3 Simple Reasons Why Guinea Pigs Pee On Each Other

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One strange behavior that guinea pigs have is peeing on each other. It may seem weird, but there’s actually a reason behind it. So, what does it mean when they pee on each other?

Typically, guinea pigs pee on each other to show dominance. The dominant guinea pig will pee on the subordinate, which shows its authority. It could also mean that the guinea pigs are marking their territory or that they are mad at each other. It honestly depends on the situation.

two guinea pigs wondering why they pee on each other

This is normal behavior for your fur babies, but it also carries a message. Make sure to figure out the root cause of any problems before they get worse.

Keep reading to get to learn more about why cavies often like to pee on each other and the reason behind other unusual behaviors pigs often exhibit!

1. Dominance

a tip about why guinea pigs pee on each other
Sometimes your piggie will squire everywhere (and everything) like a busted fire hydrant. But, it’s easy to understand why…when you take the time to observe your little friends.

Just like in bigger animal communities, guinea pigs have a social hierarchy. This means that some animals are more dominant than others. The way dominance is determined varies depending on things like the animal’s age, sex, size, and personality.

The dominant guinea pig will be the one in charge – they’re the one who gets to enjoy more privileges of the herd, like to eat first, sleep in the best spot, and so on. The submissive cavies will usually follow the dominant pig’s orders and be less active.

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And yes, one way dominant piggies assert their authority over others is by peeing on them. It’s a pig’s way of marking them as their property and letting them know who the boss is. (I know, pretty gross, right?)

Guinea pig dominance is a natural behavior that you usually don’t need to worry about. As long as the other piggies are willing to be submissive to the dominant pig, there won’t be any violence or aggression. The hierarchy will usually stay stable.

But, if you do see any signs of aggression, it’s best to separate your piggies (perhaps just in separate cages that are still close together) and try to figure out why your guinea pigs are suddenly fighting.

But again, guinea pig dominance doesn’t last forever. As long as the whole herd acknowledges and accepts the dominant cavy (and there’s no challengers), then the social order will usually stay the same.

So yes, the next time you see one pig pee on the cage mate, what you’re witnessing is likely a dominance ritual – and it’s usually not anything to worry about.

Other Dominance Behaviors In Guinea Pigs

Boss piggies don’t just pee on the submissive piggies.  There’s also a bunch of teeth chattering, rumble strutting and mounting that happens.

  • Teeth Chattering: This behavior occurs when the dominant pig feels threatened or challenged. The dominant pig will chatter their teeth to warn the other pig and show that they’re not afraid.
  • Rumble Strutting: This behavior happens when the dominant pig feels confident. The dominant pig will walk around with their head held high and their back straight while making a low humming noise.
  • Mounting: Mounting is another way the dominant pig shows its dominance. The dominant pig will jump on top of the subordinate pig and push their hips forward. It’s a sign of dominance, but it can also signify aggression.

As you can see, there’s several different ways the “boss” guinea pig can declare his dominance. But again, as long as the subordinate pig is willing to comply, there won’t be any fighting or violence or aggression. Everything will remain (relatively) peaceful.

3 tips about why guinea pigs pee on each other
All piggies are a little bizarre – even yours. Embrace the weird.

2. Marking Territory

Guinea pigs might pee on each other to mark their territory. Just like dogs and cats will pee on objects in their environment to tell other animals that they belong to them, cavies will do the same thing – with things and with other piggies.

When more than one cavy is living together, one of them (the boss pig) often pee on each other to mark their territory. It’ll often be the male guinea pig (boar) peeing on female piggies (sow) to let other pigs know that she belongs to him.  But it can also be the female showing that she’s the main big in charge of a group of females.

Again, much like dominance behavior, this is a natural, instinctual behavior, and there’s not much you can do to stop it. But as long as the pigs are okay with the decision, the behavior won’t result in anything negative.

But if you’re having trouble with two fur babies who keep peeing on each other or you feel like a fight might be brewing, it’s best to separate them and give them some space – BEFORE anything gets too heated.

Once they have calmed down, you can try reintroducing them slowly and see if the behavior stops.

3. Irritated

Guinea pigs can get irritated for several reasons, such as when they are in heat, experiencing hormonal spikes, or feeling stressed or anxious.

You see, the heat cycle of female guinea pigs lasts for about 15 to 17 days, although the range is 13 to 21 days.

During this time, the female guinea pig will become more vocal, and she might also start to spray urine all over the place. This is a way for her to let the male guinea pig know that she is ready to mate.

Male piggies will also experience hormonal spikes around this time. This results from their breeding instinct kicking in, and it can cause them to become very aggressive and territorial.

Sometimes the irritation can come from stress. Maybe one pig is just having a bad day and is taking it out on the other pigs. Or maybe there’s a recent change in the environment (like a new pet or person in the house) that’s made one of your piggies uncomfortable (hey, it happens!).

Is It Normal For Guinea Pigs To Pee On Each Other? 

Yes, it’s perfectly normal for guinea pigs to pee on each other. Just as communication is normal for humans, so is peeing on each other for guinea pigs. Actually, the pee carries your pig’s loud-and-clear message to the cage mates.

What this means is that it’s normal for your pigs to pee on each other. There’s nothing wrong with it (in most cases), so don’t stop them.

Otherwise, you might interrupt whatever it is that they’re trying to communicate to each other. And they’ll get irritated and stressed, because they won’t have had a chance to sort things out on their own.

(Be honest. How would you feel is someone kept jumping into your conversation and trying to stop you from talking?)

Peeing is just one way your fur babies communicate with each other. And you have to let them do it.

Do Guinea Pigs Lick Each Other’s Pee? 

Yes, guinea pigs very often lick each other’s pee. Guinea pigs will encode some message in their urine, so licking each others’ pee helps them know whether there’s any vital information in the urine. 

For example, if one of the guinea pigs is ill, their urine will contain toxins that the other piggies will be able to smell. And once they smell it, they’ll lick the affected guinea pig to let them know that something is wrong.

And sometimes licking each other’s pee is a way for males to know if females are pregnant or not – and if she’s in heat or not.

Keep in mind that a lot of communication between cavies  happens through scent, taste, and hearing.

Why?

No one knows for sure, but it’s probably because their eyesight is so poor. So, it can seem weird to us when guinea pigs start peeing on each other. But to them, it’s perfectly natural – and it’s just one way they communicate.

What Does It Mean When A Female Guinea Pig Squirts Pee? 

When a female guinea pig squirts pee, it means she’s annoyed, stressed, or wants to show dominance over the other guinea pigs. If you see her do this, the message that she’s typically sending is “get out of my face”.

Why Do My Female Guinea Pigs Mount Each Other? 

Female guinea pigs often mount each other to show dominance and that they are in heat. So if you see this behavior occasionally, don’t be alarmed – it’s just a normal part of their behavior.

Your little friends have a way of establishing dominance in their pack. When you have two new guinea pigs together in the same space, one will start to hump the other. This is when your piggie is trying to show that she’s the dominant one and will keep going until the other piggies get the message.

While humping, the guinea pig may also squeal loudly or try to urinate on the other pigs. This is all part of their way of claiming their dominance and showing who’s boss.

If you see your guinea pigs humping each other, leave them alone. It’s just a normal part of their social behavior.

Why Do My Guinea Pigs Pee On Me? 

Your guinea pig is peeing on you as a way to show that they are unhappy with you, are trying to dominate you, or are feeling nervous. However, in most cases, guinea pigs pee because they can’t hold it any longer.

Your guinea pig can’t talk like we do (unfortunately), so you can’t ask them why they are peeing on you. However, according to animal behaviorists, your pigs do that for a reason.

If you pay attention to your little friend, it shouldn’t take long to figure out the root cause of why he keeps peeing on you. If the guinea pig is unhappy with something you’re doing, then you need to change what you’re doing.

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Let’s Wrap Up

Guinea pigs pee on others for various reasons. It could be a way of showing dominance, marking territory, or even expressing irritation. In any case, if you see your fur babies doing this, it’s usually best to just let them be and not intervene.

While it could be a little hard to figure out the actual cause of the behavior, it’s still possible when you get to learn about your pet more.

So just keep an eye out for their behavior and you’ll eventually understand why they’re doing it. And once you do, take the necessary steps to address the issue (if there actually is an issue) as soon as possible.

Hixon J. (n.d.). Guinea pig. University of Michigan: Museum of Zoology. https://animaldiversity.org/accounts/Cavia_porcellus/

Jeremy. (2020, October 14). How Long Does Guinea Pig Dominance Last? [What Can You Expect?]. Pet Educate. https://peteducate.com/how-long-does-guinea-pig-dominance-last/ 

Purdue University. (n.d.). Care of Guinea Pigs. https://vet.purdue.edu/vth/files/documents/Care%20of%20Guinea%20Pigs.pdf 

RSPCA. (n.d.). What do I need to know about my guinea pigs’ health? https://kb.rspca.org.au/knowledge-base/what-do-i-need-to-know-about-my-guinea-pigs-health/ 

The Biological Bulletin. Observations on the Sexual Cycle of the Guinea Pig. Vol. 38, No. 4 (Apr., 1920), pp. 237-250. https://www.jstor.org/stable/1536328?seq=1 

Young, W. C., Dempsey, E. W., & Myers, H. I. (1935). Cyclic reproductive behavior in the female guinea pig. Journal of Comparative Psychology, 19(2), 313–335. https://doi.org/10.1037/h0060351 

Zarbock M. (2017, February 3). Why Do Guinea Pigs Pee On People? https://lafeber.com/mammals/why-do-guinea-pigs-pee-on-people/ 

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