Just like humans, guinea pigs have a variety of strange behaviors which might seem annoying to you as a pet owner. From scratching to flipping over their cages or houses, these are just among the few naughty behaviors they have.
So, is your guinea pig just being mischievous or is there more to this behavior? From the why to how to solve this problem and other questions involved. Get all the answers you need by reading this article.
Why Do Guinea Pigs Flip Over Their House?
Guinea pigs do not just randomly flip over their house. They do these for a number of reasons which are;
- Guinea pigs flip over their cage when it is not spacious enough.
- As a way to rearrange the things in their house.
- They flip over their house when they are mad.
- Guinea pigs also do this to get a better angle to chew on their cage.
- Your pet will do this when bored.
- It is a natural evolution behavior.
- Moreover, it is a way of being playful.
Is it Normal for Cavies to Flip Their House?
Yes, it is normal for your pet to flip over its house or cage. When this happens, understand that it is trying to send a message to you. Observe and try to find out the reason for this behavior for you to respond accordingly.
Sometimes, your pet will flip over the house and put it right back to normal. However, there are times when you have to put it back for it.
House Flipping as an Evolution Behavior
Initially, guinea pigs lived in the wild. They were then adapted by humans and domesticated into homes and have become popular pets for many. In the wild, they had to hide from their predators by often switching staying spots.
This is because being in one place makes them an easy target by their scent. They would move their houses for security purposes and have incorporated this behavior into their current homes which is cages or houses.
Cage Flipping in Mad Guinea Pigs
Your guinea pig will tend to flip its house when it is angry. There are signs to look out for to establish if your pet is angry which are:
- Your pet will chatter its teeth.
- It will start hissing.
- The cavy will make high-pitched shrieks.
- It will raise its head and front legs.
- Your guinea pig will fluff up its fur.
- It will lack interest in normal activities e.g. playing.
Flipping Houses Due to Boredom
Guinea pigs are naturally very active. They therefore require constant mental stimulation and engaging in play. When they are bored or are in their cages for too long they can flip over their houses to entertain themselves.
House Flipping Because of Insufficient Space
Good space is essential for your pet and may be a reason for it to flip over the house when not enough. Your pet requires adequate space to accommodate what it needs and its nature as well.
Cavies are more active in the morning and evening which may not be suitable to take them out. A spacious cage will compensate this as they are able to exercise, play around and engage in activities like pop-corning while in the cage. To add to that, when you have more than one cavy in a cage, minimal space will lead to fight over territory which is not healthy for them.
The right cage for one guinea pig should have a minimum measurement of 30 by 36 inches. However, more space is way better and sets in more advantages for both you and your pet.
Your pet’s cage should be able to accommodate the following;
- Enough play toys
- Chew items
- Hiding places
House Flipping for Cage Chewing
At times, your guinea pig will flip over its house to get a better angle to chew on it. Guinea pigs have ever-growing teeth which require to be kept in shape. To do this, they have to constantly gnaw on things to wear them down.
Without enough chew toys or the proper diet which will help maintain their teeth, they turn to chewing their cages. Other reasons for chewing houses are;
- When they are bored.
- Lack of certain minerals in their diet.
- Little space in the cage.
- Lack of enough mental stimulation.
House Flipping to Rearrange Things
Guinea pigs will at times want to rearrange things in their cage and they achieve this by flipping the cage over. Rearranging things in the cage allows them to;
- Explore more since items in the cage are in new positions.
- Sometimes it is a way of trying to locate things easily by putting them in their own spots.
How to Prevent Cage Flipping in Guinea Pigs
a) Ensure your pet has enough mental stimulation to avoid bore-dom. When guinea pigs are less bored, they will likely stop flipping their house or do it less often this can be achieved through;
- Providing it with enough play toys.
- Give it regular outdoor time so that it gets to run around.
b) Input destroyable items in the cage which they can flip over e.g. carrot cottages, hay cubes etc.
c) Have a spacious house for your guinea pig.
d) Observe you pet’s emotions to establish when it is angry and solve the anger issues it may have.
e) Consider purchasing or making a heavy guinea pig house which it can move but not flip over.
f) Find a suitable arrangement for your pet’s item. In addition, avoid re-arranging items in its house.
g) Introduce new items in the cage from time to time to keep your guinea pig occupied. Ensure the items vary from each other to avoid boredom.
Your guinea pig may occasionally flip its house over and it is normal for them. Try to find out the reason for this behavior so that you can handle it accordingly.