Are Australian Shepherds Good with Cats?

If you have cats and are thinking about bringing home an Australian Shepherd, you probably wonder whether they’ll get along.  Are Australian Shepherds good with cats?  Will an Australian Shepherd be a good addition to your home, or would it be better to choose a different breed?  If you’d like to find out the answers to these questions, continue reading!  We’ll take a look at whether Australian Shepherds are likely to get along with cats.

Can Australian Shepherds and cats get along?

Even within the same breed, different dogs can have unique personalities.  However, as a whole, Australian Shepherds and cats tend to get along.  Australian Shepherds are loving, friendly, and playful dogs.  

For the most part, they are likely to understand that they should stay away from a cat.  But, again, every Australian Shepherd is different and some may not do very well with cats.  It is also important to note that Australian Shepherds can have a high prey drive.  So, some may end up viewing smaller cats as prey, especially when they aren’t introduced at a younger age.

Learn more about how an Australian Shepherd is likely to interact with cats in this short video.

Are Miniature Australian Shepherds good with cats?

Are mini Australian Shepherds good with cats?  Like standard-size Australian Shepherds, Miniature Australian Shepherds are generally good with cats.  However, remember that every dog is different and their personality and reaction to a cat can vary.

are mini australian shepherds good with cats

How do I introduce my Australian Shepherd to my cat?

Setting up an ideal introductory meeting between your Australian Shepherd and Cat can help set the two animals up for a positive relationship together.  Here are a few pointers to help you through the process:

  • If possible, adopt an Australian Shepherd that has been around and done well with other cats.
  • Train the Australian Shepherd to follow at least basic commands, such as sit, down, or stay, before introducing him to your cat.
  • When you first bring the dog into your house, leave the cat in a bedroom or bathroom away from the dog.  This way, they can get used to hearing the sounds the dog makes before actually meeting him.  Be sure to leave the cat with a litter box and some food, and stop in to give him some love and attention periodically.
  • After a few days, put the dog’s leash on and open the door to where the cat is.  Let the animals look at each other, and do not allow the dog to try to chase or play with the cat.  Do not force any interactions.
  • For the next few weeks, keep the Australian Shepherd on his leash anytime he is around the cat.  Also, make sure the cat has an option to escape or get out of the room where the dog is if she desires.

After a few weeks, remove the leash and allow the dog and the cat to interact more freely, while still keeping a close eye.

australian shepherd and cats

Will an Australian Shepherd harm my cat?

If you’re worried about an Australian Shepherd killing your cat, the chances of it happening are pretty slim.  However, it is still possible for an Australian Shepherd to injure a cat. 

Australian Shepherds have a very high energy level and may look to play with or chase your cat.  Making sure your Australian Shepherd gets enough physical and mental stimulation will make it less likely for him to try to play with or chase your cat or engage in any other destructive behavior around the house.

Australian Shepherds and Cats

Most Australian Shepherds do well with cats and will likely leave your cat alone for the most part.  However, every dog is different, so there is no guarantee that the Australian Shepherd you choose won’t choose to chase or try to catch your cat.  If you’re thinking about bringing an Australian Shepherd home, consider trying to schedule a meet between the dog and your cat before making a final decision.

australian shepherd smile

FAQs

Can you train an Australian Shepherd to like cats?

Yes, in some cases you may be able to train an Australian Shepherd to like cats.  However, it isn’t a guarantee that training will work; it will all depend on the dog.