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Are Corgis Good with Cats? Breed Temperament & Multi-Pet Home Tips

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By Nicole Cosgrove

A corgi with flowers in its mouth and a cat walking

Perhaps you already have a cat, and you’re considering adding a Corgi to your family. Or maybe you’re curious how your Corgi would react if you adopted a snuggly kitten. In general, cats and Corgis can get along with each other, but it’ll take time and patience. Of course, every animal is different, so you might need to assess your animals on an individual level first to see if their temperament would make a good match.

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What Types of Dogs Are Generally Best Suited with Cats?

Although it won’t be true of every animal, some dog breeds are actually more likely to get along with cats than others. Gentle giants like the Golden Retriever, playful Toy Poodles, and scent hounds such as Bassets and Beagles are all typically willing to share their home with a cat. You’ll usually have the highest chance of success if one or both of the animals are young when they’re brought into the family.

An old family cat may easily grow weary with a young yappy puppy and either hiss and swat or go and hide. Conversely, an old dog may not have much patience for a playful kitten tugging on its tail. However, it still may be worth taking a risk, especially if your older animal has been around dogs and cats extensively at some point in its life.

Pembroke welsh corgi playing in the snow
Image Credit: Szabolcs Molnar, Pixabay

What About Corgis?

There are exceptions of course, but dogs with strong chasing or herding instincts are generally not advised around cats. Corgis are bred to be herding dogs, but they have a more moderate chance of getting along with a cat as compared to a higher energy cattle dog or a muscular Pit Bull that likes to chase. It’s still quite possible that your Corgi and your cat will be the best of friends. But it’s good to acknowledge their conflicting temperaments so you can factor in more time and patience as they get acquainted.

Every dog and cat has its own personality, as well as its own histories of potential trauma inflicted by other animals. This is especially true of rescue pets who might have been forced to compete with other animals for food out of desperate hunger. We 100% support adopting from shelters, but we highly recommend trying to adjust your new pets to each other before bringing them home.

Most shelters have a visitor’s area specifically designated for these meet-and-greets, with experienced staff on hand to help you discern whether a wagging tail is a sign of aggression or an invitation to play. The staff honestly desire the best for the animal and can help you determine whether the two can work it out, or if they’re simply not the right fit.

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How to Tell If Your Cat Likes Your Corgi

It’s important to carefully read your cat’s body language as you introduce them to their new family member. Fear is easier to detect in kittens than adults. A scared kitty might tremble, cry, or try to hide. Adult cats are more likely to growl, hiss, or swat when they’re upset, but some may try to hide. Watch out for these tell-tale signs of fear and aggression from your cat:

  • Growling
  • Hissing
  • Swatting
  • A low stance, especially if their back fur is raised
  • Puffing their tail
  • Lowering their ears
  • Swatting their tail rapidly
  • Showing their teeth

You’ll likely need to intervene if you start noticing these signs. Aggression in animals can escalate in seconds, so it’s imperative to move quickly while remaining calm. Don’t punish the animals. They’re only afraid, and negative reinforcement will make this feeling stronger in their next encounter.

Cats like to isolate themselves, and they value their independence more than dogs. You should always keep your dog restrained when introducing them to your cat, while letting your feline roam free. Allowing your cat a chance to escape will help relieve the stress they already feel with new stimuli. Also, cats are even more territorial than canines. By giving them free reign of the house, you’re acknowledging that the house belongs to them, which is especially reassuring if they lived there before the dog.

Corgi messed cat litter
Image Credit: Stephanie Ho, Pexels

How to Train Your Corgi to Get Along with Your Cat

If your Corgi presided over the sofa first, you’d probably do best adopting a kitten. Most animals can sense baby animals and might treat your young cat more delicately than they would an adult feline who’s encroaching on their space. Even so, you’ll need to be extremely careful with your young kitty because your Corgi could seriously hurt them if they wanted to.

The best way to introduce your new pets is to start with scents before sights and sounds. Let your Corgi sniff your cat’s blanket, and vice versa. The first time they meet needs to be under close supervision. Some people prefer to let their pets meet through a baby gate. This way, both animals have the chance to smell and see each other but don’t have an opportunity to get hurt. During their first few encounters, you’ll need to monitor both of them to judge their body language and see if it’s safe to proceed to the next step. Others skip the baby gate stage by restraining the dog while letting the cat wander freely around the house. Letting the dog loose isn’t recommended, at least at first, since they are likely to try to chase the cat.

Whatever method you choose, the most important thing is that you take your time and carefully observe both animals’ body language as the meeting goes forward. You never want to force a new relationship. Unless you feel either animal is in danger, you should give each animal time and space to work it out. Most animals find a way to resolve their differences and at least act amiable towards each other, even if they don’t become the best buddies you’d hoped they’d be. However, you should always break it up if someone appears to be in danger of life or limb.

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Conclusion

Cats and Corgis may seem unlikely companions, but it does happen that they get along. Depending on the animals’ temperaments, most cats and Corgis at least tolerate each other eventually. However, some become best friends for life. Patience and consistency are the most important considerations when introducing two animals. Try not to rush because the success of the first encounter sets the stage for how the relationship proceeds.

 

Featured Image Credit: Ermolaeva Olga 84, Shutterstock

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