Are Border Collies Good With Cats?

By John Martin - August 11, 2022

Border Collie playing with a cat

Are you thinking about getting a border collie but already have a cat at home? Or is it the opposite? A lot of questions might be striking your mind. Most of them must be about how they are around each other.

Well, your curiosity can shut the door on its way out. Tiny or paramount, this article will help you explore every aspect of the nature of that unique relationship!

Understanding the Basic Temperament

Just like humans, our pets have different personalities and behaviors. Luckily for you, extensive studies and researches explain that generalizing as per their breed is good enough. So based on this categorization, scroll further to explore the basic temperament of each!

Herding Nature of Border Collies

Border collies are typically bred to help herd sheep and cattle. You might have seen it in a few movies too! Ever wonder why that is the case?

Believe it or not, it is their nature and set the behavior to herd and direct. Sure, as weird as it sounds, they are genetically wired to direct the things that move. So you see why your cat would be no exception to this either.

Your Border Collie might worry too much and follow its tiny companion around the house. There is no need to worry about it. Their concern is simply to keep the other out of harm’s way. The usual method of ensures that is eye contact, posture, or barking at the most.

Understanding our little pet’s behavior can be hard sometimes, given that we do not speak the same language. But if you do notice similar behavior in your border collie, know that it is only out of worry and basic nature.

If the herding naturing still bothers you a little, there are some exercises you can conduct before the biting stage kicks in. Regardless of everything, there is no harm that your border collie would be projecting. Be it an angry cat or a quiet one.

Possible Challenges With a Border Collie

If you have not gathered it yet, border collies seek attention like they seek food. Naturally, with that come both physical and mental challenges.

Giving your collie some regular exercises becomes a must. Right from training them in agility courses to regular walks to playing games.

If you fail to provide the above-mentioned pointers to your buddies, they might grow agitated and end up causing some destruction in the house. The same could happen with the relationship between the two pets.

That being said, the only way to make sure it does not come to that is flooding your loyal companion with your time and affection. Besides, a little bit of stimulation might just uplift your spirits and make your average day wonderful too!

From Your Cat’s Perspective

Earlier, we touched a little bit on the fact that our pets tend to have as varied personalities as us. Cats are generalized to have quite the attitude but let us try to place them within your area of question.

Considering the least compatible example, say your cat requires that personal space. There might be a dislike of excessive attention or a lower tolerance. In this case, your cat might grow irritated. The two pets would probably not be the best of companions.

On the contrary, if your cat enjoys company and it’s quite the playful one, then nothing like it. Your routine will be a peaceful one, with positive energy burning in every room they go.

If your cat likes to outsmart you, the chances are that the behavior will be the same around your dog too. Your tiny kitty might leap and hide in the funniest of places, waiting for her frenemy to find her.

They will be galvanized, dependent, and lovable with each other. No doubt, the relationship will be a stimulating and entertaining one! For your pets, and you too!

Related: When Do Border Collies Stop Growing?

Situation Comparison: Who Came First?

If you have ever seen two little siblings quarrel, the question of “who came first” comes up only in a matter of time. You must have done it if you are an older one, no?

It sounds funny and innocent, but what’s hidden is a pretty valid point! You might drown both your pets in the same amount of love and affection. Regardless, some things do make a difference, which you shall now see in just a couple of scrolls!

I came first,” hissed the little kitty…

If you are thinking of adding to your lovely family in the form of a charming border collie, this is for you. You already have a little four-pawed bag of grace. So the first step for you is to adopt from a shelter that runs cat-testing.

You will find out if the border collie you seek to adopt is dangerous for your existing pet or not. The breed is not as scary as that statement sounds, so do not worry!

Some dogs just are not used to the company of cats. And after being exposed to any foreign breed, the first dog instinct is to inspect.

However, that is just the case with older ones. If you get yourself a little pup, you could freshly wire their attitude and behavior. As mentioned in the beginning, you will have a happy and stimulating environment.

It will make you want to return home to them early from work and just admire them forever!

I came first,” barked the fluffy collie…

You are one of those who want to expand the family in the form of a cat, huh? And you already seem to have any experience with your buddy, border collie.

Similar to what we saw in the case. Otherwise, you have got to run some tests on the pup. That will help you determine if they are more of a predator or a playmate.

Assuming that you have a vet on your contact list, approaching them sounds like a good plan. Say your buddy is cat-friendly. Your best option, in this case, is to get yourself a little kitty, as opposed to an adult cat. Not that an adult would be the worst option!

It is just that kittens are much more playful than older cats. Your four-pawed barking companion will appreciate that kind of company. Besides, you will also be able to watch the two grow closer and mature over time.

It is a wonderful process, which shows you the little things of happiness that life has to offer. Add that to a “try not to cry” challenge list if you want!

The Next Step: Cat Training Your Border Collie

Hey, be it kids or pet, you can never escape this phase of nurturing. And sure, it can be exhausting at times but let’s not forget the amusing parts!

Firstly, you have got to know that a border collie rarely has I’ll-intentions towards a cat. It is an exceptionally caring breed. However, if their behavior is not perceived accurately by the cat, it couple lead to cat nipping. Things could go downhill from there.

That is exactly what proper training and exercises can help you avoid. You can wire your buddy in a way that their relationship is one without any conflicts.

As mentioned earlier, it is much simpler to train a little pup as opposed to an adult. One reason is that older dogs are already wired based on their experiences. Pups tend to develop new ones and learn faster.

So think of a situation where the puppy is younger than about 11 to 12 weeks. The younger, the better. So, if your buddy is raised with cats, the experiences will be different, resulting in a compatible behavior.

Treating Their Behaviors: When Wrong

Your focus should be to keep the relationship between the two as gentle as possible. If you find your puppy being a little too managing, know that the herding tendencies are showing up.

Depending on your kitty’s response to it, it is up to you to decide if something needs to be done.

Treating Their Behaviors: When Right

On the contrary, if you see the two treating each other well, award them a little prise. It could be some food they like or even applause!

By conducting these simple and basic exercises, you will have taught them the difference between right and wrong. Distancing would make them steer clear from trouble. The treats would make them want to be good. That simple!

Above all, remember to NEVER punish your border collie, even if they are not behaving well. They belong to a very intelligent breed. They will grasp the right and wrong soon, and your stern but harmless actions should be enough for that.

Lastly comes boredom and hyperactivity. The prior can make your buddy aggressive, while the latter would lead to increasing mischief.

Distraction and Training Methods

Regardless of what nature your border collie possesses, remember that everything can be turned into a pretty picture. Just the degrees of difficulty and time would be a varying factor.

So without any further ado, scroll away to explore some of the best distraction and training methods.

The Safe-Haven Method

As one of the first things to do when you have such kind of a family is to ensure a safe-haven for both.

Meaning, there need to be two separate places, if not more, where your pets can go when they are distressed. The point of these places is to provide a sense of safety and comfort. As a suggestion, you could consider setting up come cat flaps.

But the process does not end there. You need to approach your loved companions individually. Just like little children, they need to be explained to and cared for. This alone-time with you might give them the warmth and solace that they need.

And soon, your pets will be back to the happy land of living in no time!

The Direct Distraction Method

As the name suggests, the idea is to distance your collie from herding or following your kitty. By replacing the cat with yourself, the collie will find your attention in the right ways.

You could try out games like fetch or even tug of war! These little tricks will help you tire your buddy. Aggression and irritability will pass away.

That being said, make sure to sternly express that such behavior is unacceptable. Remember to avoid inflicting harm and punishments at all costs.

If you find neither of these tricks working, do not shy away from hiring a professional trainer!

Final Thoughts

Border Collies are one of the most caring and loving breeds. No question, they can get along with kitties.

As long as you foster them well and supervise their relation in the initial stages, you are good to go. Once these little ones develop the ideal behavior in their younger ages, the rest of your life will be a cake-walk!