Some people are dog people. Other people are cat people. In some homes, however, there is a mixture of both cats and dogs. In such cases, it’s required that all parties behave well around each other, cats and dogs alike (not to mention the humans, of course).
Families that might be looking to add either one of these furry companions to their roster, might be asking themselves the question “Are Border Collies good with cats?” “How do I introduce my Border Collie to my cat”? “Will this dog be open to sharing space with a feline companion without tearing down the whole house”?
For anyone in this situation, there are a few important things to consider before moving forward on the plan. In this post, we’ll be going over just this. Let’s take a closer look.
Are Border Collies Good With Cats?
The truth is, Border Collies can be excellent with cats. These highly intelligent and loyal dogs are by default gentle around children, other dogs, and even a pet cat or two. Nevertheless, it is crucial for any owner to understand the personality and specific traits of a particular dog or cat, before having them coexist. By setting clear boundaries, having some exposure therapy and given enough time, you should be able to make a great team out of both your pets.
Always keep in mind, that even though Border Collies and cats can live perfectly with each other, every single animal is its own world. Its specific upbringing, training, prior experiences and exposure to other animals, will play a huge part in how well it’ll deal with having to live together with another animal.
How Can You Tell If A Border Collie Will Get Along With Cats?
In addition to understanding as much as possible about the personality of your Border Collie, there are some tips and tricks that any family can use to anticipate whether a dog and a cat will be able to get along under the same roof.
● Since many Border Collies love to herd other animals, a dog that has a strong herding drive or prey drive might not be a great fit for a home with cats.
● Any cat that likes to be left alone might feel intimidated or annoyed by the playful attitude of a Border Collie (particularly puppies), which will make living together a bit harder.
● Cats that are friendly and active are more prone to developing connections with other animals, and could find a lifelong friend in a home that contains a Border Collie, without a problem.
● Border Collies that don’t have the chance to get plenty of exercise often, can become aggressive or destructive, two traits that might be directed at a cat in the family.
These are some of the signs that would let you deduce, to some extent, if your Border Collie will be good with cats, or vice versa.
As you can see, it can be extremely dependent on the animal itself. How comfortable is it with other species? Has it had much exposure to them? Is it more naturally introverted? More extroverted? How does it react to specific situations?
You as an owner will have to gauge that. This might take some time, but having Border Collies and cats live together peacefully, is definitely possible.
How Do You Stop A Border Collie From Chasing Cats?
Even the most well-behaved Border Collies might occasionally give in to their natural instinct to herd up animals. This could result in chasing cats around the house and potentially frightening or irritating any felines in their vicinity.
So how do I stop my Border Collie from chasing my cat? Fortunately, there are a few ways that most dog owners can limit their Collie’s ability to send the family cat running for cover.
● Use baby gates or similar types of barriers throughout the house to keep the animals separated.
● Reinforce rules against chasing cats with a command whenever your Collie starts to chase, and reward the dog when it stops the problematic behavior. This is easier said than done, but it works like magic.
● Encourage the dog and cat to spend as much quiet time together as possible to build a trusting relationship between the two animals. You want to try to override the behavior of “chasing” to become less enticing simply by exposure.
● Give the Border Collie plenty of opportunities to exercise, and to keep its mind and attention on something else, that it could be more interested in. A short-term solution, but it’s still effective.
These are just a few of the most common tactics that can be used to limit the amount of cat chasing that your Border Collie might be inclined to do.
Of course, no strategy is perfect and it might require consistency, time, and extensive training to ensure that both share the same home without any issues.
If you notice, the main strategy for making your Border Collie less obsessed with your cat, is by breaking the habit.
You can do this by adding something more interesting, cutting out the trigger that makes the behavior happen altogether, or by making it too common of a circumstance, which makes it less interesting for your Border Collie.
Why Does a Border Collie Stare At My Cat?
One of the most common reactions that a Border Collie might exhibit around a cat, is the very well-known Border Collie “stare” which basically involves the dog staring intently at the cat.
Since Border Collies were bred to herd livestock, they developed a tactic for intimidating cows, chickens and other animals into retreating into a designated location. These dogs can often use the same intense stare when sharing a space with a cat.
Likewise, if a Border Collie is ignored or prevented from getting enough exercise for too long, it might become fixated on whatever is in its surroundings, including a pet cat.
This can actually become problematic if your Border Collie is constantly following your cat around the house. Some cats can even get stressed out, nervous, and even in some cases can stop eating.
If you’re concerned that your Border Collie is constantly staring at your cat, and want to try to fix the problem, managing the space, putting in some boundaries between them and trying to keep your dog busy with other things, should do the trick.
How Do You Introduce An Adult Border Collie To A Cat?
Earlier we mentioned that, while dogs and cats that are raised together from a young age tend to get along very well, it can be challenging to create the same bond between two species when they’re both adults.
Exactly like what happens to us humans.
With that said, it’s truly never too late to try to get a Border Collie and a cat to get along with each other. Here are a few helpful steps any pet owner can take to increase the chances of a healthy and friendly relationship between a cat and a pet Collie.
● Keep the animals isolated from each other at first, except when they are given a safe and secure environment to engage with one another.
● Try to guarantee previous exposure from both parties to the other species. This could be done by spending some time at another owners house for example.
● Introduce the cat’s scent to the Border Collie by sharing toys, bedding, and other items.
● Reinforce positive obedience training and ensure that the dog in particular is prepared to respond appropriately to all commands.
● Try to stay at home or at least not too far away during the first few weeks so that both animals aren’t left alone for long periods.
● Give it time. This is probably the best advice. Any new addition to the family, completely shifts the dynamic. With enough time, a new normal is created and everyone gets used to it.
The bottom line is that some Border Collies will inherently be more patient and open to sharing a space with cats, while some cats have a personality that will resonate immediately with a pet Collie while others don’t.
It is important to address each situation separately and work with all animals based on their personalities always remembering that with enough time, usually it gets resolved.
Border Collies and cats, can definitely get along together in the same household, given the right circumstances. In most cases, there won’t be any issues but the outcome may be almost 100% dependent on the individual animal.
A Border Collie that has had some exposure to other species from an early age, will behave as well around a cat, as a cat that has grown up around dogs.
In some cases, the animal might simply be unused to the interaction, which can make it a bit tricky. It’s still possible to have them live together, albeit a bit more difficult.
Border Collies and cats shouldn’t be forced to be together if they don’t want to though. But, by having some exposure therapy, with a little effort and time, it’s possible to establish a peaceful ambient between both species. So it’s definitely worth a try.