Rat terrier is a small dog breed designed especially for farming and hunting purposes. After centuries, Ratties are now domesticated and a most sought-after pet. But a significant problem with domestic dogs is their instinct to attack cats at first sight.
So, are Rat Terriers good with cats? Do Rat Terriers and cats get along? Rat Terriers can have varying levels of compatibility with cats, and their interactions largely depend on the individual dog’s temperament, socialization, and the specific cat’s personality. Some Rat Terriers can coexist peacefully with cats and develop strong bonds. In contrast, others may have a higher prey drive and show more challenging behavior toward cats.
Early socialization determines how well a Rat Terrier will get along with cats. Suppose they are exposed to cats and other animals from a young age in a positive and controlled manner. In that case, they are more likely to learn appropriate behaviors and develop harmonious relationships with feline companions.
It’s important to note that Rat Terriers have a strong prey drive due to their hunting background. Some individuals may view cats or other small animals as potential prey and may exhibit chasing or aggressive behaviors towards them. However, with proper training, consistent supervision, and positive reinforcement, you can help manage and modify these instincts.
Introducing a Rat Terrier and a cat should be done gradually and with caution. It’s advisable to keep them separated initially and gradually allow supervised and controlled interactions to gauge their compatibility. Provide a safe and neutral environment where both the Rat Terrier and the cat can feel secure and have their own space.
It’s worth mentioning that the temperament and socialization of the cat also play a significant role in determining the success of their relationship with a Rat Terrier. Some cats may be more tolerant and accepting of dogs, while others may be fearful or assertive. Monitoring their interactions and ensuring that both animals feel comfortable and respected is essential.
Ultimately, successful coexistence between a Rat Terrier and a cat is possible with proper introductions, ongoing supervision, and positive reinforcement training. Each situation is unique, so it’s important to assess the personalities and behaviors of both animals and seek guidance from professionals if needed to ensure a safe and harmonious relationship.
Let’s find out in more detail.
Are Rat Terriers Good With Cats?
Many dog breeds – almost every dog breed- have a lifelong rivalry with cats. Although the reason for this discord is not precisely apparent, you and I both have had first-hand experiences with dogs chasing cats. If things go wrong, the doggo might even kill the poor cat.
But now we’re Rat Terrier parents. And it’s with a happy heart, I inform you Rat Terriers and cats can get along exceptionally well. I first assumed that because Ratties have hunting traits, they will not socialize with felines. But how wrong am I?
We must know where exactly Rat Terriers and cats stand. Generally, according to professionals, RTs score 4 out of 5 on a scale to measure their friendliness. But, there can also be exceptions.
Some pet dogs find it naturally easy to be around cats, while some are not so good. Their ancestral instincts can come out at any moment.
Are Rat Terriers Aggressive Toward Cats?
If you have the urge to raise both a Rat Terrier and a cat simultaneously, consider adopting them both at once.
If your dog socializes with other animals since he’s a puppy, he’ll find it a natural occurrence in his life.
Even if you trained your fluffy Rattie to be friendly, you cannot always guarantee that he wouldn’t lose his temper or enjoy harassing your cat from time to time. After all, he’s a dog.
How To Introduce Rat Terriers And Cats?
Rat Terriers have a high prey drive which makes a living with small animals hard. but you can train them to be near cats.
As we mentioned before, it’ll be easier for them to get along if you introduce Rat Terriers and cats at their early ages.
But when you’re introducing the two, there are some protocols that you need to follow. So that it ensures a smooth and proper meeting between the Rat Terriers and cats; after all, it all depends on the first impression.
Be aware that this process does not finish overnight. You have to be calm and have the patience to carry out this occurrence carefully.
If you succeed, you could have your Rat Terriers and cats becoming best friends for life. Or at least they will learn to tolerate each other.
Here’s how you could introduce your pets to each other appropriately.
- Step 01 – Prepare Your Pets And Home
you must carry out a pre-introduction session before your dog and cat meet face to face. You can start with letting them encounter each other’s scent.
Scent plays a significant role in animals’ lives. If you can make them accustomed to each other’s scent, they will have something familiar when they first meet.
Rub a cloth smoothly on Rat Terrier and cats’ bodies and take it into proximity so that they could sniff the scent. Also, rub it in the furniture where your pets will hang out.
Next, you should also ensure that your doggo perfectly obeys voice commands. So if anything were to go wrong, you would have control over the situation.
- Step 02 – Install Initial Boundaries
don’t let lose both your pets as soon as you introduce them to each other. Keep your dog on a house leash and secure the area your cat lives in with a baby gate; therefore, your doggo doesn’t have direct contact with the cat until they are fully bonded.
But make sure that they still can see each other and get used to each other. It’s essential in forming their band.
Step 03 – The First Introduction
After a few days from the second step, lift the barriers between them. Your Rat Terriers and cats then can have physical contact.
But, it’s better to always keep your doggo on a collar, and you should always be present. Thereby, you can stop your Rat Terrier from getting way too excited.
If this meeting leaves the kitten frightened, it will be severe to reverse the situation.
- Step 04 – Lead Them Back To The Routine
Now you can carry out your regular daily routine without inspecting them the whole time. You can remove the house collar and let them hang around the same room loosely.
But do keep an eye on them until you can trust them to behave. We need them to be good friends and not the opposite.
How To Stop An Older Rat Terrier From Chasing Cats?
When your dog is already grown and hasn’t met a cat before, you might find it challenging to bring a cat home.
If your Rattie has quite the temper towards cats, you need to change it before adopting a new one. Here’s how you stop a Rat Terrier from chasing cats around.
Your Terrier first must understand that he’ll be a “good boy” if he suppresses his need to chase after the cat whenever one is in the vicinity. Distract your dog.
And when he focuses on you, give him a little treat. Continue doing this, and your doggo will think that he gets a free treat every time a cat is nearby.
His greed for the treat will eventually overcome the need to chase the cat. A chew toy will also do the trick if it’s really hard to get his attention.
Having both a cat and a dog will be so much fun. But, you must train your Rat Terrier to behave when a cat is in the vicinity. After all, we’re dealing with hunter doggos.