Skip to content

Are Border Collies Good With Cats? 10 Essential Training Tips!

Are Border Collies good with cats

Border Collies are an amazing breed of dog and everyone remembers that special moment they arrive home and are introduced to your entire family. This may already contain another four-legged friend, a cat or kitten. The intelligent and super active nature of a Border Collie will inevitably liven up any quiet household and can influence relationships with other animals too. So will they get along? …

Are Border Collies good with cats? In short, yes they can be good with cats if they are introduced in the right way and trained where necessary. Much depends on the personality of both your collie and your cat and the age at which they are introduced. If your collie can suppress his or her herding instincts around your cat then life will be easier for both of them – and they may become best friends.

This article explores the relationship between Border Collies and cats… and how to maximize the chances of them getting along if you are introducing either a cat or collie to your family unit!

Are Border Collies Good With Cats?

Interestingly, Border Collie Dog Breeds can also be excellent companions for cats! What’s more surprising about Border Collies and cats is that they can actually enjoy playing together. Border Collie Dogs are known for being extroverted and intelligent dogs which is a great match for cats.

Border Collies are natural competitors and love initiating games of chase with felines, both pouncing on their ‘prey’ before proceeding to tag all over the house to find a suitable hiding place where she or he can hide. This can come across as aggressive for unfamiliar cats so it is best to introduce Border Collies to each other early in life if possible with a dog and cat household.

Another consideration is that collies often like being centre of attention while cats generally prefer to be solitary and more independent. Border Collies and cats can make the perfect companions provided Border collie owners do not force these two breeds to be in the same space if they are struggling to get along with each other.

A feline that is defensive will probably not be able to handle an overly enthusiastic canine; he may become aggressive towards him or her. 

Border Collies and Cats Relationships – Do Collies Herd Cats?

The Border Collie is an intelligent and alert dog breed with an outgoing nature that originated in the Scottish border region of England and Scotland. Border collies were originally bred for herding sheep by nipping at their heels and can still be very energetic on walks, running back and forth ahead of you. But they tend to have little in the way of predatory aggression (thankfully, no instincts to kill or maim the sheep they were herding!)

Do Border Collies herd cats? The Border Collie’s tendency to herd may be redirected toward your cat as he or she becomes more comfortable with him or her. They may instinctively try to move an object in its direction that you are not aware of, such as a toy or trash can lid out of their sight; keep these items put away when you are not using them so your pup will not knock them down onto your cat. Because Border Collies love chasing games and have this inherent ‘prey drive’, this could become one-sided unless you let your four-legged friend know it is not a game. 

Border Collies are perfect dogs for people who can devote their entire lives to them. This is because they need someone to be there with them at all times even if they are sleeping in order for them to feel safe and secure. Daily exercise in nature, regular walks, proper training, trusted commands, regular stimulation … these will all be essential to put your collie in the best state of mind to get along well with your adult cat or kitten and any other companion animals you have at home.

They are very sociable animals as well so they appreciate having company around even if it’s just another dog or cat!

How To Train Your Border Collie To Get Along With Your Cats

Border Collies can exhibit aggression if they get bored due to their intelligence, strong personalities and instinct to herd; nipping and biting in puppies is common and natural (read the hyperlinked articles for specific training on nipping and biting). Therefore training from an early age, preferably from puppy, will help instill positive behavior and prevent issues such as unwanted playing and chasing of your cat – whether they are an adult cat or kitten not quite ready for rough and tumble!

So how do I train my Border Collie to get along better with my existing cat and any other companion animal? Follow our 10-step guide below:

  1. Establish a Striking Distance: Place your border collie and the adult cat or kitty in separate rooms of the house with a gate between them, allowing the animals to see each other from a distance, but not close enough to cause any harm.
  2. Introduce Scent: Have the adult cat or kitty rub against something from your border collie (like their favorite toy) so they can become familiar with each other’s smells.
  3. Supervised Visits: Begin allowing supervised visits between your border collie and the adult cat or kitty for small amounts of time with you present, gradually increasing it as they get more comfortable with one another.
  4. Feed Together: Start feeding the two animals at the same time in separate bowls right near one another; this will help them associate positive experiences whenever they are together.
  5. Exchange Toys & Treats: Have them swap their favorite treats and toys so that they can each get used to playing and exploring new objects from their teammate’s side of the room.
  6. Acquaintance Walks: Take both animals on walks together following a consistent route allows them to become more relaxed around each other without feeling any pressure or aggression coming from either side whatsoever.
  7. Play Dates Outside: Gradually work towards having play dates outside where you no longer need to be within arm’s reach; your border collie should have plenty of environmental enrichment toys available during these visits as well!
  8. Do Not Discipline The Cat/Kitten: If either animal shows signs of aggression or uneasiness, definitely take measures to ensure safety, but do not discipline either party – instead focus on further calming exercises like taking deep breaths together and providing gentle massages, if possible!
  9. Crates Provide Comfort For Both Animals: Depending on how interactions are going between your border collie and the adult cat/kitten; consider setting up crates for both animals in different parts of the house (preferably in sight of each other) when necessary for extra security and comfort levels for both parties involved!
  10. Celebrate Successful Outcomes: As interactions continue getting better between your border collie and adult cat/kitten, reward their progress accordingly by giving treats, special petting sessions or even just some verbal praises!

What If My Border Collie Attacks My Cat? More Training Tips!

If at any time your collie becomes violent towards your cat, immediately make him or her go to his crate for a brief time out. As we know, Border Collies are highly intelligent and can learn their commands quickly; using basic commands and reward-based training methods will help facilitate this process.

The dog must be trained to obey and not attack the cat under any circumstance.  If your companion won’t do what you tell it, then this may not work for you.

The goal in training your dog is simple: get them to listen every time without fail.  That means no matter who says “sit” or “fetch”, they have to sit regardless of whether its their owner, a stranger, another animal or even you standing up.  Think of it like this: if they are not trained, and your cat comes running into the room, then what will happen?  If you have control over the dog’s behavior (i.e. sit) then there should be no problems whether its third party command or yours.

When training a dog to get along with cats, it helps to start training early so that the pet acclimates to one another when they still need less attention from humans.  You may also want to read our article on how to introduce a new kitten .

Training is important for an additional reason as well: if you tell your dog “sit”, then you want them to listen even if someone else says “sit”.  If they don’t listen to you, then they won’t listen to the cat either.  This is how it works: if your dog does not listen when you tell it “sit”, then the cat will try to give commands of their own and the dog will ignore its instructions too.

Training can be a bit difficult for some dogs because of all the distractions that we have in our lives.  Try to keep training sessions calm with no loud music or television on since this could be distracting. Also, consider bringing in treats at first so that he associates sitting with his reward (food).

It is always worth reading other collie owner’s experiences with their dog and cat, here is an interesting thread to read.

How To Help Your Collie Get Along With Your Cat

If Border collie owners have a cat, it is important for their Border Collie Cat friend to understand that at all times your Border Collie Dog needs attention. If Border collie dogs find themselves ignored or left alone often – especially during stimulation seeking activities like chasing a ball in an empty backyard or digging holes on a farm – Border Collies may become destructive of property such as chewed up furniture because they do not have enough outlets for their mental energy needing exercise keeping both Border collie …. this is where regular exercise and stimulation is so important!

‘Are Border Collies Good With Cats?’ Firstly I would point out that Border Collies can be good with cats if trained correctly from puppyhood – so yes they are often good with Cats; the question you need to ask yourself though is:

‘Are Border Collies good with MY CAT?’ Border collies are incredibly intelligent and strong-willed, Border Collie puppies have been known to herd cats; Border collies are “high working” dogs , Border Collie training needs a lot of time – Border collies make great additions to families but require the same amount of attention as having another child.

With all this in mind, I would say that Border collie puppies need a lot of exercise [either by walking them (or running/jogging with them) or giving them some toys so they can play on their own] . If you want your canine friend to be able to live with your current cat in harmony then it is essential that Border collie training starts early and the border collie is taught to respect your cat .

Border Collies are traditionally ‘working dogs’, with a strong herding instinct so Border collie puppies need jobs or they will get bored. And as we know they can be a little stubborn! A young puppy can suffer from extreme separation anxiety which means that they become destructive – Border Collie puppies like to chew! For this reason, training and cultivating independence is important for your collie – and will help strengthen their confidence and relationship with other four-legged friends!

Introducing Your Border Collie To Your Cat – Essentials!

As pet owners it is our responsibility to ensure our companions get along the best they can and facilitate rather than be part of the problem. If you are concerned about your particular pets and their behavior around each other, approach them separately when they are both calm and introduce them to each other in a neutral environment such as a park or backyard away from the house. Make sure the Border Collie is on a leash to maintain control over his actions. Sit with them for several minutes and praise the Border Collie if he behaves calmly towards it, but don’t scold him or her if they get too excited.

As long as you are aware of their Border Collie’s natural instincts to herd small animals like cats and ensure there is enough exercise and attention from you, these two pets should get along just fine in your home – a happy multi-species household! Enjoy the benefits of adding an energetic Border Collie to your family!

Treat them as separate animals and keep all interactions positive. To help establish friendship put a bell on the door so if you can hear your cat interacting with the dog from another room. Start off by leaving them together in a room on their own, they will learn to get used to each other through scent – provided neither is aggressive. Introduce them properly when you are sure that both dogs and cats are used to being around each other. Dogs need training just like children do so make sure yours understands basic rules about where he can go and what he can do when he is around the cat.

It may be a good idea to feed them in separate rooms at first as this will reduce any lingering scents on your dog, it’s also important that you wash your dogs bedding before using it for the cat (and vice-versa). Take time to control your dogs behavior and make sure he knows what is acceptable around the cat and what isn’t. If you are not happy with his interaction with her, distract him gently but firmly away from her. Spitting, growling or snapping should be discouraged by putting your dog out of the room until he calms down. It helps to keep an eye on how they behave together and remember that cats have a habit of getting themselves into trouble, they can sneak up on a dog and get attacked without warning.

However if your cat has got used to other pets such as dogs it will be easier to introduce a new canine friend. In fact, if left on their own for too long cats can become very lonely and they may welcome your dog’s company in the house or garden just as much as you do!

1. There are no cats in the home

2. The family cat is not allowed to wander freely inside the house, and stays largely confined to one room which has a flap or other access for it to get through to “the outside”, so that it doesn’t come into contact with the dog very often

3. The dog is well trained, obedient, loving & kind (aggressiveness is never acceptable!)

4. There are games where you repeatedly throw a ball between yourself and your dog without leaving each others’ side – encourage them to bring it back to you by tugging on their collar or dangling a treat in front of them. The idea is that they learn not to leave your side when you have the ball, and eventually they will anticipate this game and bring the ball back before you throw it.

5. Lots of one-on-one time with your spaniel so it can get used to being around your cat (at first a lot may be spent just sitting quietly).

6. Keeping dogs on lead initially & slowly expanding the distance between dog & cat until you’re able to keep them out of each other’s way without restraint unless necessary

7. Sufficient socialisation – from an early age, especially! If everyone else in the family has pets which are allowed free

How Your Cat’s Personality and Instincts Affect How They Get Along With Your Collie

Like your dog, cats are individual animals with distinct personalities. We all have a tendency to think that cats are ‘independent’ animals – and in comparison to dogs they are independent. However if we take a closer look at their lifestyle (let’s not forget that we’re talking about a predator here), we’ll see that a cat’s life is full of routines which include interaction with other cats. And the patterns of this kind of interaction can vary from purring loudly as you pet them to scratching your arms bloody!

Cats rely heavily on their whiskers and paws so they ‘see’ (or rather feel) every tiny change around them. They depend on territory, and so does the life experience that they will be passing on to their kittens. For example if one cat takes another by surprise while it’s eating, there won’t be any blood drawn – the pursuer will just try to get the food away without serious damage. But if both are hungry – watch out!

A cat’s best defense against attack by an unfamiliar dog is avoidance. Confident dogs don’t make passes at strange cats because they know what the reaction will be. Fearful dogs don’t care; they haven’t learned how to read feline body language.

The best protection a cat has against dogs is to be properly socialized by an owner who not only cares about the cat’s welfare, but also takes the time to teach him or her how to behave in appropriate situations. Specifically, petting zoos and visits to friends with pets are prime opportunities for your cat to get along with other animals and learn that there will be no harm done if they meet one another on their own turf.

Other Dog Breeds To Get Along with your Family Cat

Here are some other canine breeds that will keep your cat company (or at least not make their lives hell!) 

– Border Collie / Shelter Mix

If you don’t have time for Border Collie training then consider rescuing a Border Collie/Sheltie mix – Shelties make great family pets and do not require as much exercise as Border Collies do! If you own a Border Collie / Sheltie cross, keep this in mind during Border collie training by allowing them to have more frequent breaks than a Border Collie.

– Shepherds

Shepherds can be great companions to your family cat if well socialised and trained. You should avoid a shepherd that is aggressive, especially towards children. Border Collies are also good with kids and other pets, provided they have been properly trained from puppyhood.

However the German Shepherds can be massive when fully grown, and can potentially cause injury to your cat if it’s unfortunate enough to encounter it while out for its regular wanderings in the garden!

German Shepherds are a lot in the beginning. The key to success here is training: start early (kicking off with crate training while you’re still planning for house-training) and be consistent – never give mixed signals about what’s acceptable behavior from your pet. Socialization is also crucial; it’s preferable to expose your pup to lots of different people as soon as possible so big, strong, protective and loyal dogs;

– Retrievers

Are golden retrievers good with cats? They can be good friends if done well.  Training is important to make sure the dog doesn’t hurt or chase the cat.  It also helps to spend time with both of them at an early age so that they are comfortable around each other when they grow up. Are golden retrievers good with cats? Retrievers are a friendly breed of canine and can be friends with your cat if you take the time and effort to train them. A retriever, despite its common name, is not a dog that retrieves game for hunters but rather was bred to hunt by scent which they use to track down numerous animals including hares, rabbits, quail and pheasants. Golden retrievers are extremely popular dogs with a large following of admirers and breeders throughout the world who have developed a wide range of colours to suit most tastes.

– Beagles

How well do beagles get on with cats? . A little training, time and patience can go a long way to making it happen. This beautiful dog has been known for many years as being man’s best friend and the reason behind this is that beagles are generally considered to be easy going dogs; they get on well with people, other dogs and cats.

They usually have an animated relationship. For domesticated housecats it may not take too much coaxing before they begin to accept you new companion – all that may take is the odd treat or two very early in the game! The more stubborn breed of cats though will need their space at first with some moving around etc., 

How are beagles with cats? Beagles tend to use their noses, so when they first meet your cat make sure that the two can smell each other – this way both of them will feel more at ease. Make things interesting for your cat by shaking a toy at its level, this should encourage it to want to play.

– Spaniels

Although spaniels are a great breed of dog to have in the home because they are loyal and affectionate pets – especially around children, it is important that you don’t forget your cat’s safety.

spaniels can be really good companions for your cat but it’s important not to rush things the initial meeting should take place in a neutral territory whatever you do never allow your dog to chase or play with cats, this could be very damaging to their relationship

Because cats are so fastidiously clean there may be times when he wants to stay away from the dog (i.e while eating or during toilet time). It’s vital that you don’t leave them unsupervised no matter how much they seem to like each other. This way you will avoid nasty accidents due to misunderstandings.