Most pet lovers like to keep a variety of pets, and a times it can be challenging to decide which to pick, like the dilemma of Hamster vs Guinea Pig.
If you already own a cat and are thinking of getting a guinea pig, you will always be thinking, ‘do cats and guinea pigs get along?’
Indubitably, cats and guinea pigs do get along but with correct planning.
Most people believe that the two might never get along because one is prey while the other is a predator.
It is, however, possible to own them both with proper training and supervision.
To own both cats and guinea pigs, one has to be cautious because some cats will get along with the guinea pigs while others will treat them as a source of food.
If you previously owned a cat and decide to get a Guinea pig, you should realize that at the beginning, it will be difficult for them to adapt to the surrounding.
The cat could be calm and friendly, but Guinea pigs are naturally frightened easily. But there are helpful tips on how you can keep both.
Can guinea pigs and cats live together?
It is not advisable to house a guinea pig with a cat because of the onset.
The cat will be scared of the Guinea pig while trying to figure out if it is a threat or not. Later on, it will realize it is not and begin to look at it as food.
The two of them may not have had any horrendous incident when they first meet, but that does not mean that will be the case all through.
However, most pet owners have found a way for them to get along in a shared space.
To figure out if your cat and guinea pig can get along, you first need to learn your cat’s temperament and behavior.
Cats are characterized by five major factors that form their fundamental nature.
However, the long-term traits of the cat will be determined by their living environment.
Therefore, the cat can develop outstanding characteristics such as friendliness, gentleness, and affectionateness if right from its young age it is raised well.
On the other hand, a wild cat will grow with anxiousness, dominance, and recklessness.
The cat will get along with the guinea pig if you get it at an early age and raise it with other pets and family members as this will give it a friendly nature.
Will my cat hurt my guinea pig?
Raising a cat to have friendly behavior will make it difficult for it to hurt the guinea pigs.
However, the cats can hurt the guinea pigs if they begin to run or do something abruptly.
Since cats are naturally impulsive, they will retaliate by holding the guinea pigs tightly by their paws out of instinct, which will hurt them.
The cat will also hurt the guinea pig if you bring a new cat home and do not introduce it properly. Get to know how you can properly the pets.
It will immediately perceive the guinea pig to be a threat and scratch it.
Hence, before leaving them in one place, ensure you introduce them properly. It is also best to supervise them when they are in the same play space.
Introducing the cat and guinea pigs
Introducing cats and guinea pigs is a crucial aspect not to be ignored as introduction determines whether the two will get along.
Some helpful tips to keep note of
If it is not done right, keeping the cats and guinea pigs together will be difficult.
An introduction should be done at an early age.
Keeping both the cat and guinea pig together requires that you raise them both from when they are still young.
Cats socialize with the environment more from an early age of two to fourteen weeks.
Get your cats and guinea pigs to socialize at this age, making them fond of each other.
The guinea pig will feel safer around the cat if they have been raised together.
Because if you bring the two together later on with an old cat, the guinea pig will always be stressed and live in fear around the cat.
This will make it difficult for them to socialize.
Setting up a shared play area
To those who wonder, ‘do cats and guinea pigs get along?’ you need to realize that having a shared play area is recommended for them.
The room could be your bedroom, drawing room, living room, or any other room that seems suitable for their floor time.
Ensure that the shared play area is different from the common pets’ house.
This prevents the cat and guinea pig from assuming one is invading the other’s territory. Cats get territorial, and that is more reason to get them a different play area.
The play area should also consist of a hiding room for the guinea pigs.
Beacuse their only defense mechanism is running away and hiding from predators. That makes them feel comfortable and secure.
Ensure the hiding space is closer to you. It will make it easier for you to protect them from the cat if need be.
Brief introduction at the play area
After setting the ground for introduction, keep the cat in a kennel and have the guinea pig roam around it.
This will ensure they get along and become acquainted with each other’s smell and presence.
Since guinea pigs are the prey animal, they become more secure when the cat is locked. After that, secure the guinea pig in a small cage and let the cat roam around.
Doing so will enlighten you on the cat’s personality and behavior around guinea pigs.
If at the slightest chance the cat wants to scratch the guinea pigs, then separate them.
Letting them free under your supervision
After you have followed the proper steps for a few weeks and notice that the cats and guinea pigs get along, you can let them exist freely and see what happens.
Be attentive to how they always behave around each other.
Separate them immediately whenever there is an unusual behavior but keep them together if everything goes smoothly.
Never let your cats and guinea pigs play together away from your eyesight.
Cats are opportunists, and they will look for the slightest opportunity to make an unusual move towards the guinea pig.
Just because everything was smooth the first day they were together does not mean the second day will be good.