Are you contemplating adopting a corgi? Or perhaps you have a corgi and you’re considering acquiring a new cat. Will they get along? Or will you be starting a quadrupedal war?
Lots of us love our pets, and it’s not uncommon for us to have more than one. Sometimes, we even provide homes for more than one species (not counting our partners). As a cat owner, you want to be sure that if you’re getting a dog, it is suited to your home situation, especially if you already have a furry feline.
Some breeds get along with cats better than others, it seems obvious to say. But in addition, much of whether a pet-friendly household works has to do with the environment being suited to them in the first place.
Let’s see how the beloved corgi gets along with cats. Here are 15 things to know about corgis, in order to understand how and why they fit into your home setup with your cat (or not).
- 1 Corgis and Cats: A General Note on Cats and Dogs
- 2 What You Should Know About Corgis
- 3 Corgis and Cats: What to Consider
- 4 Introducing a Corgi From the Cat’s Perspective
- 5 Final Thoughts on Corgis and Cats
Corgis and Cats: A General Note on Cats and Dogs
Dogs and cats are the world’s most common housepets. But each of those has several breeds and personalities to go with them. German shepherds and golden retrievers are often seen to be great social animals, sharing space with familiar cats quite amicably.
In truth, it’s not too generalistic to say that most breeds of house dogs can get along with most breeds of cats, given the proper preparation and situation. Conversely, things can go horribly wrong with poorly socialized pets. In the case of the corgi, they are not considered particularly troublesome in this regard.
That said, it isn’t simply a case of throwing them in the same room and hoping for the best. For the sake of both your cat and the corgi, it’s a good idea to familiarise yourself with the breed, and with ways in which to acclimatize them to the new situation.
What You Should Know About Corgis
Pembroke Welsh Corgis are cute, fluffy balls of delight. On most days. They have short, stubby legs, with relatively robust bodies. Perhaps because of their relatively large trunks, they have the personalities of large, confident dominators of a room.
The most famous owner of corgis may be Queen Elizabeth II, whose famous corgi gang is always hanging around her when she’s at her Buckingham Palace home. It is reported that she has owned more than 30 through the years.
1. Corgi Personality
Corgis are full of energy and don’t mind exerting their presence in a room. They are confident dogs and love to run around checking everything and everyone out. Some say this enthusiasm (or lack of attention span) and kinetic energy makes them a challenge to train. Others insist that they are ideal pets for those who enjoy a bit of silliness and life from their pets.
In truth, their boisterous nature may not be suited to every type of dog owner. They can come to dominate a house, and they need a lot of attention, affection, and energy from you as an owner, especially when they are young.
If you are the right kind of pet owner, however, a corgi makes for an incredible companion, willing to take care of you as much as you take care of it. It’s a small dog with a penchant for mischief and a big bark.
2. Corgis Suffer from Separation Anxiety
Some dogs are happy to go about their own lives, even within a household. Corgis are not these kinds of dogs. They need to be involved in everything you do. They’ll hang around while you sleep, escort you to the bathroom, and accompany you at breakfast. They’ll also want to go on a walk (retractable leashes are great for them), sit at dinner… corgis love to be around you at all times.
For this reason, many feel that corgis aren’t ideal for people who spend a lot of time away from home. They actually suffer from anxiety if left alone for too long. They may bark excessively, or become destructive by chewing on things other than their chew toy in your home.
Perhaps this is why you feel having a corgi around will be good for your cat, or that a cat may be good for a corgi. It’s not quite as easy as just having someone for company, though.
3. Corgis are Quite Bossy
It may seem counter to what was just mentioned, but corgis are fiercely independent-minded dogs. If you fail to instill the social discipline required to live in your home, chances are the corgi will simply take over. It will then decide for itself who and what is acceptable. And the cat may not make the list.
4. Corgi Barking
A few factors come into play with regard to barking. Corgis like to bark. They seem to bark at everything. They even bark if they are left alone for too long. Behavioral training around barking focuses on conditioning corgi not to bark at anything unfamiliar. It involves being comfortable around strangers and other animals, especially dogs.
5. Corgis are Herders (and Great Watchdogs)
A corgi’s inclination to “own the space”, as it were, makes it a very good watchdog. They are always acutely aware of what’s going on. Anything out of the ordinary, and the corgi will likely react with alertness or its huge bark (it really is, for its size).
Their alertness may well come from their genetic history. They were used as herding dogs in old times. Something in their genetic memory triggers an instinct to protect and gather. If you observe closely, you can see it even with owners.
Running along beside their owners is a herding instinct, and you may find a corgi gathering the family in a common social area. It really does like to keep an eye on everyone.
6. Corgis Need Exercise
Corgis have a lot of energy to burn. But they are small, and so do not require as much exercise as a large dog. They do, however, need to get some work in. Thankfully, they are enthusiastic about doing anything that requires running, gathering, and games.
A daily walk and the odd game of catch with a ball in the park will suffice. Corgis are also very smart when it comes to learning routines and tricks. Stimulate the mind from time to time for a sharp, happy pet. Regular exercise may also help to draw aggressive energy away from the cat.
Corgis and Cats: What to Consider
All of the above plays into what you should expect if you introduce a corgi to a home with a cat. Once again, with a bit of knowledge and preparedness, chances are you’ll manage to successfully integrate your pets’ personalities, habits, and foibles.
7. Corgis and Cats are Roughly the Same Size
Many owners don’t consider the aspects of size when pairing up cats and dogs. The general consensus seems to be that dogs of a similar size to cats will be better pairings. Corgis fit this requirement perfectly, even if their personalities suggest they believe otherwise.
8. Corgis May Unsuccessfully Try to Herd the Cat
We mentioned the corgi herding instinct earlier. Corgis are particularly prone to herding when they interact with animals smaller than themselves. In most cases, though, you won’t have this problem with cats. If you’ve ever heard the expression that a particular action was “like trying to herd cats”, you’ll understand why.
9. A Corgi May See a Cat as a Pest
Amusing as it sounds, a corgi may regard a small cat as a vermin-like pest. It’s another instinctual behavior that comes from the corgi’s history of being a working farm dog. Whereas in those days it may have protected from mice or rats, a cat may fit the general description of “enemy”.
10. Corgi vs Cat Territory May be an Issue
One issue that may arise between corgi and cat is territory. Cats are naturally quite territorial and will claim areas of the home as their own. Corgis are rambunctious and curious and pretty much feel they are the boss anyway. As a result, the two may come to friction around who is in whom’s space.
Cat behaviorists talk about cats liking to be elevated. If this is an option in your home, it may present at least a working solution if not a permanent one. Corgi are small enough to not be a bother for an elevated cat.
Unfortunately, this doesn’t mean they will be friends. You may still find tension whenever the cat moves.
11. Making The Perfect Match
If you are fortunate enough to have planned this properly, the best advice is to introduce both pets to the home together when they are young – a puppy and a kitten, respectively. Both playful and welcoming natures will create a sort of early bond.
They will grow up used to each other, and even consider each other part of the tribe, so to speak. Their mutual love of hunting and chasing will bond them well, making them good playmates. Kitty will also get used to that big bark.
If you introduce one to the other when they are adults, you’re more likely to have territorial or instinctual problems. In that case, and if good discipline and practice don’t help, you may need to consult a dog behaviorist. In the worst-case scenario, your pets’ individual personalities may not be compatible.
On the optimistic side, corgis do traditionally respond very well to instruction and training.
Introducing a Corgi From the Cat’s Perspective
It’s worth taking your cat’s personality into account before you acquire a corgi. Corgis are naturally playful and excitable. They also have a massive bark.
12. Corgis are Playful and Spirited
A nervous cat will not enjoy an environment with such a creature. If it’s likely to cause huge amounts of anxiety for your cat, it may not be the best idea to bring a corgi into the mix.
On the other hand, a particularly dominant cat won’t necessarily take kindly to a new bossy loudmouth in the house. And when that corgi attempts to impose itself, it may result in some ugly confrontations.
In many cases, the act of chasing the cat may also be a desire to play. Unfortunately, an unfamiliar cat may not appreciate that. Either way, it’s not a great situation for either, or for you.
13. Have an Escape Plan
When a cat is introduced to anything new, it likes to have escape routes… just in case. Try to make sure there’s a convenient getaway for a cat, should the first meeting not go as planned. If your corgi gets aggressive on the first encounter, you can concentrate on correcting it while your cat has secured itself comfortably.
14. Food Disputes
All animals have the potential to disagree over food and feeding spaces. Corgis especially show no regard for who’s food bowl it is. The best advice is to separate the feeding zones and the animals in general when feeding.
Keep the cat food out of reach of Mr Corgi… he’ll likely nick it when nobody’s looking. Even when you are looking, actually.
15. A Quick Note on Corgis and Children
Corgis may not be ideal for families with very young children, even if your cat manages to establish a decent relationship with the cute canine.
Corgis tend to react aggressively to what they perceive as agitating behavior, like children running about and shouting. If a strong herding instinct kicks in, they may even aggressively try to get the children to move where they want. Many a nipped heel has been reported because of this.
This isn’t always the case, but it is a known behavior in the breed.
Final Thoughts on Corgis and Cats
With a little socialization and preparation, Corgis should be able to cohabit with cats without any major issues. It may take some time and patience for your cat and corgi to work out their differences, so to speak.
Provided they both have good personalities and enough space to maneuver around each other when needed, they won’t collide.
With all of that said, please remember that every dog is different, and each will have his or her own quirks. Keep a close eye in the early days, and take early action against any problems.
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