Guinea pigs make wonderful pets, and it is a lot of fun to observe their individual personalities and mannerisms. As people become accustomed to their first guinea pig, they notice certain traits that they all have in common. One of these characteristics is that they love to hide.
Guinea pigs hide when people enter the room, when people try to pick them up, or when they feel like it. Some people take it personally or worry that the guinea pig is unhappy or frightened, but this is actually an innate characteristic of guinea pigs.

Five Reasons Why Your Guinea Pig Is Hiding

Hiding is a natural guinea pig behavior, but there are several different reasons why your guinea pig might be hiding, including the following:

1. Instinct

The first reason why guinea pigs hide is instinct. Guinea pigs are prey animals, and they have built-in instincts that protect them. They feel more comfortable relaxing in a hiding place even when they are living in a home without any dangers present. All animals have natural survival instincts that are designed to keep them safe in the wild, and they don’t go away when they live in captivity. Hiding is one of the guinea pig’s best survival instincts.
Although guinea pigs have been kept as pets for many years, there was a time when they lived in the wild. Similar to rabbits, they were prey and they spent most of their time hiding from predators. They have lived as pets for thousands of years, which has made them more trusting and friendlier than wild guinea pigs, but they still have some of their instincts.

2. Predators

You may not think that you have predators living in your home, but if you have dogs or cats, your guinea pig considers them to be predators. Even if your other pets have no interest in your guinea pig, it will know that they are there and it is likely to spend a lot of time hidden. In the wild, guinea pigs are hunted by all kinds of predators, from foxes to wolves to birds and more. Guinea pigs will consider any other animal a predator, including people, and it may take some time before they trust you or your pets.

3. Illness

Sometimes guinea pigs are hiding because they are sick. It is important that you become familiar with your guinea pig’s normal behavior so that you can recognize it when they aren’t feeling well. Some guinea pigs are more social than others, and they may hide more when they aren’t feeling well. Even a shy guinea pig will come out for food and exercise throughout the day, while a sick guinea pig is likely to stay hidden.
Guinea pigs are known for hiding their illness until it is serious. If your guinea pig stays hidden for more than 12 hours, you should check on it to make sure that it isn’t sick.

4. Loud Noises

You may have noticed that guinea pigs are afraid of loud noises. However, it’s more than just loud noises; it’s any noise that is out of the ordinary in their environment. When you first bring your guinea pig home, it may hide when it hears people talking, the television, the vacuum, or other everyday noises.
Over time, it will become more comfortable when it learns that these noises aren’t a threat. It will still hide from a sudden door slamming, a horn honking, and other noises that don’t happen all the time.

5. Sadness

Sometimes guinea pigs hide because they are sad or depressed. Guinea pigs live with other guinea pigs by nature, and they are social even if they are shy. If your guinea pig lives alone and doesn’t spend a lot of time with you or another family member, it could be depressed. If your guinea pig is feeling this way, you will notice that it doesn’t come out very often. It won’t look curious or active, and it can even be somewhat lethargic.
If you have a guinea pig, you should consider getting it a friend. They will interact with each other, talk to each other, and share a bond. No matter how much time you spend with your guinea pig, it can’t replace the relationship that two guinea pigs can share.

Final Thoughts

Guinea pigs have certain instincts that are part of who they are. Hiding is a common guinea pig behavior, although it can have many different causes. A happy, healthy guinea pig will spend time hiding when it wants to take a nap because it feels more secure. If you notice your guinea pig looking lethargic, frightened, or sad, try to determine what is causing the behavior. It could be afraid of something in your home, or it could feel sick or lonely.