If you have a cat and are considering whether you should adopt a Golden Retriever, or vice versa, you’re not alone. Hollywood and cartoons have portrayed that having a Golden Retriever and cats in one home can be disastrous. However, this is far from true.
Cats and dogs have been known to live in harmony under the same roof, and all you need to do is educate yourself on your dog’s breed, and be patient while housebreaking them. Don’t believe this is possible? Try searching ‘Having a Golden Retriever and Cats’ on YouTube and feast your eyes (and soul).
Are Golden Retrievers Friendly with Cats?
Generally speaking, Golden Retrievers can be described as ‘happy-go-lucky’ dogs. When you throw cats into the mix, they have been observed to create loving and amicable relationships with them.
Granted, Golden Retrievers are a lot larger than the largest pet cat, they still have a very easy-going personality. This is why these dogs are considered to be the best breed of dogs for multi-animal homes.
Golden Retrievers are a very gentle breed of dogs and they are always eager to make friends – even with cats. If this is what you dream of in your home, all you need to do is follow the steps mentioned below to create a co-habitable and peaceful relationship between the two adorable creatures.
Adopting a cat into a Golden Retriever’s home is a lot simpler if your pup was trained earlier or was at least trained in the house rules. To prepare your dog beforehand, try to expose them to other animals, different places and perhaps, even different people. Ideally, these introductions should be taking place when they are between 7-weeks and 4-years old.
In a nutshell, proper training and introduction to diverse environments prepare Golden Retrievers on how to be the sensible and sweet dog you now cherish so much.
Select the Right Companion
We aren’t talking about ancient history here. Instead, you should find out whether your pup was ever introduced to cats, or at least to other dogs. If so, transitioning will be very simple, especially if they had positive experiences with previous interactions.
Like human beings, dogs and cats have distinct personalities. For instance, some pets prefer alone time more than other pets whereas others prefer to be more social and easily blend with other family members or pets.
That being said, if your cat and/or dog has a very playful personality, they are bound to get along just fine with other pets.
If, for instance, your Golden Retrievers love basking in the sun during the afternoon, you can try looking for cats who love doing so as well. Having a Golden Retriever and cats will be much simpler if they have similar habits.
Most pet parents wrongly believe that adding a younger kitten or puppy to their household will ‘perk-up’ the older pet. Sadly, this isn’t always the case, especially if you have an older cat. Older cats may even hiss at the youthful energy of your Golden Retriever.
How to Introduce New Pets
Introducing new pets to your home can be quite stressful for resident pets, as well as for the newcomer. Here’s how you can mitigate some of the stress:
Dogs have a natural tendency to protect their home and therefore, may feel as if the new pet is a threat, especially if they have had bad experiences with cats. You can relieve this stress by taking your Golden Retriever or cat along to meet one another, perhaps at a local rescue.
Before driving both of them home, make sure that you allow both enough time to get acquainted with one another. Since we’re looking for a neutral territory to introduce them, you can also do the same at a relative’s house or, perhaps, even your neighbor’s porch.
Allow Scent Exchanges
Your Golden Retriever may not look the part but they are natural hunters, which also means that they have a very strong set of sniffers. For this reason, they will automatically start acknowledging a foreign scent as soon as it enters your home.
When this happens, you can protect either animal in the long-run by easing anxiety levels and letting them see one another. In some cases, this could mean keeping them in separate areas of your home for a day or two and slowly initiating interactions that involve sniffing and other sensory interactions.
Even though having a Golden Retriever and cats in the same home is practically possible, you should acknowledge that both animals may require their own private space, especially during the entire acclimation period.
For example, you should place your Golden Retriever’s toys and bed away from the cat’s scratching post. Similarly, you could also place their water and food bowls in entirely separate locations to avoid clashes or naughty behavior.
Keep a Lookout for Signs of Stress
While your pets slowly get accustomed to one another, it is vital for you to look for signs of stress. If either pet seems to be annoyed by the other or may show clear signs of aggression, then give both of them a time-out.
More specifically, both dogs and cats have a natural reaction to aggression where they warn their opponents with vocal cues while the fur along their back gets raised. These are the telltale signs of an imminent clash and perhaps a day or two of time-out will ease them down again.
Our Final Thoughts
Having a Golden Retriever and cats is perhaps the only thing better than having a Golden Retriever. Both creatures are exceptionally adorable and can really comfort their pet parents with their soft playfulness.
Since both of them love their pet parents equally, it is also your responsibility to give them both equal love and attention; no matter how much you’re tempted to play with just your new pet. Also, if you’re worried about either animal going bonkers, all you need to do is limit their movements (usually with a leash) and let them try again when they’ve calmed down.