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Knowing whether your dog is likely to get along with a cat can be important for many pet owners, including those who have cats or who visit households where cats are likely to be present. If you have or are thinking of getting an Akita, you may be wondering whether Akitas dogs are good with cats and if you would be able to leave your dog near a cat without having to worry about it. Part of responsible pet ownership is about understanding your dog and the things that it needs.
Are Akita Dogs Good With Cats? Akitas are not generally very good with cats, although some can be trained. This breed is highly intelligent, and some can be trusted with cats if they have been taught that they should be gentle. Socialization, when it is a puppy, is the best way to ensure your Akita is not a threat to a cat.
Today, we are going to look at how Akitas generally interact with cats, and how training and careful introductions can improve this foundation behavior. Remember, Akitas are smart, and you can teach them almost anything if you are dedicated enough. We’re going to explore the best method for introducing an Akita to a cat, and whether Akitas are naturally aggressive toward cats. We are also going to look at whether Akitas are good with other pets or not, so you know whether one would fit into your home.
Are Akita Dogs Good With Cats?
First, it is important to note that all dogs are unique animals, and they have different foibles. Getting to know your pet and understanding its behavior and motivations is a key part of establishing whether you can trust your dog around a cat or not, so don’t neglect this.
Even if the internet says your dog should be good with cats, you must do your own experiments and not trust that this will hold true for every member of a breed!
To generalize, American Red Akitas are not generally great with cats by instinct. They have a strong prey drive and will often be keen to hunt and chase a cat, unless they have been taught not to. On the whole, they aren’t a breed that is known for being friendly towards felines.
However, the good news is that Akitas are very intelligent dogs and they can be trained to improve their response to cats. You can teach your Akita to be good with cats, but you should always be somewhat wary. Don’t trust your dog, even if it seems okay with cats when you are present.
It is better to be safe than sorry, and since Akitas will naturally want to chase cats, it may be best not to leave them alone together.
You should also consider the cat’s perspective. If the cat you have in mind is used to dogs and will stand its ground, it is more likely to be safe with an Akita, because it will not act like prey.
A docile, timid cat may unwittingly invite an attack. Of course, you shouldn’t depend on your cat defending itself, but the nature of both animals is important to account for.
Introducing Akita Dog To A Cat – Step By Step Guide.
So, how do you introduce an Akita to a cat? This should always be done slowly, with the needs of both pets being taken into account. Do not leave an Akita alone with a cat that you have just introduced it to. Before you begin introductions, make sure that your Akita is on a leash so you can easily secure the dog if something goes wrong.
If you are adopting an Akita from a shelter and you already own a cat, make sure you discuss this with the shelter. Ask whether the dog is good with cats and whether it has any history of aggression toward cats.
Before introducing them to each other, it is also a good idea to let them smell each other’s scent on things, and provide treats that create a positive association with this scent. This should reduce the wariness the two have of each other. Now, let’s look at how to introduce them.
- Establish a neutral space that does not belong to either the cat or the dog. This will help eliminate any territorial behavior by either party.
- Play with your Akita to tire it out before the introduction. This can help to reduce its desire to chase the cat.
- Allow your cat to enter the room where the Akita is, while you keep a firm hold of the dog. Do not allow the dog to approach the cat. If the dog seems aggressive, tell it “no” firmly and wait. Encourage your dog to sit down and allow the two animals to sniff at each other.
- Allow your cat to leave if it chooses. Reward your Akita for its behavior, and close the door before you let it off its leash.
- Repeat this process and see how they manage. After a while, you may feel that it is safe to let go of the dog’s leash, although you should be ready to grab it again. Do not do this until you are sure the Akita won’t go for the cat.
Will Akita Dog Eat My Cat? Are They Aggressive?
Akita dogs can be quite aggressive, especially toward small animals like cats. They have a high prey drive, as they were bred to hunt. You should not leave the two animals alone together for long periods, or the Akita might kill your cat.
Your cat should always have an escape to a space where the dog cannot follow it. This might be an upstairs room with a closed door and a cat flap, or something similar. Do not shut your cat in the same room as the dog, even if they have been friends for years.
You should never let your cat approach your dog while it is eating. Akitas are notoriously food aggressive, and they almost certainly will snap at the cat. This could lead to the cat swiping at them, or getting frightened and running away – which may result in the dog chasing it.
Always keep your cat out of the room when you are feeding your Akita. No amount of training will reliably overcome this aggression and while some Akitas may not show it, it is better not to take the risk. There is no need for your cat to be present while your dog eats; feed the two animals separately and keep them both safe.
Akitas are not generally considered aggressive dogs, but they are certainly hunters, and you must treat them as such. Don’t expose your cat to unnecessary risks.
Are Akita Dogs Good With Other Pets?
It depends a bit, but on the whole, Akitas do not get along particularly well with other pets. They can manage with other dogs sometimes, but even two Akitas may fight with each other, regardless of gender. They are dominant dogs, and may not be good with other pets.
If you are adopting a puppy, you should spend a lot of time working on socialization to increase your pet’s ability to play with other animals nicely. Treat your dog for good behavior, and talk to a trainer if you are having difficulties with dominance or aggression.
If you are adopting a dog from a shelter, talk to the shelter in detail about what issues the Akita shows. You may need to do some special training with lots of rewards to encourage friendliness toward other pets.
You should not have an Akita near any small animal (e.g. a mouse, gerbil, guinea pig, bird) that is not contained. Their prey drive is too strong and they may kill it. It is highly unlikely that you can train this instinct out of them, and it may be both unfair to the dog and unsafe for the other pet for you to try.
Small animals should be kept in a separate room, and your Akita should not be allowed in there. This will minimize the risk of accidents.
In general, if you want an Akita, it is better not to have other pets, although this does depend heavily on the individual dog and the pets.
So, are Akita dogs good with cats? Not really, no. With training, many individual Akitas can get along just fine with cats, but on the whole, the breed is not known for being friendly toward them. They see them as prey, and you will have to work hard to overcome this instinct. In some cases, it may not be possible.