Greyhounds and cats have some things in common; they love warm spots and are elegant and graceful. But if you own one and wish to adopt the other, you may wonder, “Is it possible for a Greyhound who’s bred to chase small animals to be compatible with a cat?” Plus, its size and speed give it an advantage. It’s no secret that cats and dogs have a longstanding reputation as archenemies. But a quick search through the internet, and you’ll find cute photos of these two cuddling together. Some adoption centers even promise you that their Greyhounds are cat-tested. Before we dive deeper, let’s summarize it with one simple question.
Are Greyhounds good with cats? They can be if positively trained. Your Greyhound will need to be properly cat tested and carefully introduced to the cat; otherwise, it can be a deadly combination. That being said, we cannot guarantee that there will never be a problem given the Greyhound’s high prey drive. So, always keep a close eye.
Nothing makes for a happy multi-pet household than knowing that all the animals get along and live well together. Greyhounds possess a compliant and great personality and can adapt effortlessly to any living environment. Most of them are naturally well-behaved, friendly, and laid-back. But of all the things owners want to know about this breed, one of the most frequently asked questions has to do with are Greyhounds good with cats? They were bred to chase and hunt down small prey, so it makes sense that you’d think they can’t live with cats. It turns out that they can, but there are some important considerations to keep in mind. Keep reading to know how you can make this a match made in heaven.
Are Greyhounds Good with Cats?
The relationship between these two is not cut-and-dried. Some Greyhounds don’t like cats, others like being around them, while others view cats as dinner. The Greyhound is an extremely fast-running hunting dog. Since it was bred and enjoys hunting, its first instinct when it sees a cat is to chase after it. A Greyhound can be dangerous to have around cats, and there’s always a chance that it will attack and even kill the cat.
The good news is many Greyhounds have been homed successfully with cats. The best approach and one that’s guaranteed to have these two living together harmoniously, is raising them together from an early age. Puppies and kittens are less likely to have issues accepting each other and will typically want to play together.
If you already have a Greyhound and are adopting a cat or vice versa, there are a few things you’ll need to consider. For starters, is the dog cat-tested? This is a fairly simple test; the cat is crated near the dog, and the dog’s reaction is monitored. Your Greyhound may not do well around the cat for two reasons: they want the cat for lunch, or they are overly aroused by the cat and want to play too hard. Either way, it can result in serious injury or even death of the cat.
Introducing Your Greyhound to The Cat
Once you’ve determined that your Greyhound is cat-tolerant, it doesn’t mean they will automatically get along. The process of introduction should be done properly. It’s important to keep the dog on a leash and muzzled during the first interactions. Then monitor interactions between the two over the next few days. Any act of aggression on the dog’s part, such as barking, growling, etc., should be discouraged with a firm ‘No.’ If the dog doesn’t seem interested in the cat, that’s a good sign, and he should be praised and rewarded for the good behavior.
Although some pairings work out pretty quickly, in most cases, it can take up to three weeks before the two develop a peaceful interaction. There are also instances where the relationship completely doesn’t work. Please don’t force it; otherwise, there might be fatal consequences.
Can Greyhounds and Cats Live Together?
Don’t be fooled by the initial interaction between these two. Your dog may initially show no interest in the cat, only for them to pounce on them weeks later. Greyhounds hunt by sight, and there’s nothing quite as exciting to them as a running cat. Your dog’s deep-rooted instinct is to give a chase, which overpowers the socialization they may have received.
Therefore, once your cat and dog have been successfully introduced, there are things you should do to make their life together as harmonious as possible. For starters:
Teach Basic Dog Commands
Teaching your dog to look at a cat as a family member and not prey is difficult. This is where basic commands such as sit, stop, come, etc., will help control them.
Exercise Your Dog
Physical and mental stimulation is important for releasing pent-up energy. And a tired dog is more likely to be calm around the cat.
Don’t Force Them to Share Resources
Even if you think your Greyhound and cat are getting along fine, you need to maintain an area specifically for the cat, where they can eat, sleep, toilet, and play without having to come into contact with the dog. These can be conflict areas, and dogs are known to act aggressively when resource-guarding.
Use Positive Reinforcement
Always reward your Greyhound for being calm around the cat or ignoring them. While you should discourage any form of aggression towards the cat, avoid shouting at the dog or physically punishing them. This will only create resentment.
Consider Raising Them Together
Get a Greyhound puppy and kitten simultaneously if you have the time and money. By growing up together, they can form a bond faster than introducing them as adults. Just remember to keep their differences in mind. For instance, a puppy might be more energetic than a kitten. Also, encourage your pup to play with toys and not chase after the kitten all the time.
Are Italian Greyhounds Good with Other Pets?
The Italian Greyhound has been bred to be a sociable, non-aggressive animal who gets along well with others. They love canine company and will likely make friends with any other pet dog you might have at home. However, early socialization is vital to having the dogs live together in harmony. Like any other dog, Greyhounds can be territorial. If your Greyhound isn’t socialized, it’s only natural that they’ll view the other dog as competition or an enemy and may show aggression towards them. Common sense and careful introductions are the key.
While Greyhounds will do well with other dogs, they can view smaller animals as prey. This includes cats, rabbits, chickens, Guinea pigs, and even small dogs. Greyhounds have a high prey drive, especially when these small animals run from them. Their natural instinct to chase down and even kill small animals will kick in.
Luckily, you can teach your dog to co-exist peacefully with your other pets. Early socialization and careful introduction are also key here. When you raise your dog with other animals from puppyhood, they are more likely to view them as family and not dinner. Introductions should happen slowly, and the dog should always be on a leash. Only until both animals have formed a strong social bond should you let them interact freely. Keep in mind that initial interactions are not enough to tell whether or not your animals will get along well. Your dog may show no interest in your small pet now but later attack them when their prey drive kicks. So, always keep an eye on them. Also, ensure separate eating, sleeping, and playing areas to avoid conflict.
Most Greyhounds in rescue organizations undergo rigorous screening to evaluate each dog’s behavioral tendencies. These tests can predict whether a particular Greyhound can live with small animals.
Are Italian Greyhounds Aggressive?
This is not an aggressive dog. You’re not likely to see the growling, snarling, or ears pulled back demeanor that other breeds may exhibit. That being said, there are instances when your Greyhound may show aggression as a way to protect themselves. This includes:
An Italian Greyhound may show aggression in response to some form of fear such as loud noises, children, vet visits, bathing, etc. This type of fear comes from a lack of socialization, which causes your dog to struggle with accepting new people, environments, experiences, and change. The good news is you can work with your hound to reduce whatever fear is causing them to become aggressive.
Pain Induced Aggression
Dogs are great at hiding pain, but they might act out aggressively when it becomes overwhelming. If you touch your hound when they are sick, you might press on where they are feeling pain, and they might growl or nip. This might seem like aggression, but it’s actually a defense mechanism. So, be careful when handling a sick Greyhound.
Greyhounds don’t respond well to physical or verbal abuse. It can cause them to become fearful, withdrawn, and even aggressive. Proper correction is important to ensure the dog follows the rules, but you should do it in a loving way. Consider using positive reinforcement, which involves rewarding good behavior and not punishing bad behavior. Also, Greyhounds are very sensitive, and psychological trauma from past experiences can affect their overall behavior.
If your dog thinks you want to take away their food, toys, or other resources, they may act aggressively.
Greyhounds love to play, and part of the fun is roughhousing. They’ll do things like nitting, trancing, snarl smile, chattering, air snapping, and/or leaning. Don’t confuse this with aggression, although it can become dangerous if taken too far. Primary signs of aggression you should look out for are:
- A stiff stance and arched neck
- A fixed stare
- Baring teeth
- Ears pinned to the back
- Dilated pupils with a still, straight tail