Are Australian Shepherds Good With Cats (13 Tips For Success)

Australian Shepherds are a calm breed that can get along with cats because of their passive nature. The Australian Shepherd is usually unfazed by the presence of cats.

The Australian Shepherd also gets along great with children and humans, making this loyal breed a wonderful family dog. They are also easy to train, so any Australian Shepherd puppy can become a cat-friendly dog in no time at all with proper training.

Overall, the best way to guarantee that your Australian Shepherd gets along with your cat is to expose them to cats early on because it teaches your Aussie the proper behavioral expectations.

Do Australian Shepherds Like Cats?

Every Australian Shepherd has its preference when it comes to liking cats. Some dogs get along great with cats, and others hate them. Generally, Australian Shepherds are a passive breed who do not care about other pets in the house until their presence begins to impact their livelihood.

When a cat and dog have bad relationships, it is usually the result of bad introductions and improper supervision. Australian Shepherds love cats when introduced properly.

When introducing an Australian Shepherd to your cat, allow them to adjust slowly, first with smell and then with controlled introductions. Never rush a meeting and always stay in control during the first few days, or you can traumatize your pets and create a bad relationship.

Establishing firm boundaries and teaching your Australian Shepherd how to behave can help them form strong relationships with their kitty housemates. Always provide your pets a safe place to retreat. For cats, their safe place should be up high and out of their Australian Shepherd sibling’s reach.

A cute cat and happy Australian Shepherd dog, sitting togetherDo Australian Shepherds Get Along With Cats?

Many Australian Shepherds are impartial to cats. More often than not, they will not mind co-existing with cats. Still, Australian Shepherds are not eager to become best buddies with their feline housemates. That does not mean that they will not get along with a cat housemate, though.

An Australian Shepherd introduced to their kitty house member in the right way can form strong bonds. The Australian Shepherd is an obedient dog who loves its human companions.

By introducing the young, training them how to behave around cats, and rewarding them for good behavior, you can create a peaceful environment for your cat and dog. Not every Australian Shepherd is the same. There are certainly cases when Australian Shepherds do not get along with cats.

Basic examples of when cats do not get along with Australian Shepherds include:

  • Past trauma
  • Age
  • Gender
  • Adult cats who have lived along
  • Poor introductions
  • Size
  • Too loud

Depending on a variety of factors like their age, cats may already have pre-set beliefs on dogs. When introducing your Australian Shepherd to your home, consider some of the important factors like their sizes, genders, and more. Many factors draw your dog’s attention to your cat, so calmly introducing your Australian Shepherd is essential for establishing a solid, long-lasting relationship.

How Do You Introduce an Australian Shepherd to a Cat?

It would help if you introduced your pets gently, creating a calm environment for both animals. Many people believe bad introductions prevent cats and dogs from forming positive relationships later on, so you must introduce your pets in a good way.

Overall, the comfort of your pets is the most significant part of introducing your new Australian Shepherd into the family. Cats can become easily spooked by change. For cats, change can be something as small as moving furniture or changing your routine. As you might imagine, bringing in a new family member can cause your cat major stress! Bringing dogs into your cat’s domain is extremely stressful.

If you give your new puppy or adult dog free rein in the house without warning, it can severely stress your cat out. If your cat is surprised by your Australian Shepherd’s sudden appearance, they may bring out their claws and react defensively toward your Aussie. Scratches can be painful for your dog and even cause permanent scarring or other physical damage to your Australian Shepherd.

Do not be surprised if your Australian Shepherd reacts physically as well. Whether they are a puppy or an adult, Australian Shepherds surpass cats in size quite quickly. Physical confrontations of any kind often result in traumatizing associations for both parties. These will leave your pets unable to form connections of any kind with each other forever.

General suggestions when it comes to introducing an Australian Shepherd to cats include:

  • Smells first
  • Opposite door technique
  • Familiarize themselves with their surroundings
  • Respect your cat’s boundaries
  • Young introductions
  • Observe body language
  • Ask a professional
  • Use a leash while introducing your pets

Instead of rushing introductions, it is necessary to consider taking careful measures so you avoid traumatizing your pets. Several introductory tactics can help encourage a more successful pairing. Australian Shepherds and cats can make great companions if you put forth the effort.

Smells First

Let your pets adjust to each other’s smells first before unleashing them on one another. Giving them time to investigate the smell of their new housemate will let them adjust slowly. Introducing a dog or cat too quickly can result in fear or traumatic memories.

Opposite Door Technique

Feeding pets on the opposite side of the door is an old trick that helps cats and dogs build mutual trust with one another. Do not be surprised if they are hesitant at first. Once they begin eating with no battle, they will form an unbreakable bond.

Familiarize Themselves with their Surroundings

Give your Australian Shepherd time to familiarize themselves with their surroundings. In addition to meeting your cat, they are also exploring a whole new world.

While you let your Australian Shepherd explore their new home, isolate your cat in a different room. Separating your cat keeps them from getting in an uncomfortable confrontation that may traumatize your cat.

Respect Boundaries 

Every pet needs a safe space to go when they feel threatened. When introducing your Australian Shepherd to your cat, you should do so in a neutral environment. By introducing your new housemate in a neutral environment, you are not invading your cat’s personal space.

Owners suggest respecting the areas that your cat has established as their territory, so they do not feel bombarded.

Young Introductions

Beginning introductions young will result in the best relationships for both your Australian Shepherd and your cat. Kittens are more likely to accept a dog into their household than an adult cat set in their ways.

Similarly, a puppy who is introduced to cats early can familiarize themselves with cats. The only problem with introducing puppies to cats is the potential to continue roughhousing into their adult years.

Read Body Language

When introducing new pets to one another, read their body language carefully. If you notice any signs of aggression or agitation, you should separate your pets. Signs of uncomfortable body language include ears back, teeth-baring, and arched backs.

Ask a Professional

Apprehensive pet owners can ask professionals for help when introducing Australian Shepherds to their cats. Professional dog trainers know how to balance the delicate relationship between cats and dogs. Ask them for help, and they will eagerly help you introduce your pets.

Use a Leash

During the initial introduction, leash your dog to keep a restrained distance between your pets. Both pets have the right to act defensively if the other strikes or attacks them.

Staying in control of the situation with a leash around your Australian Shepherd’s neck will limit the damage your pets can cause to each other.

How Do I Stop My Australian from Chasing My Cat?

Several things can stop your dog from chasing your cat, like training or extra entertainment. Before you begin training your Australian Shepherd to stop chasing your cat, you must determine the cause.

General suggestions to stop an Australian Shepherd from chasing your cat include:

  • Providing your dog more entertainment
  • Reward your dog for good behavior
  • Train your dog
  • Provide your cat with higher hiding spots
  • Give your pets personal space

For instance, is your dog bored, or are they viewing your cat as a threat? If you can determine why they are chasing your cat, it will be easier for you to find a solution.

More Entertainment

Australian Shepherds weigh around 40-60 pounds compared to cats weighing between 8 and fifteen pounds. It can be fun for your pets to play around with each other, but your cat might get tired of the excessive pawing and roughhousing after a certain point.

If your dog is chasing because they are bored, they need more entertainment. Whether this includes toys, daily walks, or more adventures, your Aussie needs more attention and entertainment.

Reward Good Behavior

Use a reward system to encourage good behavior around their feline friend. The more you reward your Australian Shepherd for good behavior, the more they will want to repeat this behavior. In no time, they will love spending time with their furry housemate.

Train Them

Dogs who chase cats because they are small, moving objects are untrained. Training your Australian Shepherd, personally or professionally, can help them to become more obedient. A well-trained Australian Shepherd is more likely to listen if they know obedience commands like “come” or “stop.” These are important behavioral training that influences how cats co-exist in the household together.

Provide More Higher Spots

Cats feel safer when they hide in high places. Hiding and traveling in high places also keep them out of sight from your Australian Shepherd. Consider purchasing cat towers, cat runs, and other items that help your cat stay out of your Australian Shepherd’s view. Over time, your Australian Shepherd will forget they exist, and eventually, the two will learn to cohabitate.

Give Personal Space

Both of your pets can co-exist in the same environment when they have their own space. If they are confined in the same small area together, they will easily get fed up and begin chasing each other. To avoid this, give them separate resources far away from each other, so there is no battle for territory.

australian shepherd and maine coon cat in front of white background

Want To Train Your Dog With Peace Of Mind?

If you haven’t trained your dog properly, then this is the perfect time to start. Whatever bad behavior your shepherd has, whether it’s barking at night or other bad behaviors, using the right training program is the key to having an obedient and happy pup.

The training program I love and highly recommend is Brain Training For Dogs.

With Brain Training For Dogs, you’ll save yourself a ton of time and effort. Instead of banging your head against the wall trying to figure out why your dog won’t listen, you’ll follow a path that has been tried, tested, and most importantly, that’s given proven results. Not to mention the fact, you’ll be able to fit the course around your schedule, not fit your schedule around a trainer or obedience class.

So instead of worrying about whether they’re going to be well-behaved or not, you’ll only have to worry about how much fun you’ll have with them!

And in most cases, it’s still going to be:

  • Cheaper than hiring a professional.
  • Cheaper than replacing everything they might break.
  • And definitely cheaper than a lawsuit against you, if they decide to bite someone.

Just imagine how great it will feel to finally be able to trust your dog completely and never worry whether they’ll be naughty or not. Instead, you’ll have the peace of mind that you have a well-behaved pup, and the boundaries you set for them will always be there, EVEN IF YOU’RE NOT.

And the best part is it also has a 60-day money-back guarantee! So there’s no reason not to give Brain Training For Dogs a try!

So if you’re tired of your dog’s bad behavior or how they react around other people and pooches, then give it a try! You’ll be amazed by the results!

(You can also check out a full review here to learn exactly what the course has to offer!)

FAQ

Are Australian Shepherds Friendly Dogs?

Although every dog is different, most Australian Shepherds are very friendly. Australian Shepherds love to form close relationships with their human companions. They are quick to make close friends with other people.

Do Australian Shepherds Get Along with Other Pets?

Australian Shepherds are impartial to other pets, typically minding their business and not caring whether there are other pets or not in the house. Overall, they get along with other pets much better than they do not agree with them.

The friendliness, welcoming attitude, and passive temperament make Australian Shepherds potentially great companions with different types of animals.

Are Australian Shepherds Good Family Dogs?

Australian Shepherds are extremely good family dogs because of their passive and friendly nature. The Australian Shepherd is a nurturing dog who is okay with kids and obedient to their human companions.

If children are well-versed in the rules of how to treat animals, Australian Shepherds can be great companions.

The Bottomline

The rumor is true -cats and dogs can get along! Dogs or cats, Australian Shepherds are typically impartial to co-existing with other pets in their households. They do not seem to mind sharing their space until it begins to become a problem. Since Australian Shepherds are typically passive animals, they are often an unproblematic breed who do not mind sharing their space.

Teach your Australian Shepherd to get along with cats by slowly introducing them to each other and giving them time to adjust to each other. Give your pets time and allow them to adjust on their own time. The importance of a slow introduction becomes especially important if your cat has lived in a single-pet household for a long time.

Never rush an introduction between your Aussie and your feline friend, or you may end up traumatizing them. Any rushed introduction or unstable meeting can compromise the potential of your Australian Shepherd’s relationship with your cat forever.  If your dog does not make a good first impression, they will likely never form a close relationship with their new housemate.