Guinea pigs are cute, fuzzy little creatures. And if you have ever seen one, be it in your house, at a pet store, or somewhere else, there is a good chance that you have noticed one staring at you.
But what does that staring really mean? What message are they trying to get across? Are they trying to see deep into your soul? Here are seven things in particular that your guinea pig may be trying to get across to you.
Seven Reasons Why Guinea Pigs Stare
1. They’re Sleeping
Okay, the first reason for your guinea pig staring is not all that confounding. It turns out that guinea pigs actually sleep with their eyes open. So, if your guinea pig seems as if it is staring into your very being, it is more likely just grabbing a nap.
This is actually a survival trait. They are natural prey, which means that they can’t afford to get that deep, eyes-closed sleep. They need to keep their alertness high so that they can sense predators coming. So, if you notice that your guinea pig is laying down with its eyes open, it is probably sleeping.
2. Lonely or Bored
Another reason why your guinea pig might seem as if it is just staring is because it is either lonely or bored. The staring often goes hand in hand with lethargy. The good news is that there are a couple of things to do.
For starters, you can get them a buddy. It isn’t much more work to care for two guinea pigs than one and they won’t be alone. Or you can try to get them more active, letting them run around for a bit to keep them from feeling bored.
3. They Are Curious
You may have noticed this trait in toddlers, too. When guinea pigs are enamored with what they are seeing, they are just curiously watching what is happening. It isn’t any cause for alarm; they just want to know what you are doing.
It is also part of their natural survival instincts. They are constantly watching for the potential threat of a predator, so they are just looking around and “exploring” their area. They may be interested in what you are doing or are simply trying to be as aware of their surroundings out of instinct.
4. Fear or Anxiety
Remember that guinea pigs keep their eyes open basically all of the time as a survival instinct. So, it only stands to reason that they would be staring in your direction because they are either anxious or fearful of something.
Maybe it is something that you are doing. Maybe there is a pet in the room that they don’t trust. Whatever the case is, they may freeze when they are startled. Loud noises, unfamiliar people, big animals, or sudden noises (among other things) can be enough to freeze your guinea pig into place.
5. Genetic Issues
These are somewhat uncommon but still possible. Basically, staring can be a neurological issue with guinea pigs as the result of improper breeding or inbreeding. The odds are increased that this genetic defect can occur in specific breeds of guinea pigs.
If there are signs of genetic issues, they could be much more serious than you realize. Sometimes there can be blindness, deafness, or other problems that may not be readily apparent, especially to those who aren’t super familiar with guinea pigs. This is a rarer occurrence but still one to be aware of if you notice that your guinea pig is staring a lot.
6. They’re Hungry
Food is a driving factor for most pets out there. It is the basis on which they live their lives. So, why should the guinea pig be any different? If your guinea pig is staring at you and they have no food available, they could just be trying to will you into giving them food.
Guinea pigs can be completely patient and silent while others stare and shriek when they want food. It all depends on the type of guinea pig that you have and their own little personality.
7. They’re Sick
Determining if your guinea pig is sick can be difficult but it’s in the little things. They may stare off into space, but that can be hard to tell since guinea pigs do a lot of staring. But there are other signs to be aware of as well.
If they sit hunched over, tilt their head, show weight loss or a lack of energy, have less of an appetite, or sneeze or wheeze, then it could be a telltale sign that there is something wrong with them. Just watch them closely to see if they require a trip to the vet.