Are Golden Retrievers Good With Cats?

I knew when I married a cat lover, we would eventually adopt a cat.

The thought of a cat didn’t bother me, but I was worried about how my Golden Retriever would take the new addition to our home.

In this guide, you’ll learn:

  • How to establish a good relationship amongst your pets
  • Warnings signs that the relationship is sour
  • Questions to ask before getting a cat

And much more!

my golden retriever and my cat laying together under the sheets

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.

What will you need to introduce your golden retriever to a cat?

A few tools to have in the arsenal that will help with introducing your Golden retriever to a new pet include:


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.

Pet Barriers

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.

How to Train Your Golden Retriever and cat to live together

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 to help you get started:

tip 1: 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.

Tip 2: 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.

Tip 3: Start Young

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.

Tip 4: 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.

Tip 5: 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 give 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.

Tip 6: Keep Each pets Items Separated

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.

Tip 7: Avoid Holding 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 her 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 they need 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.

Tip 8: Lead By Example

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.

Final Thoughts On Golden Retrievers with cats

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 my retriever (Roxy) could be comfortable if we gave her time to adjust without having the cat in her face constantly.

Now, my Golden Retriever is extremely comfortable with our cat (Tara) and I couldn’t imagine life without both of my fur babies.

Picture of Rachael Summers

Rachael Summers

Rachael Summers is the Founder and Senior Editor at Dig Doggy. She is a lifelong canine enthusiast and adores dogs of all shapes and sizes! Rachael also loves iced coffee, hammocks, and puppy-cuddling!

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Rachael Summers is the Founder and Senior Editor at Dig Doggy. She is a lifelong canine enthusiast and adores dogs of all shapes and sizes! Rachael also loves iced coffee, hammocks, and puppy-cuddling!

About Dig Doggy

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