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Are Shetland Sheepdogs (Shelties) Good With Cats? Breed Facts & FAQ

Adam Mann

By Adam Mann

shetland sheepdogs sitting with cat

If you’re considering bringing a cat into a home with the Shetland Sheepdog or you already have a cat and want a Shetland Sheepdog, it’s important to figure out how they will interact with each other.

The good news is that usually a Shetland Sheepdog will get along fine with a cat, but they often need a bit of direction and training. So, how can you introduce a Shetland Sheepdog to a cat? Just keep reading and we’ll break it all down for you.

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Why Do Shetland Sheepdogs Usually Get Along With Cats?

While the Shetland Sheepdog is a herding dog species, they usually get along great with cats. The reason for this is that a Shetland Sheepdog is extremely intelligent and highly trainable.

While they might want to chase a cat around at first, they’re extremely receptive to direction and will ignore the cat if you train them correctly. However, because a Shetland Sheepdog is a herding dog, it’s very important to take the time to train them correctly.

Finally, keep in mind that each cat and Shetland Sheepdog will have their own personality, and because of this, it’s important to supervise all interactions and take things slowly to see if it’ll be a good fit.

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Tips for Training Your Shetland Sheepdog

If you’re looking to introduce your Shetland Sheepdog to a cat, or you’re looking at adopting a Shetland Sheepdog and you already have a cat, there are a few things you can do to help ensure a successful integration.

1. Start Slow

You shouldn’t just throw a Shetland Sheepdog and a cat together and hope for the best. Instead, start slow. Get them used to each other’s scent, allow them to see each other, and slowly advance to each new step.

Give each animal plenty of time to fully adjust to the new step until they both reach a point where it no longer interests them. Only then should you proceed to the next step.

2. Teach Basic Commands

If you can teach your Shetland Sheepdog basic commands before you try to introduce them to the cat, it’ll be extremely useful. This will allow you to keep your Shetland Sheepdog under some control and help them understand what you expect from them.

If you see the signs that things might be about to escalate, having a basic “come” voice command for your pup can help you quickly get things under control.

shetland sheepdog training
Image Credit: James Hime, Shutterstock

3. Supervise Meetings

When you introduce your Shetland Sheepdog to your cat, you need to be there. Not only should you hang out for the first visit, but you need to be around for the first few visits until they fully adjust to each other.

Often the Shetland Sheepdog and the cat will simply start to ignore each other, and when this happens, the likelihood of something happening between the two of them is low.

4. Stay Vigilant

While your Shetland Sheepdog should get along, don’t take it for granted! Stay vigilant watching the two interact together and ensure you’re in a place where you can act quickly if something starts to escalate.

shetland sheepdog and cat in bed
Image Credit: amela Carpenter, Shutterstock

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Final Thoughts

If you want a Shetland Sheepdog and a cat, there shouldn’t be any problems. However, don’t take anything for granted, start slow, and ensure you have control over both animals. With the proper training, time, and a bit of patience, there’s no reason you can’t bring both animals into the same home without any major problems!

Featured Image Credit: Lisjatina, Shutterstock

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