Guinea pigs are small pets that are very active. They can play all day and all night as though they are nocturnal animals.
They will chase each other around the cage and play together if they are two or more. If they are alone, they will still entertain themselves with toys and tunnels in their cage.
This is why you should always ensure that they have a large enough cage. Small cages like those found in pet stores offer no space for exercise, play, or running.
Guinea pigs love having little adventures and lack of stretching space will make them bored and depressed. Create tunnels in their cage and if possible have a higher level for them to climb up to.
Guinea pigs are curious animals and they enjoy climbing above their sleeping den to look at their surroundings. They will sit up there curiously observing everything going on around them or watching out for predators.
This information begs the question; are guinea pigs able to jump? Let’s find out.
Can guinea pigs jump?
Guinea pigs can jump between a height of 10-12 cm. The highest jump of a guinea pig is 12 inches. Most guinea pig jumps are referred to as popcorning where the small creature will hop in the air several times as if dancing. Guinea pigs will jump to express joy, while playing, trying to escape, or even when frightened. Younger guinea pigs will jump more actively compared to older ones who are naturally less active.
How high can guinea pigs jump
Guinea pigs can jump to a height of 20cm. This makes it essential to ensure that your pet’s cage is well above this to prevent them from jumping out.
The longest guinea pig jump ever recorded was done by Truffles who made and broke his record twice by jumping a distance of 48cm.
Why do guinea pigs jump
Guinea pigs jump because of several reasons. They include:
A popcorning guinea pig is a happy and excited guinea pig. The sudden jumping act of guinea pigs in the air is referred to as popcorning.
This is because it resembles a kernel of corn popping. Guinea pigs will usually popcorn when you give them a treat or fresh hay.
It’s their way of asking for more. If you notice your pet doing this, know it’s a sign of a happy and healthy guinea pig.
Guinea pigs are natural adventurers. They love running around sniffing things mostly outdoors which is their natural habitat.
This is why you should ensure that they get enough exercise by giving them a larger cage and taking them out regularly.
As they go on their adventures they may hop around whether it’s outdoors or inside their cages.
Guinea pigs are not as smart as rats who have been said to understand things like dogs. Rats and hamsters are escape artists and you can easily come back after 2 minutes to find an empty cage with your pet nowhere to be found if you aren’t careful.
Guinea pigs though are not that much of escape artists and they won’t plot their grand escape. However, if their cage is not high enough they may jump out and get lost.
This can happen especially if they saw something around the cage to scare them like your dog whom they may view as a predator.
Apart from seeing predators while in their cage and escaping, guinea pigs can also jump when you are holding them. Guinea pigs are easily scared and loud sounds can frighten them.
If you are not holding them firmly, your pet can jump out of your arms to run and hide away in safety.
What is my guinea pig not jumping anymore?
If your once very active guinea pig stops jumping as usual, you may get worried which is understandable. Causes that could make your pet stop jumping include:
- Old age.
Is my guinea pig having seizures or popcorning?
Seizures are rare in guinea pigs. Sometimes guinea pig owners may confuse popcorning with seizures.
Popcorning is a sudden jump while seizures involve your pet falling unconsciously.
Sometimes they could have mites that may be confused with seizures. Your piggy may cry out and fall sideways while twitching.
This is a sign of the skin parasite called guinea pig mange. It makes guinea pigs twitch out of frustration and the severity of the mites burrowing through their skin.
You should see a vet if your pet shows this behavior to determine what the problem is.
Cautionary measures to take for your pet’s safety
Guinea pigs wouldn’t know what is safe for them and what is not. So it’s up to you to ensure that your pet is safe from all hazards and dangerous situations that could hurt them.
First, you should make sure that their cage is free from anything with sharp edges. Also, remove any wires and cords near where they are playing to prevent hanging in case they jumped onto them.
Always hold your pet firmly but do not squeeze them tightly. If your pet doesn’t want to be held, leave them alone for the moment because they may struggle out of your arms and knock themselves on something as they jump away.
Do not place them on surfaces like table edges where they can jump from and injure themselves as they fall. Put them on lower surfaces which are closer to the ground instead.
Guinea pigs have short limbs with fragile and delicate bones so they can easily get injured as they jump. Take great care of them and supervise their interactions with small children to prevent accidents from happening.
If your guinea pig falls during a jump, pick them up and look out for any injuries they may have suffered. If they seem okay and they are walking just fine or playing normally then they are okay.
But if you notice any signs of blood, limping, or sounds of pain, then your pet could have injured themselves. Take them to a vet for further evaluation.
Guinea pigs can jump up and they will do so because they are happy, escaping, frightened, or even while playing.
If your guinea pig is not jumping as usual it could be because they are sick, injured, obese, or they are just getting old. In case your pet behaves unusually after a jump, take them to a vet for evaluation as they could have suffered from a serious injury.