Why Do Guinea Pigs Freeze? (Explained)

Have you ever experienced your guinea pigs in an inactive state? Perhaps, you thought your Guinea pig was dead. It turned out your guinea pigs are frozen. There are various reasons your guinea pigs freeze.

let’s discuss why your guinea pigs freeze and what you can do about it.

Here’s why guinea pigs freeze

Guinea pigs will freeze or become motionless when there is a perceived danger. They will freeze when there are unfamiliar noises, things, or sudden movements. Guinea pigs freeze when they see unfamiliar faces. Guinea pigs as prey animals freeze to avoid drawing attention

why do guinea pigs freeze

Reasons your guinea pig freezes

If you find your guinea pig in a motionless state, you should not be alarmed. There are reasons your guinea pig freezes. Here are what we found:

Natural Instinct

Guinea pigs are prey animals and have natural instinct to respond to predators. They do that by freezing. The predator might think the guinea pig is dead. They will unfreeze when the predator is not present.

Your guinea pig is scared

Guinea pigs are easily scared. They tend to be nervous about being eaten by a predator. This makes them stay motionless until the threat is no longer there.

Loud sound

Guinea pigs can handle sounds they are familiar with. However, a sudden loud sound will frighten them because it is an unusual noise.

As a guinea pig owner, you must watch out for sounds in your environment. Loud sound from TV, radio, and sound systems must be controlled.

Noises made by children must also be taken notice of. A sudden and unusual noise made by children in your home can suddenly lead to your guinea pigs freezing.


There are so many things which can stress a guinea pig. A typical example could be the following:

  • change of environment
  • diet
  • new cage
  • new faces
  • noise
  • another pet

These factors could cause your guinea pigs to freeze. So it would help if you took extra precautions when introducing your guinea pig to a change of any sort.

Will guinea pigs freeze when you pet them?

Guinea pigs are social creatures. They love to live in groups. They sometimes groom one another while in the cage. Spending time with your guinea pig helps build a natural bond.

Your guinea pig will not freeze when you pet them. That said, you must be very gentle when you pet them. You don’t want to pet them in a way that will seem like a threat.

Here are a few additional rules to follow when you pet your Guinea Pigs:

  • Don’t chase your guinea pigs to pet them
  • Don’t pet your guinea pig when they are asleep
  • Never force to pet your guinea pigs if they move away
  • Always start petting from the head or under the chin. Avoid feet and underside areas
  • Observe your guinea pig’s likes and dislikes when petting

Will A Guinea Pig Freeze When You Place Something On The Head?

Ideally, you will not put anything on the head of your guinea pigs. Guinea pigs will react if you place any item they are not familiar with on their head.

Guinea pigs are very sensitive to their environment and anything they deem a danger, they will definitely respond to by being motionless

How To Stop Your Guinea Pig From Freezing

Guinea pigs will always freeze when they feel there is a threat in their environment. As a guinea pig owner, you want to create a conducive and happy environment for your guinea pigs.

Here are what you can do to prevent your guinea pigs from freezing:

Limit Noise

Your guinea pigs may be used to a certain level of noise in their environment. However, any unfamiliar noises will upset your guinea pigs and leave them freezing.

So ensure you control the noises and sounds in your environment.

Handle Your Guinea Pigs Gently

When you hold your guinea pigs make sure you do this gently. Any rough handling of your guinea pigs will make them feel threatened.

You must supervise your children when they hold your guinea pigs. Always approach your guinea pig calmly and hold them with extra care.

Guinea pigs turn to freeze when you hold them in a manner that frightens them.

Consult A Veterinary Professional

If your guinea pigs freeze without any reason, you must consult a vet as soon as possible. The vet should be able to rule out any illness. With this check done, you will have no cause to worry about your guinea pigs freezing.

Final Thoughts

Guinea pigs are prey animals. This makes them vulnerable to any predators. So they always become motionless or freeze when they feel unsafe in an environment.

Apart from predators, guinea pigs will freeze by noise, and unfamiliar things, scared and stressed. It is natural for them to freeze so they do not draw attention.

You must make sure your guinea pigs don’t feel threatened in your environment. Control noises if possible. Offer a lot of playtime with your guinea pigs.



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