Bringing a Rottweiler home for the first time, to a family of cats, might seem like taking your maiden voyage. You really can never tell whether these two adorable creatures will get along or not.
Rottweilers are some of the most placid dogs, with a mellow, devoted and almost regal disposition. As such, it is only logical to expect such a dog breed to get along with other members of the family.
But are Rottweilers good with cats?
Well, if we were to rate how well Rottweilers get along with cats on a scale of 1 to 5, the dog would probably score a 3. As we shall find, there are lots of features at play when it comes to how harmoniously your Rottweiler might get along with your cat. Read on to find out.
Rottweilers And Cats – What Could Work Against Their Harmonious Co-existence?
First and foremost, Rottweilers are some of the largest dog breeds out there. Males average between 24 and 27 inches while females measure between 22 and 25 inches.
In terms of weight, male Rottweilers weigh between 50 and 60 kilograms while females weigh up to 48 kilograms.
Domestic cats weigh between 3.6 and 4.5 kilograms. Evidently, the weight of a domestic cat pales in comparison to that of a Rottweiler.
As such, it is not unusual for your cat to feel intimidated at the sight of such an enormous beast around them. You may argue that size does not necessarily translate into aggression, and you could be right.
However, in the animals’ pecking order, size plays a very significant role and based on it alone, your Rottweiler has a sure advantage when it comes to asserting his dominance and control over other pets.
Secondly, it is important to remember that like many other spirited terriers, Rottweilers were developed to quest and eliminate vermin.
Therefore, they have a very high prey drive. A fast-moving cat is very likely to provoke a chase response. These responses, if not restrained could eventually culminate in snaps and bites.
To the dog, anything moving too fast qualifies as prey, and all prey should be outrun and subdued.
It is also worth noting that Rottweilers were initially used to herd livestock. Herd dogs are not only strong and stubborn, they are also wired to herd any animal that moves, sometimes including their owners.
On the other hand, cats are also territorial in nature, and do not appreciate any bullying behavior from other pets. And they certainly will not take lightly the idea of a dog invading their space and trying to dictate to them how they should conduct their business.
What Are Some Of Its Redeeming Characteristics?
Having carefully reviewed some primal traits of Rottweilers that make it difficult for them to get along with cats, you could still be wondering to yourself, do Rottweilers get along with cats?
Well, the good news is, there are lots of redeeming features that make this dog co-exist with felines.
One feature that could make Rottweilers and cats get along is the fact that the dog is even tempered. Despite its proportionately huge size, a Rottweiler is fairly tolerant to cats, other dogs and virtually any pet around your home.
Perhaps due to their enormous size, Rottweilers really do not expect any serious threat from other pets. This is why unlike many other smaller-size dog breeds, Rottweilers are not given to aggression.
Another notable redeeming feature is their remarkable play drives. By nature, kitties are very playful and they generally do well around dogs with similar play drives.
Like humans, pets may develop various forms of anxiety and depression if they remain in extended states of inertia. And anxiety in pets is one of the major contributors of aggressive behavior.
Luckily for you, your Rottweiler is naturally a playful dog who is always ready to get the best out of your cat. Of course, you will need to train the dog to help avoid instances of snaps and bites.
As we already mentioned earlier, Rottweilers are fiercely territorial. This is for the simple reason that they are also used as guard dogs.
As much as being territorial is a hindrance to effective socialization, it could also work in favor of your cat. Cats are a common target for various attacks, be they attacks instigated by humans or other pets.
As he makes a great guard dog, Rottweilers will try and guard everything that exists within its domain from danger. And that includes your little, adorable felines.
Last but not least, Rottweilers are fairly intelligent dogs. High intelligence directly translates into ease of training.
Dogs that are as smart as the Rottweiler are remarkable at remembering commands from months and even years back. They are also easier to socialize.
When introducing them to cats, or vice versa, they will easily familiarize themselves with the kittens and accept them as part of the family.
However, training your Rottweiler to get along with your cat is better done at a younger age. Rottweiler puppies are likely to grow fond of your cats much faster than their adult counterparts.
One of the greatest impediments to socializing a cat and a dog is if either of the animals has had a traumatic past experience with the other. Thankfully, puppies are unlikely to have had such encounters, just by virtue of their young age.
ALSO READ: Are Rottweilers Good With Kids?
How To Introduce A Rottweiler To A Cat
As you probably already know, introducing a Rottweiler to cats requires patience and tolerance.
It is not unusual for the two pets to grow fond of each other just within the first day of socializing them. However, the general convention is to spread the introduction over a couple of days.
On the first day, you just want to get the two animals to see and sniff one another. As you do this, observe how they react with one another.
If one animal exhibits aggression to the idea of the other one coming too close for comfort, try to reassure it that the other animal is just but a member of the household.
For example, you can create that kind of reassurance by patting the animal on the pack, or brushing its fur.
On the second day, get the animals so close together that they rub against each other. Still, do not be too confident as to let them interact freely. You might want to get a leash for your Rottweiler, as he is the one most likely to be more aggressive.
However long it takes, ensure you closely monitor your Rottweiler and that you use a leash for as long as you are sure he hasn’t gotten used to your cats yet.
And when the two pets seem to get along with one another, do not shy away from giving them treats to urge them towards the path of good behavior.
How do you know the dog is relaxed around your cat? There are signs to watch out for, including the following;
1. Wagging of the tail nub,
2. Exhibiting curiosity towards the new friend,
3. Assuming a relaxed posture, and
4. Behaving playfully.
On the other hand, the following signs could be emblematic of a nervous Rottweiler around your cat;
1. Lip licking,
2. Panting furiously,
3. Raising of hackles,
4. Baring of the white part of his eyes and
5. Assuming a stiff posture.
Another important thing to remember is that raising Rottweiler puppy with cats is far easier than raising adult Rottweilers.
As we already mentioned, puppies are not only easier to train, but they also come with fewer [if any] past traumatic experiences. This makes the process of socializing them with cats less painstaking.
Even better, cats are more likely to be receptive to Rottweiler puppies than adult Rottweilers, as puppies appear younger in size hence less intimidating.
Even when it is apparent the two animals are now somewhat getting along, you need to keep close supervision to avoid any aggressive encounters.
One thing you can do is ensure you do not feed them from the same bowl, or have them drink or poop near the same place.
Regardless of how harmoniously they may appear to co-exist, remember these are still wild animals with well-developed instincts to guard their territories. The only territories that they are always willing to cede are those where they engage in fun and playtime.
Also, ensure your cat has a ‘’remote’’ room where she can escape to, as she is likely to be the victim of attacks. This is usually a room that is too high up that your Rottweiler cannot climb to.
Above all, keep socializing the pets. You can take your dog for constant walks around the neighborhood while for the cat, ample play space within your yard would do.
ALSO READ: Do Pugs Get Along With Cats?
So, are Rottweilers good with cats?
Yes, Rottweilers are good with cats, but they have some traits that may make cats shy away from readily interacting with them. In order to ensure both pets get along with each other, you need to train your Rottweiler to understand that the cat is any other member of the family.
When socializing the two animals, ensure boundaries are properly marked and duly respected. And if at all possible, introduce young Rottweilers to older and more mature cats.