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Want to have a Golden Retriever and a cat?
Here’s the good news: Golden Retrievers are one of the best dog breeds when it comes to getting along with cats.
But there are some things you should consider if you’re planning on having these two furry friends in your home.
In this article, you’ll learn:
- What studies say about cats and Golden Retrievers
- How to introduce your cat and Golden Retriever
- Warning signs of a bad relationship between your dog and cat
- Common mistakes dog and cat owners make
- And much more
Let’s dive in!
Are Golden Retrievers Good With Cats?
Golden Retrievers are usually good with cats because they have friendly personalities and low prey drive.
However, they do need to be introduced slowly and carefully and have separate spaces where they can be alone.
Also, it largely depends on the individual.
How old is the dog or cat?
What’s their personality and history like?
Are you introducing a cat to your adult Golden Retriever, or are you introducing a puppy to your cat?
Since there’s so much to consider when deciding whether or not to have both a Golden Retriever and a cat, we’re going to dive into two different scenarios:
- Getting a Golden Retriever when you already have a cat
- Getting a cat when you already have a Golden Retriever
But first, let’s talk about a study we did with Golden Retriever owners.
We asked 600 Golden Retriever parents if they also have a cat.
Here’s what they said:
25% of Golden Retriever owners have a Golden and a cat, so you know that Goldens and cats can definitely get along.
Here’s why that is…
5 Reasons Golden Retrievers Are Good With Cats
Here are five reasons Golden Retrievers are good with cats.
- They have low prey drive. They were historically bred to retrieve birds after they were shot, not actively hunt small prey, like how beagles hunt.
- They have friendly personalities. They’re known for being kind to humans, other dogs, and cats.
- They’re welcoming. Goldens aren’t known as the most protective breed, so you probably won’t need to worry about them protecting you from the cat.
- They’re gentle. Even though many Goldens are big and goofy, they’re known for being gentle around kids and other animals.
- They’re human-oriented. Golden Retrievers just want to be with their families, not off on their own pestering cats.
Now that we know Goldens and cats can get along, let’s talk about the first scenario of getting a Golden and a cat…
Getting A New Cat When You Have A Golden Retriever
It’s important to know your Golden’s personality before you decide to bring a cat into your (and their) home.
Has your Golden had previous bad experiences with cats?
Do they love to chase little furry animals?
Are they territorial about their home?
If you answered yes to any of those questions, then maybe you should think twice before bringing home a cat.
Also, how old is your Golden?
Are they a wild puppy?
Be sure you’re willing to create an environment where your cat can get a break from your rambunctious pup.
Are they a grumpy old dog who’s set in their ways?
Then maybe they won’t like a feline roommate.
Is your dog trained?
Have they been socialized with cats?
Having a well-trained, socialized dog will make bringing a cat into your home much easier.
Also, what about the cat?
Are you going to be getting a kitten or rescuing an adult cat?
Does the adult cat have any history of living with a dog that you know of?
Asking yourself these questions before you surprise your Golden with a new cat will help make the decision and possible transition easier.
Getting A New Golden Retriever When You Have A Cat
Bringing a Golden Retriever puppy into your home with a cat will give you the best odds of the two getting along.
This is because your Golden will grow up with a cat and know that they’re family, not prey.
However, it may be a lot of work on your part because you’ll need to keep your curious pup from bothering your cat.
Play pens, crates and baby gates are great tools to help you do that.
If you’re rescuing an adult Golden Retriever, try to find out if they have a history of living with a cat.
And before you introduce a Golden Retriever to your cat, ask yourself what your cat is like…
Are they territorial?
Have they had any history with dogs?
Are they patient?
Do they like other animals?
Knowing the answers to all of these questions will help you be prepared before introducing the two new roomies.
- Is A Golden Retriever Right For You? Take This Quiz To Find Out!
And speaking of introducing them…
8 Tips To Introduce Your Golden Retriever To A Cat
If you’ve decided that bringing home a new dog or cat is a good idea, then the most important thing is to introduce them properly.
If you don’t take your time doing this, it could potentially be dangerous.
However, most cats and Golden Retrievers can learn to live together peacefully if you set them up for success.
Here are some tips for introducing your Golden Retriever and cat:
- Keep the animals separate for the first 3-4 days so that they can get used to each other’s smells and sounds
- Feed them on opposite sides of a closed door (this will help them have positive experiences close by each other, without any confrontation)
- Keep your dog on a leash for the first few meetings so they’re easier to control
- Have plenty of toys and treats for both animals during the first few meetings to help facilitate positive experiences
- Do not hold either animal in your arms and let them come and go as they please during the first few face-to-face meetings
- Keep the first few meetings short
- End each session on a good note
Thanks to the Animal Humane Society for the tips above.
Tips For Golden Retrievers & Cats Coexisting
Assuming that the introductions go well enough to proceed to letting each animal freely roam the house, here are a few tips to keep everybody happy:
Keep your Golden Retriever’s energy under control
There’s a saying that a tired dog is a good dog, so to keep your Golden Retriever from chasing or annoying your cat, keep their energy levels in check.
You can do that by giving them chew toys and puzzle toys, training them, and playing games with them.
Click here to learn more about Golden Retriever exercise needs.
Continue your Golden Retriever’s training
As mentioned above, training can help control your Golden Retriever’s energy levels, but it also helps with impulse control (they’ll need to resist the urge to chase the cat), as well as obedience when you need to get their attention and ask them to do something like sit or stay.
Make sure each animal has their own safe space
This is especially important for your cat.
Make sure that they have a room that the dog can’t bother them in and has everything they need, including:
- Food and water
- Scratching post
To help with giving each animal their own safe space, you can use exercise pens, baby gates, and crates.
Warning Signs Your Golden Retriever And Cat Don’t Like Each Other
Ideally, both animals eventually become relaxed around each other.
But it doesn’t always go as planned and can take some time.
Here are a few signs that the relationship is not going as well as you hoped:
Signs your Golden Retriever doesn’t like your cat:
- They’re barking, whining, or straining to get to the cat
- They’re too focused on the cat (and potentially see them as prey)
- They’re snarling or lunging at them
Signs your cat doesn’t like your Golden Retriever:
- Their ears are pinned back
- Their tail is swishing back and forth
- They’re hissing, spitting, or yowling
If you see these signs, separate them and start back at square one.
Common Mistakes Owners Make When Owning Both A Cat And A Golden Retriever
To give your dog and cat the best chance at enjoying each other (or at least tolerating each other), avoid the common mistakes below.
- Rushing introducing them. Dog and cat relationships take time to develop, so be patient and take it slow.
- Not giving each animal a safe dog- or cat-free space. If one of your pets is feeling stressed and they can’t go be alone, things could get ugly.
- Letting the dog and cat alone with each other too early (if ever).
- Not getting professional help. If you’re having problems with your pets getting along, don’t be afraid to invest in getting help from a professional trainer.
Life With A Golden Retriever And A Cat
Golden Retrievers are sweet dogs with loving personalities, so they are typically good with cats.
However, always take into cosidering the history of each potential roomate before bringing a new one home, and be sure to take introductions slowly.
Do you have a cat and a Golden Retriever?
How is their relationship?
Let us know in the comments below!
And if you liked this article, you’ll love this list of Golden Retriever pros and cons.
P.S. Getting a Golden Retriever Puppy? Check out the Golden Retriever Puppy Handbook!