I knew when I married a cat lover, we would eventually come to adopting a cat. I love animals of all kinds, so the thought of a cat didn’t bother me, but I was worried about how my Golden Retriever (Roxy) would take the new addition to our home.
I waited a long time before we adopted a cat, and I even considered waiting until Roxy had passed on. I did research while I waited to see how Golden Retrievers interacted with cats and the best way to introduce an animal to the family. Here’s what I found on dogs and cats.
What's in this Guide?
Are Golden Retrievers Good with Cats?
Yes. Typically Golden Retrievers are very good with cats because they are social and lovable dogs. They are also smart enough to know to respect cats and when to back off. Golden Retrievers are known for getting along with almost everyone. However, you will find that your dog and cat will get along best when you follow the tips and tricks below for teaching your dog and cat to coexist.
Tools for introducing your dog to a cat
When you introduce your dog and cat to each other there are a few things you might want to have on hand including:
A leash will help you reign in your dog when he gets a little over-eager and will keep your cat from being overly scared.
A Pet Barrier is a great way to allow your cat and dog to see and smell each other without having to touch. It takes away the threat of claws and teeth and can help your pets feel safe while discovering their new friend.
Treats are a good idea for every type of training. When you see your dog and cat getting along you can give them treats and reinforce good behavior.
The last thing you need when teaching a cat and dog to get along is a lot of patience. Throwing either animal directly into meeting each other can create tension and stress for the animals. Take things slow to help your pets adjust to life together.
Tips for Teaching Your Dog and Cat to Coexist
While your dog and cat may learn to coexist on their own, the transition will be a lot smoother if you help them along the way. Here are a few tips and tricks that I found from PetBest.com and MentalFloss.com to help you successfully introduce your cat and dog to each other.
Remember Who Your Pet Is as An Individual
While Golden Retrievers are a great dog breed and generally get along with everyone, you have to remember that information about dog breeds are generalizations.
Some Golden Retrievers may be more aggressive or prone to chase your cat than others. This is just a part of your dog’s personality and you need to learn how to respect that.
The same goes for cats. If you have a skittish pet or a very aggressive or territorial pet then you either need to stay away from adopting other animals or be prepared to keep them separated while they live with you.
Ask the cat breeder the right questions
Don’t be afraid to ask before purchasing a dog or cat whether or not it has lived with other animals and whether or not they handled the experience well.
This is particularly important when you are thinking of purchasing an older dog or cat because their habits are set and they won’t take well to change.
Raising your dog and cat together at a young age is much easier than bringing a new puppy to an old cat or vice versa.
When your pets are young and new to your home, they won’t feel as if their territory is being trampled on by another animal and they will be more open to having a connection with your other pets.
Train Your Dog
Training your dog, in general, goes a long way in helping your dog develop impulse control. This will help him interact with other pets, with other people, and with children. Training is the number one way to ensure you have a respectful, polite, and happy dog.
Let Your Dog Exercise
Another thing you should do, before beginning to introduce your dog and cat is to let your dog exercise and play.
Dogs that don’t have enough exercise have high energy levels and will act more impulsively than a dog that has had time to run around and be outside. Let your dog participate in regular exercise to help them be calm and controlled.
Keep Your Dog and Cat in Their Own Spaces
It can be tempting to introduce your dog and cat as soon as you come home, but doing this can lead to a bad relationship between the two. First impressions are everything, even between animals.
If you want your dog and cat to gave a good first impression of each other, allow them to live in separate spaces for the first few days. This will allow your dog and cat to get used to the sound and smells of each other before meeting face to face.
You can accelerate this process by allowing your pets into each other’s space alone and allowing them to sniff each other’s bedding and toys.
Keep Their Things Separate
If you purchase toys and bedding for your pets, don’t allow their items to intermingle. Cats, in particular, are extremely territorial and won’t welcome the idea of a dog drooling on their favorite toy mouse or scratching post.
Keep your pet’s things as separate as possible to allow them to have their own space. In a lot of ways pets are like children, they don’t want to share everything.
Keep Your Dog on a Leash
Keeping your dog on a leash is a great way to help your cat remain in control and feel safe. This can also help you correct bad behaviors between the animals and get the dog away quickly if things go south.
Don’t Hold Your Cat
Cats are independent animals and don’t like to be held. In fact, holding your cat can make it feel more scared of the dog. To help your cat feel at ease let him or she discover their new friend on their own.
If you think, the cat may become overwhelmed let the two meet face to face in an area that has a place your cat can jump up to and escape if he or she needs to.
Let your cat roam free and be his or herself to establish their sense of hierarchy and to gain the respect of the dog. This will help your cat feel safe in the future when dealing with a dog twice its size.
Lead By Example
Finally, interact with both the animals at the same time and show them how they should treat each other. Pet and play gently and calmly with each of them.
This will help your cat and dog act gently and kindly with each other. This will also help your pets get used to sharing with you.
Are Golden Retrievers Good With Kids?
Yes. As mentioned previously, there are few people or animals that a Golden Retriever won’t get along with. In fact, most Golden Retrievers are only aggressive when hunting or when protecting their humans.
Many of the principles above can be implemented to teach your Golden how to interact with your child. You can help your Golden Retriever get used to a young kid by letting your Golden smell things that your child has worn or slept in.
This will help your Golden get used to your child’s scent. You should also start slow with the introductions to give your dog and child time to adjust to each other. You can also lead by example to show your dog how to be gentle and kind to your kids and show your kid the acceptable ways to play with the dog.
5 Breeds that are GOOD with Cats
If you have a cat and are looking for a dog CheatSheet.com provides a list of some of the best dog breeds that are good with cats.
Included in the list are:
1) Bichon Frise
4) German Shepherd
5) Cocker Spaniel
A list of Breeds that are BAD with Cats
Likewise, Chewy’s Pet Central offers a list of dogs to avoid if you own a cat.
1) Bluetick Coonhound
4) Australia Cattledog
It can be difficult to know whether purchasing another pet is a good idea. I held off for years waiting to see if Roxy could handle a new addition to her comfortable life.
I had to consider things like her breed, personality, and age. I eventually came to the conclusion that Roxy could be comfortable if we gave her time to adjust without having the cat in her face constantly.
Now, Roxy is extremely comfortable with our Tara, a tortoiseshell colored short hair cat and I couldn’t imagine life without both of my fur babies.