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Guinea pigs are quickly startled and spooked, and they can be difficult to handle. They are extremely vulnerable animals that can be readily attacked by predators. Do guinea pigs, on the other hand, fall over and die when they are scared?

If your guinea pigs sense a danger approaching, they will do everything it takes to defend them, including pretending to be dead if the circumstance calls for it. It is possible that they will lie down and seem to be dead if they are completely afraid, in order to protect themselves from predators. You can also educate them how to pretend to be dead.

Aside from defending themselves, they frequently pretend to be dead while sleeping or when they are really happy.

Some owners also love teaching their guinea pigs a variety of tricks, and one of these is the ability to play a musical instrument.

This post will cover how to teach your guinea pig the same behavior in the latter portion of the piece. We should get right into it, shall we?


Do guinea pigs play dead when scared?

Guinea pigs do indeed pretend to be dead when they are in dread or terror. When it comes to entertainment, playing dead is their final resort.

Guinea pigs remain absolutely still, with not a single muscle in their bodies moving, while appearing to be dead in their cage.

If you have kept your guinea pig outside, it is possible that it will act dead if it detects the presence of a large predator such as a fox or a coyote nearby.

Guinea pigs prefer to be on the ground, and your sudden raising may cause them to get alarmed; as a result, they may pretend to be dead if you notice them doing so and immediately put them down.

Guinea pig in a trance-like state

What exactly does trancing imply? A state of being in which a person or animal is not cognizant or fully aware of what is going on around them, to put it another way.

One of two things happens: either they become unresponsive to external stimuli or they start following the person who put them in trance.

Trancing is a potentially dangerous practice since it can cause guinea pigs to get distressed while they are unconscious. If you are not aware of this, you should be aware that it has the potential to cause them to have a heart attack.

As a result, it should be reserved for usage only in extreme circumstances.

For example, if your guinea pig is bleeding and you are attempting to apply a bandage to their wound but are failing due to their resistance, this strategy may be beneficial in such circumstance.

Trancing, on the other hand, should be the final option to consider.

Listed below are the few procedures to be taken if you need to hypnotize your pet:

  1. Place a towel or a warm blanket on your lap and relax.
  2. Gently take the guinea pig in your hands and gently place them in your lap to rest.
  3. Please flip them over onto their backs, preferably in a position where their return is little higher than their head.
  4. You may be sure that initially they will object, so try to maintain their tranquility by gently petting them.
  5. They will stop moving completely before entering a trance state, and they will remain still while doing so.
  6. Be as swiftly as possible to complete whatever tasks are required.
  7. Keep in mind that they may appear calm to you, but they are afraid in their hearts and minds.
  8. Keep hold of your guinea pig even after you’ve finished, and they will recover from their trance state in a matter of minutes if you don’t let them go.
  9. Encourage them by assuring them that you have their backs and placing them down gently, offering them their favorite reward.

Trancing should never be attempted on guinea pigs who are over the age of one year or who have any health issues. Guinea pigs are not very good at dealing with stress and may suffer a cardiac arrest as a result.

Do guinea pigs play dead when attacked by predators

Our guinea pigs are ruled by their strong survival instincts. When individuals find themselves in a high-pressure position, their adrenaline is released into the system.

They are unlikely to go into hiding if they notice a predator approaching them because doing so will make them an easy prey for the predator.

Despite the fact that they are delicate and little in size. They have a consistent flight pattern and strong fighting instincts to deal with predators.

When it comes to defense, they will use all of their strength to claw, bite, and kick their way to victory. The fight, on the other hand, is the last resort for them. The majority of the time, they prefer to conceal and flee.

In the event that guinea pigs perceive predators in their immediate vicinity, they are more likely to run at a speed of 300 meters per second, albeit this may vary depending on the individual.

Although, in other instances, they may simply lie down and pretend to be dead, hoping for the best possible outcome that the predator will simply pass them by.

They also recognize that feigning dead is not a good strategy to follow because the majority of predators are scavengers and will not even bother to think twice before devouring them if they are not careful.

As a result, pretending to be dead may be beneficial in certain situations, but not all of the time. It is not a very effective form of defense to employ.

Do baby guinea pigs play dead

The behavior of pretending to be dead has been ingrained in all guinea pigs, young and old alike. It is something that they have learned from their mothers, who have served as life coaches.

Bad experiences, loud noises, shocks, and threats can easily cause them to become afraid as a result of their heightened vulnerability.

Remember to be cautious not only when they’re playing dead, but also when you find them in this state; gently lift them and wrap a towel around them before placing them into their cage once they start moving.

Guinea pig play dead after exercise

You may have seen your guinea pig acting dead from time to time while they were running around and having a good time.

In addition, keep in mind that because they lack in-depth perception, guinea pigs could have been under the impression of being stalked by an animal in the vicinity of their burrow.

Consider the following scenario:- A passing airplane could be mistaken for an approaching predator.

Some people may also attempt to play dead when they are fatigued from playing, in which case they simply drop asleep. It is common for young guinea pigs to have this condition.

Although the drop-down of your Guinea pig may appear to be alarming at first, because they drop like a stone in any case, do not mistake it for a heart attack or any other medical emergency.

If you find yourself in this circumstance, do not panic, and simply allow your guinea pig to rest for a time because they are fatigued from playing.

Guinea pig playing dead vs sleeping

Guinea pigs enjoy paradoxical sleep, in which they tend to keep their eyelids open when resting, despite the fact that it can be difficult to tell whether they are sleeping or acting dead at times.

It is very likely that when guinea pigs are very weary or calm, they will sleep with their eyes closed, resting on their sides with their legs towards their sides, and it is very likely that they will play dead, but this is not the case.

If you want to be certain, pay attention to the sounds that your guinea pig makes. Unless they’re purring or gnashing their teeth and sleeping soundly, there’s no need to be concerned; they’re simply feeling incredibly satisfied with themselves.

As a supplement to this, keep an eye out for twitches in their body, because when in trance state, they will not move or exhibit any twitches in their body. When they are sleeping, they will reflect any twitches or jerks onto their bodies.

How do you teach a guinea pig to play dead?

How to teach your guinea pig to pretend to be dead.

Here are some straightforward procedures to follow:

  • Lie down on your back with a towel or blanket between your legs.
  • Lifting your guinea pig and turning them around on their back or sides will help to relieve stress.
  • They will fight you at first, but calm them down and softly rub them until they comply.
  • They will nevertheless make an effort to avoid entering a trance state before they do.
  • Even while they may appear calm to you, they are actually afraid in their minds.
  • Hold on to them until they awaken, and they will return to normal after a few minutes of being in a trance.
  • When they return, make sure to serve them their favorite meal and beverage.

It is possible to train your guinea pig to appear to be dead in this fashion as a result, albeit it is not suggested due to the fact that they are quite fragile and sensitive animals.

It is also possible that your guinea pigs will suffer from heart failure as a result of this.


As much as possible, try to maintain your guinea pig in an area that is free of predators or other potential risks so that they are not accidentally triggered into a trance condition in the first place.

If you find them lying down on their backs in a fully still position with no twitches, do not panic; instead, softly pat them until they come to their senses.

Despite the fact that trancing may be beneficial when it comes to treating guinea pigs with wounds or injuries, they will attempt to escape your assistance owing to their restlessness.

Keep an eye on them; they may appear to be in excellent health on the surface, but they are under stress on the inside, and at the worst case scenario, they could have a cardiac arrest or heart attack.

As a result, we recommend that trancing only be used in an emergency situation and not for fictitious purposes.