View Full Version : My guinea pig doesn't enjoy lap time with me!

10-08-09, 03:09 pm
I have two female piggies: Lily and Rose. Rose is very young and just a tiny little thing & Lily is bigger, older and our first - needless to say, she has taken her dominant status seriously. Lily is also very demanding and I must say, very very spoiled. We showered her with love and attention from the moment we got her and buy her and Rose the best of everything and do our research on everything - cuddly cups, toys, organic veggies, etc. which has caused her to be demanding.

Lily does not seem to be enjoying lap time with me any more and makes her mad/leave me alone noise when I put her in my lap. My husband suggested maybe its the way I pick her up, but I know I pick her up properly and I wait till after she's used the bathroom. She also nibbles at me constantly, which I take as a sign she wants to pee, so I put her down, but she doesn't need to pee, she just wants down and I feel like I'm reinforcing that behavior, since now she nibbles me all the time. She also does these things with my husband, but not as much as she does with me.

During lap time the other night, my husband was petting Rose and I was petting Lily when she did her usual thing of nibbling. I decided to put them together on in this little pillow/cuddly bed we have for them. Lily crawled over Rose and peed on her! We promptly took Lily out and gave Rose a bath. We still can't believe Lily did that. I felt guilty because I hadn't put her down to pee, thinking she was just doing it to get down and away from me. But now I'm wondering if she did that because she doesn't like Rose or doesn't like lap time? I had waited till after she peed before I picked her up, so I'm not sure if it was as simple as she just had to pee. How do I get my guinea pig to enjoy lap time with me again?

My husband and I are both professionals and away at work for long hours, but when we are home we give our piggies so much love and attention - and on weekends we spend all our time with them. Does anyone here think that Lily is mad at us for being away during the day? Do guinea pigs have hurt feelings about this that would cause them to not want lap time with you?

10-08-09, 10:07 pm
Lap time is more for us humans. The pigs could usually care less.

10-08-09, 10:22 pm
About the peeing thing:

I'm not really sure if guinea-pigs actually know that peeing on someone is a rude gesture. :D

Piggies have accidents all the time. It's like their mindset is like "Oh, hey, this is fun. Oh, now, I have to pee. Eh, i'll just do it here 'cause its funny. My rump feels warm".

I'm not sure if there are revengeful guinea-pigs, either. Well, probably.

10-08-09, 10:26 pm
Lily is not mad at you for being away during the day. Pigs aren't capable of that.

She's probably just not comfortable with you yet. Try holding her several times a day for short periods each time. Wrap her in a towel to help her feel more secure. Feed her treats during lap time. She may never love it, but she will at least get more used to it.

10-08-09, 11:59 pm
Make sure you aren't waking her or interrupting a meal when you take her out of the cage. Spend time with her in short intervals rather than tiring her out in one long session. When she bites, put her down quickly and gently. When she plays nice during lap time, reward with plenty of healthy treats!

The peeing incident sounds like a dominance thing to me. I think she's in a huff about the new addition. I had a rat who preferred to be alone but she eventually took to her roomates quite well. One thing that really helped was adopting two younger females to introduce, rather than just one. She was forced to back down a bit simply because she was outnumbered. My girl was also a little moody and nippy during the introduction.

10-09-09, 06:21 am
ok, firstly the peeing most likely lily telling Rose what she thinks of her (ie. not much). I have 3 girls and there's a strict heirarchy. Our number 3, our littlest girl was forever being pushed around - her only defence was to pee on the bothering guinea pig. She's very accurate and the other girls have got the idea - if they snap at her behind she'll pee in their eyes so they now run like hell in the opposite direction when they see her rump rise. Don't worry. Rose will live. It sounds lke lily's just being madame. Hopefully she'll grow out of it but my 3 little madames are still behaving very badly to each other at times.

As for do guinea pig's miss you during the day. I used to think they couldn't care less. Now I have changed my mind. My middle girl was apparently behaving very strangely when I left her for 2 weeks in the care of friends whilst I went abroad. When I got back she was like a dog that missed her master. She'd sit and stare at me till I'd pick her up. She couldn't get enough lap time it seemed as she'd lounge for hours on me without one pee till I popped her down and I'd see she'd been holding a great big wee back to stay with me. She's getting over it now but she's been extremely demandng since I got back and still likes to rest with me in her eyeline.

So yes, guineas can behave oddly when their world changes like a new pig or a human friend disappearing. Let her have her way so long as she's not harming Rose. If she doesn't feel like lap time - fine, you give it to Rose. You never know lily might get jealous.

Don't underestimate what's going on in that fuzzy head because piggy emotions drive them to do odd things just like us humans. They're not thinkers or philosophers and they don't put 2 & 2 together well but they are social beings and will let you and other guineas know how they feel.

10-09-09, 06:47 am
I didn't say that pigs can't miss attention or crave attention. But I don't think they are capable of thinking "you didn't give me any attention earlier so now I'm going to get back at you by misbehaving during lap time". That's a much different sort of thought process than "I wish I were getting attention right now".

JD In Van
10-09-09, 08:24 am
My boys pee on eachother as part of the dominance squabbling too. I wouldn't worry too much about that.

As for lap time. You're right about reinforcing behavior but you can also reinforce good behaviors.

First of all, consider using a piggie elevator to lift the sensitive pig out of the cage, this will be more comfortable.

Secondly, save her favorite treat (for my boys it's the once a week apple slice they get) for lap time only. If she's getting her favorite thing in the world only from your hand, your hand will become a better thing soon.

Thirdly, I find when we combine lap and floor time we have the most success in my house. So we sit on the floor with them and they're free to leave our laps when ever they like. This seems to be much less stressful for my pig who doesn't like to be handled as much and suprisingly he sticks around often when he can leave.

Lastly. Try putting a towel on your lap when you have the pig in your lap. Wrap it half over the big so she can burrow down in it and hide if she wants to. Pigs get anxious and nervious in wide open spaces some times. This also has helped a lot with my Baby who was very nippy when I first got him (and as you can see from my profile pic, has gotten over it apparently - though he still HATES being carried).

10-19-09, 01:39 pm
One of my guinea pig loves lap time ( Milly ) but Molly hates it so I ownly pick her up when I have to.