Do Australian Shepherds Get Along With Cats?

do australian shepherds get along with cats

Cats and dogs are usually not the most compatible of companions. Cats are very smart most of the time and so are Australian Shepherds along with their great temperament so this is a good thing right?

So do Australian Shepherds get along with felines?

Yes more Australian Shepherds get along with cats then those that don’t. So the odds are in your favor that is for sure. Even if they don’t get along most Aussies will keep their distance from cats so they will put up with a each other. 

Of course every Aussie is going to be a little different then the next when it comes to their overall personality and such just like humans. So there is no way of knowing until you introduce them to cats and actually see what happens.

The younger you start them out with a cat the better it will be in the long run. This goes for the cat as well get them both very young if possible so they get used to each other before they have bad experiences with another dog or cat.

The cat is probably the one you have to worry more about not liking the Aussie in this case. As Aussies are usually pretty friendly with other animals and people overall. A cat if it has had a bad experiences or multiple ones it will not let that memory go. They won’t go out of their way to harm the Aussie but they will disappear and keep to themselves if this is the case.

Since we are only one set of owners that have personal experience with this we wanted to go out and get others opinions. We don’t own inside cats only barn cats so our Aussies get together with them on more even ground outdoors so that may be why they get along as well as they do.

So we have gone out and curated information from many Australian Shepherd owners to get their personal opinions on how to get Aussies and Cats to co-exist happily.

The collected this information from different dog forums and dog websites and only corrected grammar or spelling where needed. Other then that the answers have remained the same.

Tips From Owners On Introducing Aussies To Cats

Real Owners Opinions

1. Hacelepues “Wear down the Aussie first before intro” – Hmmmm, well the best way I’ve heard to go about it (especially if they’re both adult animals) is to make sure the dog is happily worn out so he’s calmer when you first introduce. Then you actually keep them in

different rooms for an hour or so, give the dog a chance to take in all the kitty smells, so it’s not a surprise. Then let them interact on their

own accord but always supervised. Make sure the cats have a safe place to go.

Koda doesn’t really like cats either. As a puppy he just wanted to play with my bf’s parent’s cats and they were having none of that and

traumatized him. Now that he’s older he’ll actually clear the room he’s in of any cats, but they tolerate eachother’s existence otherwise.

2. Caffeine_IV_Stat “Keep area for cat to escape” – I had an elderly cat when I got my pup. She was not thrilled. I did slowly

introduce them, but I always kept an area for just my cat to escape to, my bedroom was all hers… she was old. They did sunbath together for

a few brief moments, and eventually as long as my pup was relaxed, the cat would give her love. My pup does not like the neighborhood

outside cats! Here is sort of what I used to help guide me:

3. AussieLover3456 “Gradual and slow” – I think it’s just a matter of familiarity and gradual introduction. My aussie Luca has two cats

that she grew up with, wrestles with, cuddles with, naps with, and even sometimes they lick each others ears. They are like the three amigos,

getting into all sorts of shenanigans together. And she loves all dogs and all big humans. But when she sees a child… She cowers, and hides!

So it’s taken a bit of work to help her become comfortable with them but she’s getting there.

I think the same can be said about a good portion of dogs with regards to familiarity. Slow goes it at first, and gradual easing into it until it’s

just the norm. You might want to look into Jackson Galaxy’s tips for introducing cats to each other because that’s how I eased my adult cats

into meeting Luca when she was a puppy and it went perfectly. I think the tips apply to both cats and dogs pretty well. See and this and also


4. LittleDoogie287 “Make sure Aussie tired and calm” – Couple of things, first, EASE them into the introduction. Make sure the dog

is tired and calm, and let them smell each other for a few minutes. If the dog shows any signs of excessive interest, remove the cat. Do this

frequently over a period of a week or two to get them used to each other.

Another good thing to try is feeding them near each other.

Also, make sure the cat has a safe place to run to if she feels threatened. A child gate in the doorway of a bedroom can be good for this (cat

can jump it, dog won’t).

And lastly, do not leave them alone together until you are super sure that they are friends!

5. Guy_With_A_Body  “Generally Aussies not aggressive toward cats” – My Aussie shepherd is fine with cats. She didn’t grow up

with one but my in-laws have a cat. The first time they met was when my Aussie was about 1 – there was never any aggression, she was just

super curious of the cat. She would often chase the cat around but would be put in her place if she got too close.

6. PlantLady113 “Older Aussies seem to do much better” – We got my aussie when she was a bit older (7) and she gets along just fine

with our cat. She seemed annoyed at the cats existence at first but was never aggressive even though the cat desperately wanted to love her.

The cat would try to clean my aussies face, sleep on her, and knead her and the aussie just laid there looking annoyed. It took some time but

the cat eventually taught the aussie to love her back.

Overall Consensus

The overall consensus definitely seems to be to do it slow and do it when the Aussie is calm maybe after a long walk or dinner. If at first you don’t succeed try and try again of course. Just take it slowly and maybe skip a day put them in positions where they will get used to seeing each other from a distance if possible.

Maybe the cat in an elevated position and the Aussie from outside of a room with a divider in between. Keep treats handy for both the cat and Australian Shepherd that can help to reward them and also deter them from a bad situation.

Australian Shepherd And Kitten

An older Aussie getting introduced to a kitten will actually be much easier then introducing an older cat to a puppy Aussie. This is because the older Australian Shepherd will be more settled and understand limitations much more. They are much more likely to become best friend quickly.

Although the Aussie might also not care for the kitten at first it is easier to force the issue on a dog such as an Australian Shepherd then force the issue toward a cat with you know claws.

Still try to provide a safe place for the kitten which can be something as simple as your lap. So something like having the Aussie on the ground with the cat on your lap while sitting on the couch may be sufficient. Let the Aussie creep in slowly and hopefully give the kitten kisses and it will be all over with shortly.

If they don’t get along right away keep desensitizing the two over and over until eventually they will give in.

Opposite Sex or Same Sex Of Different Breeds?

It is a proven fact that having a female and male dog that are of opposite sex will get a long much more percentage wise then having two males and females.

This is also the case for your Aussie and cat. If you can have them be of the opposite sex. A female cat will get along with a male Aussie much more then a female Aussie. Also male cat will get along with a female Aussie much better then a male.

I am not saying that the two of the same sex can’t co-exist and do it well it is just normally much more easier when one is female and one is male.

Related Questions

Are Mini Australian Shepherds Good With Cats?

Mini and Toy Aussies have the same temperament as their regular sized cousin so YES they do get along with cats for the most part. The most part means that an overwhelming percentage will get a long with cats, but there are no guarantees with the cat getting along with the Aussie.

But with Toy and Mini Aussies being smaller the cat will usually see them as less threatening working out better for the both of them. Our Toy Aussies get along great with our barn cats and they actually do play with each other.

Are Australian Shepherds Good With Other Pets?

Yes Australian Shepherds are good with most other pets. The main issue you are going to run into is their herding mentality where they like to herd up a group of animals. Whether that group be hamsters, kittens, ducks, chickens, etc. they will try to herd them up.

But that isn’t a bad thing they can help you get your chickens back in the pen or maybe you have sheep which they will love to work. This is your chance to get them trained and doing what they love.

Do Australian Shepherds Get Along With Other Dogs?

Yes Australian Shepherds get along with most other dogs. The main issue is can the other dog keep up with your Aussie since they have basically an unlimited amount of energy and like to challenge themselves along with other dogs. So your other dog may get annoyed with the Aussie.

Overall Australian Shepherds will get to know their limits with other dogs over time as you will see. They are very smart and adapt more quickly then most breeds to almost any environment.

Are Australian Shepherds Good With Kids?

Yes Australian Shepherds are great with kids. But if you have a group of kids at say a birthday party running around watch your Aussie as he or she will be likely to try to herd them up.

Although it is hilarious to watch for the most part just be careful of tripping. They may bark but are mostly harmless as long as they don’t get mauled by the kids.

Final Thought

Australian Shepherds are an amazing all around breed as you can see from owners who gave their opinions. They just aren’t aggressive like some other breeds and don’t really hunt things they just like to heard things up and be active.

With them needing exercise as long as they get that they won’t take their energy out on the cat which will be best for the two of them at least in the beginning.

Our Aussies do play and run around with your cats outdoors. Most people don’t have that option so make sure the cat has a safe place to escape and get some rest when needed. As the cat is highly unlikely to keep up with your Aussies energy level at all times.

If the cat does swipe at the Aussie they should be okay and the Aussie will get to know those boundaries overtime. If you already have an Australian Shepherd take them around cats at a neighbors or family members house before making the commitment to get your own cat.

Tab Winner

Hello my name is Tab Winner. My wife and I have been around Australian shepherds for 20+ years and we definitely love them. We currently have a pair of Toy Aussies one is a Tri-color and the other is a blue merle that are both 10 and 11 years old.

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