Guinea Pig Popcorning: What Does It Mean And Why Do They Do It?

Oluwatosin Michael
Oct 24, 2023 By Oluwatosin Michael
Originally Published on Nov 10, 2021
Funny guinea pig eating grass.

Guinea pigs usually exhibit a form of body language, commonly seen more in younger guinea pigs is popcorning.

Popcorning is the name for the loopy leaps your guinea pig does, and there is a purpose for it. If your guinea pig is squealing and acting crazy, then you are likely watching their popcorning behavior.

Guinea pig popcorning is often seen in the younger ones as they are more active. But by seeing this, you should not worry as popcorning is normal.

First-time guinea pig owners are probably pressured by seeing this behavior, however, it is a regular part of guinea pig life. But guinea pigs' popcorning is a common phenomenon.

Some people think that guinea pigs' popcorning is bad for them, but that is their way to show their emotions and excitement. Sometimes, guinea pigs freeze when they feel threatened, which may be due to the noise they hear or by something unfamiliar in their environment.

After knowing about guinea pig popcorning, you should also check out why do guinea pigs purr and how to bathe a guinea pig? Here on Kidadl.

What does popcorning mean?

The guinea pig has a behavior that makes this little rodent look a lot like a kernel of corn that just popped out. According to a lot of people, this behavior makes the guinea pig look like a bucking bronco.

There's nothing to worry about because the guinea pig looks like popcorn, hence, it's a good thing because the guinea pig is happy.

This behavior will perhaps be exhibited occasionally. Frequent observation shows that baby guinea pigs will behave in this way more than the adult ones as adults embrace moments of jumping about joyfully.

This behavior of popcorning can be witnessed in many other mammals at a young age. Perhaps this popcorning only happens when a guinea pig is involved. A classic example of this is young lambs. This behavior combines running and jumping, hence, these actions are well known to the guinea pig being lovers as zoomies.

What does guinea pig popcorning look like?

We all have this sudden reaction of jumping out of joy whenever we’re happy. Well, the guinea pigs get happy for which they behave with quick little jumps being happy.

They can perform this behavior even while running or in a position mid-stride. This often makes guinea pigs change their direction and start squeaking. Perhaps, the mentioned behavior makes them look like a bucking bronco.

The sudden jumping behavior of these species is being dubbed as popcorning. Sometimes, people assume this behavior as suffering from a seizure when observed for the first time.

There's nothing to worry about since it is absolutely normal behavior of this species. Guinea pigs continue to jump in a non-stop way while being in a controlled stage, so we should all enjoy this display of them as long as they are happy.

Why do guinea pigs popcorn?

Guinea pigs in their natural ports need all the exercises to keep themselves healthy and express their happiness.

The natural workout of guinea pigs is their popcorn behavior. This sort of behavior also helps them to escape from predators, making them surprised. This stops predators from attacking these pets out of fear or surprise. Contiguously, these furry little characters are a full treat of fun, joy, and enjoyment.

Why does my guinea pig popcorn when I pet him?

Pet guinea pigs are usually very active animals that could become your friends. Understanding their conduct method will assist you to construct a more in-depth court together along with your hairy friend.

Guinea pigs are social creatures. They always show you a wide variety of behavioral expressions. When you're around your guinea pigs, they are excited. Their adrenaline is pumping high and hence, leads to an anxious, twitchy, and twittery, squeaky behavior.

Can guinea pigs control popcorning?

Popcorning is a normal behavior we get to see in a guinea pig, and they showcase this behavior in complete control, and it is fully safe.

They usually show this attitude when they are very happy. This behavior is basically their jump for joy and is commonly referred to as popcorning or pogoing.

Do guinea pigs popcorn when scared?

Sometimes, this behavior is witnessed even as a result of fear. It is important for witnesses to observe assessments of the happenings. Have you ever seen a cat or a dog that moves into the guinea pig's environment? Have you observed any sudden changes?

Was it a loud sound or noise, which might have made them scared? We'll have to observe if the occurrence of all mentioned things is the reason or not. If not, then it will be more likely to be due to happiness.

But if there are any sudden changes in the environment then we'll have to notice. In case of any such changes, fear might be caused, for which we'll have to make sure that all the stimuli, as in the fearful ones, must be removed and the surroundings where these guinea pigs are kept should be safe and calm.

Encouraging A Guinea Pig To Popcorn

Guinea pigs popcorn in an erratic manner due to excitement. This makes it important to take proper care of your pets if you enjoy your guinea pigs' popcorn.

Once you start to better understand your guinea pig, it will be easier for you to understand what makes it popcorn, allowing you the joy of popcorning in guinea pigs in the future.

You can use tunnels, packing containers, and ladders, as they love them. Surprise your guinea pig with a brand new object and watch popcorning in your guinea pigs.

Your guinea pig may begin popcorning on the sight of the brand new object or start playing with it, then it popcorns. Allowing your guinea pig to play outdoors in its cage is a great way to inspire popcorning.

How can I know the difference between popcorning and an illness, say a seizure?

The popcorning behavior of guinea pigs is sometimes confused with seizures. You'll know that your guinea pig is having a full-body seizure when they commonly lie on their facet and shake violently.

During that time, you cannot wake them or prevent them from shaking. In contrast to popcorning, wherein your guinea pig will run and leap and be absolutely ordinary after leaping and a great deal privy to you and its surroundings.

As in pain, in case you are thinking your guinea pig is having a seizure or not, you should immediately contact your vet. You also need to check their feet daily, and if you find any cut or abrasion, you’ll need to apply ointment.

Guinea pigs are not meant to live in a cage. You need to make room for them.

Two guinea pigs require a space of a minimum of 7.5 sq ft (0.69 sq m). No pets should be kept in cages.

So, make sure that you provide your guinea pig with time outside their enclosures a minimum of one time a day so that it can stretch its legs, explore and exercise. They sometimes hide in their shelter, but guinea pigs, like any other animal loves fun and enjoyment.

They play with toys, and a guinea pig’s popcorning is often seen when they play with toys like chew sticks, cardboard boxes, etc.

A guinea pig needs to have nutritious food to keep healthy. Their proper diet helps in keeping them strong and lively.

Their treat includes carrots, beetroot, bell peppers, broccoli, Brussel sprouts, etc. Fruit is fine as an occasional treat that is offered once a day or several times a week.

As they cannot handle sweetness, thus, their treatment should not include any sort of candy or sweets. The number of treats provided to them should be limited. A guinea pig is mostly domesticated, which has led to the extinction of the wild guinea pig, along with guinea pigs being prey to many animals and birds.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for guinea pig popcorning, then why not take a look at how big do guinea pigs get or guinea pig facts?

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Written by Oluwatosin Michael

Bachelor of Science specializing in Microbiology

Oluwatosin Michael picture

Oluwatosin MichaelBachelor of Science specializing in Microbiology

With a Bachelor's in Microbiology from the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, Ogun State, Oluwatosin has honed his skills as an SEO content writer, editor, and growth manager. He has written articles, conducted extensive research, and optimized content for search engines. His expertise extends to leading link-building efforts and revising onboarding strategies. 

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