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Home > Guinea Pigs > Will My Cat Eat My Guinea Pig If They Get The Chance? Facts & FAQ

Will My Cat Eat My Guinea Pig If They Get The Chance? Facts & FAQ

guinea pig in the arm

Although cats and guinea pigs can get along, it is important to remember that cats are predators, and because guinea pigs are somewhat smaller than most cats, your cat may chase your guinea pig if given the chance. This may result in the cat killing the guinea pig and potentially eating it. Even if the two seem to get along, you should always keep any playtime between them monitored because even an accidental paw from your kitty could cause injury to your cavie.


About Cats

There are estimated to be between 300 and 600 million cats in the world. Around three-quarters of these cats are stray or wild, but that does leave 100 to 200 million pet cats living in our homes and being part of our everyday lives. Along with dogs, they are the most popular type of pet in the world, living on all continents except Antarctica.

The average lifespan of a cat is anywhere from 12 to 18 years, although it does vary according to domestic status, breed, and other factors. And, because they integrate into our home lives so easily, it is easy to forget that, naturally, cats are predators. In the wild, these obligate carnivores would eat small animals and even insects.

About Guinea Pigs

Guinea Pigs hail from South America where they live in family units of up to 10 cavies. They are adaptable creatures that can live in very challenging conditions and tough terrains, but they are natural prey. In the wild, some of their natural predators include wild cats, and this gives us some indication of whether cats are likely to try and hunt and eat pet guinea pigs.

Guinea pigs can make good pets. They are larger and easier to handle than smaller pets like hamsters, and they can be quite affectionate and open to human contact under the right conditions. As such, there are estimated to be around 30 million pet guinea pigs globally.

Guinea pig with little kitten
Image Credit: Rita_Kochmarjova, Shutterstock

Can They Get Along?

Pet cats are domesticated animals and while this means that they are more approachable and lovable than wild cats, they do retain some of their wild instincts. That’s why they sit at windows, tails twitching, making mewling noises when they see birds and other potential prey outside. It is also why some cats will naturally try and hunt any animal that is smaller than them and that they see as a potential meal.

Do Cats Eat Guinea Pigs?

Guinea pigs are naturally smaller than cats, and this means that they can be seen as prey. However, this isn’t true in all instances. Cavies are a little larger and don’t dart around as much as, for example, hamsters. Therefore, your cat’s hunting instinct may not be triggered by a slow-moving guinea pig.

How To Keep Your Guinea Pig Safe

It is always best to err on the side of caution when it comes to letting cats and guinea pigs mix. Even a quick swipe from your cat’s claws can cause serious damage to your guinea pig.

cat wearing harness while walking on grass
Image Credit: frantic00, Shutterstock

Don’t Let Your Guinea Pig Out Near Your Cat

Guinea pigs tend to live in cages or hutches, with a run to provide extra space for daily activity. The guinea pig will spend the majority of its time in this enclosure, and this should be especially true if you have cats. Guinea pigs are prey to cats, and the best way to keep your cavie safe is to not let it out of the cage when your cat has access to the area. If you do want to let the guinea pig out of its hutch, ensure that the cat is shut out of the room.

Restrain Your Cat

It may be possible to let a guinea pig out while your cat is in the room if you put your cat on a leash or harness. It is not recommended that you hold the cat because if the hunting instinct kicks in, you are likely to face the claws and teeth of your cat before they are turned on the guinea pig.

Don’t Leave Them Alone

Even if you do discover that your cat doesn’t chase or attack your guinea pig, you should never leave them alone and out of the cage. Your guinea pig may nibble at your cat, causing an unexpected reaction from your cat. Alternatively, because your cat instinctively sees guinea pigs and smaller animals as prey, you cannot guarantee that it will remain calm and placid at all times. If your guinea pig is out of its cage and you need to leave the room, put it back in the cage or shut the cat out of the room.



Cats are natural predators and guinea pigs are natural prey. This means that, in a lot of cases, cats will hunt and attempt to kill guinea pigs. There are exceptions, but it is best to work on the principle that a cat will hunt a guinea pig when given the chance. Keep your cavie in its hutch while the cat is around, and ensure that your cat is properly restrained or shut out of the room when you do let your guinea pig have a free roam.

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Featured Image Credit: The Escape of Malee, Shutterstock

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