Are Miniature Schnauzers Good with Cats?
Miniature Schnauzers are generally good with cats but as is usually the case, the final answer depends primarily on the individual traits of the specific dog and cat.
Can a Dog and Cat Get Along?
The relationship between a dog and cat is complex, communications styles are different sometimes making it hard for them to understand each other. This is nothing new but a problem that has existed throughout history of our lives with domesticated animals.
It isn’t necessarily that they don’t like each other but merely a lack of understanding preventing them from bonding. This isn’t always the case though, there are many dogs and cats that live in families and get along beautifully. Remember all those cute Milo and Otis movies? Garfield and Ottie might also bring something else to mind as well.
Dogs, which are descendants of wolves follow a pack, cats are primarily solitary creatures that keep to themselves. Dogs tend to be more curious and social whereas a cat is a bit more reserved, put them together and there is bound to be some confusion and misunderstandings.
Fear, anxiety, confusion and added stress is sometimes felt by both animals in their quest to know each other.
Is it Possible for a Miniature Schnauzer and Cat to Get Along?
Definitely! The miniature schnauzer is a breed of dog that can either be great with cats or not so great, depending on their personality. Some might find that they absolutely adore the family cat, wanting to snuggle up beside it on the living room couch. Other miniature schnauzers might find it more exciting to chase the family cat non-stop since this is a part of their breeding.
The bigger issue will likely be, is the cat comfortable with the miniature schnauzer?
Temperament and personality of each animal will be the most important factor that determines whether they get along and how well. Other factors such as health issues and daily stress will also contribute to daily behaviour and might cause some rough days.
Tips for Creating an Environment of Peace, Harmony and Happiness for the Miniature Schnauzer and Cat
- Socialization at a young age is important for every creature. This allows them to grow accustomed to others and promotes a positive experience that will stay with them. Daily socialization creates more tolerance, understanding and acceptance of those around them, miniature schnauzer or cat.
- Obedience training for the miniature schnauzer is important to help them understand what is expected of them while letting them know who is in charge. This very intelligent breed can sometimes struggle with who’s in charge, preferring to be the one in control. The family cat might also benefit by understanding acceptable rules but will likely ignore them and do whatever they want to do, but hey, at least you tried
- We all have needs that must be addressed daily for us to feel secure, dogs and cats are no different. Proper amounts of good quality food, clean water and a comfortable place to rest can help them stay happy and cut unnecessary stress. A safe place to escape when necessary, lots of love and playtime as well as enough exercise ensures that they are healthy and promotes a harmonious home life.
- If introductions when they are young isn’t possible then introductions should be done regularly and slowly. Devoting time each day to share affection, snuggle time and treats with each creature in the room can work wonders to promoting positive feelings of acceptance between them. It is best to allow them to determine how and when they want to get to know each other, with the owner or family being close by.
- Since the miniature schnauzer was used to chase and hunt down rats and other rodents on farms it is a good idea to offer them plenty of daily activity. Having a wide assortment of toys and playtime games that promote them chasing is a good way to prevent them from chasing the family cat.
Barking can be a problem for some dogs, that includes the very vocal miniature schnauzer.
Possible Problem Areas
With the miniature schnauzer the main problem that could arise is the desire to chase as this is what they were bred to do, hunt and chase out rodents. If they are given enough play time that includes chasing, they may leave the house cat alone.
If a chase does begin try some redirection. Picking out a favorite toy to throw for them or pulling out the treat bag and shaking it might get their attention and stop the chase. Should none of that work, remembering that all creatures play and chase sometimes, can help the owner get through the ordeal.
As with any dog or cat, territorial problems can come up relating to food, toys and their bed. Keeping these areas off limits to the other fur baby can go a long way to minimizing issues. Feeding each animal at the same time, making sure they each have enough to eat and have their own dining area will help prevent mealtime problems.
When they are both in the same room, treats are best offered to both animals to prevent jealously and aggression issues. The same is true for when offering attention and love or playtime fun. If one gets, so should the other.
Other concerns for a Miniature Schnauzer and Cat
While the miniature schnauzer is a very social and happy breed of dog, there may be certain instances where they and the house cat simply cannot get along. This is related to personality and temperament, not breed.
In this situation it is up to the human members of the family to consult with their veterinarian or behaviour specialist to determine options for handling this. Depending on how easy or difficult the situation is will determine which course of action to take.
Sometimes simply separating them is all that is necessary. These enforced boundaries can eventually be shaped by each animal in a nature and relaxed manner until they find what works best for them. This adapting to their new environment and situation can take time, so try to be patient.
Every dog owner that knows their dog will have their own unique way of introducing their pet to another creature. There is not right or wrong way to approach this first meeting, but there are some ways that might work better than others. The method below is simply an example, one of many.
When the miniature schnauzer is being brought into a house with an existing cat, they should be separated at first. This can be accomplished by using a baby gate to keep the dog in a separate area.
The two creatures can sniff each other through the gate, possibly paw at each other, bark or meow, whatever they want to do. The cat can decide when and how they wish to enter that room via climbing, to get to know the dog better if they want to.
During these early days, any interactions that happen should always be supervised for the health and well being of both animals. Gradually the baby gate can be taken down for periods of time during the day and then eventually completely removed.
Depending on how much stress and anxiety this causes will determine how long this process will take.
Each family will have their own special way of introducing these new family members to each other. Keeping an eye on each animal is best during these sessions to limit aggression and territorial issues.
While a miniature schnauzer might be on the fence as to whether they want to chase the house cat or play with it, it is possible for them to get along and become lifelong friends.
Providing the right environment for each creature that is filled with love and meeting their needs works to smooth any difficulties they might have.
Unique personalities play a part in how well they adjust to their new situation.
If they don’t end up getting along, don’t give up hope. Time, patience, understanding and lots of affection and playtime can go a long way to smoothing the rough spots!
When they do finally bond and get along, photos are a must!