There are more behavioral factors that might be the answer to your question; why does my guinea pig lick me?
Indeed, guinea pigs are very adorable pets, they are usually gentle, and some are shy.
If you have one, I am sure that you know all of those characteristics, but have you ever noticed your lovely cavy licks you?
Your lovely cavy is licking you would probably be a sign of affection waiting for you to pet him.
It may seem strange, but it is pretty typical; there are many more cases where this is not just asking for affection.
Let’s find out!
What Are The Reasons Why My Guinea Pig Licks Me?
Why does my guinea pig lick me? There are some factors that you need to understand to know why your cute little cavy does this kind of thing.
Your cavy licks your hands because they want some affection and quality time. They want to play with you, or they like you as its owner.
Besides that, guinea pigs are very affectionate when it comes to relaying messages, and they show their love to another cavy by grooming it.
So if your pet licks you, then this could mean that they want to groom you too!
My cavy Ginger, she’s a Peruvian guinea pig, adorable, jolly, and very energetic. She used to lick my hands whenever I held her in my hands.
It is a little bit of a tickle, but I love it. After that, I gave her what she deserves, a treat!
#2. Licking the salt
Another factor that your cavy licks you is that it likes the salt taste of your skin.
Although, many guinea pig owners think that this is their lovely pet cavies showing fondness for them. So cute!
#3. Food that you eat
If you are just done with what you are cooking in the kitchen, and you held your cute cavy right away, maybe your pet did not miss you the way you do.
Otherwise, he just licks your hands because what you cooked in the kitchen tastes so good! I must say your cavy appreciated your cooking!
At Thanksgiving, my older brother cooked delicious food for the family. He left the kitchen without washing his hands thoroughly and immediately took Ginger to play.
Then one thing he realized was that my cavy was licking his hands, enjoying the taste of the food.
My Ginger never fails to impress us. She is our little happiness.
Why Do Guinea Pigs Lick Othe Guinea Pigs?
If you have more than one guinea pig and they lick each other in the herd, it is considered normal behavior. This just means that they are pleased with one another and are enjoying themselves.
Licking represents that they just want to groom each other.
Why Do Guinea Pigs Lick Themselves?
Licking is just a symbol of grooming and guinea pigs love to groom themselves. You may notice them standing on their hind limb to reach their spots for cleaning. Licking themselves gives them a kind of a wash.
However, if you notice them licking more than usual, it might be a cause of concern because excessive licking can be a sign of fungal infection or mites. For this purpose, you need to consult your vet for proper treatment.
How Do I Know My Guinea Pig Likes Me?
Guinea pigs have plenty of little ways to show how much they love you, not as much as dogs and cats, and once you know all signs, it is pretty easy to respond to them quickly.
#1 Your cavy likes being held
Your cavy wants to feel the warmth of your wondering hands. Guinea pigs are very timid, so it requires a lot of confidence for them to climb at you for stroking and petting them.
As an owner, you need to be patient to build trust and bond with your pet; if your cavy does so, then I must say that you are done with the get-to-know each other stage, and your cavy enjoys your company.
#2. They want to be hand-fed
Your guinea pig wants to be hand-fed, but this takes time for guinea pigs to do, and as a little trick, give them a trail of areas.
Eventually, they would make it to your hands, and this may be the start of your contact with your cute little cavy.
#3. Follows you around
As a pet owner, you knew that guinea pigs are very shy when it comes to other people around. They freeze or run their butts out and hide.
But when they already manage to trust you, you will never make them stay out of your sight again. It shows that they love being with you. How sweet!
#4. Doesn’t bite you
Guinea pigs are known for being afraid and nervous if they are in the company of a stranger. Guinea pigs bite if someone tries to pet and hold them. If your pet does not bite you, it means that your lovely cavy is very comfortable in your presence.
#5. Licks and nibbles at you
At this instant, you are wondering and asking yourself why does my guinea pig lick me? When your cavy licks your hands and nibbles your shoes, then this is a sign of love!
Guinea pigs do this to one another as a sign of affection, bonding, and grooming. It comes naturally if your cavy feels very comfortable for you.
#6. Climbs up to you
If your cavy climbs up to you, this may be a sign that they want to be cuddled and enjoy your warm presence as their safe place.
I used to cuddle my little cavy Ginger. She likes how warm the fluffy blanket is to go to sleep. She is charming, and I am so happy that I achieved this kind of closeness to my cavy.
#7. Runs to say hello
The familiarity with the environment also takes time for them. And they would do some undercover to avoid your presence.
So if your cavy runs out to you whenever you approach it in its cage, then it would probably want to be held or demand some treats.
#8. Your cavy manage to respond to your voice
Your guinea pig is not that smart to recognize its name, but as a fun part, it recognizes your voice. You cavy may respond to you with a nibble or some little jumping.
Whatever you may call them, as long as they remember your voice, they would give you all the love back.
#9. Actually ‘talks’ to you
By continuously talking to them, they would speak to you back! Sounds crazy, right?
Your cavy chats with you all the time means that your lovely pet enjoys your bonding.
#10. Non-stop playing
You would know that your cavy is excited when he makes those cute little jumpings moves, also called ‘popcorning.’
If you somehow saw your lovely pet making these entertaining moves, it may be longing for your presence and wants to play with you!
Whenever I came home from work, my cavy Ginger does this popcorning; she is just excited to have my presence again after I have gone through a day.
So I gave her a guinea pig treat and toys. Also, Ginger loves to have some little chitchats. She is my happy pill!
Why does my guinea pig lick me?
Guinea pigs lick you to show how they like you, and they would never lick you if they don’t have enough trust towards you, right?
Licking is not just sheer love, but your cavy also feels joy and contentment. Gaining their trust and confidence is not that hard if you fully understand their behavior.
As an owner, you need to fulfill all their needs and give back all the love your cavy deserves. Having compatibility with your lovely pet develops an excellent harmony.
Thank you for reading!
Delbert Curtis is a senior writer at Petcosset, a leading online resource for pet care information. With over 10 years of experience in the pet industry, Delbert is passionate about helping pet owners provide the best care possible. He has written extensively on pet health, nutrition, training, and behavior. Delbert is dedicated to staying up-to-date on the latest research and trends in the pet industry to provide the most accurate and helpful information to Petcosset’s readers. Delbert enjoys spending time with his pets and exploring the great outdoors when he’s not writing.