Can Cats and Guinea Pigs Get Along? (Find Out Now)

Many pet lovers to have more than one kind of animal in their homes. So, if you have a guinea pig, you might be tempted to get another fur baby – like a cat, for instance. So, then you wonder “Can guinea pigs and cats get along?”

It’s possible for cats and guinea pigs to get along, but it’s risky. All cats (no matter how docile) are instinctively predators, while guinea pigs are prey animals. To minimize the danger to your cavies, both pets must always be supervised and careful planning should take place.

Confused as to whether your cat will get along with a guinea pig? If so, then you’re not alone. If you want to learn more about the interesting dynamic between cavies and cats as well as how to introduce them, keep reading.

Can Cats and Guinea Pigs Get Along?

can guinea pigs and cats get along

Many people believe cats and cavies are not compatible, but there is plenty of evidence that they can get along. However, certain precautions should always be taken to ensure your piggies and kitties get along.

How well they get along and how successful their cohabitation is depends on two main factors:

  • Your cat: What sort of personality does your she have? Is your feline a natural hunter (a mouser)? Does he like to chase and capture small animals?
  • You: How well you’re able to put in place safe guards (e.g. cage lids, separate rooms) to protect your little friends and if you’re able to keep them  from getting out of their cage or for your kitty from getting into their cage
Kittens being introduced to a guinea pig.

???? If you want some information on quirky piggie behavior and their relationships, check out these posts: Can Guinea Pigs Sense Emotions? (Find Out Now) and 10 Simple Ways To Keep Male Guinea Pigs Happy Together

What Sort Of Personality Does Your Feline Have?

If your cat has certain personality traits, it’ll make the job of getting them to safely share a space with your piggies much easier. It doesn’t mean that you should totally let down your guard, but it does make harm coming to your cavies a lot less likely.

I polled guinea pig owners who also owned cats. According to the data I collected, there are three main behaviors that cats show when are introduced to the household (or vice versa):

  • Ignored or watched from afar. In this case, the cats weren’t interested enough to get up and mosey over for a lookie-loo. This is fine! The further your kitty is from your guinea pigs, the less likely she/he is to get hurt.
  • Warm-hearted caretaker. Played with and/or groomed by kitties, but not attacked or harmed in any way. In my research, I even stumbled across an owner who stated that her cat actually flopped over and tried to nurse her piggies.
  • Totally feral. These are the most dangerous behaviors. If your kitty is hissing, growling, and trying to take swipes at your piggies through the cage, (generally doing what a cat does), you’re going to need to be extra diligent about the  safety of your cavies.

Bottom line?

When it comes to kittes and cavies, you have to know and understand your cat! If you see warning signs of aggression, my guess is that your piggies are at risk.

But, if your cat just ignores your piggies and doesn’t bat an eye, you’re actually in a much better place! Your piggies are less likely to be harmed, because…well, your kittie isn’t anywhere near them.

Now you might say “Hey, what about the friendly cat and piggie relationship? What’s wrong with that?”

But, hear me out.

Even a friendly kitty can accidentally hurt piggies with its long claws and big paws. Are your piggies completely safe when your kitty is playing with them?

It’s important to recognize the personality traits that your cat has and how they react to your piggies. It will make getting cavies and cats to safely share a space much easier. Cats with certain personality traits are less likely to harm guinea pigs.

⭐Key Takeaway:

Cats and guinea pigs can get along, but you need to know your kitty. If your kitty isn’t aggressive, your piggies will certainly be safer. But if the cat is aggressive, then it may hurt your little friend at some point in the future.

???? If you want some more information on quirky piggie behavior and their relationships, check out these posts: 10 Shocking Mistakes That Make Your Guinea Pig Hate You and 9 Simple Reasons Why Guinea Pigs Stare (What You Need To Know)

How To Keep Your Guinea Pig Safe In A Cat-Cohabitated Home by A Shepherd

???? If you want some information on how guinea pigs get along with other animals, check out this post: Can Rats Kill Guinea Pigs? (Find Out Now)

What Sort Of Personalities Do Your Guinea Pigs Have?

As a whole, guinea pigs are scared of cats. Hey, they’re even scared of us – and all we want to do is love and cuddle them!

But, that’s because guinea pigs are prey animals. They’re constantly on the lookout for predators, be that a dog or cat…or you.

This doesn’t mean piggie fur babies ever get used to being around cats. Some actually do. From the poll I took, cavies will interact with cats in three different ways:

  • Friendly: Some piggies will get used to cats. In this situation, you’ll find the piggie and your kitty snuggled up next to each other.
  • Dominant or curious: This is usually the funniest interaction. Piggies will sometimes chase kitties (who’ll often scuttled away) and even bite or swat at them. This is usually a cavy being curious, not an act of aggression.
  • Ignore: Other times, cavies will just completely ignore kitties, even when they’re are flopped over by your guinea pig. You’ll need to still be alert, though! Cats can get up and attack cavies at any moment without warning
  • Completely terrified: guinea pigs will never get used to or get closer to cats and may even freeze in fear when a feline is nearby.

Of these four guinea pig-cat interaction types, I think the most important to avoid your fur baby’s fear of cats.

This is because high stress levels and anxiety has been know to trigger gastrointestinal issues, shock, bar biting and other health problems in cavies. In fact, some piggies have been known to die from intensely stressful situations.

⭐Key Takeaway:

Some guinea pigs will never get used to being around a kitty while other guineas may be curious about them. Either way, piggies that are stressed by cats will be at risk for health problems and it’s important to monitor piggie behavior with a kitty nearby.

How To Keep Your Guinea Pig Safe In A Cat-Cohabitated Home

If you have a guinea pig and a cat, your number one priority should be to keep the cavy safe. Since guinea pigsa re are prey animals, so do what you need to do to keep your guinea pig safe and happy.

So, how do you make sure guinea pig and cat interactions are as safe as possible for your defenseless, little friends?

There’s no easy answer…but here are some tips to help you on your way:

  • Let each animal adjust to their home. Whether you had the kitty or the guinea pig first, take time to let them both adjust to their new environment. Introducing them to one another without giving either animal a chance to get used to their new home may overwhelm both animals.
  • Make sure that your guinea pigs has a secure cage to live. A tiny flimsy cage that can easily be knocked down won’t be good enough for your cavy when there is a cat around. Invest in a sturdy guinea pig cage that is tall enough for your cavies to stay out of the cat’s reach and a lid that will keep your kitty out of your guinea pigs’ cages.
  • Give your piggies their own room and keep the cat out of it. This room should be off-limits to your kitty. Some piggies may feel comfortable enough around a cat to share the same room, but it’s best not to take any chances. Give your rodent-fur babies their own space (but still in your home) and use a gate or – better yet – a door to keep your kitty out.
  • Keep everyone’s stuff separated. If you have limited space, be sure to keep all of your pet’s belongings separated. Store your piggie’s supplies in an area that is inaccessible and away from where your cat can go.
  • Never leave them alone unsupervised. A cat’s predatory nature could kick in and she could attack your piggies. Even a playful piggie may get hurt by a more aggressive cat without you knowing. So always keep a close eye on any interactions that they have.

⭐Key Takeaway:

To allow cavies and cats to live together, you should make sure they each get their own space. A successful plan for this includes: providing a safe environment for the guinea pig’s cage (and please get a sturdy cage), giving your piggies their own room with doors that the cat cannot enter and keeping it closed when it is not in use, and never leaving guinea pigs and kitties unsupervised.

How Do I Introduce My Cat To My Guinea Pig?

A good, healthy introduction is the best thing you can provide for your guinea pig and cat, as it will ensure that they get off on the right foot (paw?). It’s possible to introduce cavies and kitties successfully.

Let’s go over how you can get your cat and piggies used to each other in a slow, controlled manner that minimizes risk of injury or death.

  • Introduce them at a young age. To keep both a cat and guinea pigs together, it’s best to raise them from a young age together. This will increase the chances of successfully coexisting. Before your cat is ten weeks old, it’s important to introduce your kitty to your cavies. Young kittens are going to be more easily trained that cavies are friends and family members – not potential meals.
  • Do some scent-swapping. When you’re introducing a cat to your piggies  for the first time, it’s important that they’re on neutral footing. To get pets used to each other, rub them with a cloth. For a week or so, rub your little friends with a cloth and let your kitty smell it and then do the reverse. The goal is for them to become more comfortable with each other’s smells.
  • Teach positive associations. Place a washcloth that you rubbed the guinea pig with near the cat’s food bowl. Once your kitty is used to smelling the washcloth (doesn’t sniff it anymore) rub both the washcloth on the cat. You want your kitty to associate the positive guinea pig scent with something good (food or treats). This will help the kitty to see guinea pigs as friends, not a food source.
  • Try controlled visits. This should happen in a place that’s safe for both cavies and your cat – a common play area. For safety reasons, put your kitty in a sturdy cage. Then bring in your piggie. Let your kitty see you playing or feeding your cavy for a few minutes. Then put your cavy back and release your kitty.
  • Bring the cat and the guinea pig to the same room for an extended time. Ask another person to help you with this task. One of you can bring the cat while the other will hold the piggie. Observe if the animals remain calm as you stay in a single space. If they do so, shorten the distance little by little. If you can successfully keep both animals calm while sitting side by side, try cross-petting. Each person pet the animal that they other is holding (while still holding the initial animal).

Can Cats Kill Guinea Pigs?

Any cat can kill a piggie. Unfortunately, you need to remember is that kitties may attack guinea pigs for no clear reason.

One day, they’re buddy-buddy. And the next, you’re burying your piggie or rushing her to the vet for some cat-inflicted

Some guinea pig behavior (e.g. wheeking and scuttling around) can jump start your cat’s predatory instincts.

Even if your kitty’s personality might be calm and docile, it has the same instinctive tendency to hunt and eat. Your piggies could potentially be prey for your kitty.

In fact, while researching this topic, I stumbled across several accounts of people who had cats and piggies in the same household for years. Then suddenly, the cat hurts or kills the piggie – and the pet parents were devastated.

So, yes cats can kill guinea pigs. But, will they?

That question is a bit more difficult to answer. It can be hard to predict if or when your piggie will get attacked by your kitty. You’re probably not going to see it coming.

Although there are no guarantees, guinea pigs seem to have fewer issues with cats than other small animals such as rodents and birds. This may be because cavies are larger than some of the animals (such as pigeons or mice) that kitties would normally hunt – so an adult guinea pig can come across as threatening to some kitties.

Can Cats and Guinea Pigs Get Sick From Each Other? 

Guinea pigs and cats can get sick from each other. In the same way, humans can also contract certain illnesses from both animals.

One respiratory condition known as Bordetella can be transmitted from cats to guinea pigs.

Bordetella, a microbial infection most often found in guinea pigs and kitties but can be transmitted to other animals as well, is highly contagious. The infection of Bordetella bronchiseptica causes this disease

Symptoms of Bordetella include trouble breathing, rapid weight loss, and ruffled fur. Humans can also get infected.

You need to wash your hands after touching your guinea pig so that you don’t get sick.

If your guinea pig or cat has symptoms of Bordetella, contact your vet as soon as possible to get the appropriate treatment.

Final Thoughts About Cats and Cavies

True, the friendship between cats and guinea pigs is truly out of the ordinary.

It is ecologically unlikely. However, unlikely is not strictly impossible.

With the right actions, consistency, and commitment, you may find yourself in an adorable situation where your kitty and cavy get along without serious issues.

Understand both your pets and supply what they need to feel safe in your home.

Likewise, establishing a good bond with them individually will make the introduction to each other going more smoothly. Building a friendship between cats and a prey species like guinea pigs takes patience.

It’s impossible (or downright risky) in most situations, but it can happen if your pets have personalities that are made for each other and you take the appropriate steps to protect your piggies.

And who knows?

Maybe one day you’ll find both your pets enjoying each other’s company.

Good luck!

Behaviour – Guinea pigs – Our pets. (n.d.). The Largest Animal Welfare Charity in the UK | RSPCA.

Bordetella bronchiseptica infection in cats. ABCD guidelines on prevention and management. (2009, July). PubMed.

Do cats have personalities? (2020, February 25). Vetwest Animal Hospitals.

DVM, S. L. (2015). The Guinea pig handbook. Barron’s Educational Series.

FoodData central: Raw Strawberries. (n.d.). FoodData Central.

How to keep Guinea pigs when you have cats. (2015, June 8). wikiHow. Retrieved July 15, 2021, from

Nutrient requirements of the Guinea pig – Nutrient requirements of laboratory animals – NCBI bookshelf. (n.d.). National Center for Biotechnology Information.

Play and predatory aggression in cats. (n.d.). vca_corporate.

There are 5 feline personality types – Which is your cat? (2021, May 11). Meowingtons.

What do I need to know about my Guinea pigs’ health? (n.d.). RSPCA Knowledgebase – Let Australia’s most trusted animal welfare charity help you answer the big questions.

Similar Posts