As a long-time Corgi owner, I know there’s nothing better than bringing home the adorable short-legged breed. However, owners with cats in the home may want to consider the compatibility of the two animals before doing so. Do Corgis and cats get along?
Corgis can be good with cats if the two have been socialized together from an early age. But the two are far from a “match made in heaven.” Because Corgis are active and loud, the cat needs time to desensitize from all the loud barking and ruckus. It’s also very important to watch out for the Corgi’s herding instincts. Without training, they may try to nip at the cat.
For the most part, Corgis play well with cats for various reasons. And although it’s not guaranteed that the two will get along perfectly (at least in the beginning), there are tips and techniques to fostering a loving relationship between your Corgi and cat.
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Table of Contents
- Differences in Corgis and Cats
- Introducing Corgis to Cats
- Things to Consider: Cats & Corgis
- So Do Corgis and Cats Get Along?
Differences in Corgis and Cats
If you’ve owned or interacted with both animals, you may already know that a Corgi and a cat tend to have very different personalities and temperaments. Of course, external factors play a huge role in this, but more often than not, they’ll be wildly different.
In addition, cats and dogs in general just play differently. While dogs may play-bite and roll around with their furry friends, cats may not appreciate this so much. Plus, a dog’s loud bark may seem a bit threatening to some cats.
However, that’s not to say Corgis and cats won’t be able to get along – or at the least, cohabit in a civil manner. Although the two are completely different species, they can and will eventually learn to live with and play with one another.
For the most part, Corgis will be outgoing and sociable. They love to be around their people and tend to enjoy the company of other pets. And despite their small-size, these oddly shaped dogs do have lively personalities that’ll brighten up a room.
In fact, it’s why Corgis are often described as having larger than life personalities. Their tenacious and bold demeanor often gets them into trouble. Even so, Corgis are some of the most loyal dogs that’ll protect their pack – or at least try to.
And although some cats may have similar personalities, many have personalities that are quite the opposite.
According to Colorado State Veterinary School, there are just two common personalities types in cats. The first personality type describes an outgoing, confident and easy-going cat. These are type of cats that may get along best with Corgis.
On the other hand, the second personality type is a timid, shy, aloof and overall “unfriendly” cat that enjoys his or her independence. If this is your cat, then their chances of getting along with the Corgi will certainly diminish.
But no matter what personality your cat has, a civil (and possibly loving) relationship between is still possible. They just need to learn how to interact and “play” with one another.
Cat and Corgi Playing
In addition to personality types, a cat and Corgi can have completely different styles of play. Just in general, the two species approach playing very differently. That being said, both animals will need to adjust their style of play to interact with one another.
The first thing to take notice is the dog and cat’s invitation to play. For example, your Corgi may bow down and start pawing to indicate he or she is in the playing mood. The dog may even start barking in a friendly and non-threatening manner!
Unsurprisingly, cats have a different invitation to play. Instead, the feline may roll over onto their backs if they feel like interacting. Similar to dogs, rolling on the backs is a sign of submission and generally means they want to play around.
Our mellow cat doesn’t mind the corgi at all. Sometimes if the corgi is too playful, the cat will wander away and ignore him. But he’ll be right back as soon as he calms down.– Rusty (My Corgi)
Keep in mind: your Corgi may not understand what a cat’s invitation is in the beginning. After all, the two are different species with different “languages.” However, if your Corgi immediately starts to bark or chase the cat, it’s time to pull the dog back.
Without the proper invitation to play from either side, the other animal can feel threatened. This will be a threat to their long-term relationship if you don’t break it up immediately. And in response, the other animal may retaliate and “fight back.”
Introducing Corgis to Cats
You’ll have the best success of fostering a good relationship between your Corgi and cat if you ease them in. Needless to say, don’t throw the two pets in a room together and expect them to get along with each other in minutes.
There are methods for introducing the two animals to each other. Though keep in mind, some will require more patience and consistency than others. Read on to learn the best way to introduce your Corgi to your cat.
Swapping Scents of the Corgi and Cat
This first step is optional but recommended. Before the two even meet, we recommend that you get the pets accustomed to the scent of the other animal. This way, they’ll likely see the other pet as a “familiar” friend instead of a complete stranger.
According to Paws, the best way to do this is to switch the blankets or beds of your Corgi and cat. If you don’t have beds or blankets, you can always rub a towel on each animal and put it under the bowl of the other animal.
And if you have any toys for either animals, you can swap toys too. There’s a good chance they’ll be curious and start sniffing away at whatever you bring them.
Desensitizing the Corgi and Cat
The best method to make the introduction is by desensitizing the dog’s reaction to the cat with a slow and gradual manner. Chances are, your Corgi will be very interested in the cat in the beginning. As a result, the dog may be too excited to play.
So if your Corgi is overly fixated on your cat, desensitization will reduce your Corgi’s reaction to the cat. This means to gradually increase controlled and supervised exposure between the two pets in order to bring out a calmer reaction from the dog.
One great way to do this is to put your cat in a room (bedroom, den, etc.) with a baby gate across the door to prevent the Corgi from getting through. Corgis aren’t terrific jumpers, so there’s no need for such a tall gate.
This allows your Corgi to “observe” your cat without him or her actually getting to the cat and causing a ruckus. The more time the dog spends watching the cat, the less they’ll be interested. Also, you will want to have specific viewing times.
After your Corgi gets a good view of the cat, the goal is to re-direct the Corgi’s focus to something else. This can be obedience commands, toys or even foods. If this still doesn’t work, you may need to use a leash to pull the dog away.
Keep at this process and by the end, hopefully the Corgi becomes accustomed to the presence of the cat. It’s worth noting that this process may vary greatly for different dogs. Some will take a few hours or days, whereas others may take weeks.
Meeting face to face for the first time can be a scary thing, especially for the smaller cat. However, it’s needed to eventually develop a strong bond. But before doing so, we recommend you taking your dog out for a walk to calm down.
If the Corgi has not exercised prior, he or she may have pent up energy and take it out on the cat or become too rowdy. We also recommend that you move onto this step after the two can calmly eat their food together at the gated door.
In the beginning, you may want to keep your Corgi on a leash. This provides better control over the dog in case he or she becomes too aggressive. On the other hand, let the cat roam around freely as he or she pleases.
If your Corgi acts aggressively, pull the dog away. At the same time, you’ll want to give both the Corgi and cat treats if they’re calm. Make sure to always give positive praises too. Your Corgi will work best with positive reinforcement training.
Ideally, you’ll want to do this at least once a day until they’re both comfortable and calm with each other. Make sure to bring out their favorite treats for these moments. And if your cat leaves, let the cat leave and don’t let the dog chase.
Be Patient and Consistent
Some Corgis are more rowdy than others. They’ll require more patience and take a longer time to get and understand how to play with the cat. However, Corgis are smart enough to eventually learn how to properly play with your cat.
It’s not unusual for this process to take a while. It all depends on the initial personality-type and the temperament of your cat and Corgi. The key is consistency: don’t ever stray away from this method and keep at it until the two are friendly.
Things to Consider: Cats & Corgis
The process of introducing Corgis to cats is not complicated. But even so, there are things to consider when bringing the two animals under one house. We discuss everything from the animals’ instincts to their body language and other tips.
Cats Are Territorial
We’ve all heard about how territorial dogs are, especially with Corgis. However, did you know that cats may be much more territorial than dogs? In fact, male cats tend to be the most territorial in the home and may direct their aggression at dogs.
So if you’re bringing home a new Corgi to a cat’s home, the introduction process may be harder and require more time and patience. Being territorial does not mean the two animals will fight.
Often times, these territorial instincts are directed only at strangers or unfamiliar cats and dogs. So if the cat sees the Corgi as part of the pack, he or she may be less territorial. And with enough time and proper introduction, this will likely be the case.
Watch the Body Language
When your Corgi is interacting with the cat, make sure to always observe the body languages of both pets. If you see any signs of distress or aggression, always make sure to pull the two apart and let them both calm down for a bit.
Both animals communicate through body language, though both have a different language. With that said, here are the body language signs in cats and dogs, and what they mean for each species:
Erect tail – If the tail of the cat is held high, this is a sign of friendliness and calmness. In fact, the higher the tail is the more confident the cat is feeling. However, if the dog’s tail is erect, this can signal fear and aggression.
Tail wags – In dogs, this is a clear sign of happiness and playfulness. But when cats “wag” their tails, this could be a sign of an aggressive or predatory strike waiting to happen.
Closed mouth – Cats with a closed mouth usually means they’re calm and relaxed. On the other hand, a closed mouth can mean a stressed out or anxious dog.
Pointed ears – When a cat is meeting a new pet or person for the first time, they’ll likely have erect ears. Corgis, though, may have erect ears when they’re curious, alert or aggressive. In addition, a Corgi’s ears will fold back if they’re feeling submissive.
Turning on back – Although both Corgis and cats do this, it means very different things. Your dog will turn to the side as a sign of submission. However, cats may do this when they’re feeling threatened, as a way to appear “larger” and more threatening back.
Teach Corgi Obedience Commands First
You’ll want to consider teaching your Corgi the basics of obedience commands first. We suggest first starting off with the 5 basics: sit, stay, come, down, stop.
Not only does obedience training build trust between you and your Corgi, but it also gives you better control over your dog in certain situations with the cat. For example, if your dog is too rowdy or getting aggressive, give the “come” or “stop” command.
However if your dog doesn’t know these commands prior to playing with the cat, you have no way of telling your Corgi to stop. There is absolutely no way of communicating to your dog. You’ll need to just pull the two animals apart.
Corgi’s Herding Instincts
Despite their long bodies and short legs, the Corgi was bred for herding. In fact, they’re some of the best herding dogs in the world, capable of effectively dodging cattle kicks. Corgis are also tenacious and thus, able to push larger animals.
As great as this sounds, this instinct may not be ideal for living with cats. At any time, their herding drive may kick in and they may start chasing the cat while trying to nip at them. Of course, this is a very dangerous scenario.
It’s why it’s extra important to supervise any interactions between your Corgi and cat, even well after they have been together for a while. But don’t worry too much. With enough training, these instincts can be kept in check.
So Do Corgis and Cats Get Along?
Corgis and cats can get along great if they’ve grown up together or have spent a lot of time getting to know each other. But of course, the two generally won’t naturally get along. There are differences between the two and it’ll require plenty of training and patience.
If you had the cat first, it’s best to gauge the personality of your cat before bringing home a Corgi. If your cat is sociable, friendly and playful, then it could be the beginning of a wonderful relationship. If not, there is still hope.
Patience and consistency is key to getting these two very different animals to cohabit. Just remember, keep both animals in check to ensure the safety of your pets. Otherwise, go ahead and bring these two wonderful pets together!
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