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How cuddly are guinea pigs?

(27 Posts)
Curlybrunette Thu 13-Sep-12 13:00:27

Hiya,

We're getting a couple of piggies soon and I'm gathering info before we do. Just wondered how cuddly they are. Are they likely to want to be held and cuddled, i.e. come up to me to be cuddled, or tolerate being held, or does it purely depend on that particular piggie?

Also, I'm going to build a c&c upstairs (panels arrived today, woop!) and had planned to buy a run to go inside or outside depending on the weather. When I'm out they will stay up in the c&c but when in they'll come downstairs into the run. I thought about one of the metal ones with the mesh cover. Obviously outside they would be supervised all the time, but did wonder if any of you let your piggies run free inside? If I kept the living room door shut then I think they'd be ok, they'd probably be too big to get under the sofa and there isn't any other place they could go in the living, perhaps keep and eye on them if they were trying to get behind the TV.

Are your piggies chewers? I used to have chinchillas and they chewed bloody everything so couldn't have let them run in the living room, again does it depend on the animal as to how much it will chew?

Thanks a lot,
x

MrsClown Thu 13-Sep-12 13:11:29

Piggies are incredibly cuddly. They need to get used to you though with some gentle handling. Once you have cracked that they will love you to death! I had one a few years ago and he lived in the house. I used to let him have a run round free for a few hours every night. He didnt chew anything but I cant speak for all piggies. He used to talk to me all the time. I was devastated when he died.

Near where I live we have an amazing piggie rescue centre called Cavey Corner Doncaster. I have actually been to see the owner who as at last week had 94 piggies! They have a 24 hour help line that anyone can call for advice. If you go on the website they have a contact number. They are seriously lovely people who I am sure would only be too happy to advise you.

Good luck and enjoy your piggies. They have incredible personalities.

Curlybrunette Thu 13-Sep-12 13:19:18

Hi MrsClown,

Thanks, I have heard of Cavey Corner, I've been going on to theguineapigforum.co.uk and I think the lady from CC is on there. The website is great, I can't wait to get some piggies. We're getting them for ds's birthday totally for me really in November and it is killing me having to wait so long.
I'm really pleased they are cuddly, I'm loving the idea of them just ambling around the living room.
You sound smitten, maybe you need to do a piggie shopping!

x

Thumbwitch Thu 13-Sep-12 13:19:49

I think it depends a lot on the guineapig!
The first one I had was quite traumatised when I got him from the pet place; took a while for him to settle down but then he was very cuddly,used to lie up the inside of my forearm, bum in my hand, nose settled into the crook of my elbow - until he developed teen attitude, when all he wanted to do was jump off my lap and go exploring! But he would answer to his name, come running when he was called (he was a housepig) and could climb in and out of his cage when I took the wire off the tray, so he was half housetrained. He wasn't a wire chewer, but liked the fringe of the fireside rug.

I was very spoilt with that first one and also devastated when he died. sad

Other pigs I have had have been less cuddly, plus I've always kept them in at least pairs since that first one so they have their own friend. One actively used to chew my skin, which was very unpleasant! Not meaning to hurt me, I don't think - just couldn't tell the difference between me and food hmm - but that restricted my cuddles. They've all been different in terms of what they like to eat, and what they would and wouldn't chew. So although the first one never chewed wires, a couple of the others did.

Now the 2 piggies I have live in the garden because DH doesn't like having them in the house and they're not particularly cuddly at all because we don't handle them anything like enough. sad

guineapiglet Thu 13-Sep-12 13:27:35

Hi - good luck with your new guineas, hope they settle in with you easily. They will need time to get used to you, your voice, your routine, and to feel safe - make sure they have some igloos to hide under and lots of hay. All our girls have been highly interactive - they are lovely, sociable, gentle creatures, and all of ours were cuddly - some would sit and snuggle under my chin or round my neck etc, so you have to try and make cuddle time, maybe on a special cloth, so they get used to it. Of course some are more cuddly than others, but in general they like attention and to be groomed and fussed over, you will know when they have had enough and you may get weed and pooed on, but thats part of the fun!

They should be fine outside weather wise at the moment during the day, but if they are inside they will get used to inside temperatures, so do be aware that they are not tolerant of extremes, so once the heating goes on inside, it may be a problem to put them out again unless it is warm.

Ours used to free range inside, I made them some loo stops, which were literally hit and miss, but they had their cages which they ran back to - they loved being naughty and exploring - but they do sometimes chew things so may have to be supervised initially !

FernieB Thu 13-Sep-12 14:50:34

My boys are both very chewy so be careful of that if you let them run round a bit. Also they will leave little piggie raisins everywhere, so you have to be prepared to clean up after them. I let mine out in the conservatory each day if it's too wet/cold outside and they love it because it's the rabbits territory and they follow him everywhere!

Smooth pig is very cuddly, although much harder to catch - once you've got him, he'll settle in for hours for a snuggle. Scruffy pig is not at all cuddly - we can pick him up easily but he won't sit still to cuddle and is fond of chewing buttons/zips/sleeves etc. So I think it depends entirely on the personality of the pig. Just handle them a lot and they should be okay.

I'm sure you your daughter will love them.

70isaLimitNotaTarget Thu 13-Sep-12 17:51:48

Curly are you getting baby pigs or older ones? Baby pigs are more skitty as a rule and will try to jump everywhere (especially off your shoulder grin )
They settle down and become quite sensible- well within reason.

They will walk up to you for food. They might stand still to be caught.
Or like my little boar, they might run round like the last scene in Benny Hill.

And they are just the right size to cuddle. Nice and plump and firm.

Ok some aren't as cuddly as others, but they are all characters.
Enjoy the new piggles smile

70isaLimitNotaTarget Thu 13-Sep-12 17:54:46

WRT biting- I've got 2 boars. They are are bit more 'toothy' than any other GPs I've had but it's not a bite to cause harm. They are just a bit more full on.

They will give a warning if we annoy their greasespots but that's understandable.

Curlybrunette Thu 13-Sep-12 20:14:45

Thanks guys, I had read that males are a little more 'spirited'! Not sure if that's true or not. Are females more likely to cuddle?

I'm going to get rescue pigs so aren't sure about age. I wouldn't want ones that were too old (would hate to traumatise the kids by them dying really soon), but don't feel the need to get tiny babies either. Am happy to get none babes especially if someone esle has helped them become really cuddly

70isaLimitNotaTarget Thu 13-Sep-12 20:30:25

If you go to rescue you can get an established pair (either 2 boars, 2 sows or a neutered boar + sow)
Most will have been someones pet- they might have been forced to give up due to a move, an allergy or a new pet.
Unfortunately some will be victims of neglect or even cruelty.
They'll try to match you with your 'ideal' guineas.

We have 2 brothers from rescue. They were a year when we got them, so still young but past the arsey teens (they still have the odd spat but it's mainly vocal squaring up and rump bumping )

They are very affectionate. The big boar belongs to my DD. He's a soft as butter with her, she carries him about and kisses him (but she really gets her hands mucky and does her share of helping out).
The little boar is very sweet, quiet (and with a horrific gas problem grin

I've had mainly females. My very first GP was a boar who was lovely. These 2 are my DD and DS pigs (but really family pigs, we all look after them).
I've had sows that well not huggy at all but like a little shadow following us round the house .
You could tell the Rescue that you'd like really cuddly ones, see what they've got.
(My DD wanted a boar. They had 2 boars. We got them wink )

Curlybrunette Thu 13-Sep-12 22:45:41

Gas problems ha ha ha ha ha!!!
Thanks, it's great hearing everyone's experiences. Hadn't thought about what would happen at the rescue, just sort of thought they'd say we've got these and these, pick a couple!
I've never held a piggie and am dying to but as it's not ds's birthday until middle of November I'm frightened to go to the rescue and fall in love because I won't be able to collect for ages...Suppose I could pay for them and make a few trips back for visits can go during the day when the kids are at school, loads of me and piggie cuddles!!!

x

Thumbwitch Thu 13-Sep-12 22:55:59

I had 2 rescue pigs from the Cambridge Cavy Trust (don't know if it's still called that) and one of them was pretty traumatised. She'd let herself be picked up but all the while she was being held she showed the white of her eye (no mean feat in a guineapig!) and trembled, which was just so sad. I tried to rehabilitate her but it never changed sad - so do beware of that with rescue pigs.

70isaLimitNotaTarget Fri 14-Sep-12 12:17:46

If you can get them now then why not ?
We got the boars last year just before October half term, so my DC had the week to get to know them and they managed a few hour long grazing sessions. (Mine are out at the moment but the grass is looking a bit rough now)

You might find rescues less willing to re-home animals too close to Christmas too.

If I was buying GPs for myself, I would take on a pig who had been neglected or not socialised.
But mine were for my DC (mainly my DD wanted them) so we got the boars who had been in a foster home, so handled and looked after but waiting for their fur ever home.

Give the Rescue a phone, see what they say. The one I phoned had lots of single female guineas (which could be matched up) And the little brothers (which is what DD wanted).
In a way I'm relieved she didn't want to see all the Rescue pigs. How would we have chosen?

When we met them and brought them home, DH said "Oh, I didn't realise they'd be so big ".
No idea what he was expecting grin

Curlybrunette Fri 14-Sep-12 16:55:12

Do you know it's funny you saying about dh not expecting them to be so big, I've never had a guinea pig but obviously have seen them before but in my mind I can only picture a hamster. I found a website that said they can grow up to 30cm and I did think bloody hell that's big!

It's ds's birthday middle of November, he hasn't asked for a pet but I know he will be delighted as he loves animals. Our plan is to build the c & c when he's gone to bed and so he'll wake up to it inhospitable birthday, and then after school take him to get the piggies. I don't want to get them sooner as I'll then feel obliged to get him another birthday pressy! Plus my mum and dad are buying him the run etc.

I will contact the rescue sooner though and start the process, maybe if i pick 2 separate guineas they could start introducing them ready for collection in November (I could offer to pay them a boarding fee if they did that?)

X

BonkeyMollocks Fri 14-Sep-12 22:20:26

<bit late to thread> grin

I have indoor pigs. One of mine is a chewer, the other isn't, but they pee and poo like they never will again. They will not be trained and more often than not they will run through it and it spreads. Also beware of scent marking with boys <glares at Little Pig> . I have laminate floors so its not a problem when they have their free time, however I dread to think what my flat would smell like if I had carpet. confused
They also only have floor time when ds is in bed. Its not worth the stress otherwise.
Beware of small spaces. Block everywhere with a towel or mesh grids ( spare C&C are fab for this) , if they get somewhere they aren't meant to be then it can be a nightmare to get them out! (Little Pig got behind the washing machine, 2 adults, a 4yo, buckets of parsley, and a hour to get him out!)

As for cuddles, Big Pig luffs to sit on my shoulder or under my chin and watch tv. He will stay there for over a hour if he is allowed. Little Pig has settled more now he is growing up and will snooze for 20mins or so before he gets itchy feet and wants to explore the sofa.

I have heard that Males are more snuggly than females but have no experience of sows so wouldn't know.

I think for a 5yo you may be better getting pigs that are past the baby jumping can't wait to be a pain in the arse stage. I had Little pig from 5 1/2 weeks and I would not have ever let ds handle him that young.
The sod is a jumper and jumped from my arms (standing height) onto a hard floor, luckily he was fine but could have done himself some serious damage. They wriggle like nothing else!

Little Pig is 5/6 months now and <whispers> is ds's favourite for cuddles.

Little Pig is also more confident and will come over for food or a fuss/stand still to be picked up/try and jump in the salad bowl. Big Pig is the opposite. Hates to be picked up, will run around forever if he could. Unless he is on a lap/shoulder then he will not be stroked.

Big Pig is huge and I think he is still growing. Dh also thought they were hamster size, which is odd seeing as we have a hamster too hmm . He was quite shocked when he saw the size of Big Pig when I bought him home, and he was a third of the size he is now shock .

Good luck at the rescue. They will match you up pretty well I should think. Your piggies will choose you. Some will catch your eye and you will be smitten!

BonkeyMollocks Fri 14-Sep-12 22:20:41

Wow epic post shock blush

sleepingbunnies Fri 14-Sep-12 22:33:38

My girls are very cuddly! My 3 yr old DD loves them and gives them cuddles all the time - maybe because she has grown up with them she knows to be specially gentle with them...

I always wanted piggies growing up and my dad never let me so the first thing I bought when we got our house was go and buy 2 piggies! I think actually did it the next day!

Thumbwitch Sat 15-Sep-12 00:11:32

Bonkey, loved your post! Reminded me so much of my first piggy - he was a perisher for jumping off me when he'd had enough! And yes, I was worried he'd hurt himself but luckily he never did - I used to let him slide down my legs rather than kamikaze onto the floor from my lap. He was the only pig who managed to start climbing the stairs as well - very bloody agile, that one was! shock Luckily he only got 2 steps up before he was knackered grin

Lots of people get them confused with hamsters, God alone knows why hmm and are therefore surprised at the size of them. Friends of mine who knew I had guineapigs would still, years down the line, ask me how my hamsters were. And that was after they'd seen them too! confused

Curlybrunette Sun 16-Sep-12 19:09:09

Thanks everyone, loving hearing about your piggies, I just can't wait to go start looking at some. It seems some are more cuddly, some chew, some pee/poo everywhere, it'll be pick of the draw for us!!!

70isaLimitNotaTarget Sun 16-Sep-12 20:35:33

One of the GPs I had when I was 13ish- we got a female who was already pg and had a single piglet sow, so we kept the piglet as company for the mum.(Mum didn't get on with our resident mum&DD pigs, they had to side-by-side)

Baby pig never seemed to get very big (her mum was young) my by gum she was active. She could run upstairs.My parents have 6 stairs,a landing then 7 stairs. We could put this one on the bottom step and she'd skip up to the bedroom. But, never downstairs.
She'd walk about the garden on giraffe legs because she didn't like a wet tummy. Her and her mum hollowed out a cabbage to sit inside (it was growing in the garden-it took a while but they were determined)

Our next pair of sows could climb downstairs but never up.
With some we could put them on the half-landing to clean the cage. But not these ones grin

The Himalayans (or The Moths as they were knicknamed) liked the dark best (pinkeyed) and ate wool carpet.

They would eat the laces from your shoes as you wore them.
One got into the veg cupboard and ate onion skins.
They could eat a paper bag and leave the contents.

And the mum and piglet (the climber) got into the pantry and ate flour bags.We thought they had an eye infection and bathed their poor eyes- until we saw 'dust' -which was flour.

So, you do pays yer money and take yer chances.
Some of these pigs were born in our house, so we can't blame anyone else wink

BonkeyMollocks Sun 16-Sep-12 20:38:39

Suddenly i really want to put Little Pig on.some stairs....

Big Pig would.just sit there and look at me like a mad woman

Too bad i live in a flat sad

TwoIfBySea Sun 16-Sep-12 20:41:41

I miss my guinea pig even though I was only 12 when she died, so, nearly 30 years ago!

Not only did she love cuddles, I would put her in my cardigan when I got home from school and she would burrow in to my shoulder and talk to me. I only had her because my mother hated guinea pigs and hamsters too! I never remember her chewing anything, then again neither did my hamster although my cousin's hamster chewed through all the wires on her stereo. Nice.

Tried to persuade dts down the guinea pig route - instead we have a hamster and about to get a gecko! Their friend has a guinea pig, huge thing it is as well!

I am jealous! Squeak squeak!

70isaLimitNotaTarget Sun 16-Sep-12 21:08:31

Bonky I don't know what my boys would do if I put them on stairs. Probably wouldn't climb them grin.
I put them on the bathroom floor while I was sorting their bath (thinking they'd scuttle off behind the toilet) but they sat, like the Ying and Yang sign, watching each others backs. Which was quite sweet I thought.

TwoIf my GP when I was 9yo was a lovely little boy, I think I remember him more than any of the rest- he didn't make it much beyond 2 yo (sad tale, he was attacked/bullied by his mate).
One of my present boars is a real wheeker but doesn't purr (Rumblestrutts though).
The other never squeaks but purrs. Weird boys.

Ashley517 Tue 15-Mar-16 03:08:56

My Guinea pig cookie was 2 months old when I got her and I've had her for a week and a half. She is so lovey with me already and responsive! Currently cuddling with me on the couch nuzzled into blankets sleeping away! She gets so excited when out of the cage she gets sad when it's time to go back in and tried to hop back into my hands! I have never seen a Guinea pig as friendly as her, but it makes my day

70isaLimitNotaTarget Tue 15-Mar-16 20:46:41

Jings this thread is old , I had GP1 and GP2, now I have GP4, GP5, GP6.

GP5 isn't a cuddler. She'll sit on my lap or shoulder and chat but I always feel like she's tolerating me till something better comes along grin.
When I got her (adult Rescue) I couldn't even hold her unless it was with two hands clamped, so I guess she's improved.
And she's happy to let us feel her teeth if she thinks we deserve it, by oh, maybe breathing, sneezing or giving her a wrong look smile

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