Why Do Guinea Pigs Shake? 6 Reasons And How To Help Them

Last updated on January 22nd, 2023 at 07:18 pm

When guinea pigs shake or vibrate there can be a number of reasons for this behavior.

It can be for medical reasons or it can be from the behavior of the guinea pigs themselves or rather as a reaction to something that is happening to them at the moment.

You can determine the cause of shaking in guinea pigs by the symptoms they show.

The most common reasons for shaking in guinea pigs are stress, diseases, parasites, if they are very cold in their home or when they are happy popcorning, or in the last case they can show dominance towards other guinea pigs.

6 Reasons Why Guinea Pigs Can Shake

There are a number of different reasons why guinea pigs may shake. Therefore, in the text that follows, you will get to know several different reasons, such as medical and reasons related to their behavior, so that you can judge for yourself what is the reason why your guinea pig is shaking.

So let’s get started right away.

When a guinea pig is under stress or fear it may shake

When guinea pigs are afraid they usually hide, run away and freeze. Although sometimes they do shake when they get scared, especially if they feel there is nowhere to run or they can’t get to their hiding place.

Guinea pigs can be frightened by many things such as loud noises, fireworks, storms, barking dogs, and people talking loudly.

Since guinea pigs are mostly prey animals in the wild, it doesn’t take much for them to get scared.

When guinea pigs move to a new home or a new environment, it is a stressful situation for them, and they will need some time to calm down and get used to the new environment. That’s why in the beginning you have to be very careful, talk quietly with them, give them their favorite food to eat and make friends with them.

In this way, you will gain trust with your pet and you will be able to help him get used to his new home faster.

If you want to hold them in your arms, practice it for a short period of time, hold them tightly to your chest, or put them on your lap so that they feel safe and not afraid. Don’t hold them too high in the air and don’t walk with them too much around your home unnecessarily.

When you let them out on the floor to run and play for a bit, be sure that they will always be able to return to their hiding place very easily and quickly, they should have access at all times to feel safer and more secure.

Guinea pigs sometimes know how to stand in one place even though they are out of the cage and at the same time make short purring noises, which means that they are scared at that moment.

If you notice that your guinea pig is showing signs of fear when they are out of their cage then something is scaring them and you should immediately put them back in their cage so they can calm down and hide.

Sometimes they shake and when they are inside the cage for some reason that causes them fear, you should cover a part of the cage with a blanket and let them hide in some part of the cage where they feel safer.

If the guinea pigs continue to be afraid, then it may be best to try moving their home or cage to somewhere quieter, such as the bedroom. If you have other pets in your home such as dogs and cats they can be a source of stress for guinea pigs.

Then either move the guinea pig’s cage to another location or keep other pets out of the room where you keep the guinea pig. The further they are from your pet, the less it will hear them and the less it will be afraid of them.

Guinea pigs shake if they are cold

When guinea pigs are cold they start shaking or shivering. When you bathe them, they may shake after bathing, so it is always most important to dry them well and take care of them so they don’t get sick.

They are very delicate and if you don’t take care of them they will get sick quickly, so in addition to drying them with a towel, you can also use a hair dryer, but turn it on at the lowest setting and be careful not to bring the hair dryer too close to their fur.

Guinea pigs are excellent cleaners and they maintain their own hygiene, they are known as very clean animals, so bathing should not be practiced often. When you have to bathe them, it is best to do it in the warmer months, and only if they are very dirty and cannot clean themselves.

When a guinea pig is cold in its cage it starts to shake similar to shivering. In doing so, your pet will try to keep warm by hiding in its hiding places or burrowing under certain things in the cage.

Especially in the fall and winter guinea pigs feels colder when the weather is cooler. Guinea pigs older than 4 years and baby guinea pigs are most sensitive to cold and cold weather and may shiver very often.

The temperature in the room where the guinea pigs are can be the cause of their shaking. Your pet needs a temperature of 65-75F to be relaxed and comfortable. If the room does not have this temperature you will have to move their cage to a warmer place.

Guinea pigs should not be near drafts and open windows especially when the weather is cold. To keep them warmer you should place more fleece blankets in their cage to keep them warm and add more hay to eat so they can maintain their body heat.

You can also place blankets around their cage to reduce drafts and keep them warmer. If the guinea pigs are constantly shaking try warming them by taking them on your lap and covering them with a blanket to keep them warm.

This should help and after a few minutes, your guinea pig should stop shaking if the shaking is due to cold.

If the guinea pigs continue to shake then it would be best to take them to a vet to check if your pet’s shaking is due to some other reason.

Guinea pigs may shake due to seizures

Although seizures are less common in guinea pigs, they can still cause your pet to shake. When the seizures cause the guinea pigs to shake then at first everything seems to be fine with the guinea pig and then suddenly it starts shaking.

However, you should be aware that sometimes these attacks are similar to shaking with popcorning. Because when they shake popcorning it looks too similar to seizures, but it is actually an expression of happiness and normal behavior in such moments in your pet.

You need to watch your pet carefully to determine if they are shaking popcorning or having seizures, if you cannot judge for yourself, then it is best to take your pet to the vet for an examination.

Especially the little guinea pigs make popcorning when they are happy and cheerful and then they jump and rejoice. Older guinea pigs much less making popcorning, but they can sometimes show happiness in this way.

When guinea pigs make popcorning they can make it more or less pronounced depending on the guinea pig and its moment of happiness and contentment.

When guinea pigs are sick they may shake

Diseases cause guinea pigs to shake. When you notice that your guinea pig is constantly shaking and restless, it’s time to take it to the vet for a check-up.

Certain symptoms indicate that the guinea pig is sick and therefore may shake. Those symptoms are lethargy, decreased appetite for food, pain, hair loss, scratching, and twitching.

When guinea pigs have ear infections which are common they can cause head shaking as well as head tilting to one side or walking in circles. When guinea pigs tilt their head to one side it can also be a consequence of a stroke.

Various parasites and fleas can cause guinea pigs to shake in order to remove them from their bodies.

When guinea pigs shake rapidly it means they have parasites

When guinea pigs shake quickly and look as if something is bothering them, it means they probably have mites or fleas. When this is the cause of their shaking, they often scratch their bodies and may even lose their hair.

When guinea pigs have these signs accompanied by shaking, you should take them to the vet. Never give them prescriptions and medicines against fleas and mites on your own because some of them can be fatal to their life, only medicines prescribed by a veterinarian are the only correct solution.

The right medications are very important because sometimes a guinea pig is addicted to mites that may have different types and will need different medications.

Some mites are treated externally, while others, such as mange mites, need to be treated internally, so only a veterinarian can accurately determine medications and a proper treatment method.

Rumblestrutting can cause shaking in guinea pigs

Rumblestrutting or vibrating is a common characteristic of guinea pig shaking and is completely normal. When guinea pigs are Rumblestrutting they then walk more slowly and swing their bodies from side to side.

The most common reason for Rumblestrutting is when they want to show dominance over other guinea pigs. This phenomenon is also accompanied by a low purring noise from the guinea pig.

Rumblestrutting is a common occurrence in male guinea pigs, although it is not excluded that it also occurs in females, especially when they are in heat or mating time.

This phenomenon of shaking in guinea pigs also happens when two guinea pigs meet for the first time, although sometimes it can also be a way of communication between them.

Guinea pigs know how to rumble when they want to let other guinea pigs know to get out of their way when they want to enter their hiding place.

Read more: Can Guinea Pigs Drink Cold Water? Let’s Discover

How to prevent shaking in guinea pigs?

As you may have read from today’s article, guinea pigs can shake for a number of reasons.

When the guinea pig shakes with joy, it is completely normal, but when it shakes from illness, stress, or fear, then you need help to solve this unwanted problem. It is best to visit a veterinarian to examine him and give him the appropriate medication when it comes to a certain disease.

When it comes to shaking from stress then you as the owner can help your guinea pigs by keeping them in a quieter environment as far away from the noise and loud noises as possible.

Everyone living in your home including your children should be careful how they treat your pet, gentle and calm handling and speaking in a low tone are required. The guinea pig’s cage should have enough blankets for your pet to burrow to keep them from getting cold and feel more secure and less fearful, resulting in less shaking.

Do not place the cage with the guinea pig near drafts and open windows, especially in the winter, so that it does not get cold. The guinea pig’s cage should have enough hiding places to make them feel safer and more secure which will prevent them from shaking.

Guinea pigs are very gentle and sensitive pets that can easily start to shake for various reasons, so you must be careful and keep them as best as you can.

Read more: How Long Can Guinea Pigs Go Without Hay? Let’s Find Out