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How to prevent jumping cats


Active Member
Cavy Slave
Feb 6, 2012
From day one, my two cats have been preeeetty interested in the guinea pigs. And by interested, I mean that they want to eat them. There's no happy stories of cutely getting along here. At first we thought "...maybe?" and we let one of our guineas get close to the cat on her own, totally of her own will, until the cat tried to bite her. I wasn't happy, and that was my baby boy love of my life kitty there. In any case, we were new guinea pig owners, we are far more cautious now. What surprised me most was my big kitty is a big ball of love. It's the little one we have to watch out for, he's tricksy.

On to the question at hand. We just built a 4 level 2x5 cage. It's great and cool, super sturdy, the cats definitely can't get in. I don't even think they could pull it down if they wanted, MAN are those things heavy! (Oh yeah, we woke up one morning in the early days to the crash and burn of our petstore cage from where it was perched on our desk. Everyone lived, just traumatized a little.) I honestly wasn't concerned about letting the cats be around the new cage at all. The bottom level is actually just storage, and we left one square grid open for them with a blanket down and they sleep under there! It's totally adorable.

Last night at like 2 in the morning, though, my little orange kitty managed to jump up all the way to the top of the cage. Now, I was half-dead so I didn't see it, I just heard him jumping back down. This is obviously not something that I want! Is there anything I can do to discourage him from trying again? I don't even know how he made it, that thing is pretty high! He might not try again on his own. I'm not worried about our other cat, because he's too fat to get up there (17 lbs of GINORMOUS kitty. No really, he has a huge frame... andmaybeisalittleoverweight.)

I don't want him to jump because I worry that maybe he COULD pull the whole thing down if he doesn't make it and sinks his claws in. Or he'd open one of the cage doors. If we aren't around to close it, that's a problem! Right now, even if he makes it, the top isn't exactly strong enough to support his weight. Tomorrow, actually, we're going to the store and buying more grids and coming at this cage from a different angle. It was our first venture. It lasted about a week before we got fed up with it. It's the doors I tell you. :p So whatever we have to do, we're in a good position to change things up. Probably we'll make the very top much stronger just in case. But I want to figure something out to keep him off. Even if I have to just put stuffed animals up there. He's usually discouraged by jumping on to other things. That's what we did with their old cage or he'd be sitting right next to them sticking his paws in. Just, sometimes.. where there's a will, there's a way.

How to prevent jumping cats
The terrors in question! The orange kitty is Kyuubi, the tabby is Zabbies, and that's my little Daisy when she was so new! As you can see, they have evil intent, obvs.

Thank you, if you read all that! I appreciate any advice. Kyuubi is just the smartest kitty in existence, so I have a hard time out-thinking him sometimes.
Closet shelving makes a very sturdy lid. I keep mine in place with carabiner clips.
Do you think that making the lid sturdier is all that is needed? I'm probably fretting about this for no reason. It's not like the cats are allowed in the room when we aren't there, but it is our bedroom and we aren't going to lock them out at night. It's just so high and I worry about him somehow pulling it down. Or goodness forbid, if my larger cat tries. He might hurt himself or the piggies in the process of failing to get to the top.

But thank you! I will look in to the shelving. You can't have enough sturdiness, I'm learning quickly.
I have that problem also. My cage is on two dressers slid together. My cats have actually pulled the cage onto the floor. It's scary! I made my lid out of grids and it's definitely not very sturdy, so a different path is in order.

My biggest cat is a whopping 23-25 lbs. do not underestimate those little buggers! Lol
I can sooooo relate to what you are going through.. our Teegra LOVES to get into our pig room and "play". We were going to keep our babies in the living room, however the kitty decided that she wanted to be inside the cage with them. We're lucky though.. she's just a no clawed swatter, and I'll go as far to say she is scared of them... a little. We keep the door shut to our extra room so she doesn't hurt any piggy.. and anytime she is in the room, an adult is always in their with her.

I would suggest maybe trying a light weight top to discourage Kyuubi from hopping up to visit - sometimes aluminum foil at the top of cages works as a deterant.

... wow... I re-read your post and .. wow... they are determined!
I'm liking the self-supporting cage I have now, with the bottom layer of grids being storage. I would consider it, Scintie! I can't tell you what all kinds of lengths we had to go through to keep the cats out when we got our first C&C cage that stood on a table. It was ridiculous. I would constantly wake up in the night to one of them sitting on the desk cuddled in the middle of the stuffed animals that were meant to be a deterrent to them and staring in the cage. One night I woke up and my fattie was laying on top of their cage, and this was when we still had a petstore cage that had a rounded top. I can't imagine it was comfortable.

Aluminum foil is a good idea! The top is just so high, my biggest concern is the process of getting up there. He's a good jumper, though. I can't believe it.

They are super determined kitties. I about had a heart attack one night. And I hate admitting my failures as a guinea pig parent, but... the things I never realized could happen! I still don't know all the details as we were both sleeping. But I am a light sleeper fortunately, as I woke up to some unusual squeaking that was not "I'm just moseying around doing my thing." It was more scared, but not all out shrieking, as I have heard before. So I get up, and there was my Floppy, new momma, hiding in some blankets on the floor surrounding by kitties. How she got out of the cage and off the table... I don't even want to think about. As it turned out, My first C&C cage was connected with those connectors that I abhor and the kitties attacked the corner, the weakest part, I guess, because the connector was off, and I only assume Floppy, who likes to put her paws up, fell out. Believe me when I say, I will never use anything but millions of zip ties again. When in doubt, more is better.

So I'm thinking last night was only the beginning. The kitties weren't too interested in the new cage at first, now they've always got their paws up. They hate the grids because they can't move them around. The bottom layer is the baby boys, so that's babyproofed and extra secure. Maybe it will always stay like that. I kind of envy people whose cats relax and are chill around piggies. It would make my life easier. My dog, at least, doesn't care one whit as long as we don't forget about her.
Oh! I forgot... we had picked up double sided duct tape at Walmart a couple weeks ago... I'm not sure how it would work on sides of cages or if the cats could tug it over after getting a paw "stuck". It sounds like you've had enough drama with them though.. I wish you luck!

Teegra just tries to get into the floor cages of ours... my 3 year old and I were feeding cilantro last night, and the cat decided to sit on top of the extra large pigloo and swat at the pigs as they went by... my oldest female Pepper just turns and looks at her and it sends kitty into a tizzy. She doesn't seem interested in our multi story cage.. I think she just figures it isn't worth the effort when there is a bunch already within jumping range.
Thank you! I love my cats, but man! I'd like to have less predatory ones, haha. The pigs don't get floor time unless the cats are locked out and gone. Or one of their mommas is sitting right next to them and they are caged in so they don't wander into kitty jaws on their own. Though, one time Zabbies did try to just jump into their floor enclosure. I have no idea. He's so dumb.

I love it though when they approach the cage and one of my pigs will stick their nose out and they smell each other. So brave. So trusting. So naive. :)

The duct tape is something to consider. I don't really want them putting their paws on the cage at any level, but I also don't want to be sticking to duct tape myself. So we'll see what we can come up with.
When I lived at home I had to worry about my sister's two cats. They constantly stared at my pig, Elliot's, cage, but I was afraid it was stressing her out so I began spraying the cats with water.

Once they learned going near the cage meant being sprayed, they grew more cautious and sneaky. They would slooowly creep into the room. As soon as they got close to the cage, I would simply spray the water in the air and the noise of the spray bottle sent them flying out of the room.

A few weeks passed and they hardly showed interest in the cage. Needless to say there were a few times they couldn't handle their curiosity.
Thank you for the suggestion! I could try! But throwing water at my one cat makes him wrinkle his nose and stare at you. I don't know. Sometimes he does run, it's just not every time. Maybe a full on onlsaught of water would help rather than me throwing drops at him. I just think my kitties are impossible monsters. I love them <3
I have four cats and only my youngest, Ben is a small problem. They all like to watch the pigs, but Ben sticks his paws in the cages and will occasionally jump at the cage. I have two Midwest Habitats connected for 3 female piggies. The could care less about the cats unless Ben reaches in and touches them. My cats all have claws but we've never had any issues. I lock them out of the piggy room at night and I'm here during the day most of the time.

As far as your concerns, I agree the best option may be to secure the cage to the wall. If you don't want to bolt it you could always put a couple plant hooks in the wall and use wire to "tie" the cage to the wall tightly to prevent any tip-overs.
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