Are Border Collies Good With Cats? Cat Training Your BC

Are Border Collies Good With Cats? Photo of a Border Collie and a cat together

Are you thinking of getting a Border Collie but are worried about introducing them to your cat or getting a new cat later on? You needn’t worry because they are generally very good with other animals.

They are popular for being a fantastic all-around pet, which people of all ages can enjoy. So the chances are that your cat will enjoy having them around too.

There’s no doubt how much joy these dogs provide to our lives. If you have any concerns about their compatibility with cats, here is some insight from someone who had both in their household!

Can Herding Dogs Live with Cats?

Herding dogs like border collies are great with other animals because that’s what they were bred to do. However, having a herding dog breed is no guarantee that your cat will be safe from any harm.

Having said that, it’s not uncommon to see herding breeds cohabitating successfully with cats. Although you should be mindful that there may be some behavioral issues in the beginning.

Do Border Collies Get Along With Cats?

Border Collies are generally known to be very good with cats. It is not unheard of for the two to play together, and even roughhouse!

But, training is essential to ensure that the dog learns not to chase or nip at the cat. The management and training will allow both animals to feel safe in one another’s presence.

Will my border collie hurt my cat?

Border Collies are generally very gentle and kind with other animals. Although, there is a small chance that your cat might get hurt from the Border Collie’s wandering paws.

So it would be beneficial to keep an eye on them when they are together until they get used to each other.

Why do Border collies chase cats?

Border Collies like to chase things that move. Border Collies were bred to herd and thus were bred to chase livestock. Chasing is in their genes, so it will be difficult for them not to give chase when they see a cat running around the home.

There are several instincts in Border Collies to chase cats, such as:

Herding Instincts

Herding instincts are very strong in border collies. As such, they might try to corral your cat and herd them around the house.

Their instinct to bark at moving things is another reason they might chase your cat and bark and growl as he chases it around the home (which can be quite alarming for those who don’t know that this isn’t a bad thing).

Play Instincts

Border Collies are very intelligent, energetic dogs that need plenty of mental stimulation. Some might try to play with your cat by chasing them around the home with toys in their mouths.

Predatory Instincts

Some Border Collies have strong predatory instincts, which can make them chase cats. They might see your cat as prey and try to catch them.

Protective instincts

Protective instincts can also play a role in Border Collies who might think that the cat in your home is in some way posing a threat to you and therefore must be chased off.

All of these instincts can be managed by training them properly when they are young.

That’s why it is important to socialize this breed with other animals, so he knows how to react responsibly.

Once you have trained them not to give chase, they will recognize that chasing is unacceptable behavior and will not do it again.

How do you introduce a border collie to a cat?

Introducing a Border Collie to a cat can be difficult as they are such high-energy and intelligent dogs.

The best way is by putting them in separate rooms where they can sniff each other below the door for a time, then gradually bring them together under your supervision.

Always keep the leash on your Border Collie so that you can quickly gain control if they do begin to chase.

You need to show your Border Collie that it is not acceptable behavior and that chasing something does not equate to playtime.

Training your Border Collie to ‘leave it’, ‘sit and stay’, and to walk nicely on a leash should prevent him from chasing other animals as well.

However, you must socialize them as early as possible, so they know how to behave with other animals properly.

This means introducing them to different noises and smells and ensuring they are not fearful of any other animals from a young age.

How to Train My Border Collie Not to Chase Cats?

Training a Border Collie not to chase cats can be hard if the dog hasn’t been trained properly. By using a humane training technique, you can train your dog not to chase cats and other animals around the house.

Here’s how:

  1. Make sure your Border Collie is on a leash and under control when they are in the presence of the cat.
  2. If you have a crate for your cat, put your cat in it and let your Border Collie sniff around the container.
  3. As soon as you see the Border Collie showing “aggressive” signs, say “leave it” and turn away from the dog.
  4. The dog will stop dead in his tracks because he won’t be able to move forward without taking you with him. The moment he stops trying to chase the cat, praise him immediately.
  5. Repeat this several times.
  6. Always be consistent with your dog when doing this exercise.
  7. Once you see signs, your BC is calm around the cat. You can try to open the cats’ crate door and let your BC get closer to sniff.
  8. But if you see them get too excited or begin chasing, give your BC something else to do. Keep training sessions short and rewarding for good behavior.
  9. Soon your Border Collie will be friends with the cat in no time!

The more time you can dedicate to desensitizing them with your cat present, the better.

Remember that a Border Collie is a high-energy breed that needs plenty of physical and mental stimulation to be happy.

This means that if you don’t provide them with enough activities throughout the day, such as running, playing fetch, or other mentally engaging games, they will find their own ways to pass the time.

Photo of a Border Collie puppy and a cat together.

Things to Keep in Mind When Cat Training Your Border Collie

Ensure that you hold the leash at all times and do not slacken it until you are certain that your BC won’t chase.

Your Border Collie should always be on a leash when in the presence of a cat or other small pets until you are sure they won’t chase it.

Don’t let your dog lay down next to the crate where his prey is hiding, as this can encourage him to behave aggressively.

But, there are several other things you should keep in mind when training your dog not to chase cats, such as:

Environment

The environment can play a role in how your Border Collie feels about the cat in your home.

It might be easier to train them in an area where the cat is not allowed, such as in a fenced yard or in a room of your house that they can’t see each other.

Don’t react violently

Violence will not help this situation. Your Border Collie is acting out of instinct, but how you deal with the situation will determine if he gets to go back to normal!

Give them plenty of time apart

Give them enough space and attention to make up for the amount of time your cat and Border Collie spend apart.

If they can’t be around each other during this training period, then make sure they have plenty of activities to do on their own if needs be.

Use Distractions

Distractions are a good way to help your dog get used to cats. The sound of a can full of coins shaken should distract him from chasing the cat so that you can praise them for not giving chase.

You could also use other animals, such as other canine friends who are trained not to chase cats, to distract them and incentivize a positive reaction.

Reward positive behavior

Reward them when they have a positive reaction to the cat in your home by giving them treats, belly scratches, or letting them play with their favorite toy.

Border Collies are extremely intelligent dogs who are very good at learning specific things. If you spend enough time training them not to chase cats. You will be able to show them that chasing cats is not acceptable behavior successfully.

Why do border collies stare at cats?

Border collies are herding dogs and will stare at anything that moves.

They were originally bred to herd animals such as sheep and cows, so staring is a natural behavior for them.

When a BC is staring down a cat, it is because they are trying to get them to move and therefore herd them.

A Border Collie can’t hurt a cat by simply staring at them, so don’t worry about leaving your cats alone with your Border Collie while he’s doing this.

Does The Border Collie Get Along With A Playful Cat?

Border Collies are playful dogs who love running around and playing games with their owners.

This means that they can get along well with a cat if the cat is also playful and enjoys being on the move.

The more active your Border Collie is, the more suitable he will be for a cat-friendly household as they would have similar interests.

Can a Border Collie kill a cat?

Unfortunately, it is possible for them to kill a cat if they are extremely determined to do so. It will depend on how determined your Border Collie is or what sort of relationship he has with your cat.

If your BC is not aggressive or does not have a history of being aggressive, it is highly unlikely that they will kill your cat.

In conclusion

It is up to the owner to ensure that their cat and dog are safe by training them properly and making sure they have plenty of time apart.

Their intelligence makes Border Collies easy to train, so it shouldn’t be too difficult to make sure they both get along.

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Andre and Sula

Andre owns a Border Collie dog named Sula. He writes about the breed to educate people so they can know more about this dog before deciding if it's the right pet for them. Read More...