Guinea pigs and cats are quite different animals.
They have much different characteristics and instincts that vary from each other.
Guinea pigs are prey animals which informs very part of who they are.
They instinctively look for trouble and run and hide if the sense danger.
Cats are predatory animals who will seek out food to eat. They are athletic and very nimble.
If they see a creature that they think they can eat, they will go for it.
This unfortunately this includes guinea pigs.
That said, there are many owners who have both guinea pigs and cats.
So can guinea pigs and cats get along or is that an impossibility?
The good thing is that it certainly is a possibility that they could get along. However they need training in doing so.
Here are some steps to help in you in this process
1.Don’t leave them alone
They can’t be left to get on with each other as it will end badly for the guinea pig. A guinea pig and cat must be kept safely away from each other to begin with. A cat that doesn’t know any better will not hesitate in hunting down a guinea pig and jumping into their living area.
2.Keep them in separate rooms
If you guinea pig lives inside, keep them in separate rooms away from each other. Keep cat toys or possessions away from the guinea pig’s home. Don’t allow the cat to dwell close to the guinea pig’s home.
3.Let them acclimatize
Let both animals become at ease in their own home. Let them acclimatize in their own area. They may sense another animal in the near vicinity as they may smell them, but don’t let them near each other. It is worth waiting a while until introducing both animals to each other or even make eye contact.
4.Getting used to each other’s scent
Let them get used to each other’s scent by doing some of the following exercises;
- place some of the guinea pig’s possessions or toys next to the cat’s food bowl. They will sniff them and start to get acclimatized to the smell of your guinea pig. A cloth or blanket that has been used on your guinea pig works well for this.
- Place their food bowl close to the room where your guinea pig is.
5.Introduce them when they are young
If you are intending to introduce your cat to your guinea pig then it better to do this when they are both young in age. The older they get, the more distrusting they become. They are more likely to grow to like each other if they start at a young age.
A cat under 9 weeks old is more impressionable and more easily taught rather than a mature cat. They are more likely to believe and understand that a guinea pig is there to get along with rather than as prey.
6.Let them establish eye contact
A first introduction needs to begin with eye contact only. Now they have got used to the smell of each other, they need to understand what each other looks like.
This needs constant supervision and it will not be without its stressful moments.
7.Place one inside a cage
8.Keep interaction’s brief
9.Hold one in front of the other
10.Get another person to hold the cat
11.Let the guinea pig roam whilst holding the cat
12. Getting to know each other
Let them get to know one another and check each other out and continue this practice at all times when they are together.