About 8 months ago we got a cat from the shelter. About two months after that we bought two guinea pigs.

The cat seems to be both interested and afraid of the guinea pigs. When the guinea pigs are just eating, sleeping, or whatever she likes to watch them very closely. She even sometimes steps into their pen, sits on the roof of the little house the guinea pigs have. Sometimes she drives away the guinea pigs by touching them, usually when she has lots of energy and needs to be played with. When one of the guinea pigs looks at her directly, she immediately backs off.

When we allow the guinea pigs to roam the living room she keeps her distance though. If a guinea pig comes to close she runs away as if she's afraid.

How can one explain this behavior? Is my cat afraid of them?

  • 1
    Update: 6 years later nothing has changed.
    – Sebazzz
    Commented Aug 21, 2020 at 6:14

2 Answers 2


Your cat was apparently not raised in close contact with guinea pigs. So the cat doesn't know how to react and has a fear reaction when they are too close.

If it was not a guinea pig but a wolf it is probable that the cat would perceive it as a threat all the time. But here as the guinea pig is small the cat is trying to approach.

Just let things go as they are and they'll get used to each other.

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My cat has been the same way with all of my guinea pigs. I've had my cat and a guinea pig sitting in my lap at the same time, but when the piggy is loose on the bathroom floor, the cat stays on the other side of the gate or runs away when the piggy comes towards her. I think they are just confused and don't know what to expect! I've had three guinea pigs and my cat has had the same reaction for all of them.

(Of course, even though my cat seems scared of guinea pigs, I wouldn't trust her alone with them!)

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