- And got the T-shirt
If you use connectors (clamp the grids in tightly with pliers) and zip-ties three ways at all the corners, it will be very sturdy. Closet shelving makes an awesome lid. Cage too, for that matter.
I doubt the kitten will try to eat full-grown (or nearly full-grown) guinea pigs. It's more likely to try to play with them, but that doesn't work either because the pigs may get scratched. Our kitten was endlessly fascinated with our pigs and kept trying to reach them through the cage lid, but doesn't bother them at all now that he's grown. In fact, he sometimes hops in the cage to take a nap.
By some miracle, this period only lasted a few months, and after that the girl was able to remove the divider and the two boars continued to live together in a 2 x 3 grid cage until I lost track of her family. That is, when they outgrew the adolescent stage, they were fine together again. I'm not sure that any other pair of boars could live together peaceably in such a small cage, but you could try putting in a grid divider in the cage you have until you can expand it as much as you are able to expand it.
As for the kitten, I agree with bpatters. Guinea pigs are too large for most cats to consider food material. Our full grown cat was scared of them (reacted to the pigs outside of the cage like the videos of cats and cucumbers) for about a year or so, even though she would stare at them when they were in the cage. Now she ignores them.
- Supporter in 2018
The pigs seem to be just as fascinated as the cats. The cats will lay down and the pigs will come over to investigate. It still makes my husband so nervous he "jumps right in" and removes the offending cat, so I try to keep the felines out of the cage. He refuses to leave the room if the cage is open and I'm not standing right there. I did have one cat (much older!) who jumped in the floor cage and went for the hay. One of the guinea pigs who was in the cage at the time, just checked out Sassy's legs - all four of them, not the least bit nervous.
They still stick their paws through the grids, though.
- Thanks for the Memories
RE: the boars, I'd try to give them a loft or expand their cage and/or give them both a decent bit of leg room with a divider. One of my boars grew up and decided he wanted to bite everybody on the face. He lived next door for the rest of his life (I had no sows).
I also agree that my kitten may not actually try to eat them but she actually does bite ears and paws hard enough to make the pigs cry when I try to get them out for floor time without her in a different room (we don't do that anymore as I'm afraid I won't be quick enough to stop injury one day). I definitely think she mostly curious but she was a stray when we found her on the highway so I think she has more hunting instincts than my other cat who cuddles right up with her brothers.
I am thrilled you have such a big cage! It still could work. What I suggest you do now is break it up visually with long draped pieces of fringed fleece so they can't see each other easily.Be sure to have two or three water bottles and places to eat so they don't have to be near each other. I bet you can think of some other interesting things to put in such a large cage.
Oh, and it definitely does sound like the cat could be a problem. I'm glad you are taking precautions.
There was still squabbling, but very short lived. WIth more space they could easily side step or avoid coming within 12 inches of each other. In our 2x4, they were forced to come within a few inches of their "personal" space which would set them off. After a month, we rarely have teeth chattering or even mounting. They "chin off" occasionally and call it a day.
Our boys are now 11 months and roughly 6 months (forgot his birthdate!) Good luck!