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Thread: Quick question

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    Cavy Slave
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    Quick question

    First of all, I got A GP. 1 that turned into 3! I'm no expert, but I signed up for this and I WILL do the very best for them!

    My momma who I rescued has delivered 3 babies. Two are beautiful healthy bouncing babies, we lost one during birth... My question is momma has always done an action and now babies who LOVE being petted are doing it as well. Every now and then they will raise their heads like they are headbutting. Is this a behavior due to them not liking being petted on their head/neck or what? I just wanna know why they do this and understand the behavior so I can make sure they aren't trying to say "hey I don't like that" or what.

    ALSO, the growling sound they sometimes make... Same thing what is that sound and what does it mean?

    Thank you for your input!!

    Back story: "I rescued a female that was locked in a dresser drawer with no food, no bedding, and eating the wood on the drawer to stay alive. After 2 months of having her she had her babies... Sadly the other 5 GP's that were in the house have died since. I called to ask about them and was disheartened to hear that one got sick died and every other day another one died until they had no more."

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    Cavy Slave LittleSqueakers's Avatar
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    Re: Quick question

    I've always been curious about the headbutting behavior when being pet, too! Tribble would do it if I pet his head a certain way -- mostly if I was petting over his nose or kind of covering his eyes, -- but I'm not really sure what it means. Maybe an instinctive response to the feeling that they're head is being restrained??? Maybe a dominance signal?? I'd also be interested to know!

    The growling/purring sound is supposedly a dominance/annoyance sound. You'll see pigs do it to one another a lot when they interact; at least, mine always did. Tribble would do it too when I would pet him, but then he still seemed to enjoy being pet and never ran away while being pet. He had kind of a love/hate thing with being petted, I guess. :P

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    Cavy Slave spy9doc's Avatar
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    Re: Quick question

    Cavies have very limited flexibility and dexterity with their front paws and need to use other means of communicating. IMHO, head-butting generally means annoyance with what you are doing at the moment. They may do it this time and not the next. Cavies are no more consistent than we humans are.

    You can call the vocalization what you wish (burrring, growling, purring) but I think it generally is referred to as a "rumble". It means different things in different situations. With my Sparky, it is his favorite and most frequent vocalization........so much so that we call him "Mr. Rumbles". He may be responding to a sound on t.v., annoyance at jangling keys (both my boys hate that sound), displeasure at being moved or picked up, and yes, almost as a voicing of affection when initially being picked up and petted. It really depends on the context of the situation!

    Cavies are as different as we humans are and their actions and vocalizations depend on their personalities and the particular situation at the time. As you get to know your cavies better, you will begin to understand what all their behaviors mean. Just enjoy them!

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