Do cats eat guinea pigs?

Humans are indeed lovers of animals. It is common for households to have several kinds of pets. Cats and dogs are considered to be the most popular pets. Birds, hamsters, ferrets, rabbits are only some of the common choices. The guinea pig is another popular pet. Guinea pigs are considered as prey by dogs and cats. Anyone that already has pet dogs and cats and still wanting to add guinea pig to the existing pets has to thinks of the safety of the newest addition as dogs and cats consider guinea pigs as prey. It is very possible that the poor guinea pig would end up as the dinner of the cat or the dog. Yes, cats can and would eat guinea pigs.

Cavia porcellus is the proper name of these rodent-like little animals. Cavies have existed in the wild as early as 5000 BC. Guinea pigs that were kept by the Inca Indians for food were brought to Europe by the Spaniards around 1554. These are highly social animals. Guinea pigs love company…they will make various vocalizations that show their pleasure when they are petted. Cavies are known to pine away when ignored and not given opportunities to interact with humans and with other animals. These are low cost and low maintenance animals. Cavies do not need to be walked…neither do these animals need constant attention. Guinea pigs make great pets but of course these pocket pets are not for everyone. Because of the size, guinea pigs would need to be handled with care. The cuteness factor can easily make very young children inadvertently hurt these tiny animals. A potential owner of guinea pigs must also consider other pets in the household. Dogs and cats would consider cavies as prey. A mature guinea pig may intimidate a cat but it is very possible for cats to steal a baby pig from the litter and have it for dinner.

Cats are predators and the guinea pig will be viewed by the cat as a prey. Stalking and capturing a small animal is a natural instinct of cats. Cats have inherent hunting abilities. In the wild these animals have survived by hunting and eating their prey. Domestic cats no longer need to hunt as they are regularly provided with enough food to eat. However, domestication has not totally erased the instinct to hunt. Some cats have friendly personalities and would consider other smaller pets as family. Friendly cats can co-exist with a guinea pig that is allowed to roam around the house. Cats though have different personalities. One that appears to ignore the pig can instantly jump and torment the small pet as soon as the owner’s back is turned. A cat can also view the very young pigs as a mouth-watering prey. Domestic cats hunt not to eat the prey but to have fun. Cats enjoy the chase. Chasing a grunting and trembling guinea pig would certainly bring the cat so much pleasure. The enjoyment would end when the pig is killed. Just as with other kinds of prey that the cat has killed, the dead guinea pig will be brought to the owner by the cat as a gift.

It is very much possible for a cat to kill and to eat a guinea pig but this should not prevent anyone from wanting to care for this pocket pet. Cats can be coached or trained to exist harmoniously with the smaller animal. The predator-prey context can be dealt with by training the cat to get along with the pig. This would take time and a lot of patience but it can be done. As a precaution, the guinea pig must not be left alone with the cat even if both animals already get along. Put the pig back on its cage if the animals cannot be supervised.