Cats are known to be curious and can get themselves into anything, even locked cages. A cage with a guinea pig may be extra enticing for cats because their list of natural prey includes rodents.
If you have guinea pigs or other small animals in your home, there are several things you can do to have them coexist safely with your cats. Here are a few ways you can prevent your cats from getting to your guinea pigs.
How to Cat-Proof a Guinea Pig Cage (7 Tips & Tricks)
1. Choose a Sturdy Cage
There are different types of cages that can house guinea pigs. Most guinea pig cages and wire cages for larger rodents tend to have wider gaps between the wires. Try to find a cage that has smaller gaps so that your cat’s paws can’t slip through them.
You can also use a glass or acrylic enclosure to completely protect your guinea pig from any swiping paws. Just make sure to find a lid that secures tightly on top so that your cat can’t pop it open. You can even try adding weights or an adhesive that makes it extremely difficult for your cat to open the lid.
2. Place the Cage in a Hard-To-Reach Spot
This can be challenging to do as cats are expert climbers and can squeeze into tight spaces. You can try setting the cage on top of a cabinet or table that doesn’t leave any space for cats to tiptoe along. Try to be strategic about the placement by keeping the cage away from any cat trees or steps from where your cat can leap off to reach it.
3. Surround the Cage With a Mesh Covering
Another method to keep cats away from a guinea pig cage is to surround it with another layer of protection, such as a mesh covering. The added protection will prevent cats from being able to touch the guinea pig cage. Try to find a tough material that can withstand scratching and pouncing.
4. Use a Dog Crate
Similar to the mesh covering method, you can simply slide the guinea pig crate in the middle of a dog crate. The best kind of dog crate will be one for large or extra-large dog breeds so that your cat’s arms can’t reach the center of the crate.
For added safety, you can add weights inside the dog crate so that larger cat breeds can’t slide the crate around. Adding a lock to the dog crate door can prevent your cat from playing with the door latch and flipping it open.
5. Place the Cage in a Private Room
If you have a particularly persistent cat, you may have to resort to placing the cage in a designated room that’s off-limits to your cat. This room can be a bedroom, office, or any other area where you can ensure that your cat won’t be able to enter.
To make the room less enticing for your cat, make sure to place any of its items, such as toys, feeding station, and scratching posts, as far away from the room as possible. You can also line the entrance of the room with protective material if your cat tries to paw and scratch its way inside.
6. Surround the Cage With Obstacles
There are several obstacles you can place around the guinea pig cage that can discourage your cat from getting close by. You can try lining the perimeter of the cage with cat training tape to prevent your cat from stepping closer to it.
Cats also don’t like certain scents, such as citrus and cayenne pepper, so you can try placing a small dish of these scents near the guinea pig cage as a means of repelling your cats from it.
Cats can be master lock pickers and get past all kinds of doors. With a little determination, some cats may be able to open a guinea pig cage’s door. Most cage doors are only difficult for guinea pigs to escape from, but larger animals can easily open some of them with force.
To prevent cats from getting past the cage door, add a secure lock to the door as an obstacle. The best kind of lock will probably be a combination lock, so you don’t have to worry about keeping track of a set of keys.
Cats can be persistent, but it’s still very possible for cats and guinea pigs to cohabitate in the same home. While they may not ever become the best of friends, they can still live together peacefully. You just might have to get a little creative to make sure to keep everyone happy and safe.
Featured Image Credit: Rosa Jay, Shutterstock