The Green-Eyed Monster: Can Guinea Pigs Feel Jealousy?

When you own multiple guinea pigs, things can get overwhelming and tricky. Many animals, like cats and dogs, get jealous when their owners spend too much time with other animals, which can result in some unwanted issues. However, many guinea pig owners wonder if their pets can get jealous regardless of their species.

Guinea pigs can experience many human emotions, including jealousy. Many factors contribute to their jealousy, including a lack of attention and resources such as food and shelter. When they get jealous, they can get aggressive toward their owners and become unhappy.

It can be challenging to understand and address the needs of guinea pigs because of the species’ distinctive body language, vocalizations, and ways of living. The guinea pig’s emotional processing and display are also surprisingly similar to that of humans.

Can Guinea Pigs Experience Jealousy?

When you have more than one guinea pig, you might notice that one gets unhappy and uncomfortable when the other gets attention. Guinea pigs get jealous and can act out towards other animals, guinea pigs, and humans when they do. If one guinea pig gets more attention and care, the others might develop jealousy. They will want all the attention since they live in a social hierarchy.

Leaving your guinea pig alone for too long might cause feelings of jealousy when you return and give attention to other pets.

Generally, guinea pigs are friendly creatures. When you give more attention to one, the others might express aggressive behavior and other behavioral issues. They can fight one another, which will lead to injuries, and in some cases, death. As long as they maintain a good relationship between them, you won’t experience any problems.

Do Guinea Pigs Get Jealous Of Each Other?

Guinea pigs mostly get jealous of each other. Usually, people keep guinea pigs in large social groups, so it’s not uncommon for them to experience jealousy toward each other. Some groups in the wild can be as large as 100 in one space. Guinea pigs share many of their resources, including the attention of their owners, which leads to jealousy.

In captivity, guinea pigs are fewer, leading to less jealousy. A few factors, like age, size, and strength, also count toward the hierarchy. This social ranking will determine who gets access to resources such as food and shelter. Guinea pigs can also act out when you suddenly remove them from their friends, as they are used to being around others.

Do Guinea Pigs Get Jealous Of Other Animals?

Social connections, boundaries, and experiences are essential to guinea pigs, so while jealousy is not uncommon for them, it might be directed toward other domesticated animals. It’s not very common for guinea pigs to get jealous of other animals. They will get jealous of them sometimes, so it’s better to watch for any strange behavior.

Do Guinea Pigs Get Jealous Of People?

You shouldn’t be shocked when your guinea pig decides to get in between you and your human companion when you communicate. Guinea pigs may get jealous of your partners and friends you spend time with around them. In addition, guinea pigs also understand human emotions, and they are aware when you give your partner more attention.

When you spend time with your friends, your guinea pig can try and interfere by forcing you to pamper them. When this situation happens, you shouldn’t be too harsh since the guinea pig can also get aggressive, and it can result in more aggressive behavior in the future.

Babies are also a significant cause of jealousy among guinea pigs. Since babies need more attention, the guinea pigs will feel neglected and have reduced time with you. They will get angry when you don’t spend as much time with them as with the baby.

Having your guinea pigs in a routine will be much better for you and them. When you have more than one guinea pig, you should spend enough time with them individually to ensure they don’t get jealous quickly. When you ignore them, it will only make their behavior worse in the future.

Signs Of Jealousy In Guinea Pigs

It is essential to notice the signs of jealousy in guinea pigs; you should know what to do when this happens. One of the most common signs of jealousy is that they will involve themselves in whatever you do. For example, if you are holding a guinea pig, the jealous one will come up to you and start bumping you with its nose, or it will nip you.

Another sign of jealousy is fighting among the guinea pigs. The guinea pigs might maintain a normal relationship with others and suddenly turn and attack. In addition, they can start showing aggressive behavior and cause a stir in their cages. It’s best to look out for behavior like this to ensure they don’t get hurt or become unhappy since having a happy guinea pig will always bring you great joy.

Causes Of Jealousy In Guinea Pigs

Since guinea pigs rely entirely on you for their needs and attention, they will get bored quickly, especially when you are not around. There are many reasons your guinea pig might get jealous. While lack of attention is the main one, you should consider a few other factors, like:

  • Social ranking – Since guinea pigs are social animals, there is a colonial ranking. They might become aggressive and jealous when they feel like they are not at the top. When one guinea pig gets better treatment, the other might feel as if they are lower in status
  • Schedule change – They will notice any difference in their schedule immediately. You should keep their feeding times and play times on schedule to ensure they don’t act out
  • Unwanted changes – Guests and babies can also disrupt the guinea pigs. When their owners give all their attention to the guest or baby, they will get jealous as well

How To Deal With Jealous Guinea Pigs

Guinea pigs are friendly creatures overall. However, if you discover signs of envy in a handful of them, you must supply a long-term remedy. Consider what has just changed if you detect jealous bickering among your guinea pigs. Luckily there are a few ways you can deal with their jealousy, including:

  • Treat every guinea pig the same – You can avoid jealousy by treating your guinea pigs equally. You should provide them with the same meal at the same time. Although it’s normal for you to have a favorite pet, don’t give one guinea pig too much attention and neglect the others
  • Keep them busy with activities – Inactivity is a significant factor in guinea pigs becoming jealous of one another. If you’re handling multiple pets, a guinea pig distracted by its toys could not even notice you. Be sure to provide your guinea pigs with a stimulating home. As a result, they will have a good time all day long
  • Ensure they have enough food – Guinea pigs can fight and get jealous when they don’t have enough food or shelter. You should make sure they always have enough warmth, food, and water inside their cages

Conclusion

When one guinea pig receives more attention than another, the other guinea pigs may get jealous and aggressive. Unexpected shifts easily unsettle the guinea pigs. You can prevent your guinea pig from becoming jealous by providing equal care for all guinea pigs, giving them enough to do, and feeding them regularly.