I have, in my time as a pet parent, owned both dogs and cats and since we always have cats, it’s always been simultaneous. Our lab/husky cross got along really well with our white cat, to the point that when the dog passed away, the cat was depressed. Our corgi cross before that hated everyone, which meant that my calico shorthair thought she was ok. While our new cats haven’t really been exposed to dogs yet given their personalities, they’d probably get used to the idea.
But the stereotype of dogs and cats constantly fighting still hangs heavy and many pet owners who already have a cat may avoid a dog for fears that they will never get along. Owners of breeds like Russian Blue cats can be even more hesitant because of the notion that Russian Blue cats are aloof, shy, and independent. But is this warranted? Do Russian Blue cats get along with dogs?
Short answer: They absolutely do, assuming the dog is the right temperament and introductions are made appropriately. In fact, many pet owners of both say that their Russian Blue and their dog became really good friends since both animals are smart, independent, and enjoy the company of their humans. So how can you make sure that both your animals get off on the right foot with each other?
Ensuring that both animals have complementary temperaments is absolutely critical if you want to ensure that there will be peace in the house.
Russian Blue cats tend to be shy and conservative at first and then as they get used to their surroundings and people, they reveal themselves to be smart, loyal, affectionate, and athletic. They tend to bond strongly with one person in the house and then enjoy the company of everyone else. They like to play with toys, can be left alone for several hours at a time without worry, and are sticklers for their routine. They are also quite food motivated!
This means that you want to have a dog that will be complementary to this. The dog should be well socialized for cats, smart, gently playful, and won’t get territorial over food. It’s also important to ensure that your cat and dog both have safe zones they can retreat to when they don’t want to deal with each other – for cats, this is usually a high perch and for dogs, this could be their crate or a room in the house that the cat ignores. It’s also important to ensure that the dog doesn’t have a high prey drive or else they may chase your cat around, causing a lot of stress.
Russian Blue cats require a fairly strict adherence to their routine (particularly where their food is concerned), so it’s important to ensure that the arrival of the dog won’t interrupt that. Making proper introductions should be done slowly and with careful supervision. If you have the space, separate the animals for a time with only things that smell like the other animal, and then slowly bring them closer together, using food as a go-between to tie something good with the other animals. As they start interacting more, keep a close eye on them to make sure that neither animal is getting stressed or anxious, and separate them if they seem to be pushing each other’s buttons too much. Depending on both animals, the process can be done in a few days (my lab was very gentle with my cats right away), or over a month or two.
Again, it’s important to make sure that both animals have safe places they can retreat to.
Are Some Breeds of Dogs Better for Russian Blue Cats?
Absolutely. Some breeds of dog are highly unsuitable for any cat (let along Russian Blue) because of their high prey drive, high energy, or general neediness which will annoy cats. Other breeds are much better for cats because they are friendly, are far less likely to chase your cat, and are more patient. Cat friendly dog breeds include:
- Labrador. They are laid back, intelligent, and gentle. I can attest: my lab cross got along well with both my cats.
- Beagle. Although beagles are hunting dogs, they are also friendly and like to make friends with animals that will play with them. Russian Blue cats also enjoy playing and are friendly, so they are generally quite complimentary
- King Charles Spaniels. This bred is gentle and loving and don’t feel the need to chase everything in sight.
- Maltese. This is a smaller breed that is playful and affectionate, so they won’t intimidate cats.
- Boxer. One of the best breeds of dogs for cats, they love playing and will help guard your home. They should be well socialized with cats as young as possible because they can chase cats if they aren’t.
But mostly, you want to look for a dog that has been well socialized with cats (or at least has been around them), is friendly and gentle, and has a low prey drive. These attributes greatly increase the odds that your Russian Blue will get along with them.
Russian Blue cats can absolutely get along with dogs. Both animals are playful, intelligent, and loyal, so they bounce off each other rather well. Just be sure to make proper introductions and choose a dog that is used to cats, then supervise them when they are together. You may be surprised at how well your pets start getting along after a time!
Have you ever had cats and dogs live under the same roof? How did they get along? Let us know in the comments below!
Pam is a self-confessed cat lover and has experience of working with cats and owning cats for as long as she can remember. This website is where she gets to share her knowledge and interact with other cat lovers.