Although our culture has led us to believe that cats and dogs are sworn enemies, most dogs and cats actually get along quite well.
In particular, according to the AKC, golden retrievers are one of the breeds best known for being good with cats.
However, if you have a cat and are thinking about getting a golden, or if you have a golden and are thinking about getting a cat, there’s a lot to consider.
In this article, you’ll learn things like:
- How to introduce your cat and golden retriever
- Warning signs to look for that say the relationship is not going well
- Common mistakes dog and cat owners make
- And much more
Let’s dive in!
Are Golden Retrievers Good With Cats?
Since golden retrievers have sweet and friendly personalities, they’re typically good with cats.
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?
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 some specific scenarios.
But first, in case you need any more proof that goldens and cats can live happily together, check out this adorable video of them interacting below.
Golden Retrievers & Cats [VIDEO]
If you have a golden retriever and are thinking about getting a cat…
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 nothing more than to chase little furry animals?
Are they territorial about their home?
If you answered yes to any of those questions, then maybe it’s not in the cards for you.
Also, how old is your golden?
Are they a wild puppy?
Then maybe you should wait a year or two until they calm down before you introduce a new member to the family.
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.
If you have a cat and are thinking about getting a golden retriever…
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?
Keep in mind that golden retriever puppies can be quite wild and maybe even a little annoying to the current household members (no offense, Oliver).
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 next 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
Everyone knows 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.
Click here to learn more about golden retriever exercise needs.
Continue your golden retriever’s training
As mentioned above, training can help curb a 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
Warning Signs Your Golden Retriever And Cat Don’t Like Each Other
Ideally, both animals eventually become relaxed around each other.
However, it doesn’t always go as planned and can take some time.
Here 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 sees 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.
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’s their relationship been?
Let us know in the comments below!
And if you know someone who’s considering having both a golden retriever and a cat, please share this with them!
P.S. If you liked this article, you’ll love our ultimate list of golden retriever pros and cons.