Border Collies are generally good with other pets, but because they are high-energy dogs who enjoy chasing other animals, spending time with cats can be difficult. While it may take some time for them to become accustomed to each other, there are several effective ways to prevent your cat from harpooning your dog when it moves and vice versa. Are you considering getting a Border collie but worried about introducing them to your current cat or getting a new cat later? You don’t have to be concerned because they are generally good with other animals.
They are well-known for being excellent all-around pets that people of all ages can enjoy. As a result, your cat will likely enjoy having them around. There’s no denying how much happiness these dogs bring into our lives. If you’re worried about their compatibility with cats, here’s some advice from someone who grew up with both!
How to safely introduce a Border collie to a cat?
Some people believe that a Border collie (or any dog, for that matter) cannot coexist with a cat, but this could not be further from the truth. You can introduce a border collie to a cat in a few different ways. First and foremost, you should get used to each other’s body odor. You can rub the cloth against each other’s bodies and stuff it into their bedding.
Allow collie and kittie to roam and seek out each other’s living quarters. You can use a door or a baby gate to introduce them. You can also introduce yourself to each other while your dog is on a leash.
Will My Border collie Hurt My Cat?
Border Collies are generally very gentle and kind to other animals. Although, there is a slight chance that your cat might get hurt from the Border collie’s wandering paws. So it would be beneficial to keep an eye on them when they are together until they get used to each other.
Why Do Border Collies Chase Cats?
Border Collies enjoy chasing moving objects. Border Collies were bred to herd, and as a result, they were bred to herd livestock. Because they were born to chase, it will be difficult for them not to do so if they see a cat running around the house.
There are several instincts in Border Collies to chase cats, such as:
Border collies have strong herding instincts. As a result, they may attempt to herd your cat around the house. Another reason they might chase your cat and bark and growl as he chases it around the house (which can be alarming for those who don’t know that this isn’t a bad thing) is their instinct to bark at moving things.
Border Collies are brilliant, energetic dogs that need plenty of mental stimulation. Some might try to play with your cat by chasing them around the home with toys in their mouths.
Some Border Collies have solid predatory instincts, making them chase cats. They might see your cat as prey and try to catch them.
Border Collies with protective instincts may believe that the cat in your house is a threat to you and must be chased away. All of these instincts can be tamed by adequately training them as children. That is why it is critical to socialize this breed with other animals so that he can respond appropriately. They will recognize that chasing is unacceptable behavior and will not do it again once you have taught them not to chase.
How to Train Your Collie Not To Chase Cats
Although collies’ herding behavior is deeply ingrained, it can be controlled. Collies are among the most intelligent dogs on the planet, and almost any behavior can be taught with little training.
Don’t React Strongly To Chasing Behaviors.
When your collie displays unwanted chasing behavior, it’s essential not to react strongly since this will reinforce the behavior to your collie, and even if you try to stop your dog or catch them, they might see this as a game.
Making a fuss over your collie chasing a cat tells your collie that chasing is a way to get your attention and that cats are important and worth chasing. The best course of action is to ignore unwanted behavior and instead try to distract your collie with something else.
Distract Them with Something Else
Keep your collie occupied by playing with them or giving them a ball or other toy. If you see your collie staring at a cat and thinking they’re about to chase or bark, give them a toy or some playtime to reward them. Your collie will learn that cats are unimportant and uninteresting and that whatever you have is infinitely more interesting than chasing a cat.
Reward Positive Behavior
Collies don’t respond well to a heavy hand, so positive reinforcement is usually the best way to train a collie to do anything, and unwanted cat chasing is no exception.
If you’re out and about, keep some treats in your pocket, and reward your collie for walking calmly at random intervals. This will encourage your collie to stay close to you and teach them that staying close is a desirable trait.
Collies are eager to please, and despite their intelligence, they are still dogs who require positive reinforcement to learn what we want them to do. “Sit” and “Stay” are not natural commands for a dog to learn, so we must teach them by rewarding them when they perform correctly. Always reward good behavior with a treat, a toy, or a petting so that the calm behavior becomes associated with the reward. You can reinforce this even more by using a clicker or an audible “good dog” command.
Things to consider when cat training a Border collie
If your cat or cats need to get away from your dog, make sure they have a safe place to go. Even a well-trained border collie may occasionally attempt to herd and chase cats, so your cat must have a way to get away. If your cat has nowhere to go, it will become aggressive toward your border collie. Aggression from either animal should be avoided at all costs. When you’re not at home, keep your puppy in a crate so you can keep an eye on their interactions with your cats until they’re fully socialized.
An effective home training program is perhaps the best way to train your border collie and eradicate lousy behavior. Three particular methods work well when training your border collie to be social and friendly with cats. These are:
The Distraction Method
The idea here is to keep your border collie distracted and to refrain from the need to herd/chase a cat. You can do so by playing fetch or through games like tug of war. This will help to tire your border collie out and also let them relieve some aggression and let off some steam. Regularly feeding treats, rewards, and offering praise will also incentivize your border collie to act better in the presence of cats.
Be consistent and clarify that you will not tolerate such bad behavior. Each time you let things slide, you push back the end goal.
The Environment Method
Another great strategy is to create a conducive environment for success. Make sure you have separate areas for your Border collie and cat(s) to go and safe areas where they can feel safe. You might want to think about getting cat flaps installed. To ensure that everything goes smoothly and according to plan, you should socialize them at specific times and when you are present.
The Deterrence Method
The deterrence method entails actively attempting to isolate your Border collie and cat from one another after a period of failed socialization. Baby gates and long leashes can be especially useful in this situation. They can prevent any chasing or herding behavior.
5 tips and techniques to keep the peace between a Border collie and a cat
There are a few things that you can do to help keep the peace between a border collie and a cat.
Introduce them as early as possible
It is preferable to introduce your dog and cat at a young age. Puppies and kittens have a higher propensity for learning and adopting new things and behaviors. Puppies and kittens can better manage and form relationships with one another.
Your cat should have a safe place to hide from the Border collie. This will be your kitties’ heaven, where she will be able to save herself and feel at ease.
It would help if you encouraged socialization between the two. You can start by getting them used to each other’s scent; you can introduce them to your dog on a leash or even try to get them involved in fun activities where they can participate equally.
Extracurricular activities allow your pets to channel their energy while remaining calm. You can play fun games with your dog or cat and teach them to obey commands. Once or twice a day, take your dog for a walk. It is preferable to go for a morning walk and then play in the evening. It will keep their attention and energy away from the cat. A happy dog is a tired dog!
Tug of war
Playing tug of war significantly reduces aggression and rage and keeps your furry friend relaxed and calm. A few minutes of tug of war is enough. It will make your furry friend tired, and he will not think of chasing your kittie.
Are border collies good with cats? Border collies and cats can get along fine if they have a good relationship. You, the owner, encourage gentle play and interactions between your border collie and the cat.
When training your border collie to behave well around cats, you must be consistent and not allow the Border collie to become bored, as this can lead to problems. Border collies have a lot of energy that needs to be channeled appropriately. Because this breed excels at so many dog sports, enrolling your border collie in one of these classes is an excellent way for him to burn off some energy. Regular walks and play, of course, are equally effective.