If you are a pet owner, one of your greatest fears is having two pets that do not seem to get along with one another.
For instance, before bringing a pug into a home that already has cats, or vice versa, you will often wonder to yourself, do pugs get along with cats?
Well, the short and plain answer is yes, pugs and cats do get along.
But as you probably already know, it all comes down to the individual traits, temperament and experience of the dog. In some cases, your pug could feel scared or threatened by the presence of a cat nearby, and may need a bit of training to help him overcome his fears.
Interested in learning how to get your pug and cat live together harmoniously? Read on to find out.
What Features Make A Pug Able To Live Side By Side With Cats?
As expected, there are various features that make certain dog breeds get along with cats. The following traits in pugs enhance their ability to live harmoniously with cats.
Pugs are some of the smallest dog breeds available today. In fact, they are classified among the ‘’toy’’ category of dogs.
An adult pug measures between 10 and 13 inches in height, or roughly between 25 and 36 cm. This height range applies to both males and females.
Now, if you compare that with the ideal height of an average domestic cat which is 46 cm, pugs are undeniably much smaller than cats.
In terms of weight, the AKC sets the standard weight of healthy pugs as between 6.5 and 8.5 Kg for both male and female pugs. Though slightly higher than the ideal weight of domestic cats which is 4.5 kg, the difference is not very significant.
But, how do these size parameters work in favor of pugs?
When living among cats, the cats will not view the dog as a threat, owing to its rather smaller size. And since your cats do not find pugs really intimidating, they will be more accommodating to the dog, and incidences of aggression will be greatly reduced.
2. Prey Drive
Another significant factor that determines whether pugs get along with cats is their prey drive.
Most dog breeds were originally developed as hunting and watchdogs. As such, they have retained their primal hunting instincts. Such dogs are characterized by a high prey drive and whenever they spot another animal near them, they will often charge at them.
And when a chase response is triggered in such dogs, it normally ends in bites or snaps. It gets even worse when the dog is bigger than the animal it goes after.
Fortunately, pugs are some of the dog breeds with low prey drive. And this is for the simple fact that the dogs were bred for companionship as opposed to hunting.
As companions, pugs were trained to be mellow, gentle and loyal around their owners and other pets, traits that they have preserved to date.
So, even if you notice your pugs chasing your cats around, chances are the two pets are enjoying great playtime.
Pugs are some of the most docile dogs you can ever have around. It is easy for their stocky size to fool you into believing that these dogs are aggressive.
However, unless they feel very threatened, pugs will rarely attack other pets. Pugs are also fairly strong-willed, a trait that often comes in handy when dealing with annoying cats.
They are remarkably tolerant to bullying behavior from other pets, and are very sensitive to the emotions of their owners as well as other pets. This is why they are always eager to please everyone and everything around them.
And the best part is that unlike other small dog breeds, pugs do not bark a lot. Barking can often cause tension and anxiety among cats who might interpret it as a sign of aggression.
In fact, most cats will often flee from a barking dog and in most cases, will find such dogs too aggressive to tolerate. Thankfully, pugs are some of the most quiet dogs, only barking when real danger is lurking nearby.
What Could Go Wrong?
Even after having gone through some of the fundamental qualities in pugs that make them live harmoniously with cats, you could still be asking yourself – are pugs good with cats?
It is important to remember that the same way the pug should be trained to fit into a home with cats is the very way the cats should be trained to tolerate pugs.
But remember, pugs are vulnerable in some ways. They have relatively short muzzles, as well as bulging eyes.
Cats that are not used to living around dogs with such qualities may find their eyes a little intimidating. Therefore, the cat could attack your pug’s sensitive muzzle with her claws, thereby causing serious injuries to the dog.
Apart from inflicting injuries, cat claws also carry potentially harmful bacteria which could be transmitted to the pug, thereby causing disease.
You can choose to declaw your cat to make it less dangerous around pugs. If you don’t, then ensure all interactions between these two animals are always closely monitored, especially when they are still new to each other.
And as we already mentioned, never forget that all animals come with distinct personalities. So, it is still possible that despite its positive qualities, your pug could still fail to get along with your cat.
On the other hand, cats have an innate fear for dogs and even with rigorous training, your feline friend might still view the pugs as their mortal enemies. These are hereditary traits that take a great deal of time and patience to quash.
Last but not least, the environment in which these two animals were previously exposed to could also play a significant role in determining whether they get along with each other or not.
Like humans, pets also suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder. So if the pug has a history of violence with cats, it could view every cat as a potential enemy. And the same applies to your cat. This explains why it is important to do your due diligence before buying a pug from a breeder.
At the very least, insist on a licensed and accredited breeder, and shun all the backstreet breeders out there.
Dogs purchased from reputable breeders are likely to be well-socialized and properly-vaccinated. And if adopting your pug from a dog shelter, be sure to ask about the history of the home where the pug was rescued from.
How Do You Introduce The Two Animals To One Another?
Bringing a pug into a family with cats requires careful monitoring. And the same holds true when it is the cat that’s the new guest.
As a general rule, experts advise introducing pugs to cats when they are still young. This is for the simple reason that pug puppies are easier to train compared to adult pugs.
Since it is probably the first time they are seeing cats, it is then easier to have them accept cats as part and parcel of their life right from the get go. Another reason is that by virtue of their tender age, there are minimal chances that the puppy has had a traumatic past experience around cats.
However, the case is quite the opposite when introducing pugs to kittens. Unlike adult cats, kittens are not only fragile, but also very playful and aggressive in nature. They are easier to spook, which makes them fairly more aggressive in nature than their adult counterparts.
So while you are better off introducing pug pups to cats, be sure that the cats are not very young.
The following are some more precautions to take when introducing pugs to cats;
1. Have Two People
The role of the other person is to restrain the cat while you bring the dog into her territory.
Of course, the other person has to be a member of the household, one that the cat is well-familiar with. If there is no one around for help, get your pug on a leash as you closely monitor the cat.
As you introduce the two animals, check how they react by observing their body language. Reactions can range from pure aggression to overexcitement.
However, if the two pets are calm and happy around each other, then chances are they’re already developing a liking for one another.
If your pug feels so relaxed around the cat and the cat doesn’t seem to exhibit any aggressive behavior, you can bring the animals closer together for body contact.
Have them smell and rub against each other as that will help them scent-mark one another. A little playtime on the first day is fine, but it is more prudent to just leave everything at the body contact stage and resume with your training the following day.
2. The Pug Needs To Be Adequately Trained
It is far easier to train a dog than it is to train a cat. Therefore, always ensure the pug is trained before introducing it to your cats.
The dog should understand and follow simple commands like “sit” and “stop” without any hassles.
Since the pug is considered one of the most obedient and loyal dogs, training it is not a very rigorous process.
If buying your pug from a breeder, be sure to ask if the dog has been adequately trained, as well as if he has been introduced to cats before.
And even when sure your pug is adequately trained, always use a leash to restrain it whenever it threatens to attach the cat.
3. Ensure the Cat Has a Safe Place to Escape To
When playtimes get ugly, as they will sometimes do, it is important to get your cat a safe place where it can escape to. This will enable him stay safe whenever it feels threatened by the pug.
These are usually spaces that are high enough for the pug to climb to. The idea is that whenever the cat feels threatened, it can escape to such places as it waits for the dog’s anger to die down.
4. Make It Consistent
Even when it is evident the two animals are living side by side, monitoring them should be a continuous process.
For example, feeding should always be done in separate places as mealtimes are often characterized by growlings and snappings.
If possible, also separate mealtimes. Your cat should essentially eat first as she is generally higher than the pug in the family dominance hierarchy.
Also, always be sure to tire down the animal that appears to be very hyperactive. If it is the pug, you can consider taking him out for a walk so as to drain him of all the excess energy.
For a cat, plenty of toys will do the trick. And for both pets, always use treats to reward them for good behavior.
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Conclusion: So, do pugs and cats get along?
As it has now become apparent, pugs surely do get along with cats. These dogs have natural traits that make them able to live harmoniously with cats. And the best part is, even those that don’t are fairly easy to train.
However, when introducing the two animals together, remember to observe the precautions highlighted here. And if at all possible, insist on introducing a pug puppy to a family with adult cats.
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