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Wednesday, October 1, 2008
Guinea Pigs and Other Pets - Chirp! Meow! Wheek! Meow!

By Joanne Colangelo
Joanne Colangelo volunteers for a number of animal rescue organizations. She shares her experiences and stories of guinea pig interaction.

A kitten and guinea pig play
The Cat and Guinea Pig get along just fine.
This cat poses no threat to the guinea pig
Courtesy of Joanne Colangelo
This Guinea likes to ride the kitty.

It was late one night when my husband and I were awakened by a loud, sudden chirping.  We assumed a bird had gotten into the house and knew we’d better find it before the cats did.  To our sweet surprise, it wasn’t a bird at all.  It was our boar, Teddy, singing his heart out!  There he was in his cage, his head held high, belting out a melodious song as the other pigs quietly listened.  Since that evening, Teddy has entertained us many times between 11 p.m. and 4 a.m. It is a lovely little chant; however, we’d appreciate it a bit more if he chose a more appropriate time of day!

Not all guinea pigs “chirp.”  Most wheek and whistle, and many also purr, shriek, whine or chut, so having a chirping piggie in our family is pretty exciting.  Surprisingly, Teddy’s song does not seem to evoke the attention of our cats.  In fact, our cats enjoy the guinea pigs as much as we do.

My cat Tiggerbella loves the guinea pigs.  When it’s lap-time for a piggie, Tiggerbella curls up on my lap, too, right alongside the pig and licks it.  She rubs her head against it and snuggles closely.  It makes me wonder if the guinea pigs remind her of the litter she raised long ago before she came into rescue.  It’s very sweet, and the pigs seem to enjoy it as well. 

Angelica is my special-needs kitty.  She never recovered from her former life (even though she was just a kitten when rescued) and is petrified of just about everything.  She prefers to live in one room of the house, where the piggies live.  When I set up the “playground” on the floor for my guinea pigs, Angelica jumps right in!  All she wants to do is sit among the pigs and watch.  She doesn’t interact with them, but seems to enjoy the show they put on as they run about, popcorn and wheek.  My pigs seem to know that Angelica is not a threat and, although they don’t approach her, they surely don’t mind that she’s there.

The other cats in the family don’t seem to have much interest in the guinea pigs.  Although, there were times when I found my young cat, Curry, in the girls’ cage.  I don’t have a top on the cage and every once in a while Curry jumps in, takes a peek around, attempts to touch them with retracted claws, and leaves.  Cindy of The Critter Connection (a guinea pig rescue in Durham, Connecticut) told me that her cats join her rescue pigs in their cages, too.  In fact, they sleep in the pile of the piggies’ hay!  It’s cute; so let’s not tell the cats that guinea pigs are rodents!

Of course, as with all animals, how pets relate to one another depends upon their individual personalities.  Please, never assume that your guinea pigs are safe with other animals.  Take precautions by being present when your pigs are with other pets until you know for sure that there is nothing to fear.  There are too many sad stories of pet guinea pigs being attacked by the family cat or dog. I totally trust my cats with my piggies, and I think my cats are pretty glad that I do!

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Guinea Pigs and Other Pets - Chirp! Meow! Wheek! Meow!

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Reader Comments
Aaaaaaaaah, that is so Sweeet! It's Amazing how some kitties can interactly peacefully with piggies cuz you would never think that would be possible. My friend, Mary's cats were the same way with her piggies. I Love...Love...Love the pigtures! :-)
Leah, Princess Snowflake, & Bertie Pig, Charlotte, NC
Posted: 10/20/2008 1:31:29 PM
Joanne,
another wonderful article and pictures.
All your pets look so peaceful. Thanks for sharing
Marion, Minneapolis, MN
Posted: 10/2/2008 6:24:48 PM
How wonderful that your cats and piggies get along. That is not always the case as those of us from the guinea pig daily digest know. As far as Teddy Chirping that is special, I too have a chriper Miss Pooky, however I think Teddy is singing because he wants his "wife" Princess Snowflake.
Birdie, LaVista, NE
Posted: 10/2/2008 4:39:27 PM
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