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Behavior Annoyed or happy? Suddenly biting!


Cavy Slave
Jul 18, 2011
We have had Ume, our female piggy for around 6-7 months now. My husband and I try and handle her as much as possible, but between full time work and school, it is hard to do more than 30-1hr a day of attention to her. Anyway, I can't really tell if the noise she makes when we pick her up and pet her is a happy noise, or an annoyed noise. It is definitely not a purr, but a combination of short wheeks... kind of like moans?
She makes this sound EVERY time we handle her, and like I said, we have had her for 6-7 months.
Also, when she was smaller she would popcorn all the time when let out, now she either runs under something or just sits there and tries to nibble the carpet. Usually when I kind of 'tickle' her on her sides she will start popcorning and do happy wheeks, now she has gotten to the point where she will popcorn a few times, then suddenly turn and bite me, hard. Other than biting, she doesn't make any other signal that she is upset. She even tries biting me when I shake her gingle ball to try and get her to play.
Could the biting have anything to do with me being pregnant. I noticed the hard biting started happening around the same time I found out about being pregnant.:confused:
Every pig I have ever had very much dislikes being touched on its sides. I pet my pigs on top only. Some are ok with being touched on the rump, and others hate it and usually purr/vibrate (in a bad way). I recommend you do some type of "towel trick." Basically, wrap her loosely in a towel so she feels safe and put her on your lap. You can pet her nose or even pet her through the towel, but I would stop if she makes agitated sounds. Do this every day for a week or two and then try lap time without a towel covering her. It is possible that she has mites and this is what is agitating her. Does she scratch a lot or seem like she is in pain when you pet her? A good exotics vet should be able to determine whether she has mites or not. If you do this, I've read from a mod on this forum that taking a biopsy for mites is unnecessary because it is painful for the pig and often inconclusive. It's better just to give her the medicine.
Good luck!
I only see her scratch ocasionally. She doesn't mind at all when we pet her while she is in the cage.
It doesnt matter if i pet her through a towel, or just have her sitting on my lap, she makes that sound. Even when she seems verry relaxed and lays down on me she makes that annoyed sound.
This is the only example of the sound she makes that I can find.
And that is REALLY close to what she sounds like. The only time she doesn't whine when she is out, is when we give her veggies :p ... I think she is spoiled lol.
Anyway, I can't really tell if the noise she makes when we pick her up and pet her is a happy noise, or an annoyed noise.

I wonder the same thing. My girl, Abbey, makes the same noise during lap time. It is almost like she is complaining. If I brush her she will lay down and relax sometimes. I think it is an annoyed noise because she was making the same noise when I washing her bum tonight and I know she wasn't very happy about that. She will also bite sometimes and yet can be so friendly and loving other times. I just don't put my hand near her mouth, especially if she is eating. She gets bullied by her sister and I think maybe that makes her a little defensive.
That's the "talking" noise. Guinea pigs make it to each other.

As most animals get older they play less, especially prey animals. Predatory animals continue to play, probably because they hone their hunting skills. So it's not unnatural for your pig not to popcorn and play as much as she used to.

She's most likely biting you because she's annoyed with you tickling her sides.

I think the best thing to do is get her a companion. Guinea pigs really do need companionship of their own species, humans just don't cut it. Especially since you are spending less time with her, and probably even less once the baby is born.
I agree froggy :)
Thats why we got her a friend yesterday ^_^ An adoreable 'blondie' lol. Looks just like the one in your profile pic, just a short haird version, with red/pink eyes. She is so cute!
I can't wait to get them together. Ume already knows someone else is there, she was making noises I had not ever heard her make before, and popcorning!
We do have the new piggy in a seperate cage, but on the other side of the room.
Thank you all so much for the help and advice!
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