Why Does Your Guinea Pig Run Up Your Neck? (Here’s The Scoop)

So, you’ve settled on the couch with your pet guinea pig on your lap. Suddenly, he’s on the move. As he begins to climb up your neck, you may be wondering why guinea pigs behave this way? Is it common? Or is it something that guinea pigs just do?

Typically, guinea pigs who run up their owner’s necks are showing that they feel safe with that person. Guinea pigs are prey animals who fear being attacked, so it’s not surprising for them to “hide” cradled in the neck of their owner – especially if the owner has long hair.

This article will explore what guinea pigs do when they’re on the move so you can stop wondering why your guinea pig runs up your neck. Read on to find out more.

Why Does Your Guinea Pig Run Up Your Neck?

why does your guinea pig run up your neck

Take it as a compliment. Many guinea pig owners complain about their piggies running away from them. But, if your guinea pig is trying to run up you neck…well, that’s a clear sign of affection.

But, there are a couple of reasons why your little friend my try to snuggle you there: for safety, for warmth, for comfort.

7 secret guinea pig hacks

Safety: Many cavies enjoy snuggling their owners’ necks, because it makes them feel safe. The security that being cradled there is very appealing to your fur baby. The more secure (and less terrified) a guinea pig feels the happier they are!

Warmth: Guinea pigs like to be warm and cozy, too. Not too cozy, though. The perfect temperature for a piggie is between 65 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit (or 18-23 degrees Celcius). Don’t house your piggies near strong heat sources (e.g. fire places, direct sunlight) or in chilly, drafty areas – like garages.

Comfort: Your little friend might just want to get comfortable. During lap time, it might just be that your cavy doesn’t like staying in your lap. Perhaps your fur baby prefers to have closer

What Should I Do If My Guinea Pigs Runs Up My Neck?

So, your guinea pig is running up your neck. What to do? First of all, don’t panic. There are a few things you can do if your piggie is a happy-go-lucky neck-snuggler:

  • Watch out for those heights. Make sure that your little friend doesn’t fall off your shoulder. Even though guinea pigs don’t have any trouble navigating in the dark, they do have poor depth perception. That means they can’t tell when they’re about to run off the edge of something.
  • Double down on the experience with a blanket. Guinea pigs like to be hidden and feel safe, so they can enjoy curling up with you in the warmth of your shoulder. A small, fleece blanket draped over both of you will do just fine for extra coverage.
  • Wear old clothes. Piggies are piggies. And sometime piggies gotta poop…and pee. If you ‘re guinea pig is a little too excited to play, they may accidentally go where they shouldn’t. You can avoid this by wearing old clothes when you plan on snuggling with your piggies- and tossing them in the laundry once the coast is clear.

How Do I Stop My Guinea Pig From Running Up My Neck?

why does my guinea pig run up my neck

If you don’t want your guinea pig to run up your neck, then there are a couple things you can try to stop the behavior. Nothing is 100% guaranteed to work, but a combination of these tips might help you.

  • Keep a soft, blanket in your lap. If you don’t want your little friend on your neck, you have to offer a more comfortable place for him to snuggle. The blanket might be appealing enough to keep him on the ground instead of nuzzled in your neck.
  • Keep a few treats in your lap. Cavies are very food motivated. So, keeping a few treats in your hands – near your lap – might encourage your fur babies to keep their feet on the ground.
  • Have lap time in the middle of the day on occasion. Guinea pigs are more active during the early morning and evening, because they’re crepuscular. If you snag them for lap time during the day, they might not be as energetic – so they might not be as likely to run up your neck.

Final Thoughts About Guinea Guinea Pigs and Neck Snuggling

Guinea pigs are social creatures that enjoy being around people and other guinea pigs. When guinea pigs run up a human’s neck, they may just want to be close for warmth or comfort; it might also be their way of saying hello.

If you’re not interested in guinea pig snuggles on your shoulders, there are several things you can try to discourage the behavior:

  • keep food treats nearby so they don’t need to climb onto your lap
  • play with your fur babies when they’re not quite as active
  • offer them a blanket instead of shoulder space- this will give them something comfortable to cuddle with while still feeling hidden

So, will you encourage your little friends to keep running up your neck? Or will you help them find a more appropriate place to snuggle?

Let me know in the comments below.

7 secret guinea pig hacks

Behaviour – Guinea pigs – Our pets. (n.d.). The Largest Animal Welfare Charity in the UK | RSPCA. https://www.rspca.org.uk/adviceandwelfare/pets/rodents/guineapigs/behaviour

Domestic Guinea pig. (n.d.). BioWeb Home. https://bioweb.uwlax.edu/bio203/s2008/nickel_sara/interactions.htm

Guinea pig housing. (n.d.). The Humane Society of the United States. https://www.humanesociety.org/resources/guinea-pig-housing

How to help a Guinea pig feel less anxious. (2014, December 12). wikiHow. Retrieved July 16, 2021, from https://www.wikihow.com/Help-a-Guinea-Pig-Feel-Less-Anxious

Multistate outbreak of Salmonella Enteritidis infections linked to pet Guinea pigs | Multistate outbreak of Salmonella Enteritidis infections linked to pet Guinea pigs | March 2018 | Salmonella | CDC. (2019, March 6). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/salmonella/guinea-pigs-03-18/index.html

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