I got her two years ago from a chain petstore. Before I knew that there are tons of cavy adoptions available. Anywho. I did my research when I first got my two girls. I bought them together, and got them a really nice cage with an attached fence so they had about 14 square feet of space between the cage and the fence. When I was putting the cage together, I left the babies in their boxes. When I opened up the box of the first one she was moving and excited and lively. When I opened Chickys box however, she wasn’t moving, and there was a small puddle of drool that had seeped in to the box. I thought for a few moments that the stress of being put in a box, transported and left in the box for about 45 minutes while the cage was assembled killed her. I shook the box and said “Piggie? Piggie?”
Thinking she would wake up. It wasn’t until I poked her that she squealed and jumped up. Ever since then she’s being afraid of everything. No amount of handling has helped. That’s why I named her Chicken after about a month. In fact, she somehow knows whenever I’m talking to her and will run in to her hide lol it’s kind of funny/cute.
After I bought the two girls, about a month later as a I was getting them food from the store I saw an adorable little crested tourtoise girl and brought her home. She at first was extremely social and would sing and chirp and purr and be the dream guinea pig. Then she started to get really mean. She got really big compared to the other two. After about a year I noticed she would bully poor Chicky to the point that I had to separate Lady Bug from the other two girls.
She would nip her, Chicky would be so scared she would spray urine and Lady would physically push her away from food or the water bottle. I went through different cage set ups as I had them, because these are messy animals! Youtubers make it look so easy! I ended up buying a four level cage the size of a refrigerator.
The two girls (minus Chicky) loved it and would run up and down the levels. Chicky would primarily hide in one of the huts, or stay in one of the corner litter boxes. I had four in the cage; one for each girl and an extra to avoid territory issues. So much for that lol one day as I was cleaning the cage, when I pulled Chicky out there was blood on my hand. I instantly became worried and looked where it was coming from. Either Lady ripped her little nail off completely or Chicky lost it trying to escape from her.
I separated Lady from the other two by shutting off two levels of the cage. I ended up adopting Lady and Brownie out to a friend, because I didn’t want Chicky to be bullied forever. She is so happy! She’s a very clean guinea pig, so spot cleaning is actually possible now lol no more poop or hay in random places of my house! (I have two cats who liked to play with the stuff that fell out of the cage. Gross, I know. And don’t worry; the cats for the most part ignore Chicky. Sometimes they watch her like a spectator but quickly lose interest.)
My issue is that she is still. A very shy and timid animal. She’s started using her voice (she’s been alone for about three months now.) she’s used her voice before but it was very very quiet. Now when she hears crinkly sounds or birds she goes off. Every time I try to hold her however, she pees on me! I don’t think she likes to be held and I want to respect her boundaries as much as possible. She seems absolutely content with just sitting in one of her hidey huts and goes between the different levels of the cage (she’s still in the four story cage, lucky her!)
Will she ever come out of her timid shell, or is this just my piggie? Should I hold her even after she pees on me or put her back? Sorry for the long post but I felt the more information about her character and past the better understanding someone with more knowledge can help me.
Also, I know that they’re social creatures who live in groups in the wild, but she seems more happy being alone than she did even with just the one piggie before I added Lady (she is still full of energy even at my friends, and Lady never bullied her because she would fight back lol) thank you for any advice!
- Supporter in 2018
He remained shy for the rest of his life, although after he became sick with renal failure, I had to force him to take fluids. My giving him sub-q fluids wouldn't work, so I syringed fluids to him. That created a real bond between us and he stopped running from me.
When the smallest, Suzi, was first introduced in to the cage she sat motionless for about an hour before finally "coming to" and trotting off around the pen. She is still the most skittish of the 3 and will only let me pet her when she is in a hidey but is getting better. She doesn't wheek like the other two but does chip a lot when she is running around.
Initially we thought the biggest girl, Chunkita, was bullying her but now they seem to be pretty close and Suzi will even chase her around during floor time and in the pen. There have been a few nips and squeaks at different times but when there are I will give them a "talking to" and explain to them why they shouldn't bully each other. Yes I am crazy I know but talking to them, so they get used to your voice, seems to help them get used to you.
The other two were skittish initially and didn't like being petted but now they are a bit better about it. They would run off when ever we came near the cage but now come up to greet us.
Chunky would let me pet her head but not much else but last night she was in one of the cuddle cups and I started scratching her behind her ears and she just flopped down on her side and looked put out when I stopped.
On a few occasions when they have all been sat under the table during floor time I woudl lie down next to them and close my eyes and eventually, one by one, they would each lie on their side and sleep as well. Again i think it is just a case of them realizing you are not a threat and that they are not in any danger from you
They just need to get used to you. Hand feeding is good for that and whenever I do that all three of them will climb up on my legs to get food now where as before they wouldn't.
They do need companionship though and whenever I pick one of them up the others keep an eye on me. Especially Chunky if I pick Suzi up. They dont like being picked up and will nip at me until I put them down but it is only a light nip and they dont struggle like they used to. On the rare occasion we had tried separating them when one of them was ill they didn't like it and so we would put them back together.
Get a lap pad that she can sit on, that will help with any "accidents" and may make her feel more secure.
I think patience and perseverance are the key and just take it slowly to build up her trust.
I would hold her and feed her even if she pees. Just let her relax and then put her back in the cage.
I don’t know about a companion right now. While that’s best in most cases, if your only companion was abusive, how would you feel about another one?