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Behavior Lap time question


Well-known Member
Cavy Slave
Mar 15, 2012
I tried lap time with my piggies for the first time last night. This was no easy feat -- they scratched the daylights out of me and kept trying to escape and run into a corner.

I had a bunch of their favorite veggies and was trying to feed them while they were in my lap, but they refused to eat any. Is there anything else I can do to get them to enjoy it? I know it was only the first time, but the fact that they didn't want their veggies while in my lap was strange...
When I brought my piggies home and did lap time I wrapped them in a "nest", with a soft baby blanket. Make the "nest" look like a burrow, encasing their bodies and part of their head in the blanket, allowing thm to feel covered and a small hole to stick their noses out of. Put veggies near this hole and they should be ok. This is the first advice I have ever given so hopefully it works out. (make sure its quiet during lap time) Sometimes I play classical music on very LOW volume to calm them. Dont worry, they will learn lap time is fun & warm up to you :)
Don't stress about it, all pigs take a little bit to warm up to people. And each pig has a different reaction. When I first got Harmony, she just sat frozen in fear. Whereas Holly ran up and down me, trying to find an escape route. The best thing to do is just keep on it, keep holding them and petting them, keep trying with the veggies and just don't give up is my best advice.
oh, and P.S. Not all pigs like the towel trick, mine have a panic attack and wriggle free. But most do, so it's a good thing to try.
Thank you for the tips and such, I'll give these things a try!! :)
Good news, and I just felt like gushing!! I just had floor/lap time with my piggies again, and tried some of these suggestions, and Mocha climbed into my lap on her own accord, twice! It made me so happy. c:

Chai still has to be placed into my lap, but she actually splayed out and just lied there the whole time. Though Mocha climbed into my lap by herself, she kept scurrying around.

Not bad for only their second time, I'd say!
That's some quick improvement!

Nice fuzzy-feeling moment. :eek:
I guess since yesterday was only their first time, they were just really nervous. They still wouldn't really eat their veggies, but I am happy with this anyway! :love:
good video, thanks
That was a great video. It should be made as a sticky!
Great video! I'm in the beginning of the taming process with Mufasa, although fortunately he seems to be a pretty social piggy. The video gave me some great pointers.
I found that playing piano instrumentals of your favorite songs can help a bit! When Mochi first purred, it was when I was playing music and petting him. I also found I can get him to make happy noises when I sing along. :3
None of my 4 boys will eat during lap time(and Roger never misses a meal), so don't worry if yours don't. One of the girls I'm fostering will eat during lap time but not the other. 2 of my boys like to be covered up but the other 2 hate it. It may take awhile but you'll find out what each one likes.
How skittish are your piggies? Do they come up to you in their cage?
When I first adopted my guinea pig, he hated to be picked up but loved to be petted in his cage. After a week or so of talking to him, petting, him, and feeding him, I started to pick him up for lap time.
We established an odd little routine. He would run into his igloo once he realized I intended to pick him up. I would walk away. He would come back out in a minute or so, looking for me. We'd repeat any number of times until he allowed me to pick him up. For the first few months, he would hunch his shoulders uncomfortably, but remain still for me. Eventually, he learned to relax.

In the case of your very nervous piggies, I think the towel idea another poster mentioned is a good one.
I've found that Chester actually prefers to be held on my chest as opposed to on my lap -- he likes to hide his head under my neck. He also likes to curl up next to me on a towel on my bed. Maybe your "lap" isn't the best spot for them.

Rest assured, guinea pigs do grow more affectionate! It took almost a year, but Chester started to lick me and purr when he heard my voice.

good luck with your piggies! keep us updated!
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