Last Updated on July 4, 2023
The Australian Shepherd is a truly fantastic dog breed that has gained so much popularity among pet owners, their unique intelligence and boundless energy make an Aussie one of the best dogs for people who do not just need a pet, but want to get a close friend and a loyal companion as well.
If you have an Aussie at home and want to bring a cat, or vice versa, you may wonder whether the two pets will be able to coexist and even become friends. Knowing your dog’s character is essential. It will help you create the ideal conditions for your pets to live in peace and harmony under the same roof.
1. Understanding Australian Shepherd Personality
Australian Shepherds are great family dogs. They are deeply devoted and always ready to protect their family. If you are just planning to bring an Aussie puppy home, you should know that this amazing dog has a lot of personality traits that will easily make you fall in love with the breed. The Australian Shepherds are
- Highly trainable and hard working
- Friendly and playful
- Loving and caring
- Eager to please
- Active and outgoing
Despite their friendly nature, the Australian Shepherds can be really cautious and wary of strangers. Their deep love and care for the family can make these dogs demonstrate territorial behaviour. The Aussies are not always happy to see the other animals in their home. However, early socialisation and proper training can change the situation for the better. But what about cats? Can your dog accept a new family member? Let’s dig deeper to find the answer to this question.
2. Can Aussies Get Along with Cats?
Are Australian Shepherds good with cats? The answer is definitely yes. Not all dogs and cats hate each other. In most cases, your Aussie will accept the cat and will live with it on the same territory without any serious problems. As you already know, the Australian Shepherds are super intelligent, loving and caring animals.
They can be aggressive only if they are in pain or have some other unpleasant symptoms. So, the chances your Aussie will be aggressive with the cat are really low.
Just like the Aussies, cats are also territorial animals. They usually defend their territory and can become extremely aggressive with strangers. If you have a cat and want to get an Aussie as well, you should be careful. If the cat has been the only pet for many years, it may not want to share its territory with a puppy. The cat may attack the puppy. You should do your best to prevent this unpleasant situation from taking place.
3. Introducing an Australian Shepherd to a Cat
There are some simple steps you should follow in order to introduce the two pets safely and without any difficulties. It’s really a great idea to introduce a dog and a cat while they are still young. They will easily make friends and will not be able to imagine their lives without each other.
Before introducing your Australian Shepherd to a cat, make sure that the dog knows such basic commands as “stay”, “sit” and “down”. Create a safe area for each pet and keep them separated at least a couple of days. When you feel, they are ready, open the door and let the animals see each other. Just make sure that the dog is calm and relaxed.
Don’t let your Aussie chase the cat. If you notice any unwanted behaviour, separate the pets immediately and try next time. You should repeat the attempts until you see that your pets do not get extremely excited when they see each other.
Introducing a puppy to a kitten can be rather challenging because puppies do not know the commands very well. It can also be difficult to introduce an Aussie puppy to an adult cat. Your cat may not like the idea of bringing a puppy home. The introduction should be slow and gradual. Give your pets some time to get used to each other.
4. Leaving Your Cat Alone with Aussie Dog
You can leave your pets together unsupervised only if they can communicate well without harming each other. Make sure that your animals feel comfortable and relaxed in each other’s company. Till that time, it will be really dangerous to leave them alone together. Remember that one pet can hurt the other.
Most Australian Shepherds do not attack cats. But you never know what’s going to happen especially if the two animals have been just recently introduced. Make sure that the cat always has a safe place to escape. But even if you think that your pets are best friends, you shouldn’t leave them without supervision for a long period of time.
Start by leaving the pets for a few minutes only. Stay close to the room where your pets are. You will be able to interfere quickly if fighting or chasing occurs.
5. Helping Your Pets Build a Good Relationship
An Australian Shepherd is a highly energetic dog. It was bred to herd the livestock. You should always remember about it if you choose to own an Aussie and a cat at the same time. Even if you work hard to introduce the two animals, your dog may still refuse to accept the cat. Don’t fall into despair. There is still something you can do to improve the situation:
- Play with both animals together
- Reward the dog for treating the cat well
- Try to feed the pets in the same location and at the same time
- Sleep with pets in the same room
- Love your pets equally
If you follow your strategy and do everything right, your pets will learn to love each other. They will realise that they are not rivals, but friends and siblings who can have a great time together.
An Australian Shepherd is a smart, loyal and gentle pet. It will become a wonderful addition to your family. You can raise an obedient dog who lives peacefully even with cats. The Aussie will definitely change your life filling it with happiness and joy.