December 2, 2023
Guinea Pigs Popcorning - What to know about it??

Guinea Pigs Popcorning – What Does It Mean?

Have you noticed your guinea pig popping and want to know what it means? Is your guinea pig jerking up and down for no reason?

This behavior is known as popcorning and is very scary for new owners. Most people think that their guinea pig is having a seizure. However, the signs of a seizure are very different. Instead, your guinea pig may be popcorning out of excitement, joy, fear, or anxiety.

It’s all about noticing the signs. So why do guinea pigs popcorn? And is it a cause for concern? Keep on reading to find out more about popcorning in guinea pigs.

Why Does My Guinea Pig Popcorn When I Touch Him?

Did you just touch your guinea pig, and it started jumping up and down? It’s a more common occurrence than you might think. And the underlying reason for this is often not a cause for concern.

First of all, what is guinea pig popcorn? Well, you may have experienced it with your guinea pig at some point. Its’ when the guinea pig starts jumping up after short intervals, often seeming like it’s losing its balance. Many people have likened the behavior to the way that popcorn pops when you cook it.

But what causes guinea pig popcorn? Is your guinea pig having a seizure? Or is there some more serious underlying health issue?

Here are a few possible reasons why your guinea pig is popcorning when you touch it:

1.    Your Piggy Is Happy:

Is your guinea pig popcorning when you touch it? Well, good news for you, because the underlying cause is usually not that serious. Do you ever jump up and down when you’re excited? That’s what guinea pigs do too. Popcorning is more often than not a result of excitement or agitation.

When your guinea pig is very happy and excited, it will start to jump up and down suddenly. It’s a great way for the guinea pig to show their happiness to their owner. If you notice your guinea pig popping when it’s playing, then it’s most likely because of happiness.

2.    Your Piggy Is Anxious Or Scared:

Although most popcorning is happy popcorning, there are some other reasons for it. Guinea pigs may popcorn when they’re scared. Closely monitor your guinea pig during popcorn. Is there something or someone near it that it may be scared of? Perhaps a new pet or a new human in the house? Normally, anxiety and fear can also induce popcorn. Try putting them into a happier environment and seeing if the problem subsides.

3.    There Is An Underlying Health Condition:

Another possibility would be that your guinea pig is experiencing pain. This is a bit rarer since most popcorning is just that: harmless popcorning. But if you do fear that something more serious is at play, then contact your local vet immediately. You should be on the lookout for any odd behavior or popcorning that seems to be too jerky and extreme.

What Makes Guinea Pig Popcorning So Darn Cute?

Now that you know that popcorning isn’t always a cause for concern, you can rest knowing that your piggie is just happy. But what makes this behavior so darn adorable?

Well, there isn’t a lot of research on the science of guinea pig cuteness. Something about them hopping up and down makes them so cute.

When Does Your Guinea Pig Popcorn?

Your guinea pig will “popcorn” or jerk up and down when it’s excited and happy. Oftentimes, it’s a positive sign. It’s one of the many ways that guinea pigs show their happiness and excitement to you.

However, there can be cases where guinea pigs will popcorn when they are afraid or anxious. This is usually the case when they are either sick or have experienced a dramatic change in their environment.

Have you recently transferred your piggy to a different pen? Or did you make any significant changes to the current one? Have You introduced a new partner or replaced the old one? All of these things can cause anxiety in the guinea pig.

Additionally, when there is a new guinea pig, your guinea pig can get scared. Although it’s a very social animal, it can happen. The same thing happens when there is a new person or other pet around. New faces can scare the guinea pig.

Moreover, if you happen to startle the guinea pig, it may jerk up and popcorn. Loud sounds, sudden physical touch, and even other guinea pigs can trigger this behavior. In short, monitor your guinea pig closely. Look for anything in its environment that could agitate it.

Lastly, if you feel like your guinea pig is popping due to some medical issue, take it to the vet immediately.

Why Does My Guinea Pig Popcorn When I Pet Him?

If you find that your guinea pig is popcorning whenever you pet him, there can be a few reasons:

  1. Your guinea pig is excited to be pet by you. Even if it’s not your first time petting your guinea pig, it may get very exciting when you pet it. The behavior is nothing to worry about. However, ensure that your guinea pig does not injure itself. Or, if you have picked it up, make sure that it does not fall.
  2. Your guinea pig has gotten startled. This is especially true if your pet is your guinea pig from behind or when it’s in a vulnerable position, such as eating or pooping. If you find that your guinea pig often gets startled when you pet it, start with slower pets. And always pet the guinea pig from the front, not the back. So it can anticipate a pet and not get startled.
  3. You are meeting your guinea pig for the first time. When that’s the case, you’re a new face for your guinea pig. Hence, it may get scared and respond by popcorning. It’s a natural way to relieve stress and anxiety and is also a response to heightened adrenaline levels. See if the behavior stops after your guinea pig has become familiar with you. Till then, avoid physical touch and show your love for your guinea pig in other ways, such as feeding it.


Is Popcorning Good For Guinea Pigs?

While not exactly beneficial, it’s not harmful either. Guinea pigs often don’t jerk too hard when popcorning. That still doesn’t mean you shouldn’t keep an eye on your guinea pig. Determining the underlying cause of the popcorning is a bigger concern.

When Scared Do Guinea Pigs Popcorn?

Yes, it happens more often than you might think. Your guinea pig may be scared of anything in its environment, such as new piggies, pets, or even humans. Additionally, stress from environmental changes can also cause guinea pig popcorn.

Why Your Guinea Pig Is Doing Zoomies?

There are many reasons why your guinea pig is doing Zoomies. It may be happy, excited, burning off extra energy, or just glad to have extra space. In short, there’s nothing to worry about if your guinea pig is doing Zoomies.


Seeing a guinea pig popcorning can be terrifying for new owners. Many think that their cavy is having a seizure. However, in most cases, your guinea pig is popping due to excitement or happiness.

In some cases, your guinea pig may be popcorning due to fear or anxiety. Have you introduced any new changes in its habitats? Did you just buy a new guinea pig or any other pet? All of these changes can very well agitate a guinea pig.

Hence, while popcorning is completely harmless, it can sometimes signal a bigger issue. Keep an eye on your guinea pig and ensure it doesn’t hurt itself.

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