Guinea pigs are active and social animals that love to play, cuddle, and interact with each other. They have a playful and curious character, but can also be very shy. In order to keep them healthy and happy, they need mental stimulation and physical exercise. It is important to offer guinea pigs some kind of entertainment in the enclosures so that they won’t get bored.
As a whole, a guinea pig should be kept in an entertaining cage filled with various places to hide, things to crawl through, and toys to play with. They should have enough space to run around, play with each other, and hide.
In the following, you will find ideas on how to entertain your guinea pigs, and how to keep them stimulated.
What Do Guinea Pigs Enjoy the Most?
Guinea pigs don’t climb up in a cage or jump around as other rodents do. They don’t need a second level in the enclosure and prefer to stay on the ground, which is also safer for them as they might fall off a higher level due to their lack of climbing skills.
Just like any other pet, guinea pigs can get bored easily, and since they don’t climb around, a common issue is gaining too much weight due to the lack of exercise.
Guinea Pigs Like to Socialize
One of the most important things to keep a guinea pig entertained is company. Wild guinea pigs live together in big groups and need their herd to feel safe and happy.
Even if you spend a lot of time with your pets, it’s not the same as having a cage-mate. Guinea pigs like to cuddle and communicate with each other.
It is essential to own at least two guinea pigs if you want them to be happy.
Guinea Pigs Like to Hide
Guinea pigs are prey animals. That means that they tend to run away and hide if they sense any kind of danger.
This is why some houses and other shelters are essential for a guinea pig’s well-being. Houses and hideouts don’t always have to be made of wood or hay.
You can also use your cardboard boxes and cut an entrance into one side. Guinea pigs will love a DIY house just as much as a bought one. Just keep in mind that cardboard won’t last too long.
You can use your shoeboxes, tissue boxes, cereal boxes, or other cardboard boxes you find in your household. Tape and glue should be removed. You might not want to use shipping boxes, because those might be dirty, or sprayed with a disinfectant.
You can also put some tunnels made of hay or wood in the enclosure.
Guinea Pigs Love to Explore
Guinea pigs are easily scared, but they are also very curious and love to explore new places.
This is why a playpen for guinea pigs is a great idea. You can also prepare a guinea pig safe room where your pets can run free, but keep in mind that they might leave their poo on the ground.
If you have the possibility to do so, put the playpen outdoors for some (supervised) outdoor activity. Make sure that the playpen is not in direct sunlight to protect your furry friends.
Guinea Pigs Like Things That Rustle
Funny noises are another way to keep your pets entertained. You can crumble up some paper and put it in the enclosure. Your curious guinea pigs will be happy to play with this new toy.
Guinea Pigs Love to Nibble on Hay
Guinea pigs need to eat hay to trim down their teeth. You can put the hay in a paper tube (e.g. a toilet paper roll) and let the guinea pigs pull out the hay.
You can also use hay or grass chew balls, as well as chew sticks to entertain your pets.
Guinea Pigs Love to Eat
Guinea pigs should be offered fresh vegetables every day.
Instead of simply throwing the veggies in the enclosure, you can make it more entertaining and challenging for them by putting the vegetables in paper rolls, scattering them around in the cage, or putting them in a feeding tower where the guinea pigs have to pull their veggies out.
Guinea Pigs Like Obstacle Courses and Labyrinth
Not every guinea pig will love an obstacle course, but if they do, it’s a great way to keep them entertained.
Small ramps, holes to climb through, a ladder to balance on, or a box filled with paper balls are things that can be fun for your guinea pig. Make sure that your pet is safe at all times and cannot fall down and hurt itself.
Obstacle courses and labyrinths can be made out of cardboard, any wooden items, small furniture, pillows, children’s toys, boxes, or any other item you can find in your household.
Guinea Pigs Like to Cuddle
Guinea pigs like soft things they can cuddle with and sleep in.
Fleece blankets, pillows, and extra soft bedding are things that your pets will most likely enjoy and appreciate.
Guinea Pigs Like Variation
Just like any other living creature, guinea pigs can get bored if everything stays the same all the time.
You can change the cage arrangements whenever you clean the enclosure, offer a variety of different vegetables, and rotate the toys and houses.
The Best Toys for Guinea Pigs?
The best items for guinea pigs are hideouts, tunnels, a playpen, paper rolls filled with hay or treats soft blankets or cushions, and chew toys.
Here are our top picks for guinea pigs:
Do Guinea Pigs Need Entertainment?
Guinea pigs need some kind of entertainment, just like any other pet does. Entertaining a guinea pig does not mean that you need to let a TV run at all times, spend the entire day with your pet, or buy a huge amount of different toys.
Guinea pigs are entertained and stimulated by company, movements, toys, hideouts, challenges, and food. It is important to offer them some stimulation such as keeping the enclosure in a space where most of the family action takes place and letting them roam around in a guinea-pig-safe room or playpen every now and then.
If a guinea pig is not entertained, it can become bored and gain weight because it will stop moving around and only eat and sleep. And an overweight guinea pig can become sick.
Lisa is one of the two founders of Animal-Knowledge. She has been very interested in animals and insects from a very young age and has owned different kinds of pets such as snails, ants, fish, turtles, mice, rats, hamsters, rabbits, a dog, … you get the idea 🙂