Border Collie GuideBreed Facts

Are Collies Good with Cats? Canines and Felines

Actually, you love to have fur babies around your home. Cats and dogs, definitely! However, these two four-legged animals have different personalities. And, owning a dog especially the Border collies requires few things for consideration. But, you also really want to have cats around. That’s why you will end up asking are collies good with cats?

In this blog post, I listed some of the most commonly observed behaviors of the Border collies especially when there are cats around. That way, we will be able to know if this dog breed is good with cats. Aside from that, also included here is the training needed by the collies to establish a good relationship with the felines. Come and check them out!

Are Border Collies Good with Cats: the Collies Behavior

Historically, Border collies have this natural attitude of being a herder. Well, their bloodlines tell it so. They generally herd anything moving, in fact, they can nip kids and cats which highly indicates their herding behavior. However, not all Border collies can greatly herd because there are some collies that possess a lower urge in doing so.

are collies good with cats

But if your Border collies are truly herders, you may notice that they can even herd cats thinking that it is part of their appointed duty. The good thing about it is that they do not do any harm to your other pawed pet. So, does this mean that Border collies are good with cats?

Okay, here’s the catch, Border collies intensely stare with the sheep they herd. In case the sheep do not respond well with the collie, this herding dog will bark at them. For cats, most people ask are collies good with cats because these dog breeds tend to chase cats most of the time. Well, this is because of the fact that being a herding dog, the collies are just trying to guide them.

Sometimes, you may also notice that the Border collie nips cats which may generally injure them. So, are collies good with cats even with this kind of behavior? Generally, despite showing this kind of behavior towards cats, they can still be good around cats.

Are Collies and Cats Good with Each Other: the Collies Behavior towards Cats

Actually, when we think of cats and dogs, the initial thing that comes to our mind is that these two different creatures might end up battling with each other. Well, this may be true for some dog breeds. Luckily, there are dog breeds, including the Collies, which are good with cats.

However, there are some collies behaviors that end up other pet owners thinking are collies and cats good with each other. Check these out below:

*Reasons behind Border Collies staring at cats

Again, the herding instincts of the Border collies should be regarded with their intense staring over the felines. Actually, the collies are not really aggressive. But, their strongly developed herding impulse manifests behaviors like staring, nipping, and chasing.

*Reasons behind Border Collies chasing cats

Well, it is no doubt that herding and chasing are two innate behaviors of the collies that they truly love doing. Because of that, the cat becomes a great opportunity for the collies to herd. Here are other factors why the collies are after chasing cats:

1-Herding instincts

Actually, it naturally runs in their blood. And over long years, the herding together with the chasing ability of the collies had been improved. So, it is not really surprising that these behaviors of the Border collies have been brought along these days.

2-Troubled nature

The Border collies are preferably troubled and easily frightened. Most of the time, they bark at things that they are not really familiar with. These include the shadows or even the leaves that keep on blowing along with the wind.

3-Protective urge

In case you see the collies running and chasing after cats, it is more likely that they are not familiar with that creature. Maybe, the cat is not actually a part of the pack or your family.

Are Border Collies Good with Cats: the Cat’s Response

Well, if we have to check on the attitude of the cats, we may learn that they usually prefer to be alone. Most of the time, the felines do not enjoy being with other pets especially those that boss around with them. This applies generally true between the herding attitudes of the Border collies with cats.

Meanwhile, in case the cat is playful enough, chances are they might find chasing by the collies highly enjoyable. With that, the Border collies and cats might be a good companion to each other. Having proper socialization, these two creatures might get along well with one another in the end.

Training your Border Collies to be Good with Cats

are collies good with cats

Well, one problem that generally results from the herding instinct of the Border collie is its behavior towards the cats. They tend to nip the cats but this is in order to guide them around the house. But, with proper training, you can teach the Border collies and the cats to be good with each other.

Generally, it is actually better to train the Border collie at an early age or during their puppyhood. Keep in mind that Border collies aging below 12 weeks old are fast learners. And, if the collie pup grew up well along with cats, they may not look at them as creatures needing to be herd. Aside from that, the Border collies may grow up as non-aggressive doggy.

Proper Cat Training of the Border Collies

To make the collies really good with cats, you may consider doing the following strategies:

  1. Encourage your Border collie pup to play along with your cats. But, make sure that they have gentle interactions with each other. Immediately separate the two creatures once you notice the collie already nipping your cat.
  2. Offer the Border collies and the cats a treat every time they mingle well with each other. Remember that they actually need to be rewarded for showing that kind of behavior. It will also be helpful in promoting their good attitudes.
  3. Always bear in mind not to punish the Border collie even if you do not agree with their behavior towards the cat.
  4. Make sure to provide consistent training with your Border collie because of their high level of intelligence.
  5. Let your Border collie be preoccupied most of the time so that they will avoid boredom. Allow them to have lots of exercises every day because they generally require plenty of movement and activity. Generally, the Border collies require about one hour of daily exercise. The puppies usually need much more of that compared to their adult counterpart.
  6. It is actually ideal to allow your collie to have a brisk walk or run outdoor. Definitely, these games would let your dog calm down.
  7. Make it an option to enroll your collie in canine sports or any classes that help to burn the extra energy of this dog breed.  

Border Collies Cat Training Needs

Training the Border collies requires you to prepare some important materials on hand. The following items may be of great help in training your Border collies to be good with cats. 

*Playpen

A playpen is very essential while training your Border collies. Moreover, separating the cats and the collies on different playpens is also an important consideration here. 

*Toys and leashes

Generally, toys and leashes are crucial to have to entertain your pets. It is also a good way to preoccupy the collies getting them out of boredom. 

*Treats

Always keep a handful of treats with you during your pet’s training. This is very important to reward them for exhibiting good behaviors afterward. Consider preparing the treats in bite-sized pieces for the convenience of feeding. 

Things to Consider during Border Collies Cat Training

Generally, with proper training, collies are good with cats. But, there may be times that a Border collie, even if well-trained, may also have the possibility to chase cats every once in a while. Knowing this, it is always important to give your cat a place for them to escape when this happens.

Keep in mind that cats also tend to develop aggressiveness towards the collies. In case there would be no place to run, the cat will likely develop this behavior. Moreover, never forget to place the puppy on a crate when you are not at home. This should be done every time until these two pets are totally socialized.

Moreover, there are three specific techniques that you may have to consider when cat training your Border collie. These techniques help the collies to be good with cats.

*Distraction Technique

As the term itself, simply implies that the Border collies must have to be distracted so that they will not be able to think of herding or chasing cats. The best way to do this is to allow them to play fetch or other games like tug of war. In the end results, your Border collies will get tired and their aggression would be relieved.

In doing the distraction technique, always remember that consistency is the key. You must have to be clear with your collies that bad behaviors like cat chasing are not tolerated. Remember that every time you fail to be consistent, you are just procrastinating on the end goal.   

*Deterrence Technique

This next technique involves activities trying to separate the Border collies and the cats from each other. However, this is generally followed by series of unsuccessful socialization. For this, it is actually better to use pet gates and long leashes to make this technique work. Additionally, these items are also a big help in preventing any attempted chasing and herding behavior.

*Environment Technique

The environment technique is another great method to establish the environment successfully. Here, you must have to put up separate areas for both the Border collies and the cat where they will go to. A separate safe area is also required wherein both of them will feel comfortable.

Initial Training: Introduction of the Border Collies to New Cats

Here is a proper way to introduce your two pets to each other. This step-by-step guide will be generally helpful in making Border collies and cats good with each other. 

1-Introduce them during their puppyhood

The Border collies generally have a higher chance to get friendly with cats with whom they have grown up with. This will highly eliminate the Border collies’ hesitation in accepting the cat as a family member.

2-Initially, separate the collies from the cat

Well, before introducing these two pets from each other, it is actually better to provide the space and allow them to settle down. As mentioned earlier, a separate room or playpen is the best solution for this.

3-Acquaint them through sound and smell

Yes, separating them from each other is generally crucial but it is also essential for the Border collies to be familiar with the sound and the smell of the cat. Do this prior to their total introduction to each other.

That way, your collie would consider the first meet-up, not a totally unfamiliar situation. One good option for this is to spread the blanket where your cat usually sleeps on to the bed of the collie so that they will get familiar with the scent of your other pet.

4-Bring back the recall training and basic commands

As your Border collie gets older, going back on recall training and basic commands is actually worth trying. You can actually consider telling them instructions like no, sit, come, and down. Basically, if your Border collie is well-manageable, the entire training and the introduction process would be easier between you, as pet owners, and your two pawed pets.

5-Socialize them with a pet gate

One best way of socializing your Border collies with other pets is through the pet gate. Actually, this tool allows all the pets to smell and see each other. At the same time, this avoids any pet chasing as it may scare the cats. In case you do not have an available pet gate, a doggy enclosure will do the job. But, remember to avoid using a crate.

6-Look over the behavior of your cat

Now, if during the introduction process, you notice that your cat is a little bit scared, consider giving them some space. Aside from that, do not force them to engage in something that they do not want to do.

Border Collies Training to Prevent Cat Chasing

It is discussed over and over that the herding instinct of the Border collies is really intense. But, the good thing is it can be manageable. Since the collies are smart and with some training, any kind of behavior can be taught to them. Well, this includes the prevention of cat chasing for them to have a good relationship.

1-Do not show intense reaction on chasing behaviors

In case you notice that your Border collies show unwanted behaviors of chasing, remember not to respond intensely with it. Doing that will possibly cause the reinforcement of the Border collie’s behavior. And, if ever you try stopping him or catching him, they may assume that it is a game to play.

Creating any fuss on your Border collies if he chases a cat may let them know that chasing behavior is a way to catch your attention. Moreover, the collies may think that cats are really a chasing opportunity. The best way to deal with it is not to entertain any unwanted behavior of your Border collies.

2-Distract the Border collies with something

Always maintain the busy disposition of your Border collies. Make them entertained at all times using a ball or other dog toys.

3-Reward your Border collies for the positive behavior

Positive reinforcement is usually the best technique in Border collies training. This even includes cat chasing training. So, training in the outdoors requires you to bring some treats, and the moment your collie walk calmly reward them randomly. That is a better strategy to make your Border collie get closer to you.

Always retort the good behavior of your Border collie with a treat or toy. You may also consider petting them so that they will have to link the calm behavior with the reward. Basically, you can always do the positive reinforcement furthermore by saying the phrase “good dog” or through a clicker.

Final Words

Are collies good with cats? Well, this herding dog can definitely develop a good relationship with the felines as long as they were fostered and properly trained. Remember, training consistency is the key here. This will generally allow the Border collies to behave well in front of the cat. Moreover, Border collie’s boredom will also be prevented. Well, as pet owners, the end result will be up to you. You are the one responsible to encourage gentle playing and good interactions between your two pawed pets. But, with the right approach, you will definitely enjoy petting these two lovely creatures.

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