Owning two different pets at one time, such as a dog and a cat, raises many questions and considerations. But what about the boxer breed and a cat(s)? Can they get along together and could you live in a home of relative harmony? Intrigued, and needing to find the answer, I decided to do some research and here is what I have been able to find.
So, are boxers good with cats? Boxers are generally good with cats. With early socialization, boxers can live with cats and other pets quite peacefully. Some boxers may regard a cat as prey and will chase them; this is usually experienced in untrained and young dogs. It is behavior that must be prevented by the owner.
Despite their somewhat unhappy-looking faces, boxers are generally tender-hearted dogs.
This breed can come across as intimidating to people mostly because of their expression and size, but most owners would agree that they have gentle souls.
Boxers form very close bonds with their owners, and they are known to be fantastic around babies and small children, in that they are patient and gentle with little ones.
Equally, boxers make excellent watchdogs, and they can be fiercely protective of their humans. This breed doesn’t take too kindly to strangers, at least straight away.
With this information in mind, let us know take a closer look at how this dog breed generally interacts with cats. We will then look at some of the practical things you can do to improve the bond when keeping them as pets.
Boxers And Cats
The personality of a typical boxer is outgoing, active, and playful. These dogs make ideal companions because of their friendly personalities.
However, Many boxers are incredibly active because they mature at a slower rate than other dog breeds.
So, you are dealing with a dog stuck in puppy mode for a long time, so expect a lot of mischief such as holes dug up in gardens and chewed up shoes!
If you don’t already have a boxer, but you think you could cope with a hyperactive dog, be prepared to provide your dog with plenty of exercise and stimulating activity throughout the day. Boredom will lead to trouble.
Never the less, boxers make fantastic pets, especially in a family environment, they are loyal and protective of their family.
Boxers are not known as an aggressive breed unless they are provoked; however, they bark a lot when a stranger is nearby. This is their way of warning their owners of any potential threats.
Boxers can be trained to get along with other pets, including cats. However, you cannot teach a cat to get along with your boxer, its not worth your time to try.
Your cat may or may not take to your boxer straight away, if ever. This is just something we need to be aware of and will ultimately depend on the temperate and personality of the specific cat.
Nonetheless, it is still the responsibility of the owner to socialize their dog with a cat at the earliest opportunity.
This will lead to an increased likelihood of success, a more civil relationship without the risk of injury or stress, and a calmer home environment.
So, what does it mean to socialize a puppy?
It doesn’t just mean introducing them to cats and other animals, but instead helping them to adapt to different eventualities, contexts and environments that they will encounter in the future.
While socialization does involve them learning to interact with other animals, it also helps them to adjust to loud noises, visits to the groomers and the vet, etc.
If you socialize your boxer correctly, they will become a well-rounded, mature dog that is comfortable around other animals, including cats and different social situations.
The sooner a boxer learns that cats are a part of everyday life, they will see them as equals rather than prey to chase everywhere.
So for this reason, it is by far easier to bring a boxer into a home that already has a cat than the other way around.
This way, you can train your boxer from a young age, long before they become set in their ways and more difficult to train around a new animal.
How To Introduce Your Boxer To A Cat
If you already have a cat and you are considering getting a boxer, read on.
If you want a boxer that can get along well with your resident cat, you must get a puppy.
When you first bring your boxer home, you must ensure that both pets feel comfortable and safe around each other, do not force them to interact.
Instead, use their scent as a prelude to a personal introduction. We will look at how scent can be used before meeting face to face.
Let’s look at the following steps for safely introducing a boxer to an established cat:
Step #1 – Prepare A Safety Place
Make sure that your cat has a safe place where they can go if they want space and time on their own.
Put all of your cat’s essentials in this space, such as their food, water, litter box, and cat toys. You’ll also want to make it feel super comforting and an area in which your cat can relax and feel protected.
Using baby gates/specific rooms is ideal for this because you can still easily access the area.
This location will be ideal if your cat feels overwhelmed or threatened by the new pet.
Step #2 – Provide Exercise
Its always a good idea to try and burn through some of your boxers energy ahead of time.
You can take your boxer out for a long walk, or a run, and give them a large meal. This should help him relax before meeting your cat.
Equally, you can play around with your boxer in an open space. Getting a dog ball thrower – like this excellent one from Amazon, is ideal and makes the process a lot easier for you.
Step #3 – Familiarize The Cat Scent
You’ll want to ensure that your cat is in their safe, calm and comfortable place.
From there, you can let your new puppy boxer explore the rest of your home for an hour or so. This will help them to get accustomed to their new surroundings, and it will also give him time to pick up on the cat’s scent.
Step #4 – Familiarize The Boxers Scent
Once your puppy has picked up on your cat’s scent, you now need to do the same thing with your cat.
Here, it is best to take your new pup out for a walk (to expend some more energy). At this time, you’ll want to let your cat roam your house to pick up on the new puppy’s scent.
Step #5 – The Introduction
Make sure that your boxer is on a leash when they meet your cat for the first time; this ensures that they are not able to chase your cat or spook them.
You may need to keep your dog on a leash for a few days during these introductions. Boxers are a playful breed. Despite them not meaning to cause harm – your cat will not enjoy this all the same.
You therefore need to try and minimize their enthusiasm to play!
Its also ideal that when introducing your boxer to your cat, your cat has escape routes or areas in which they can get to. Examples would include shelves, window sills and other furniture – essentially places above ground that your cat can quickly get away.
So, even if your puppy appears to much, your cat will not feel trapped.
Step #6 – Praise and Consistency
If your boxer does try to chase your cat, correct them quickly, and praise them when they do not chase your cat.
If you feel that both pets are comfortable from a distance, you can start moving them closer for a better introduction.
Keep their first proper introduction brief if necessary. Your cat may even hiss at the new boxer, but this is perfectly normal.
Do not let either pet roam until you are sure that the interaction will be favorable for both pets.
From here, its a matter of continuing the interactions regularly and consistency. You’ll soon notice that both pets respond better in time as they learn about the new member of the family.
If the first interaction, or any subsequent interaction does not go to plan – do not give up. You need to continue with your efforts, even if it is time consuming and a challenge.
If then after time you struggle to socialize these pets together, you could then inquire about getting a pet behavioral specialist or seeking out an expert to help you further.
Either way, it is important to take your time, keep both of your pets safe, and to ensure that neither is becoming overly stressed during the introductions or when the other is nearby.
Boxers can certainly be trained to coexist peacefully with cats. Many dogs tend to chase cats as they see them as prey, but if socialization occurs at the earliest opportunity, they will start to treat cats as equals.
Most puppies are adopted between the ages of 8 and 16 weeks; this is the optimum time to begin introducing your boxer to new animals, people, and situations.
Remember not to cease training at puppyhood, but rather continue with it throughout your dog’s life. It is hard work, requires patience and consistency, but is well worth doing.
All in all, boxers are exceptionally happy dogs. While they may be messy and chaotic at times, they are a loving, loyal and protective breed of dog. You will not regret adopting one as a pet.
Boxers are not known to have a high prey drive. This makes them an ideal breed if you own other pets such as cats. It means that you can teach, train and socialize them to be able to interact with other animals more easily, and it also means you are less likely to encounter issues when leaving them to their own devices in your backyard. However, some boxers are hyper and will chase other animals. This is not to say they are trying to cause harm – but are looking to play, run around and have fun.
The breeds of dogs that best get along with cats include Basset Hounds, Beagles, Bulldogs, Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, Border Collies, Golden Retrievers, Labrador Retrievers, Papillons, and Pugs.
I am a practiced pet owner with decades of experience owning a number of different pets. I am also the main writer and chief editor here at Pet Educate; a site I created to share everything I’ve learned about pet ownership over the years and my extensive research along the way.