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General Getting them used to me


Well-known Member
Cavy Slave
May 11, 2012
Hi, all!
I need some tips for getting my piggies used to me, and being held by me. I'm kind of afraid of picking them up since they're still really little.
I've never had little piggies before, my last piggy was older and very used to being held.
I have very little ideas about how to get them used to me. I crouch down next to their cage so I seem smaller, I talk to them, I sing to them, I just hang about the room they're in doing my thing, I try to give them treats from my hands and let them sniff my hands.
Pigson is a lot more easy going and in to taking food from me and sometimes getting picked up, but Pignatius seems like he's still frightened of me. He'll still popcorn and squeak happily while i'm next to the cage, but if i reach in to let him smell me or try to give him some lettuce he hides in his tunnel :/

Any tips on getting him a little more comfortable with me?
How long have you had them? It sounds to me like you are doing everything right and just need to give them more time.
I love the names you've given your cavies.
Just be patient with them. I have one who is still skittish about being handled and that is after a couple of months. Inside the cage she is dominate and outside the cage she is a big chicken.
I think what you are doing so far is a good plan. One thing I do that you didn't mention is what you do when you clean the cage. I leave mine inside so they get used to my movements, smell and the routine of cleaning. It seems to make a difference to them to investigate and be curious about what I'm doing to their home.
Well it's defiantly not going to be an over night thing, and some pigs never end up getting used to people and being held by them. My Phoenix and Godric took 3 months to just eat out of my hand whilst I was sitting at their cage. Then another 3 months to get used to sitting on my lap and taking food from me while they were there. How long have you had them? For the first three days (More or less depending on the pig) You will want to leave them alone and not touch, pick up, play with with them, etc. They need this time to be able to get used to the new cage, food, smells, sounds, of a new home. They don't need the extra fright of what they look at as a huge hungry lion trying to pick them up and such. The best thing you can do as a first step, is to get them used to your voice. I find it works well to just find a book you would like to read, and just sit in the room that they are in and read it aloud. They will get used to the sound, and figure out that it isn't a bad thing. If you are past the three days or so, you can start picking them up every day, babies are a little harder to handle since they just want to run around and play, not sit still in your arms. Just be careful that you don't hold them to tightly, and that once you take them out of the cage, you sit right down on the floor or couch, so that if they happen to jump out of your lap (Which won't happen if you watch well) they won't fall. Also a way to a piggies heart is through their stomach so hand feeding at lap time, floor time, and while they are in the cage will get them used to the fact that your smell=good things. Guinea pigs are prey animals in the wild, and naturally part of the bottom of the food chain, so just about everything that eats meat looks at them and goes "Oh a tasty snack!" and they have next to no way to defend themselves other then running away, so when they hear you making noise, or see you, they instinctively run and hide. Don't take to personally. It's not that you are doing something wrong, that is just how guinea pigs are, and it will take a lot of hard work and dedication to get them to be comfortable with you, but trust me, it is defiantly worth it after you hear that first purr while they are sitting in your lap ❤️ To bad I never got that with Phoenix, as she died, but a few days ago Godric started to purr in my lap, and it was the greatest thing ever. My other two pigs Fus and Ro Dah are both none stop purring machines. I think I'll have to make a video of it some time because it is really quite cute! Good luck with your piggies!
They don't need the extra fright of what they look at as a huge hungry lion trying to pick them up and such. The best thing you can do as a first step, is to get them used to your voice.

Sorry have to comment on what you said. ❤️ So true about the lion. Poor, poor prey animals. So fragile and yet so darn cute!
Thanks for the imput guys! Yeah, I know it doesn't happen over night, but I'm really anxious to have lots of cuddle time without them being scared. Pigson is usually really good about it, but its Pignatius I'm trying to get more used to me. Yeah, unless I'm taking EVERYTHING out to clean well, I leave them in there, they mostly hide :p
I suppose its just that having had an older guinea pig where it was easier for her to be okay with being picked up and held, that it makes me really anxious to hold them, because I miss all of the piggy cuddles I used to have!!
Also, Pigpandemonium I love your piggies names, they're not the everyday cavy names :]. Also, Skyrim is bomb :]
Haha thank you! :D Also where did you get your pigs from? Adopted pigs seem to be much more tamed and such then pigs that come from a breeder or petstore. (Not to mention the horrible care and such of petstores and breeders... Makes me shiver)
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