Which Dogs Are Good with Cats?
In Britain, 46 per cent of households have pets and a quarter of those have dogs. However, many dog owners also keep cats and while one may think of the old saying, “fighting like cats and dogs”, this doesn’t always have to be the case.
There are many types of dogs that get along very well with cats and while some may not be reliable with neighbourhood pets outside the home, lots do get on with ones living in the same household, especially if they are brought up together.
Holidays4Dogs looks into some of the breeds that are particularly suitable for living with pet cats as well as providing a few simple tips on how to introduce dogs to cats and vice versa.
These sociable and happy little dogs generally get along very well with cats. They are fairly undemanding in terms of exercise and will happily regard a cat in the home as another little playmate. Bichons are fun little dogs to have around and most cats, except for the very shy ones, won’t be too offended by having to share their home with a little bundle of fluff.
Golden retrievers generally make good all round family pets. They are usually gentle and polite, despite their size. In addition, they are usually easy to train, especially when it comes to introductions with feline companions.
These delicate little dogs make great friends for cats. They are small enough not be a threat to even the most timid of cats and they love company, whether it be human, canine or feline.
Another happy-go-lucky little fellow who is super friendly with everyone. They are little power houses when they want to be, so some cats may not appreciate them being quite so friendly all the time. Broadly speaking, however, pugs are sociable and non-confrontational.
Despite their stature, these dogs would be a great choice for a household with cats. Generally, Newfoundland’s have soft and gentle temperaments. They don’t tend to rush around too much – a trait very much appreciated by the more demure feline.
There are many dogs that get on with cats, even within groups that are generally regarded as unfriendly towards cats such as collies, Siberian huskies, or jack Russell terriers. Even some sight hounds, such as the greyhound, can be amicable with cats in the same household.
Introducing dogs and cats.
When introducing dogs into the same household where cats live, or vice versa, it is important to provide a safe place for the feline – somewhere where the dog cannot access. The use of baby gates can be helpful, so the cat can jump over into another room if needs be. Place the cat’s food dishes and litter tray out of reach; ideally, in a room the dog never has access to.
Even if the cat has been used to living with dogs, he will find it unsettling when a new dog is brought into the household. For the first few days, it is a good idea to keep the new cat, or dog, separate from existing pets. Set up stair gates so that the two pets can smell and see each other, but not touch.
Always put the dog on a lead for the first few days during initial introductions. Have lots of tasty treats handy for rewarding calm behaviour. If the dog becomes excited or barks, you will need to distract him, or move him further away from the cat, until he settles down. Don’t allow the dog to stare at the cat for long periods. Instead, interrupt this behaviour and distract the dog by getting him to focus on you.
It is important not to overwhelm the household cat by forcing introductions too quickly. As things progress and if interactions are going well you can try putting a lightweight house line on your dog. This will prevent him from chasing should he decide to do so. If things go wrong, take a few steps back and provide the pets with more space from each other.
Some cat and dog introductions are hassle free and quick. Others may take time, sometimes over several months. However, if you are patient there is a good chance they will eventually become the best of friends.