Do Guinea Pigs Get Sad When Another Dies?

Guinea pigs, also known as cavies, are social animals that form strong bonds with their companions. As such, the loss of a cage mate can have a profound impact on them. While it may be challenging to determine if guinea pigs experience emotions like sadness, there are observable behaviors that suggest they can be affected by the death of a fellow guinea pig. In this article, we will explore the topic of guinea pig grieving and provide insights into how you can support your guinea pig during this difficult time.

Do Guinea Pigs Get Sad When Another Dies?

Understanding Guinea Pig Social Nature

Before delving into the effects of a guinea pig’s companion’s death, it is crucial to understand their social nature. Guinea pigs are highly social animals that thrive on companionship. In their natural habitat, they live in herds or groups, forming close-knit bonds with their fellow cavies. These bonds involve various social interactions such as grooming, vocalizations, and playing together. Guinea pigs seek comfort and security in their social groups, making them highly reliant on their cage mates for emotional support.

Signs of Grief in Guinea Pigs

When a guinea pig loses a companion, they may exhibit signs of grief. While it is essential to remember that each guinea pig is unique and may respond differently, some common behaviors associated with grief include:

  1. Loss of appetite: A grieving guinea pig may show a decrease in appetite or even refuse to eat altogether. This loss of interest in food can be a result of the emotional distress they are experiencing.
  2. Increased vocalizations: Guinea pigs may vocalize more frequently after the loss of a cage mate. These vocalizations can range from whistling and chirping to low rumbling sounds. It is their way of expressing their emotions and seeking comfort.
  3. Lethargy and withdrawal: Grieving guinea pigs may become more withdrawn, spending more time alone and displaying less interest in their surroundings. They may appear listless and exhibit decreased activity levels.
  4. Changes in grooming habits: Guinea pigs are meticulous groomers, and when grieving, they may neglect their grooming routine. This can lead to a disheveled or unkempt appearance.
  5. Social withdrawal: The loss of a companion can cause guinea pigs to withdraw from social interactions with humans and other guinea pigs. They may seek solitude, preferring to spend time alone in their hideouts.
  6. Seeking closeness: On the other hand, some guinea pigs may display clingy behavior, seeking extra attention and physical contact from their human caretakers. They may approach their owners more frequently, seeking comfort and reassurance.

Providing Support and Comfort

As a guinea pig owner, there are several ways you can support your grieving guinea pig during this difficult time:

Providing Support and Comfort
  1. Maintain a routine: Stick to your guinea pig’s regular feeding, play, and cleaning schedules. Consistency and predictability can provide a sense of security during times of grief.
  2. Provide companionship: Spending extra time with your guinea pig can help alleviate their feelings of loneliness. Engage in gentle interactions, such as talking softly, petting, and offering treats.
  3. Introduce a new companion: After an appropriate mourning period, considering introducing a new guinea pig to provide companionship for your grieving cavy. Ensure proper introductions and monitoring to ensure compatibility.
  4. Create a comforting environment: Place familiar items, such as their previous cage mate’s bedding or toys, in their habitat. This can provide a sense of familiarity and comfort.
  5. Monitor their health: Keep a close eye on your guinea pig’s physical and mental well-being. If you notice any significant changes in behavior or health, consult a veterinarian.


While guinea pigs’ emotional experiences are not fully understood, the observable behaviors associated with grief suggest that they can indeed be affected by the loss of a companion. Providing support, maintaining routines, and offering companionship can help your guinea pig navigate this challenging time.

Remember, each guinea pig is unique, so it’s essential to observe and respond to their individual needs. By understanding and acknowledging their emotional well-being, you can provide the care and comfort necessary to help them cope with the loss of a cage mate.

About Sharmin Koli

She is a passionate publisher who has recently joined the team at Rodents Info. With a background in National University, Koli brings a unique perspective to the world of rodents. She is excited to contribute to a website that offers valuable information on topics ranging from rodent control to pet care. Koli has a deep love and appreciation for rodents and is dedicated to sharing her knowledge and expertise with others who share this passion. We are thrilled to have Koli as a part of our team and are excited to see the valuable contributions she will make to our website.

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