Do Beagles and Cats Get Along?
Beagles can get along with cats but it should be noted there are many factors to be considered such as training, at what age were they introduced and, maybe most importantly, the specific personalities of the dog and cat.
Is it Possible for a Beagle and Cat to Get Along?
Sometimes yes and sometimes no because dogs and cats are notorious for not getting along due to their different communication styles. Unlike sworn enemies that don’t like each other, the dog and cat simply have trouble understanding each other.
The dog, a descendant of the wolf is a pack animal that thrives on human friendship, while the cat is primarily solitary and usually their own best friend. The way that a dog and cat will greet others is vastly different. Upon greeting each other a dog will likely want to sniff the cat to learn more about it, while the cat will likely prefer to observe the dog first and get a feel for them before deciding if they want to make friends.
The feelings of anxiety, confusion, stress and fear can make it harder for them to get along. Size can also be a problem too. A dog that is larger than a cat can appear more dominant while cats have sharp claws which can be intimidating to a dog, this can increase these uncomfortable feelings.
These issues aren’t always the norm, but simply a general observation of dog and cat behaviors. Each breed of dog and cat is different, and each individual dog and cat are unique in personality and temperament.
Is it Possible for a Beagle and Cat to Be Friends?
Yes, a beagle and cat can get along. Beagles were bred to hunt small game, since a cat could possibly be considered small game skittering around the house it is obvious why most families would believe they won’t get along. This is not always the case though, most of the time they get along find and become great friends. It is probably better to ask can the cat get along with the beagle.
Before determining if a beagle and family cat can get along there are some important questions that need to be answered first.
- What is the Temperament of the Existing House Cat?
- What is the Dog’s Personality, Regardless of Breed Type?
- Does the Home Environment Provide Adequate Space for the Dog and Cat to Separate?
- Will the Family Have Time to Devote to Helping Each Pet Learn to Live with the Other?
What is the Temperament of the Existing House Cat?
This question will help determine what type of dog will be best in the family home. Considering the behaviors and personality of the family cat first will ensure a happy home for everyone. Speaking with their veterinarian, addressing behavior issues and slowly introducing them to dogs in a none threatening way will ease their fears, confusion and anxiety. Some cats may never get along with a dog, having ample space for them to get away while providing a loving environment for both will keep peace and happiness.
What is the Dogs Personality, Regardless of Breed Type?
This question will assist in determining which dog is best for a family with a cat regardless of breed type. While each breed has certain characteristics that will make it easier for them to get along with a cat then others, each individual dog has their own personality. For instance, a beagle can get along with a cat but if they have a strong hunter instinct this may need to be addressed with obedience training prior to bringing them into the home.
Does the Home Environment Provide Adequate Space for Dog and Cat to Separate?
This question provides insight into the families living situation that may need to be addressed before adding another family member. Everyone has moments in their life where space and time apart from others is necessary and healthy. Often the human family members might forget that dogs and cats have feelings just as they do. Before welcoming a dog into the family home, ensuring that each pet has a specific space that is their own will help make these difficult moments easier. There are many methods that can be used to provide a secluded spot for each pet, providing safety, quiet and time to rest.
For apartment living check out our article What is the Best Dog for My Apartment? to help select the right breed.
Will the Family Have Time to Devote to Helping Each Pet Learn to Live with The Other?
This question can help a family determine if bringing a dog into their life is the best choice at this moment. Even the best-behaved pets can still have a hard time getting along. We as humans may not always know the cause. Being prepared and able to handle a situation should it arise will allow for a better transition for both pets. Prior to selecting any dog breed and bringing them into a home with a cat, the family should be dedicated to helping these two pets learn to live with each other. Welcoming and loving a new family pet takes devotion, patience, understanding and occasionally time away from other activities to help them acclimate to a new living situation.
These are just a few questions to get started, they can assist the family in making the right choice for their lifestyle as well as the cat in their home and dog they will welcome. Consulting with the veterinarian as well as the breeder or rescue facility of the dog they are considering will help make the right choice for all concerned.
Tips for Helping a Beagle and Cat Get Along
- If a dog and cat can be introduced and socialized at an early age, this ensures the best possible outcome. When they are young behaviors are not set and training is much easier. They are more likely to accept one another as family and adjust to their differences at an earlier age than later when behaviors and personalities are more etched in stone. This doesn’t mean that older dogs and cats can’t get along, it just might make it harder for the human family.
- Using obedience training at an early age, on a regular basis will help these two very different pets learn to live together. Knowing who is in charge and what is expected of them will help each pet transition, even the house cat. They too can be trained, just as they learned to use a litter box, they can also learn to accept a dog in their home.
- The individual needs of each pet must be taken care of for them to feel secure in their home environment. Knowing that they have food to eat, fresh water to drink, a comfy place to rest and the love and affection of their human family will minimize episodes where they act up. Playing with each of them separately as well as providing exercise and a place to hide away when they need to will keep each pet happy and thriving in a diverse home environment. This can reduce aggressive behaviors and territorial issues.
- If it isn’t possible to introduce them at an early age it is best to introduce them slowly. When the new pet dog comes into the house keep each pet separate in the beginning. They can sniff under the door to check each other out. Putting each pets bed in the other room for a little bit, while allowing for investigation time will help. While offering affection, treats and snuggles they can be gradually introduced each day, this will help smooth the friendship. They can decide if and when they want to get closer to the other. Human supervision at this point is always recommended to prevent any problems.
- Consulting their breeder, rescue facility or veterinarian for additional tips is be helpful.
Territorial Issues and Other Problems with a Beagle and Cat
Every pet can have territorial issues regarding their food, toys and sleeping zone. These spots should be respected by the other pet in the home even when curiosity rules. Obedience training can include leaving these zones off limits to the other pet.
Feeding each pet at the same time helps minimize territorial issues related to food. Treats should also be offered in the same way, if one pet gets the other pet should also get a treat. This will follow through into playtime, attention and love from their human family. When one receives attention, the other should also if they are in the same room together.
Other Beagle and Cat Concerns
On occasion a dog and cat may simply not get along together. This is related to their individual personalities and temperament not necessarily the breed type.
If everything is being done in their home environment to ensure a successful relationship between the two pets it will be up to the human family to decide how best to proceed. Often, more separation is all that is necessary. If there is a second floor, perhaps letting the cat live upstairs while the dog lives on the first floor can work until they decide on their natural boundaries. This happens all by itself as they learn to co-habitat. In their own time they learn to accept the presence of the other in their lives.
Despite the Beagle being bred for hunting, they will often get along well with cats. Even in the best of situations, every dog and cat will have disagreements from time to time. Providing the right environment for them to get along together and managing the moments when they don’t will help them become lifelong friends and live together as harmoniously as possible.
Even if a Beagle and cat don’t instantly like each other, it is possible that one day you may find them chasing the same toy around the house together or gazing out the same window side by side. Life is made of individuals; we can all learn to live together.