“I want guinea pigs, but my husband wants a kitten. Is it possible to have both?” This is actually a very common dilemma. Many animal lovers want several types of pets. On the surface it seems counterintuitive to have predator and prey animals living in the same home. After all, how well did it work out for Tom and Jerry? Domesticated guinea pigs have no survival instincts, other than to run and hide. Therefore it’s going to be your job to protect them from potential dangers. But if done carefully, it is possible for cats, dogs, and guinea pigs to live together in harmony.
If you have a dog or cat inside, that does NOT mean that the guinea pigs go outside. The great outdoors are not an appropriate option for piggies. They can’t survive in Connecticut’s fickle climate.
With everyone living inside, it will be very important for the cage to protect them. Your best bet is a cage made of cubes and chloroplast (C&C) to house your piggies. They can be built at least as strong as pet store cages if not more so. C&C cages should be sufficient to keep them safe. If you buy your C&C from Cavy Cages, located in Connecticut, your kit will also include simple directions to build a lid.
Remember that no matter how strong your cage is, nothing replaces supervision. Even if your cat or dog and your piggies are ok “most of the time”, that doesn’t mean that nothing will ever go wrong. While the C&C cage will certainly slow them down, it will not be able to stop a determined Rottweiler from having a snack. Even if your cat doesn’t mean any harm, most of us have seen a kitty “play” with a mouse. It may be fun for Tom, but Jerry will find it less entertaining.
And finally, never let your piggy have a different species as a roommate. Some people put rabbits and guinea pigs together thinking that since they have similar nutritional requirements, they will be fine. However, as the story of Bubbles the Guinea Pig demonstrated, rabbits have a size advantage that allows them to take the majority of the food, leaving a pig to starve.
All kinds of pets enrich our lives. Different species can live together in peace if the proper safe guards are put in place. Too bad it’s not so easy for the United Nations.
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