Guinea pig owners are frequently asked if your pets close their eyes when they’re asleep, and I wondered around this myself before I got my first guinea pig. I finally determined to perform some study on even if it is or not it is normal behavior for guinea pigs to have their eyes open while castle sleep. Here’s what he had actually to say…

Typically, guinea pigs sleep v their eye open. In the wild, predators favor hawks and also wolves would be able to see them resting in stimulate to capture them easily. So instead of closing your eyes while sleeping, most guinea pigs keep theirs wide-open so the they nothing miss any kind of potential threats. 

So, just how did every this come about? What’s the address guinea pigs’ eyes seeming to constantly be open? Let’s discover together:


Table of Contents


Do Guinea Pigs Have any type of Other Unusual sleeping Habits?

Why perform Guinea Pigs Sleep through Their eyes Open?

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In the wild, every second counts – specifically if you’re a prey animal with couple of ways to protect yourself (poor piggies!) versus potential predators.

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One 2nd can make the difference between ending up being a meal or life to advanced a brand-new herd that piggie pups.  

Cavies have developed the habit of sleeping with your eyes open to offer them an advantage over predators to avoid coming to be their next tasty snack.

Think around it.

If her eyes were closed, you’d never ever if something was sneaking up behind you. You wouldn’t even notice until the was too late. That means you might get eaten before ever having a chance to react.

But if her cavies’ eyes remain open, at the very least they’ll be conscious of noþeles coming toward them. and also they can still have sufficient time to escape

That’s the genius behind guinea pigs keeping their eyes open.

Now, I recognize what you thinking: “But, my piggie no living in the wild. There’s no reason for castle to store their eyes open. They deserve to relax.”

Yeah, nope.

Even domesticated piggies haven’t lost their prey instinct to store their eye open. It’s fused into their DNA (like their sleepyhabits) together something the helps safeguard them from danger – genuine or imagined.


Predator, Prey, and also Sleeping Habits

Guinea pigs always have to be top top the lookout because that danger because they space such straightforward prey as soon as they sleep. Also though lock resting, their open up eyes give them defense from any possible threats.

There is a distinguishable difference in between the sleeping habits predator and prey animals. For example, predators normally close there eye while sleeping (hey, it’ a perk that being towards the peak of the food chain!) while prey pets like guinea pigs don’t.

It’s just logical the your piggies’ eyes should always be open once sleeping since they don’t have any type of real physical security from danger. If miscellaneous mean and also toothy approaches, a guinea pig’s main defense is to gain out of dodge – and also fast.

Having open eye tricks predators, too – which increases their opportunities of survival in the wild.

Predators favor to sneak increase on your prey. When they check out a “sleeping” pet with its eye open, it sort of throw the predator off. They’re choose “What? An awake animal? must I attack? those going on?”

If predators can’t instantly decision whether or no their prey is awake, climate they can not be as rapid to attack. So having actually open eyes gives the guinea pig a potential advantage.

Plus, the brain of guinea pigs have the right to see things that happen in the world approximately them even when castle sleep. This improves their reaction time come danger, too.


Do Guinea Pigs Have any kind of Other Unusual resting Habits?

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First, stop remember the what’s unusual to united state is actually vital for survival in our furry friends. (I mean, it’s hard being in ~ rock-bottom that the food chain, right).

Cavies’ sleeping habits (designed because that survival) include:

short spans of sleepsnoozing lightlystrategic times awake

1. Quick Spans that Sleep

While humans generally take about eight hrs of uninterrupted sleep every night, guinea pigs just require four-to-six hours of sleep in a 24 hour expectancy of time (or each day). 

Normally, castle doze turn off for small increments of time – simply a couple of short minutes and they’re awake again!

If your guinea pig is older, he is likelier come sleep more frequently than younger piggies.

This is because, like us, once cavies age , they often tend to drift off much more during the day. That a way of conserving your energy and giving them sufficient rest so that they’re healthy for much longer periods that time.


2. Light Sleepers

Doing this is another method that guinea pigs try to protect against getting caught by predators.

If you have actually a guinea pig, you’ll notification that it doesn’t take lot to wake him increase from his light slumber.

This isn’t surprising.

Reaction time = life expectancy

The much faster your piggie is able come react, climate the likelier that is to survive. If it misses its chance to escape, climate it’s – well, part predator’s meal.

So exactly how does a guinea pig continue to be alive? it sleeps an extremely lightly!


3. Strategic times Awake

Unlike many creatures in the world who only have actually one sleeping time (monophasic), piggies space polyphasic, which way they have actually multiple segment (or nap times) per day.

Additionally, cavies space crepuscular. This method their main activity times space at dawn and dusk

This doesn’t supposed that castle not energetic during various other times of the day. They’re just much more active in the early morning and evening.

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These two behaviors help them conserve energy in little spurts and boost their possibilities of surviving, due to the fact that most predators nothing see an extremely well in dim light.


Contrary to well-known belief, guinea pigs aren’t nocturnal animals. They’re active whenever or wherever, because they don’t have a set sleepy-bye time.