to do on your part, whether it is okay to keep a single guinea pig, and other questions.
Can guinea pigs live happily ever after when they are single?
Guinea pigs can live happily when they are single in a cage at home, you just need to give them attention and time.
Generally, guinea pigs are happiest when they live in groups, for example, in nature, they live in a group of 8 or more guinea pigs.
At home, it is best to have two guinea pigs so that they can communicate with each other and have a social life, which makes them happy.
But it is not always possible to keep two guinea pigs in a cage due to various reasons such as a small cage, or because you are afraid that a fight and aggression will break out between them.
However, with persistence and care, a single guinea pig can be happy and contented at home.
What to do to make a single guinea pig happy?
In order for a single guinea pig to be happy in a cage in your home, you need to give them proper attention, a time when you play with them and, of course, hold them.
The guinea pig needs to receive love from you to feel happy and to notice that someone cares about him.
A guinea pig should not be lonely and sad, so here are some steps you should take so that it can be single and be happy and cheerful.
Put more toys
Guinea pigs need toys in their cage to keep them from getting bored and of course to keep them happy.
After a certain time, if you notice that he is bored again, replace the toys with new ones, which will make him happy and satisfied.
The cage should always have the following toys:
- wooden blocks
- cardboard boxes
- rolls of toilet paper
- jingling balls
The more toys there are in his cage, the more he will be happy, he will not be bored even though he is single in the cage.
Let him play outside the cage
Guinea pigs like to constantly explore and play outside the cage because it makes them happy and satisfied.
It is necessary to let them out of the cage every day, at least 2-3 hours a day so that they can play and be happy.
It is best if you can let him run and play all over the room because then he will have more space to explore and be happy.
Place toys and other objects on the floor in the room so that he can feel as comfortable as if he is outside, it will provide him with happy moments.
Usually, when I let my guinea pig into the room to play he immediately makes popcorn out of happiness. Do this every day so that he does not feel lonely and unhappy in the cage.
Pay attention to it
Guinea pigs need attention from their owners for at least 3-4 hours a day to be happy even though they are single.
When they are in nature they have a company with other guinea pigs, but in your home, you are their only company.
That’s why you should pay attention to them and play with them. You can play on the floor, hold them in your hands or talk to them while holding them on your lap.
Guinea pigs love to be petted, so pet them while holding them, then they feel loved and happy.
If you can’t hold them in your hands, put them next to you while you do some housework, and it will help them feel happy and satisfied.
Guinea pigs are very sensitive, they notice if and how much you pay attention or interact with them.
Introduce them to your friends when they come to your home, but of course, make sure that they are not scared of unknown people.
The more time you spend playing with your guinea pig, the happier it will be.
Place the cage in the living room
This tip can work, but not always, more precisely put the guinea pig in your living room to make it happier.
When the guinea pig is in your living room then you will spend more time together and he will not feel ignored.
it is enough to pet him a little when you pass by him or to say a word to him so that he feels that you are communicating with him.
If there are more people in the living room, more people may pay attention to him, which will be interesting for your guinea pig.
But all guinea pigs are different, some will like it and some won’t like being in a room with more people.
If you notice that the guinea pig is constantly hiding in the house in the cage, then it obviously finds too much company and noise and you will need to move it to a quieter room.
Release the guinea pig into the yard
To provide happy moments for a single guinea pig you should occasionally let him out in your yard to play and explore.
But you have to be careful because there are dangers creeping outside from predators and birds that can attack your guinea pig.
Here’s what to do and what to watch out for if you let it out:
- Provide him with a sheltered nest so that he is not attacked by birds and predators.
- Put up a protective fence or something else to ensure that predators don’t come and attack your pet.
- Provide them with enough food and water just like when they are in the cage, so that they are not hungry.
The last and most important rule is to never leave your guinea pig alone outside no matter how well-secured the area is where he will play and run.
Make a change in the cage
After a certain amount of time, the guinea pig can get bored with the same arrangement of toys in the cage and become bored and unhappy.
That is why it is recommended to occasionally make a change in the cage:
- change the places of the toys – put them from one corner to another, and move the tunnels and bridges to different locations in the cage.
- add new toys – take out the old toys and put in new toys that will certainly immediately spark the guinea pig’s interest to inspect and play with them, making him the first to be happy.
- change of space – by changing the house and other objects in the cage, as well as by changing the hiding places.
The more changes you make over a period of time, the more the guinea pig will have new things to explore that will make him happy even though he is single in the cage.
Play him music
Music can positively affect the mood of guinea pigs and make them happy. That’s why you can play him some calmer music, or recordings with your voice and TV.
However, be careful that the music is not too loud, because it can have the opposite effect and disturb the guinea pig because it has an excellent sense of hearing.
Of course, never play music that includes sounds of nature or sounds of predators that will scare it.
Play hide and seek with food
To keep the guinea pig happy when it is single, you can also use a game of hide and seek with food.
Change where you put food for your pet to make it challenging for him to find it. Hide the food in the bedding or somewhere in a box covered with hay.
Guinea pigs have an excellent sense of smell and will find the food in a certain amount of time, but they will be happy because they explored the space in the cage.
Is it cruel to keep a single guinea pig?
Keeping a single guinea pig is not cruel if you give it enough attention and care to keep it happy and satisfied.
Guinea pigs, if they don’t have enough fun, enough attention, and other things, will feel lonely and sad.
But if you don’t have enough time to dedicate to your guinea pig, if you are not home enough time to play with him, then you should have two guinea pigs.
You know, it all depends on your capabilities and how much you can dedicate to your guinea pig.
How do you know when a single guinea pig is lonely?
To know if your single guinea pig is lonely, all you have to do is observe it.
Signs of a lonely guinea pig are the following:
- lethargic behavior
- they don’t want to socialize and play
- showing nervousness
- they don’t have enough appetite to eat
If you notice some of these signs, it means that you will need to pay more attention to your pet so that he does not feel lonely and sad.
What are the signs that a single guinea pig is happy?
Although the guinea pig is single, it can still be happy and content with life in its cage.
Everything depends on the attention you give them so that they are happy and satisfied. Signs of happy guinea pigs are the following:
- loves to play and run in the cage
- make popcorn
- shows activity
These are just some of the signs that your guinea pig is happy in its home.
What is the lifespan of single guinea pigs?
Single guinea pigs can live a normal lifespan of about 5-8 years.
If the guinea pigs are happy and content in their cage, they will live as long as the guinea pigs in the group.
All you have to do is give him enough attention to make him feel happy, and he won’t have any problems with his normal lifespan.
Can guinea pigs live alone after the other guinea pig dies?
Guinea pigs can live quite well on their own once their cage mate dies.
The death of the other guinea pig will undoubtedly cause sadness and emotions of disappointment in the guinea pig, but in time it will get used to living alone.
When one guinea pig dies, it is best to buy a new guinea pig, but you can also give it more attention. If you give him enough attention and happy moments, the guinea pig will get used to living in the cage.
Do guinea pigs bond with one person?
Guinea pigs can bond with one person, that is, with their owner.
If the owner gives enough attention and care to his guinea pig, he is sure to bond with his pet.
Giving food is the main way of getting closer to the guinea pigs and of course holding, petting, and playing with your pet.
Guinea pigs can live alone although they are taught to live in groups with other guinea pigs.
For the single guinea pig to live happily in a cage, you need to pay more attention and care to him, letting him out of the cage after a few hours so that he can run and play.
You need to play with him, pet him, talk to him, and do other things that make him happy.
It means occasional changes in the cage, toys, and other objects that will interest him to be happy and satisfied.
Guinea pigs can live happily single, they just need enough care and love from us.