<!-- Global site tag (gtag.js) Skip to Content

Guinea Pig Teeth Chattering And What It Means

This article will answer the reasons for guinea pig teeth chattering. Guinea pigs, like all animals, can’t talk but still need to be heard. Guinea pigs have their own set of body language and guinea pig sounds that will help you learn how to read your new guinea pig.

As pet owners of guinea pigs, you will learn to recognize their variety of sounds and their meaning.

What does it mean when you see a guinea pig’s teeth chattering?

When a guinea pig’s teeth are chattering, it’s typically a warning sign. Your pet guinea pigs are trying to tell you that they need some personal space. This is a sign of a guinea pig asking you to back up or remove the other guinea pig that they are frustrated with.

guinea pig face
Photo credit- Canva

Here are some other signs to watch for when your guinea pigs teeth are chattering;

Here are some other signs to watch for when your guinea pigs teeth are chattering;

Guinea pig teeth chattering is often their form of aggressive vocalization. They are trying to let you know that they aren’t in a good situation.

  • A hissing noise often accompanies chattering. -A hissing noise means the same thing as teeth chattering. They are hissing as a sign of aggression.
  • Teeth chattering can be accompanied by hair fluffing.-Hair fluffing is usually a sign of aggression and an act of dominance.
  • Signs of anxiety-If your guinea pig is having teeth-chattering, he feels a bit anxious and irritated.
  • Sound of annoyance-When you hear your furry friend’s teeth chattering, they are likely very annoyed with the situation they are in.
  • Showing of teeth (yawn)-When they feel threatened or want to show dominance, guinea pig’s teeth will show, which to the guinea pig parent will look as if they are yawning. They are not, and this is a sign to separate your piggies or place them back in their cage if they are in your hand.
  • Getting on their hind legs and stiffing their legs.-This is typically a sign of aggressive behavior that can be seen with teeth chattering. 
  • Strutting- This is when your guinea pig gets stiff legs and moves side to side. This is likely another sign of aggression and is often seen with teeth chattering. However, this can also be seen when they want to mate with teeth chattering.

It’s a good idea to be familiar with teeth chatter and what their body language is telling you so you can act appropriately.

If your guinea pig has a roommate, you should separate them until the agitated one calms down then you can reintroduce them.

Guinea pigs can also tell you that they are sick with teeth chattering, but most commonly, it’s from being agitated.

How do you know if guinea pigs are trying to tell you that they are angry or sick with teeth chattering?

It’s important to survey the situation on how your guinea pig feels when you see a guinea pig chatter. As pet parents, we need to pay close attention to what’s going on with their cage mates during chattering, or if you’re holding them, you need to put them back in their cage and give them a break.

If they are teeth chattering by themselves in their cage, make sure to check for any health issues. If that’s not the case, it’s likely something in their environment; maybe they want the cage cleaned or need something.

Guinea pigs make different noises, not just angry ones.

guinea pig relaxing
Photo credit- Canva

What are common noises guinea pigs make?

We already covered teeth chattering and hissing; let’s cover the others.


There are different purs according to how guinea pigs are feeling. A deep purring sound is usually a calm guinea pig; you can tell this in their body language. 

If the end of the purr is higher pitched, this is typically a tense, annoyed guinea pig. 

The last purr is a short purr. This typically happens when a guinea pig is fearful. They will often pause in a trance-like state when making this type of purr because they are unsure of their current environment.


Wheeking is a happy guinea pig sound they make, and they make it often. It’s a sound of joy for getting food and tasty treats to you show you their sign of excitement. This is a very common sound they make.


Yep, that’s right, guinea pigs can whine. Whining is usually a sign that a guinea pig is annoyed but not to the point of being aggressive, like teeth chattering. Whining most typically happens when they’ve been held for a while and want to be put down or if they are unhappy in general.


You will hear a deep purring noise which is known as rumbling. Rumbling can be thought of as a mating call typically from the male guinea pig. However, female guinea pigs also make the mating call showing interest to the male guinea pig. When guinea pigs start rumbling, you typically see them begin to do a little dance as well. This is typically referred to as rumble strutting, a mating dance they do.

Shrieking/ screaming-

Shrieking is typically heard when your guinea pig is in pain, discomfort, or extremely fearful. If you hear this, it’s likely a sign that your guinea pig may need to be taken to the vet.


A chirping guinea pig can have multiple reasons behind it, and it isn’t fully understood why they do it. It’s typically to get your attention if they are in need of something. They have also been noted as upset noises like their fellow cage mate has passed away.


A cooing guinea pig is typically heard from mother guinea pigs to their babies, but it can be heard other times as well.


Whistling is common noise that guinea pigs make when they are excited. You will often hear this when you’re coming home to see your guinea pig or when they are about to get fed.

As a guinea pig owner, it’s important for you to learn the distinctive noises guinea pigs make. This will help you understand your guinea pig and help keep the environment of your guinea pig a good one.

Remember guinea pig teeth chattering is a clear meaning that they are angry, frustrated, or about to be aggressive and should be dealt with appropriately by;

  • Separating your guinea pigs until the chattering one calms down.
  • Put your guinea pig back in its cage if you’re holding it while it’s chattering.
  • Don’t leave two guinea pigs alone while this is happening; they will likely end up fighting.

Want to learn more about guinea pigs?

For information on sources check out our reference page.