If you’re interested in adopting a Greyhound like our Brittany and you already have a feline friend at home, you may be asking yourself ‘can Greyhounds live with cats?‘ It’s definitely a common concern since many pet families have both cats and dogs.
And why wouldn’t you be concerned since Greyhounds are known for their lightning-fast speeds and strong prey drive. We don’t want your cats running for their lives every time your Grey gets the urge to run around the house, right? But worry not, as there can actually be a harmonious relationship between Greyhounds and cats and we’re here to tell you all about it.
The key to these two animals coexisting in your home lies in understanding each of their personalities and training both of them properly. Greyhounds are a very gentle breed and can often learn to accept and even bond with their feline counterparts. Likewise, cats have a natural curiosity and calm nature which can lead them to warm up to their canine housemate.
But, to ensure a smooth and friendly bond between your Greyhound and cat, it’s important to take things slowly, monitoring their interactions closely and ensuring you train them and ensure they’re getting along. With patience and the right approach, your Greyhound and cat can become the best of friends.
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Understanding Greyhound Temperament
One of the first things you need to take into consideration is your Greyhound’s temperament. Not every Greyhound is the same so knowing their individual behaviors and nature will help you understand if they’ll be able to get along with a cat in the house.
Prey Drive – Greyhounds LOVE To Chase Things!
Knowing many rescued Greyhounds come from the tracks, you’ll understand that they have a high prey drive. This means that they’re instinctively drawn to chase and catch small, fast-moving animals much like they have done at race tracks for generations.
They rely on their sight to find their “prey” and then use their amazing speed to catch up to that prey. However, this doesn’t mean that they can’t live peacefully with cats or that they’ll consider a cat to be ‘prey’ by no means.
Controlling the prey drive in your home is key and that comes with time and training. You just need to be mindful of their natural instincts and supervise their interactions with your furry little cats, especially in the beginning when they first meet.
Mellow Nature – Greyhounds Are SUPER Chill!
Another aspect of the Greyhound’s temperament is their mellow, easy-going nature. I can tell you for sure that my Greyhounds have been the poster dogs for the word MELLO. They tend to sit around all day and just chill. It’s their nature!
Have you ever heard anyone call a Greyhound a “45-mile-per-hour couch potato”? Well that’s because they love to lounge around, sleep a lot and spend time with their families. That mellow, affectionate, and gentle demeanor makes them great companions, even for households with cats.
With my experience, as you get to know your Greyhound, you’ll likely find that they’re adaptable to various situations and can adjust well to living with other pets (dogs or cats.) Remember not every Greyhound is the same so get to know yours first and ensure they get along with other animals as some are not as mellow as others.
Most will tell you that Greyhounds can become fast friends with cats when given the right environment and training. Always be patient and consistent in your approach and one day you might also find your cat and Greyhound curled up on the couch together!
Are Greyhounds Good With Cats? Things You Should Know
When it comes to introducing Greyhounds to cats, there are two really important things you need to know about and that is (1) adopting a cat-tested Greyhound and (2) using proper introduction techniques. If you’re adopting a Greyhound from a reputable outfit, both of these will definitely be addressed ahead of time. Here’s what you need to know.
Adopting a Cat-Tested Greyhound
If you’re planning on adopting a Greyhound and already have a cat at home, it’s best to look for a cat-tested dog. Cat-tested Greyhounds have gone through temperament testing with cats to ensure that they basically can get along in the same home.
The last thing you want to do is invite a new Greyhound into your cat-friendly home and find out they don’t like each other or that your Greyhound is not fond of cats. That’s a recipe for all sorts of problems.
Many adoption agencies and Greyhound rescues conduct cat testing as part of their evaluation process. When searching for your new Greyhound, be sure to ask the organization if they tested the Greyhound to see if they are compatible with other animals (cats specifically.) If not, ask if that can be done prior to bringing the Greyhound into your home.
Properly Introducing Greyhounds with Cats
Once you know your Greyhound is OK with cats, it’s always best to be super careful about first introducing them. You know how things can go when a first meeting goes bad. Same here with Greyhounds and cats!
On day one, make sure your Greyhound knows that your cat is a loved member of the family and that he/she is OFF LIMITS. If you’re lucky, the cat will also be pretty bold and ensure your Greyhound understands that as well!
Remember that when first making introductions, make sure your Greyhound has a muzzle on and is leashed. No matter what happens, at the very least the muzzle will prevent your cat from getting hurt so best to be cautious for that first meet-and-greet.
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Here are some other tips to help your Greyhound and cat become friends that our readers have also suggested:
- Scent Exchange: Before introducing your pets face-to-face, try exchanging their scents. Rub a towel on both your cat and Greyhound and then allow both to check out the towels to the respective animals. Many have said that scent familiarity helps to ease the first meeting and made that intro a bit smoother.
- Introduce Greyhounds and Cats or Kittens in a Controlled environment: Initially, introduce both of them in a controlled environment. Keep your Greyhound on a leash and muzzled and your cat in a secure carrier. This often reduces stress or potential aggression during that first meet and greet.
- Don’t force it! Be calm and do things slowly!: It’s always best to gradually bring the animals closer together and allow them to observe and sniff each other from a safe distance. Try to speak in a friendly and calm voice as well as that helps both animals be at ease. Good things take time, patience and sometimes calmness.
- Supervise those first couple of interactions: Always supervise your Greyhound and cat interactions, especially during the first few days and weeks. Even cat-tested Greyhounds and sociable cats may take time to adjust to each other’s presence. If your cat was in the home first, they might not like this giant dog roaming through the house messing up their vibe! Make sure you keep an eye on them to make sure they all get along.
- Provide personal space: Ensure both your Greyhound and cat have their own private spaces, such as a crate or separate rooms. Giving them a safe haven enables them to retreat if they feel uncomfortable or overwhelmed. Our Brittany has her cage in a corner of the family room and that’s her little retreat if things get a little scary (i.e. thunderstorms or fireworks.) So it’s best to make sure they have a safe spot to go to.
One last thing to remember is that you should keep in mind that even though your Greyhound may totally accept your cat, his acceptance may not apply to your neighbor’s or friend’s cats. Always introduce your Greyhound to other animals safely by using a muzzle and leash to make sure it goes well.
Recognizing and Addressing Aggression
As you bring a Greyhound into your home, it’s really important to monitor both your cat and Greyhound for any signs of stress or aggression. This will enable you to take proactive measures and catch any issues early before both start duking it out like a ‘Tom and Jerry’ cartoon!.
Signs of Stress and Aggression
A stressed or nervous cat can display various signs, such as a raised or puffed-up tail, flattened ears, or hissing. Similarly, a Greyhound may also show signs of stress, like panting, pacing, or even growling. Our Brittany will pant pretty hard and her ears will pin back and you know she’s a little stressed.
It’s really important to recognize these signs and intervene if necessary to prevent any aggressive or predatory behavior from escalating. Keep in mind that Greyhounds are quick and agile, and their instincts can take over in a split second. If you’ve ever seen my Brittany jump up and run towards the door when someone knocks, you’ll see how quick she can be!
Remember, it’s crucial to remain patient and stay consistent with your efforts to help your Greyhound and cat learn to live peacefully together. By closely monitoring their behavior, providing safe spaces, and monitoring for signs of stress, you’ll be on your way to a household where everyone gets along!
Summary and Frequently Asked Questions
Q. Is it Possible to Have a Cat Friendly Greyhound?
A. Absolutely! Greyhounds can get along with cats, but their natural instinct is to chase smaller animals. With proper training and socialization, they can learn to coexist peacefully with your friendly felines.
Q. Do Greyhounds Get Along with Cats and How Can I Help?
A. Introduce your Greyhound and cat slowly, and do so in a controlled environment. Keep your Greyhound leashed and muzzled during the introductions and allow both animals to get used to each other from a distance. Gradually decrease the distance between them, while closely monitoring their behavior. Reinforce positive interactions with praise and treats.
Q. What precautions should I take when bringing a Greyhound into a home with cats?
A. When bringing a Greyhound into a home with cats, keep them separate initially. Supervise all interactions closely and never leave them alone unsupervised (at least for the first few weeks.) Make sure your cat has plenty of safe spaces to retreat to if they feel threatened and think of getting a cage (for either or both) to temporarily separate them if problems do arise.
Q. Are certain Greyhound breeds better suited for living with cats?
A. All Greyhounds have a strong prey drive, but some individuals may have a lower drive and may be better suited for living with cats. It can depend on the individual dog’s temperament and experiences. Adopting from a rescue organization can help as they often evaluate Greyhounds for cat friendliness. But when it comes to breeds, it doesn’t matter if you have an Italian Greyhound, Spanish Greyhound, Afghan Hound or a Whippet, all hounds need to be checked to see if they’ll get along with cats. No one breed is more suited for cats than another.
Q. Are there any techniques for training Greyhounds not to chase cats?
A. One effective technique is training your Greyhound to focus on you instead of the cat. Use treats and praise to reinforce this behavior. Another technique is teaching your Greyhound a “leave it” command, which can be useful in redirecting their attention away from the cat if they become too focused. Our Brittany will absolutely respond to “no” and “stop” if we need her to stop doing something. Those commands have come over time and she has learned what they mean. Greyhounds are very smart so I’m sure you can teach them certain commands to train them as well not to chase cats (or squirrels, like we had to do with Brittany!)
Q. What should I know about Greyhound-cat interactions before adopting?
A. Before adopting a Greyhound, be prepared for the possibility that they may have a strong prey drive and a desire to chase your cat. If that is the Greyhound you’re looking to adopt and you want to be ultra safe protecting your cat, you might want to ‘interview’ a few more Greyhounds to see if you can find one that is better suited to be around your cat. What you don’t want to do is think if you’re patient, it will get better and your Greyhound or cat will come to love the other. Sometimes that never happens so in the interest of your pets and your family, sometimes it’s best to have patience and wait for the right fit.
I hope you enjoyed reading Can Greyhounds Live with Cats! If you have any questions or would like to know more about our experience with Greyhounds, feel free to reach out and we’ll do our best to answer any other questions you might have. Take care!