The stigma that cats and dogs don’t get along is a long-standing myth. In reality, dogs and cats can and often do live together in peace. But if you’re the owner of an Beagle, you may be wondering if he or she will get along with a cat.
Beagles are friendly and curious dogs who have no problems forming a good relationship with the family cat. Despite their reputation as hunting dogs, Beagles aren’t really hunters. And because the Beagle was bred to hunt in packs, they have the “pack dog” mentality, which allows them to easily accept other household pets as pack members, even with cats.
This guide will help you understand why Beagles are good with cats, and what you can do to improve the Beagle and cat’s relationship. We will also explore common concerns that Beagle owners have when they introduce a cat to their household.
RECOMMENDED: 30 Bizarre Beagle Mixes
5 Reasons Why Beagles Get Along With Cats
There are several different reasons why we think Beagles and cats make such excellent companions. And while it may take some time, thanks to the Beagle’s stubbornness, they’ll often get along great with some patience, consistency and training.
Some of the Beagles’ personality traits make them perfect for cats – or at least, perfect to train to be with cats. We look into the qualities of these dogs and why they’re more likely to view cats as friends, and not prey.
1. Beagles aren’t true hunting dogs
There’s not a single person in the world that would consider a Beagle to be aggressive or hostile. And according to The American Kennel Club, Beagles are one of the best dogs to have around cats due to their sweet disposition.
Beagles are extremely friendly and curious dogs, often getting into trouble with their noses. But at the same time, they’re gentle towards other animals and children. A Beagle will very rarely attack another animal, even while “hunting.”
Many experts suggest avoiding hunting dog breeds with cats because of their prey drive. And yes, It’s true that Beagles were bred to be “hunting companions.” But in reality, they were just tracking dogs that used their incredible noses to find small game.
Beagles also help by flushing out wild game. They’ll go out into the field, and as soon as they spot the animal, they’ll let out a howl. In the hunting world, we call this “beagling.” It may just be the most gentle way of hunting.
2. The Beagle’s “pack-dog mentality”
As we discussed, Beagles were bred as hunting dogs and would join hunts in packs. A group of Beagles scour the grounds in an attempt to find prey. As a result, they’ve evolved to be pack animals who crave the company of other dog colleagues.
In fact, Beagles will howl and cry if they feel lonely. So, a cat may be a great companion if you’re out of the house a lot! Cats aren’t dogs, but with the proper socializing, it’s possible a strong bond between the two animals can happen.
They need consistent creative non-repetitive training and do not do well alone. They are pack animals.– Darlene Stewart (Beagle Club of America)
If you introduce your Beagle to a cat in the right way, he or she will likely ‘adopt’ the cat as a member of his or her pack. Beagles are protective and playful with members of their pack. Think of them as small guardians for your cat!
3. Beagles are obedient, most of the time
Beagles can respond well to training, but only if you find the right motivators. In terms of “obedience & working intelligence,” Beagles have generally scored low. However, it does not mean Beagles are dumb or disobedient dogs.
These dogs don’t “work” for the sake of working, such as the Border Collie or Aussie. Instead, the Beagle will follow their noses led by their inquisitive personalities. It’s pretty hard following commands when all these amazing scents are flooding your nose.
But as long as you find their motivators, training your Beagle to get along with a cat will be fairly quick and easy. For example, you can try to offer your Beagle their favorite treats, toys or play time as a form of positive reinforcement training!
4. They’re relatively small in size
Beagles are considered small dog breeds. According to Hills Pet, a Beagle, on average, may grow up to 13 inches tall at the shoulder, and weigh up to 18 pounds. They’re small dogs, which can actually be an advantage for those with cats.
No matter how “nice” or “friendly” a dog is, one can inadvertently injure a small cat. I mean, there are cats that weigh just 6 pounds! So having a smaller dog means they’re more likely to be able to play and interact with the cat without any potential injuries.
If both temperaments were the same, would you rather trust a Beagle or German Shepherd with your cat? I would guess, most likely the Beagle.
5. Beagles have a mild temperament
Beagles have some of the best temperaments in the canine kingdom. They’re not too nice, but not too over-pleasing. They’re not too sociable, but not aloof either. Some say they’re the best balance, which is why they’re called the dog with the “goldilocks” temperament.
There’s a reason why Beagles are considered excellent dogs, even for kids. The mild and gentle nature of a Beagle makes them dogs that can get along with all humans, dogs, and even cats. And because of this, they’re notoriously agreeable and submissive dogs.
Most beagles have a mild temperament but I would let the dogs meet first for sure, maybe at a location that would be new to all of them so they aren’t guarding their own homes.– Mollys Mom (Our Beagle World)
However, don’t assume all Beagles are even-tempered and mild. To truly bring out their unique ability to befriend everyone, socialization is necessary. A Beagle that’s never met another dog or cat in his life may not show the same friendliness towards cats.
How to Introduce Beagles to Cats
If you’ve decided to welcome a cat into your home, there are several things you should do to help your cat and Beagle get comfortable with each other. After all, the key to making the relationship work is in the initial introduction.
Remember not to leave your Beagle and cat unsupervised until you’re absolutely sure that they have become “friends.” Never try to rush the situation, otherwise you may be putting both your dog and cat at risk.
You should introduce them slowly. The cats will tend to stay high out of reach and they will soon teach the pup how to behave.– Lunasca (Beagle Owner)
Don’t be tempted to immediately put your Beagle and cat in the same room. Keep them in separate rooms until you have followed the steps outlined below. And if you have other ideas that worked for you, let us know in the comments section below!
1. Introduce them to each other’s scents
First things first, get the two pets familiar with each other. And what better way to do this than with their scents. Since Beagles have evolved as hunting and tracking dogs, they have a very keen sense of smell. Similarly, cats also have a very strong sense of smell.
In fact, domestic cats have twice as many smell receptors as humans. Plus, research has shown that they’re much better at separating smells than dogs (tracking cats, anyone?).
So, you should familiarize each animal with the other’s scent. First, you’ll want to rub a cloth or towel over each animal and then place the towels in the other animal’s living space.
My beagle, Stevie, loves cats! I think mostly because they smell really interesting. But because she always goes in nose first, cats mostly don’t love her back!– DragonLass (Beagle Owner)
If possible, tuck the towel into the place where your Beagle and cat likes to sleep. As they smell the scent of the other pet while they sleep, they’ll grow more familiar and ultimately, comfortable with their scent.
2. Feed them together, on opposite sides of a door
When you first start feeding both your Beagle and cat, put their food down against opposite sides of a closed door. This will again allow them to smell each other and share an eating experience without the feeling of being threatened.
It’s never a good idea to feed both the dog and cat together from the start. Even if they’re both being relatively calm in the home, either animal can be food aggressive when the meals arrive.
Plus, you really don’t want your Beagle eating too much of your cat’s food. Dogs naturally are intrigued by the cat’s food, and vice versa. They may go over to the cat’s bowl and trigger the cat. Furthermore, the two animals require different nutrients in their diets.
3. Hold meetings in a neutral territory
After about a week of acclimatizing your animals to each other’s scents, allow them to meet in a neutral space. Depending on which pet came first, they’ll almost always view the home as their territory. This is especially true with cats.
Keep your Beagle on a leash and feed him a treat or two to calm him down. Then, allow your cat into the room. Keep the door open for the cat to leave if he or she feels insecure. In this step, the key is to give your cat an escape route.
Don’t bring your Beagle close to the cat; allow the cat to come up to the Beagle if he or she feels safe enough. Call out to your cat and give positive verbal cues and reinforcement. If it doesn’t work out, try again next time.
Also make sure you praise the cats too, the cats need to know the puppy won’t take away from them.– Lunasca (Beagle Owner)
Keep these visits short and have them three to four times a day. Doing this will allow both animals to get used to each other without feeling threatened or overwhelmed.
If your Beagle seems to be getting extremely excited or even aggressive, ask him or her to sit and stay. Reward your Beagle with a treat every time he listens. This will reinforce the idea that he or she should stay calm around the cat.
Before introducing a cat to your household, make sure your Beagle has gone through some obedience training and that you’ve practiced the commands often. It will help allow you to keep control of the situation.
4. Feed your pets in the same room
After a few days or weeks of face to face meetings (try to use your best judgment here), start placing the pets’ food bowls on opposite ends of the same room. Make sure you feed their meals at the same time and allow them to eat simultaneously. This will encourage the pack mentality.
Similar to training two dogs, feeding one pet before the other can signal that the other pet is “superior,” which may not bode well for the other. However, you can still place down the meal of the dominant animal first.
5. Leave them alone for short periods
Finally, when you feel like your cat and Beagle have become sufficiently comfortable with one another, allow them to be in a room unsupervised for a short period of time.
Check in every ten to fifteen minutes the first few times you do this. Always make sure your cat has an ‘escape route’ – this will typically be an accessible area that is high enough to be unreachable for the Beagle.
Pets, especially the Beagle, may act differently when you’re not there. So the only way to know is to actually let them think they’re alone without “parent supervision.”
Of course, there are ways to supervise without actually being there. I would recommend a pet-camera such as the Furbo Dog Camera.
Remember that there’s no specific timeline about when you should take each of these steps. Be alert to the behavior and moods of both your dog and cat. Make sure to be patient and don’t be afraid of moving slowly or even backwards.
Be sure to continuously show your Beagle and your cat equal amounts of attention – don’t make them feel like a newcomer is taking away all of the love! They must understand that they should be friends, and not competitors.
Potential Dangers of Beagles With Cats
There won’t be a single dog breed that won’t pose any risk to a cat. And while these may not be likely, it is still important that all owners learn about the potential pitfalls and dangers of Beagles and cats being together.
Will Beagles chase cats?
Since Beagles are pack dogs used for tracking and flushing, they may have the instinct to chase other animals. Your Beagle may chase your cat, but if they are friendly with each other, it will be as a part of a game and not an attack.
However, if you have a small cat and a large Beagle, he may unintentionally hurt your cat. Regardless of fun play or aggression, you should discourage your Beagle from chasing your cat with stern training.
Training can take some time. So in the beginning, make sure that your home and yard has plenty of high spots where your cat can hide. These escape routes will immediately end the chasing should you not be there.
What is the best age for introducing cats and Beagles?
You may wonder whether you should introduce a Beagle puppy to an old cat or a kitten to an old Beagle. It’s best to introduce puppies to kittens. If this isn’t possible, the next best suggestion is to introduce an older Beagles to older cats.
This is because they are more likely to match each other’s energy levels. Older animals can be dangerous to younger ones – for instance; a grown Beagle may hurt a small kitten.
This isn’t just a recommendation for cats and dogs, but for dogs with other dogs too. We had a difficult time introducing our young Aussie to our much older Corgi. All the Aussie pup wanted to do was play, but the Corgi wasn’t having any of it.
Will my Beagle eat the cat’s litter?
It’s worth mentioning that dogs are infamous for eating cat litter. Given the curiosity and keen smell of the Beagle, the dog may be even more intrigued by cat litter. And if you have a puppy, they may be in their “exploratory phase.”
Eating cat litter may cause your Beagle some serious digestive issues. Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of Beagles out there that eat cat poop and are completely fine.
However, there can be harmful bacteria and parasites in cat litter. Just because your cat doesn’t show any ill signs of having a parasite infection doesn’t mean they don’t have one.
That being said, it’s important to keep your cat’s litter box in a place that’s inaccessible for your Beagle. And if your dog does get to the cat litter, don’t worry. Just keep an eye out for any unusual signs. Go see the vet immediately if there are.
What if the cat was in your home first?
As mentioned, cats are typically more territorial than dogs, which is why it’s most ideal to introduce a cat to a household with a dog rather than vice versa.
However, if you already have a cat, you can also follow the steps above to bring your dog into the home. At all times, ensure your cat has space to escape to – even if it includes building climbing levels.
Introducing a Beagle to a household with a cat may take a little longer than the opposite scenario. So, if that’s your case, make sure to approach the training with patience in mind.
Is Your Beagle Good With Cats?
Sometimes very little training is necessary to form this cross-species bond. It depends on the individual dog and cat. So, we decided to survey the Beagle Subreddit and other dog forums to ask real owners this question.
Real Owner Answers:
1. Lunasca says Yes: “I have 3 cats when I got my 4 month beagle pup and they great on great! Cat’s even play with him. If my pup gets too pushy, a good cuff from a cat makes him calm down.“
2. Kmariesweenz says Yes: “Cats and beagles should be fine together, its all how you introduce them. Since she is a puppy and will probably be very playful don’t introduce the cats as “toys” or something to chase after.”
3. Iconxreps says Yes: “Took a while with our hyper beagle but they’re like best friends now. I don’t know if it was something I did, but they just got used to each other.”
4. Autumnsmom says Yes: “My beagle and cat were always fighting/playing. My vet told me if the cat keeps coming back, they’re playing. Even if it looks bad. It’s funny to watch.”
5. Buddythebeagle says Mixed: “My female cat will hiss at buddy because he’s scared of her. But my male ginger cat basil is happy to share a food bowl with buddy and they rub noses. Its hilarious. I never intervened and they found their own level of understanding.”
6. Hsiaotei says Yes: “We have three beagles and three cats. All the pets get along fine, though one of the cats takes months to adjust to a change where everyone else only takes a few days.”
7. Pascaldreams says Yes: “Our cat and beagle are best friends. They sleep with each other and it’s adorable. We brought them in 1 month apart as a young pup and kitten so that may have helped.”
The Perfect Dog for Cats
Whatever the situation, it’s likely that your Beagle and cat will get along. Make sure you’ve been careful while introducing them to each other and remain alert until you are sure that they are going to be friends.
You’ll be rewarded with a beautiful friendship – you may even come home to find your Beagle and cat having a cuddle! If you own a Beagle and cat, let us know your experience in the comments section below.
Do you own a Beagle and a cat? How’s their relationship? Let us know in the comments section below!
Posts you may like: