Part of the thrill in getting a guinea pig is the thrill of picking them up and getting to cuddle them whenever you want. However, like all animals, cavies have a mind of their own.
These little critters will wiggle and jump if they do not feel safe, comfortable, or just don’t want to be held.
Guinea pigs will try and escape from your grasp, so be sure to handle them with care to make sure that they do not get hurt in the escape process.
How should I approach a guinea pig?
Especially if they are new to the family, treat your cavy with respect and care, I recommend you to read my new guide to have a better understanding of their likes/dislikes. No one likes someone being all up in their face every time they want your attention.
If they’re in their cage, the best way is to slowly put your hand out and inside the cage. Take care of not getting right up in their personal space, but leave your hand sitting there a small distance away from them.
If interested, your cavy will come up to you and sniff your hand. The more bonding time you have, the more likely they are to let you pick them up.
How do I pick up a guinea pig?
Unlike the phrase, bottoms up, it is best for your guinea pig to have their bottoms securely set in the palm of your hand. One hand should be on the chest region under their head, and your other hand should be firmly cupped around their bottom.
While a secure grip is great for ensuring that they are less likely to move around, they are still small animals. The insides are fragile and placing too much pressure on their lungs or stomach can be painful and cause discomfort.
How to hold your guinea pig?
Feeling safe is the number one priority to a cavy’s point of view. Holding them pressed gently to your chest will give them that firm foundation to lay their heads against.
Your body will warm them, they will smell your scent, and be less likely to struggle if they know you will treat them with care.
If you have long hair, cavies love to nestle their faces into it. Their natural behavior is to play hide and go seek. A guinea pig does enjoy being held by their owners and will express themselves too.
Happy noises are always a good sign and most owners can sense their excitement when you first put your hand in the cage.
If you have some cavies and you want to know everything about these noises they make, you can discover all of them and their meaning in this article about How To Minimize Guinea Pig’s Noises At Night.
You can also discover why do guinea pigs chirp.
Watch this video to see how you can catch and hold a guinea pig.
Guinea pigs: the natural escape artist
Cavies will escape if given the opportunity to. If they are lost in the house, there are several steps to getting them back safe and sound.
Secure the parameters
First, it is essential to making sure your cavy can’t go anywhere where they’ll get outside. Make sure all of your exterior doors or windows are closed and check all the hazardous places where they could fall and get hurt.
If you have another household pet, secure them as well in another room to avoid any unwanted interactions.
Examine your house, room by room
Like any guide to finding a lost item, go to the place where you last saw him. Check under any furniture or behind chairs and tables; basically any small areas that could serve as a comfortable sleeping spot.
Bait your guinea pig with food
Leave the cage open with a bowl of food in front of it, or in a space that is open and visible to see. Your cavy is bound to get hungry, and what better way to lure them out is with their stomachs.
Even the sound of a rustling bag may alert the guinea pig to knowing that you have food. Walking around shaking a chip bag may look funny, but in the end, it’s worth it.
When you finally lay your eyes on your cavy, he might be feeling scared from his venture away from home. In this case, it is best not to yell or raise your voice.
If he wants to start a chase, get a soft towel and gently try and throw it on them. This avoids you getting scratched and a comforting material may help them calm down.