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Sounds Licking and nipping me?

knackchaos

Well-known Member
Cavy Slave
Joined
May 4, 2012
Messages
40
So, I've gotten pretty good at translating what the noises my new little ones make, but Aggie's doing something new to me that I'm not sure about. She's been on meds for the last few weeks to treat a URI so she gets hauled out of the cage twice a day. I usually give her a bit of a rest between the antibiotics and probiotics and she's gotten comfortable enough to start wandering around on her towel rather than freezing abject fear. I usually use my arm as a barrier to keep her on the towel and away from the edge of the table.

Recently, she's started licking my arm for a bit and then nips it lightly. Is this a sign of affection? Anger? She's still not happy about being out of her cage. I lightly pet her during this, and she always does the vibrating purr of doom still, so I assume this lick/nip is not a good behavior? The nip never hurts, but I don't know if I should stop the behavior before she starts doing it harder.
 
My guinea pigs do this, too! I don't think it is out of anger or fear. I know they lick because they like the taste of salt on your skin, but I'm not sure about the lightly nipping. However, all of my guiena pigs have done this, and they usually didn't start until after they got used to me. My most affectionate guinea pig did this ALL THE TIME! So, although I don't really know what it means, I don't think it is bad behavior.
 
Amy does that occasionally. She likes to cuddle, but she can also be crabby and nippy (she's my bipolar Abby) so I figure it's just crankiness or giving me her opinion. She never bites hard when she does it.
 
I think they like the taste of the salt on your skin. Guinea pigs also lick or lightly nip something they're trying to identify or understand what it is. When she does that, just reposition her so she can't reach that spot.
 
I've read around a bit and people say its either: 1)a guinea pig kiss, it means they are comfortable with you and are showing their affection. 2) They want to test their limits on what they can and cannot do. 3) They are trying to tell you something, mostly wanting to go to the bathroom.
I can understand them all, but with the third one, my guinea pigs just get restless when they need to go to the bathroom. They'll start trying to run off my lap if they need to pee, so I just put them back. But I hope this helped some!
 
My boar Mr Squiggles with do this when he wants to go back to his cage, nip i mean. One of my other girls will lick my arm like a love pat. My other three won't do anything.
 
Well, my guinea pigs will lick and nip when they're in their cage, so it's at least not exclusively an "I want to pee" thing.

My pigs will nip in both situations - when testing out if my finger is food, and when they need to pee. The "testing" nip is usually very gentle, and they usually look a little bit shocked after they do it (my partner thinks that they're scared that they've made the humans angry), but the "I need to pee" nip is more clearly on purpose. They often nip/pull at my clothes rather than my skin when they need to pee, too.

Not all pigs are the same, though, so we don't necessarily know what your pig means :). Probably if you keep observing and interacting, everything will become more clear :). Different pigs also have vastly different signals for "I need to pee", and some have none at all. In this instance, it's just a matter of getting to know individual pigs.
 
Odair seems to nibble when he is nervous or if he just wants to chew and lacks hay since I'm holding him. He nibbles a bit more for potty but its harder to tell. I let them nible so long as it doesnt get to hard. If it does i touch his nose and say no then move him back a little from whatever body part he was eating.
 
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