Many people often ask, “Do Chow Chows get along with cats?” The stigma behind a Chow chow’s attitude often causes people to take caution before getting a cat with a Chow chow in the home, or vice versa.
So, do Chow Chows get along with cats? Yes, they can get along with cats with the proper training. Chow Chows can be stubborn, but they can be trained to get along with cats or other dogs when properly socialized. However, this shouldn’t be something to tackle as a first-time dog owner.
Despite their teddy bear looks and cute wide faces, Chow Chows have the ability to become very temperamental and aloof. Not unlike a cat. Actually, many people often compare the attitude of a Chow chow to that of a cat.
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Chow Chow Temperament
Chow Chows were originally bred to be working dogs in China. They took part in hunting as well as guarding the properties of their owners.
Because of their history, Chow Chows have an inherent prey drive that will need to be trained out of their system at a young age.
With any dog, you can wind up with unique personalities, and a Chow Chow is no different. However, in general, chows are generally considered as proud, independent, stubborn, distinguished, reserved, and intelligent.
Chow Chows will not typically be too welcoming to strangers (part of the guard dog in them). However, if the owner takes part in the introduction between the dog and a stranger, they’re more willing to say hello. Socialization with a variety of people often is very important.
Many problems that are associated with the Chow Chow breed can be melted away with early and persistent socialization with people as well as other dogs and cats.
Poorly trained Chow Chows can grow up to be aggressive toward other animals, particularly other dogs of the same sex. Cats are also at risk of being a target of an untrained Chow due to not having their prey drive trained away.
How to Introduce a Chow Chow to a Resident Cat
At the end of the day, it’s all about prey drive. If you wind up taking in an adult Chow chow that has never had its prey drive curbed through earlier training, there will be future problems- even if it seems like the cat and dog are getting along. All it takes is for the cat to scurry past in play, and it could be the end of the cat.
For an adult Chow chow being adopted or taken in, it’ll be important to know (if possible) if it chases or hunts other small animals such as squirrels, raccoons, and so forth.
If so, there’s a good chance it’ll see no difference between your cat and other small prey animals.
The best and safest scenario would be bringing a Chow Chow puppy into the home. In so doing, you’ll know that the dog will have to be trained and trained properly to suit living with your cat.
For a while, you may find that the cat will need its own space to retreat when it wants to be left alone- puppies can be rambunctious. Maybe a high place or a room partitioned off with a barrier for a time.
How to Introduce a Cat to a Resident Chow Chow
If you’ve had the Chow chow for a while, you might already know whether or not there’s a strong prey drive still present in the dog.
Perhaps it doesn’t bother chasing small animals around the yard, for example. Or, maybe you’ve done an outstanding job raising and socializing your dog with a mixed species of animals.
If so, and you want to introduce a cat to a resident Chow chow, a slow start is the best method. Sanction off a room where the cat can be set up with its own cat’s box, food, water, etc. Any cat that is taken into a new place will be nervous an initially curious and skittish.
If it’s possible to arrange things so your cat and dog can see each other, through a child’s gate, for example, that would be good to gauge reactions.
Try feeding both animals on either side of the gate or door (whatever keeps them from being in the same room together).
Doing this will help them familiarize themselves with each other and learn that there’s no threat concerning food.
It would also be a good idea to exchange rooms every once in a while. Doing this will allow the cat and dog to get used to each other’s scent. Swapping blankets or beds is another good way to get them to be familiar with each other.
The whole point is to avoid fearful or aggressive interactions. If either animal begins to display fearful or aggressive behavior as you give them more leeway with one another, diffuse it immediately and go back a step.
Any face-to-face interaction should be supervised and handled with great care, calm, and attention to both animals.
Perhaps invite a friend over to sit with the cat while you have the dog, and allow a slow sniffing of each other’s scent. How they respond to each other will let you know what will need to be done from there.
Is a Chow Chow Right for Me if I Have a Cat or Vice Versa?
If you’ve never owned a Chow chow before, or any other dog, it would not be wise to take on introducing a Chow chow to your resident cat. At least, not without some experienced guidance.
In fact, it isn’t recommended for anyone to pick up a Chow chow as their first dog, to begin with, let alone taking one in with existing pets.
But if this is the case, get busy finding a reputable dog trainer to help you along with your Chow-chow. Otherwise, you run the risk of learning things the hard way, resulting in a killed cat.
All dogs have their own personalities, as do cats. And regardless of reputation, breed, or expectations, training your dog is far more crucial than the cat.
A Chow Chow is an incredibly powerful dog, and even if its intentions are to play, one snap of the jaw can kill a cat.
If it is possible for you to get consultation time with a professional trainer, or someone who has had extensive experience with Chow chows (especially relating to behavior around other animals), it will be well worth it.
Many people out there have had very successful pairings with Chows and cats. You can find people talking about it on all kinds of Chow Chow message boards and Q&A’s of different websites.
But there are other stories that tell tales not so positive, where cats and Chows were introduced incorrectly, ending in disaster.
Solid, consistent, and well-versed training will be playing an important role in making sure that there is a smooth transition for both animals.