Golden Retrievers are known for their good looks. Along with being handsome pooches, their affectionate and gentle nature has made them one of the most popular dog breeds in the world. Their bubbly personality also means they’re phenomenal companions, and with their easy-to-train nature, they can readily become part of your family. But can golden retrievers and cats get along?
But when it comes to owning any dog, no matter Golden Retriever or Rottweiler, half of the concern comes with your kitty. Depending on if your cat has lived a happy life without a bouncing dog in the house is a significant consideration if you’re thinking of buying or adopting a Golden Retriever.
So before inviting a new doggie into your home or introducing a cat to the family, this guide will shed light on what you can expect. It’ll also give you insights into some tips and tricks for easy transitions and adjustments you can make to a cat and dog household.
- 1 11 Need-to-Knows of Owning a Golden Retriever and a Cat
- 1.1 1. Golden Retrievers and Cats Can Live in Harmony
- 1.2 2. Give the Two Pets a Chance to Get to Know Each Other
- 1.3 3. Have Plenty of Treats and Toys Around for New Introductions
- 1.4 4. If You’re Adopting a Dog, It’s Best to Hear About the Dog’s History
- 1.5 5. Clue Yourself Up on the Characteristics of Your Cat’s breed
- 1.6 6. Training Goes a Long Way
- 1.7 7. You’ll Need to Give Your Golden Retriever Enough Exercise
- 1.8 8. Dedicate Separate Safe Spaces for Your Cat and Golden Retriever
- 1.9 9. Don’t Hold Your Cat in Stressful Situations
- 1.10 10. If the Two Don’t Like Each Other, You’ll Know by Their Behaviour
- 1.11 11. Professional Training is Always an Option if the Two Don’t Get Along
- 2 A Happy Life with Golden Retrievers and Kitty Cats
11 Need-to-Knows of Owning a Golden Retriever and a Cat
Any new member of the family will take some time getting used to a different environment and a new routine. Taking the proper precautions and care in the process is an essential part of being a pet parent.
Nonetheless, the journey is exciting, and you can follow these guidelines to keep your pets safe and happy.
1. Golden Retrievers and Cats Can Live in Harmony
Golden Retrievers are friendly and loving dogs, which is no different when socializing with cats. They’re known to be extremely affectionate beings, which can even be displayed in their actions towards kitties.
Being incredibly gentle, they don’t run the risk of harming your cat with aggressive barks or dominating them with their physical strength.
The American Bobtail cat has been credited with being the most similar cat breed to Golden Retrievers. So if you’re looking for a loyal cat who enjoys going on adventures, these two will make a wonderful pair.
2. Give the Two Pets a Chance to Get to Know Each Other
New introductions are made a lot easier when your dog is well socialized. Socialization can be achieved by bringing your Golden Retriever on adventures with you. They love to be a part of family hikes, trips to the beach, and brought along to vacations. When this is done, they slowly learn to become more adaptive.
Socialization is a perk; however, a cat might be a new experience for some dogs. When it comes to introductions, remember to be patient with your pets. It can be overwhelming for both the dog and the cat so try to ensure that you’re at home for the first week of the two species being alone together.
If cats are new to the environment, it’s good practice to let them settle in a room for about a week. Once they start getting familiar with the environment, you can slowly introduce them to your Golden Retriever.
You can introduce the two through glass doors or when the family is at home to keep an eye on things. If necessary, you can always keep your Retriever on a leash for the first few encounters.
3. Have Plenty of Treats and Toys Around for New Introductions
When the time comes for your two babies to meet, it’s a good idea to be well prepared.
As we all know, cats can be a bit finicky when it comes to new faces, especially when those faces have two big ears, a hairy face, and a wet nose. If your kitty is a fan of catnip, now would be a good idea to bring it out, along with their favorite cat treats.
Dog training works well when there is sufficient stimulation to keep the dog focused. A dog treat, chewing toys, and dog puzzles work well to distract your dog as your cat makes its way around the house taking in all the new and exciting smells.
4. If You’re Adopting a Dog, It’s Best to Hear About the Dog’s History
While pedigree breeding has given us the opportunity to understand a dog’s breed personality incredibly well, outside factors play a role in a dog’s behavior.
I know it can be challenging when adopting a dog that may not have owners who you can speak to – but finding out as much information about the dog is essential. Shelters and rescue pages will know more about the dog than you.
Here are some questions you can ask about a dogs history before bringing them into a home with cats:
- Has the dog ever lived in a house with cats?
- Does the dog get along well with other dogs and children?
- Have they been socialized with cats?
- Has the dog had any training and if so, was it challenging?
- Is the dog territorial about their home?
- Has the dog’s old age left it grumpy and untrainable?
5. Clue Yourself Up on the Characteristics of Your Cat’s breed
If you have a cat, but you’re dying to get a golden pup, be sure to keep your cat’s personality in mind. If they’re old and stuck in their ways, you’ll need to consider the fact that introductions will take longer and you might end up with a temporarily angry kitty cat.
As long as you’re patient and follow the right procedures, like slow introductions and the tips mentioned in this post, hopefully, the two will get along in no time.
6. Training Goes a Long Way
Training is the number one way you can bring your Golden Retriever up to be a polite and well-behaved pooch.
There’s a reason Golden Retrievers are used by service dog organizations. These happy-go-lucky dogs are always on the lookout for human approval. With the breed naturally being easy to train and one of the easiest to train breeds, you can get a head start with training them from puppyhood.
But just because they’re easy to train, doesn’t mean you can get lazy with reinforcement. When these dogs aren’t well-trained, their energy can be overwhelming if you live in a smaller home – particularly for your kitty.
7. You’ll Need to Give Your Golden Retriever Enough Exercise
Although these pups love cuddling up on the couch, they’re also relatively high-energy dogs. No matter what dog breed you go for, you’ll need to ensure that they’re getting in the required amount of exercise – for Golden Retrievers, 20 – 30 minutes a day will suffice.
Because of the dog’s intelligence and active nature, it’s likely that they’ll get bored if they don’t receive enough exercise. Boredom can lead to picking on other housemates, like your lounging kitty.
A tired Golden Retriever is a good Golden Retriever. When they’ve had their fun for the day, they’re less likely to act impulsively and chase the cat.
⇒ Keen to get your cat out and about? Check out my posts on Is Cat Walking Possible?, 7 Best Escape Proof Cat Harness Options, 5 Best Carrier for Cats choices, 14 Best Cat Carrier for Car Travel options and 4 Top Travel Litter Box options.
8. Dedicate Separate Safe Spaces for Your Cat and Golden Retriever
If you plan to own a Golden Retriever, you’ll need to stay in a relatively large home. Cats, on the other hand, don’t need much space. Regardless of the size of your home, you’ll still need to ensure that each pet has a space to call its own.
Your pet can retreat to a safe space if they’re feeling threatened or uncomfortable. For cats, an open window or bed on a ledge does the trick. Dogs might have a cage or kennel or a bed tucked away somewhere in the house.
Your dog and cat’s water and food bowls should also be kept in separate parts of the house. As well as scratch posts and toys. This avoids the chances of the two clashing over territory and food.
9. Don’t Hold Your Cat in Stressful Situations
As independent creatures, cats feel safe in their own presence and don’t like to be held. In fact, if you pick up your cat when they’re feeling threatened, it can lead to even more stress.
When cats feel threatened, their first action is flight, fight, or freeze. Seeking out higher territory is usually a go-to if they’re trapped within a house.
You should always give your cat the freedom to roam around at their own will. Providing them with a sense of freedom means that they can make quick escapes when they’re feeling scared.
With this freedom comes the chance for the two to establish a natural sense of hierarchy. Each pet will need to learn to respect each other and their boundaries.
10. If the Two Don’t Like Each Other, You’ll Know by Their Behaviour
After a couple of weeks or months of interaction, you’ll know whether or not your two pet babies enjoy each other’s company. Luckily, with Golden Retrievers, their affectionate and loveable nature means they’re generally a breeze around cats.
Cats are the ones who tend to be less inclined to interact with your dogs. They much prefer snoozing in the sun and cuddling up next to their humans.
However, both pets should eventually become totally relaxed around one another. Here are some warning signs if the two don’t like each other:
- Dogs will bark, whine or strain to get to the cat
- Dogs remain highly focused on the cat and watch them constantly
- The dog will snark when the cat walks past or if they get too close
- Cats will swish their tails back and forth as an indication of annoyance
- Cats will spit or snarl when the dog is around
11. Professional Training is Always an Option if the Two Don’t Get Along
If you notice any of the behavior from the points above, it’s important that you address the issues before they become a habit. If you’re having trouble managing the two, don’t be afraid to invest in professional training.
As pet owners, we have the ability to love and care for our dogs, but we often don’t know what to do in times of distress. And it’s nothing to be ashamed about. For the sake of your pets and your well-being, a professional trainer can assess the situation and work out the best solution for you and your fur babies.
A Happy Life with Golden Retrievers and Kitty Cats
Golden Retrievers are happy pups with a loveable, friendly personality. Notorious for being exceptional family pets, they’re also known to be one of the best dogs for households with cats.
However, it takes responsibility to ensure that your two pets feel safe and comfortable in their own homes. As a pet parent, it’ll be up to you to take the right precautions when introducing the two and understanding the personalities of your fur babies.
In truth, you never know how cats and dogs are going to react to one another. But with these tips and need-to-knows, you’ll be on the right track to giving these two a chance to live together peacefully.
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