Great Danes’ cheerful, easy-going personality wins them lots of friends. They are a great family dog and friendly with kids. But are Great Danes friendly with cats? I decided to research and discuss the subject with pet owners who raise Great Danes and cats under the same roof. I’d like to share my findings with you here today.
So, are Great Danes good with cats? Great Danes can get along very well with cats. Great Danes are usually friendly with all animals, including cats, if they’ve been properly socialized. However, Great Danes that haven’t been around cats early in their life may mistake a cat for a prey animal. It can result in chasing, catching, and even an attack.
If you have an older Great Dane and want to get a cat, you will need to spend time helping your dog adjust to them.
It may take a few weeks, but over time the two should get along very well together.
The truth is, the answer to the question if Great Danes are good with cats is yes and a no, it really depends on how the Great Dane has been trained.
Its all about getting the two animals used to one another and helping them to perceive one another as a ‘friend’ and not a threat.
Let us now take a closer look at how these animals generally respond to one another along with some practical tips that you can use to help foster a relationship between them.
Do Great Danes Get Along With Cats
Great Danes should get along with cats so long as you have established a safe environment and relationship for them to be able to do so.
If you would like your Great Dane to get along with your cat, you’ll need to ensure that both animals have been properly socialized.
The best chance of success, and that will make it a much easier process for you as an owner, it to ensure your Great Dane has learned from a young age that a cat is not a threat, toy, nor potential prey.
Interestingly, cats tend to keep themselves to themselves so they are usually not the one to worry about!
Socialization means your Great Dane has been exposed to all kinds of people and animals, including cats as a puppy. It also means exposing the pup to loud sounds, new places, different people, and different experiences.
This all ensures your dog perceives their environment in a friendly and inquisitive way.
Socialization tips for your Great Dane pup to get used to cats and other dogs:
- Take your puppy on lots of walks to acquaint him with noises, smells, and other animals
- Allow your Great Dane pup to sniff and see new animals – rabbits, cats, or even horses.
- Stay calm and talk softly to your dog as they sniff the new animal. Keep them on their leash, never allow them to chase the animal.
- The best age to begin socialization is anywhere from three to twelve weeks.
- After your pup has reached four months, it gets harder to socialize them.
- Another option is to enroll your puppy in an obedience class where they make sure your pooch is exposed to various people and situations.
All these things together teach the puppy to be well rounded and flexible when it comes to change.
So that when they’re older, if they’re in a new situation or encountering a new animal, like a cat, they won’t freak out about it.
How to Help A Cat Get Along With A Great Dane
If you have a cat and you’d like to add a Great Dane puppy to your family, you may need to prepare your cat.
Bringing a new Great Dane puppy home starts a process of socializing both the puppy to the cat.
Take your time, let them hang out together for short intervals at first. Be sure to comfort your cat along the way since the puppy has come onto your cat’s turf.
Hold the cat, pet and reassure them. Here are some other suggestions for helping your cat get along with the Great Dane puppy.
- Be sure your cat has a special spot to go where the puppy can’t follow.
- Add your cat’s litter box, bed, food, and water to this area.
- Take your puppy for walks. When you get back, put the pooch away in his area and pick up your cat. Pet and talk to them so they feel like you’re still giving them attention, not just the new pup.
- You may allow your cat in the dog’s area while you’re gone if you’re sure she won’t spray or poop in the area.
- Never allow the Great Dane to chase your cat. Keep the puppy on a leash so he can’t do this. Give your Great Dane pup praise and a treat when he’s kind to the cat.
- Let your cat acquainted with the puppy in the same way. Take your dog out for a short walk and let the cat sniff your home for the scent of the new dog.
- Give the two time short times together. Allow them to sniff each other, their toys, or areas. If the Great Dane gets too rough, pick up the cat and pet the dog’s head talking to both of them at the same time.
- If your cat hisses or acts upset, don’t worry, this is normal behavior. It may take him some time to adjust.
How To Help Great Danes Become Adjusted To A Cat
So, if you have a Great Dane but want to add a cat to your home, can you do it? Yes you can, but it will take patience and careful oversight of your two pets.
Never leave your Great Dane alone with your new cat. You don’t know how they will act so if you need to leave the house for a short time, put your new cat in one room with the door closed.
Then put the Great Dane in another room with the door closed. This way, even if one of them is an escape artist, the other one is still behind a closed door.
You can’t be too careful when introducing a new pet into your home to your Great Dane.
Here are a few suggestions on how to introduce your Great Dane to your cat.
- Keep your Great Dane under control at all times, a leash will work best.
- Let the new cat explore the house while your dog is restrained or in their kennel.
- Hold your cat up to your dog’s kennel, allowing them to sniff. If your dog goes crazy barking, pull the cat away, and talk to them softly.
- Hold your Great Dane and allow them to sniff the cat but not get too close.
This process could take a while before both animals are comfortable with one another.
Keep introducing your Great Dane to your cat and vice versa.
Pretty soon you’ll see your Great Dane relax when the cat comes around. Before you know it, these two will be best friends and inseparable.
Full-Grown Great Danes Can Learn To Like Cats
If you have an adult Great Dane and you’re bringing home a new kitten, you may not know at first how your dog will react.
Your Great Dane may love the new kitty and adopt it as their own, or they will thing the cat is a threat to his turf.
Some of it depends upon your Great Dane’s upbringing and some of it depends upon your Great Dane’s personality.
If your Great Dane is young, he and the kitten may get along better since young dogs are more flexible.
Adult dogs are less flexible, so their adjustment may be harder since they’re more set in their ways.
Take your time introducing the two and don’t allow them to be alone. You initiate their times together of sniffing with you controlling the dog with a leash.
Other things that will help your adult Great Dane learn to like the new cat.
- Give your Great Dane a treat when as you bring the cat over to them. They will associate the cat with getting a treat and look forward to having the cat come near.
- Take them on a walk so they’re tired, then allow the Great Dane a little controlled time with the cat. They’ll be less likely to want to chase the cat if worn out from the walk.
- Spend extra time with your Great Dane if they seem depressed by having the new cat in the house. They used to be the only animal, so they may feel sad they’re sharing your time.
Great Danes are happy, easy-going dogs that enjoy lots of playtime. They do not tend to be aggressive and they get along with most animals, even cats if they’ve been properly socialized as a puppy.
Socialization is important for your new Great Dane, don’t delay starting the process of socialization since by the time your Great Dane reaches four months it takes a lot longer to socialize them.
Fortunately, it’s really never too late to socialize a dog, but it does take lots of hours and patience to socialize an older dog to get along with a cat.
You will need to be very hands-on while training your adult Great Dane to get along with a new cat.
Never leave the two alone in your house because your Great Dane may hurt the cat. Over time, your Box will adapt to your new cat. Before you know it, the two will be best friends and inseparable companions.
The idea of owning and taking the best care of multiple pets can be a bit of a worry. Hopefully you have learned today that its definitely possible, and there are things that you can do, to foster a calm home environment with the Great Dane dog breed and cat(s).
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.