Pitbulls and cats might sound like a dangerous combination, but these dogs are actually quite good and friendly with cats as long as they have enough training and socialization.
You can learn more about this along with things to account for, potential dangers and how to make introductions between the two.
- Are Pitbulls Good with Cats?
- Things to Account For
- Potential Dangers
- Making Introductions
- Final Remarks
Are Pitbulls Good with Cats?
It might take a bit of caution and time, but pitbulls can certainly become good with cats. In fact, after the right training and socialization, they might even become friends.
It is, of course, essential to keep track of the behavior of your pitbull whenever they are around your cat. Make sure you also see if your cat is the one who might be a bit aggressive.
If you notice signs of them not getting along, it might be best to separate them for a while and try again later. You can also ask a professional trainer to help you out.
There are some situations that might complicate the situation, such as previous trauma and the temperaments of both animals involved in this kind of situation.
Things to Account For
There are several things to account for that can make a difference in how your pitbull interacts with your cat.
Pitbulls are generally quite enthusiastic and vigilant. They are confident and generally tend to be quite protective of the people around them.
Considering that these dogs were bred for their strength, speed and vigilance and were made to fight, hunt and work, these dogs have a bit of aggression in them that can end up causing a bit of trouble during the process of domestication, especially if there is a cat involved.
Different pitbulls might also have different temperaments, so make sure you proceed after determining what your dog is like. Consider your cat’s temperament too, especially since they are quieter and stealthier.
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Pitbulls are usually full of energy and strength. They might enjoy running and playing around throughout the day.
Since they also require plenty of exercise on a daily basis, they might end up becoming restless if not given enough stimulation.
Their playfulness and burst of energy might not always suit your cat and could lead to an imbalance and even discomfort and fights between the two.
Make sure you keep this in mind while trying to make them get along.
Limits and Boundaries
From the very beginning, you will need to make certain limits and boundaries clear. Make it clear to your pitbull as well as your cat what they can do and what they cannot so that neither of them ends up feeling too troubled due to the presence of the other.
It might take some time for you to figure out the boundaries of your cat and dog, so make sure you observe and monitor them properly. You will also need to establish your own authority so that your pitbull listens to your commands.
Look out for the following potential dangers so that you can take action at the right time.
Pitbulls have aggressive tendencies due to their breeding and origins. If they end up viewing your cat as a threat, they might end up becoming territorial and aggressive with them, leading to injuries and wounds.
Their high prey drive might also cause them to chase after and harm your cat if not dealt with properly.
Sometimes, your cat might also display aggression, especially through scratches. Aggression on either part might also include growling or hissing.
In either case, it is important for you to identify these signs of aggression and deal with them early on. Keep your pets apart if you notice any violence between them.
Age can be another factor here. If either your cat or pitbull is older than the other or if the age gap is too pronounced, you might end up facing more difficulty making them get along well.
It is best to start early on so that neither of them is much older. This can also give you and them some time to adjust to the new surroundings and to get used to each other.
Adjustments and adaptability might take more time if either has been around for much longer. If you still wish to bring a new pet home, however, prepare your existing pet in advance.
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Rough play should generally be avoided as far as possible. Your dog and cat might end up play fighting without meaning to carry out serious harm.
However, due to the bigger size of the pitbull as compared to your cat, the cat might accidentally end up getting injured, even if the two already get along.
Moreover, if one of them pushes the other’s boundaries or ends up taking the rough play too far, it might lead to issues.
Make sure you separate them whenever this happens.
Another danger here is insufficient socialization and lack of proper training. You will need to provide sufficient training and socialization to the pitbull from a young age to deal with the aggression.
However, if you adopt an older pitbull or even cat, it might be too late for you to teach them. In this case, bringing the two animals together might be a pretty bad idea.
In fact, this could end up leading to a lot more aggression and even fear that might be difficult for you to deal with.
In such a situation, try ensuring that the animal has received enough training and socialization before you bring them home.
Past trauma is a tough thing to deal with when it comes to your pets. If either your cat or pitbull had a difficult time with their previous owners or out on the streets, they might not only have plenty of physical injuries but may also be quite fearful around others, especially other animals.
In such a case, it is essential for you to proceed with caution and first provide a loving and caring environment before introducing them to each other.
Go through the following steps to introduce your pitbull and cat to ensure that they get along.
Train and Socialize
Provide training and socialization from a young age. Rely on positive reinforcement instead of negative reinforcement or punishment to get your pitbull to learn a certain command.
Introduce your pets to other people and pets well in advance, so they are used to being around other creatures.
Start off small by introducing your cat’s scent to your pitbull and vice versa. Keep toys, clothes, beds and any other belongings that might indicate the presence of the other.
Allow both your pets to get used to each other’s scent until they no longer feel threatened. This way, once you bring them in front of each other, they will feel safer.
Keep Your Dog Leashed
The first time you want to introduce your pitbull to your cat, keep your dog on a leash so that you can pull them back whenever you notice any hints of aggression or fear.
If your cat is aggressive, it can help to leash them up as well. Keep this leash on until they learn to be friendly with each other.
Do not leave your pitbull and cat alone with each other at any cost. Make sure you are always around whenever you want to keep them in the same room.
If you can’t make it on your own, ask someone else to be there in the room. This way, in case there is any aggression, you can easily separate them.
Designate Separate Spaces
In your house, make sure there is enough space for your pitbull as well as your cat so that neither of them becomes territorial. This way, if you need to separate them, you can simply take them to their own spot in the house and allow them to calm down.
Make sure you also have separate toys and belongings for both of them.
Bring Treats and Reinforcements
During the first few introduction sessions, it can help to bring treats and reinforcements such as food and toys so that you can reward your pets whenever they display good behavior around each other. This can make it easier to distract them and for them to repeat the behavior.
Provide Regular Stimulation
Pitbulls need lots of physical exercise and stimulation, so make sure you provide this to them so that they do not have pent-up energy that they might otherwise release on your cat.
Provide Equal Care and Attention
Make sure you love and care for both your pets equally without neglecting the other. You should also feed them well and keep them clean, healthy and happy.
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Generally, as long as you can manage to train and socialize your pitbull (and your cat) properly and start out small while also always being there to monitor them, you will be able to make them get along. Once the pitbull becomes comfortable and well trained, they will certainly be good and loving with your cats.