Finding the perfect pet is no easy task, especially when you’re looking to merge two different species under one roof. If you’ve been asking yourself: Can cats and dogs get along under the same roof? you’re in the right place! This article will highlight the best dog breeds that are known for getting along splendidly with their feline counterparts; as well as some tips to keep the animals happy and stress-free.
Why Compatibility Matters
It’s essential to understand that not all dogs will react the same way to cats, and vice versa. Their relationship will depend on various factors, including their individual personalities, the environment, and their upbringing. So, if you’ve been pondering, “Can any dog get along with a cat?” the answer is, potentially yes, but some breeds have a track record that makes them a safer bet.
Which Dog Breeds Get Along With Cats?
Here’s a closer look at some of the most cat-friendly dog breeds:
Golden Retrievers are famously friendly, patient, and trainable. These traits make them one of the top candidates for households that have or are considering cats.
Golden Retrievers are known for their affable personalities, intelligence, and loyalty. They’re not only one of the most popular breeds in the U.S, but they are also well-loved for their sociability and adaptability to various living situations.
These dogs are quite patient, which is an essential trait when living with cats, who can sometimes have aloof or independent dispositions. With their friendly demeanor and trainable nature, Golden Retrievers can be a great choice for a cat-friendly household.
Historically, Beagles were bred to hunt in packs, so they are generally good with other animals. They’re friendly and curious, making them more likely to befriend a cat rather than chase it around the house.
Beagles are small to medium-sized dogs that are famous for their keen sense of smell and friendly personality. These dogs were historically bred to hunt in packs, making them inherently sociable with both humans and other animals.
Their good-natured and inquisitive personality means they’re more likely to be intrigued by a cat, rather than display aggression or dominance. However, their hunting instincts can sometimes kick in, so supervision during early interactions is necessary until you’re sure they see the cat as a friend, not prey!
Boxers are energetic and playful. Despite their size, they are generally patient and gentle with cats, especially if they have been socialized together from a young age.
Boxers are medium to large-sized dogs known for their muscular build, playful nature, and boundless energy. Despite their imposing appearance, they are incredibly gentle and affectionate with their families, including feline members.
Boxers have a protective streak which means they may even become your cat’s bodyguard over time! If socialized from a young age, they can learn to play appropriately and respectfully with smaller pets.
The Bichon Frise is a small, gentle breed. Their friendly demeanor and relatively low prey drive make them a good fit for homes with cats.
The Bichon Frise is a small breed known for its fluffy white coat and cheerful disposition. They’re typically very social and love to be part of the family activities.
They have a low prey drive compared to many other breeds, which means they’re less likely to view cats as something to chase. Their small size can also make introductions to cats easier, as they may not be perceived as a threat.
Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are affectionate, adaptable, and sociable dogs. They get along well with cats, other dogs, and even smaller pets.
Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are small, affectionate dogs with a royal history – they were favorites of King Charles II, hence their name! Their adaptable and sociable nature makes them good companions for both humans and other pets.
They’re known for being gentle, which can be beneficial when getting along with cats. Cavaliers can adjust well to the cat’s mood – they can be playful when the cat is feeling frisky, and calm and relaxed when the cat is in its downtime.
A Note About Breeds that are Generally Good With Cats
Remember, these traits are general to the breeds but individual dogs may vary. Always spend time with a dog before bringing them into a home with a cat to make sure their personalities will mesh well.
How Do You Tell If a Dog Will Be Good With Cats?
While breed can be a good indicator, it’s also essential to observe a dog’s behavior and temperament. Here are some signs that a dog might be a good fit for a household with a cat:
- Calm demeanor: A dog that is naturally calm and easygoing may be more likely to get along with a cat.
- Low prey drive: Dogs with a high prey drive may see cats as prey and not companions.
- History: If a dog has been around cats before and had positive experiences, they’re more likely to be friendly with cats in the future.
- Training: Well-trained dogs are easier to manage and control, making it safer to introduce them to cats.
Let’s Dive A Little Deeper Into The Training Aspect
Training is an essential step in ensuring that your dog can live peacefully with a cat. Dogs have a natural instinct to chase smaller animals, which might include your cat. But with the right training and patience, you can help your dog understand that the cat is part of the family, not a toy or prey.
Before your dog and cat meet face-to-face, start with scent familiarization. This process involves getting each animal accustomed to the other’s scent. You can do this by exchanging their bedding or using a soft cloth to rub each pet, then leaving that cloth with the other. This way, when they finally meet, they will not be entirely unfamiliar to each other.
When introducing your dog and cat for the first time, ensure it’s a controlled environment. Keep your dog on a leash to prevent any sudden chasing. The cat should have an escape route if it feels threatened – a tall piece of furniture or a room the dog cannot access is useful. Always ensure the first few interactions are supervised.
Teach Basic Commands
Train your dog to understand and obey basic commands like “sit”, “stay”, “leave it”, and “come. These commands can be especially handy during the early stages of introductions. For instance, if your dog becomes too excited upon seeing the cat, a firm “sit” or “stay” command can help control the situation. Reward your dog for obeying these commands, creating a positive association with the cat’s presence.
Respect the Cat’s Space
It’s important to teach your dog to respect the cat’s space. Cats often value their alone time and might not appreciate a dog always in their face, even if it’s just friendly curiosity. Discourage your dog from disturbing the cat during meal times, or when it’s sleeping or using the litter box.
Positive reinforcement plays a crucial role in training a dog. Whenever your dog interacts nicely with the cat, offer treats, praises, or extra playtime. This helps your dog understand that good things happen when they behave well around the cat.
Remember, patience is key in dog-cat relations. Some pairs may get along right from the start, while others might take weeks or even months to coexist peacefully. Always ensure you’re progressing at a pace comfortable for both pets, gradually increasing their time together under supervision.
If you’re facing significant issues, consider seeking help from a professional dog trainer or a behaviorist. They can provide personalized guidance and training techniques based on your dog’s and cat’s individual personalities and needs.
Cats and Dogs: Is It Better to Get the Dog or the Cat First?
There’s no definitive answer to this as it depends on the specific pets involved. However, in general, introducing a kitten to a dog might be easier than introducing a cat to a dog. Dogs are less threatened by animals smaller than themselves, and kittens are typically more adaptable than adult cats.
Cats and Dogs and Cohabitation: Our Final Thoughts
Ultimately, the key to a successful introduction and cohabitation of dogs and cats under the same roof is patience and proper training. Remember, individual personalities and circumstances will always play a significant role. However, by carefully considering your dog breed choice and properly managing their introduction and shared environment, you can help foster a peaceful and even loving relationship between your dog and cat.
Remember, the perfect pet pairing isn’t impossible, and with the right information, you’re one step closer to achieving a harmonious household.