Do Guinea Pigs Enjoy Being Held? Find Out Now

All good things in life take time, including getting your guinea pig to want to spend time with you. Since they are prey animals, most cavies are inherently skittish and often instinctively dart away when approached. If they run when you come closer, you may wonder if piggies like being held and petted.

Well-socialized guinea pigs that have had time to settle in their environment may like being held. Piggies have different personalities, and while some enjoy being close to their humans, others need more time to get used to it. Always hold the cavy against your body so it feels secure.

Whether piggies like being held or not has to do with the bond between owner and pet. Let’s find out how to convince your cute fluffball to enjoy spending quality time being held and cuddled.

Do Guinea Pigs Like Being Held?

Piggies are prey animals, so they naturally avoid situations where they feel trapped, especially if their feet are off the ground. Although guinea pigs can learn to enjoy cuddle sessions with their owners, it can take some time and a lot of patience to get to that point.

Newly adopted piggies need time to settle and feel safe before getting up close and personal with their special human. Even though you may be excited to cuddle your new pet, handling it soon after it arrives will frighten it.

Factors including the animal’s history, personality, and socialization affect how cavies react to being held. Being relaxed while being held is the result of a long socialization process for guinea pigs. Jumping right in and scooping up a frightened piggy is definitely not enjoyable for the animal.

There is no fixed timeline on how long it will take to get your pet piggy to enjoy being held. Some personalities never truly like being cuddled, while others love spending quality time with their owners, especially when tasty treats are included.

Even if you have a piggy that prefers just being petted, it is necessary to get them to tolerate being held. Routine grooming, including nail cutting and trips to the veterinarian, will be less stressful for the pet if they are used to the sensation.

How Do Guinea Pigs Like To Be Held?

Since piggies can be injured if they fall or are held too tightly, it is essential to know how to handle them correctly. They will warm up to regular cuddle sessions much faster if they feel safe and comfortable.

Always handle your guinea pig close to the floor in case the animal becomes restless and jumps away from you. To hold your guinea pig safely:

  • Move slowly when approaching the piggy so you seem less threatening.
  • Let the guinea pig smell you and speak softly to it in a calm, reassuring tone. Piggies don’t have great eyesight, and being lifted off the ground suddenly would be frightening.
  • Put one hand under its chest area.
  • Place your other hand under the cavy’s hind legs. Slowly and gently left the little animal.
  • Bring the piggy close to your body so it feels secure.

While holding the piggy, stay tuned to its body language and vocalizations. Sudden fidgeting or nibbling may mean it needs to pee, which can happen often since they have tiny bladders.

Only hold a cavy for short sessions of a few minutes to begin with. It helps to have some tasty snacks nearby to feed your piggy to sweeten the deal.

Do Guinea Pigs Like Being Picked Up?

Guinea pigs do not like being picked up. In the wild, the only time they would be lifted off the ground is if they were caught by a predator, so being picked up can be terrifying.

Of course, it is impossible to hold your piggy or move it around without lifting it. Using the correct technique of always supporting its back legs when picking it up will make the little animal feel more secure.

Some tips to remember when picking up your guinea pig:

  • Only pick the animal up using two hands.
  • Cavies have fragile spines, so only lift them while supporting their rear end.
  • Keep the animal close to the ground.
  • If you have a pair of piggies, only pick up one at a time.
  • Ensure the cavy feels secure in your hands and you have a good grip before lifting the animal off the ground.
  • Bring it up close against your body as soon as possible so that it feels more secure.

How Often Should You Hold Your Guinea Pig?

Newly adopted guinea pigs should be allowed plenty of time to settle down in their new environment without being held. As the animal settles, relaxes, and gets used to the daily routine, the relationship can progress to giving it treats, petting, and finally holding it.

How often you hold your piggy depends on its personality. Some enjoy being close to their owners. Others prefer to keep all four little paws on solid ground while being stroked and collecting treats.

Once you and your piggies know each other, you can hold them as often as everyone is comfortable and enjoying the experience. Remember that holding your guinea pig isn’t the only way to show love to your pet. Floor time can be equally rewarding and lots of fun for everyone.

How Long Should I Hold My Guinea Pig?

The length of most piggy-human interaction sessions is dictated by the animal’s bladder. Healthy cavies urinate every 15 minutes and may become agitated if they are being held when they need to relieve themselves.

While getting your piggy used to being held, only hold it for a few minutes, then reward it and let it return to its cage mates. Speak softly and calmly while interacting with it so it gets used to you and learns that you are a friend and bringer of tasty snacks.

Can Young Children Hold Guinea Pigs?

Guinea pigs can be wonderful family pets, but they are fragile, so young children must always be supervised when handling them. It is natural for little ones to want to cuddle and hold their pets, and with some guidance, they can enjoy interacting with their piggies.

Since cavies don’t like being picked up and may be uncomfortable being held, the best way for kids to pet their piggies is when sitting on the floor. They can offer the piggies some treats and stroke the animals gently.

Children must never be allowed to walk about carrying a guinea pig. Besides accidentally squeezing the little animal too hard, they could drop it and cause serious injuries.


Cavies are small, fragile animals that like to keep all four of their little paws squarely on the ground. Being held by a human may never become their favorite activity, but some do learn to relax and enjoy being cuddled.

It is essential to pick up the cavy correctly from the outset so it feels supported and secure. With some patience and plenty of positive reinforcements, your piggy may learn to enjoy being held and petted.