Siberian Huskies are stunning dogs, with the most beautiful blue eye color ever in any breed of dog, so it is not weird that recently, they have been growing in popularity, and that many people want to have them as pets.
However, what happens when you also have a little kitty cat at home? Usually, there is a saying that cats and dogs don’t mix well together, but is it actually true?
Well, the truth is that Huskies are indeed one of the dog breeds whose cheerful, active, and somehow crazy personality might not really go well with a cats’ calm, collected, and cool one.
But, that doesn’t have to be the case, so if you are wondering, “are Huskies good with cats?”, read on and find out how to get your Siberian Husky and your cat acclimated together to be best friends.
Are Huskies Good With Cats?
If you are planning to get a Husky puppy, but you also have a cat at home, then the question, “are Huskies good with cats?” must have popped up in your mind, or at least I hope it did because that is what every responsible dog owner has to think of before bringing that pup home.
To be quite frank with you, no… Siberian Huskies are not generally good with cats. They have a really strong prey drive, and they don’t view smaller animals as their equals or friends, but as something they want to chase and catch.
So, leaving your much smaller cat with a big Husky can sometimes, unfortunately, end tragically. But, don’t get completely discouraged since it is not impossible for a Siberian Husky and a kitty to hang out and live in the same house together.
Sure, there are some precautions and steps you have to take in order for them to be able to tolerate each other and live happily, but who wouldn’t do anything in their power to make it happen and have two amazing creatures by their side.
Before we pass on how to teach your Husky dog not to mess with your little kitty cat, it is important to understand what Siberian Huskies actually are, and what made them the way they are.
The Siberian Husky And Its Relationship With Cats
The Siberian Husky is the breed of dog that is known for having a unique personality – some might even say that they come with quite an attitude.
If you are wondering why that is so, let’s take a walk down the history lane of the Husky breed and see some of their most important behavioral traits.
Huskies are medium-sized dogs that are incredibly adorable and fluffy, but behind that fluffiness is an extrovert and a very outgoing dog that is usually very friendly with everyone. If you haven’t already figured it out due to their name, Huskies are originally from Siberia, Northern Asia.
Siberian Huskies were bred by the Chukchi tribe to be working dogs. They used them mostly as sled dogs to help them with transportation, but also as hunting dogs to help them hunt, which explains their excellent predatory instincts.
You may think that this will make your Husky a great guard dog, but that is actually far from the truth. Huskies are way too friendly with humans and strangers to be good watchdogs. A German Shepherd or a Doberman would be a better solution for this than a fluffy Husky.
Why Aren’t Huskies Good With Cats?
High Prey Drive
During the summer period in Siberia, they were able to roam around nature, and would usually hunt small animals and wild cats; hence, their high prey drive.
These natural instincts can still be seen in the breed today, even though they don’t live in Siberia anymore. Because of this, they might see cats as their prey, or want to hunt them down.
However, many Husky owners actually state that it is possible for these two to actually live peacefully.
Huskies are known for their independent and stubborn behavior. Since they were bred to work and survive in an extremely challenging and difficult environment, they developed quite an independence.
During those months spent hunting and also working for their people, they learned to make decisions by themselves, which stayed with this breed even to this day. They might be a little bit more challenging to train, but it is possible.
Even though Huskies don’t usually show signs of aggression, and are most of the time really friendly, they still have one of the strongest bite forces out there.
While your pup might not mean any harm to your cat, their energy combined with their prey instincts and bite force might not be the greatest scenario for the cat. There have been some situations where a cat’s life was endangered due to the situation described above.
But, also there are many examples of the perfect relationship between a Husky and a cat. To see how it is possible to achieve that, read on!
What Are Some Ways To Make Sure A Husky And A Cat Get Along?
Getting your Husky and your cat used to each other is not an easy thing. It often requires a lot of time, patience, and knowledge, so it is highly important that you do your research beforehand.
Huskies are not and should not be a spontaneous choice as a new pet, especially if you are a first-time dog owner or if you have a cat or any other pet already.
There are some things and precautions that you can take to teach both of them how to live together. However, please remember that nothing happens overnight – this requires a lot of time and patience.
Although you might experience some setbacks sometimes, as with anything in life, this is a big learning curve for you and for the animals involved. Not every Husky is the same, nor is every cat the same.
You must always remember that, and try to adapt everything we are going to mention with your dog’s and cat’s needs.
Early socialization is perhaps one of the most important steps in a dog’s life, and yours also as a dog owner. If you want to have a well-balanced and well-behaved Husky that gets along well with other pets and children, then socialization is one of the critical points that decides between success and failure.
But, what exactly is early socialization?
Socialization is the process of getting your puppy used to his surroundings (noises, objects, experiences) and life with other creatures (animals and humans).
In the first couple of weeks of their life, they are gradually introduced to different kinds of experiences, and it is extremely important that all of them are positive.
This early socialization should happen between five and 12 weeks of a puppy’s life, and breeders usually already start this even before their puppies go to their new home. However, if they haven’t, it is up to you to do it by yourself or find someone experienced to help you.
During this stage, the Husky puppy should be introduced to cats as much as possible in order to help them develop into calm and loving companions that would be comfortable around cats, and be able to react appropriately in different situations without causing any unwanted scenarios.
Since Siberian Huskies are really energetic dogs, and also quite stubborn, especially during their puppy stage, it is safe to say that a puppy that hasn’t been socialized shouldn’t be introduced to a cat.
Training Your Husky
Dog training is extremely important for any breed of dog, let alone a Husky that is known to be very intelligent, but also quite independent and stubborn.
During the training, it is important to teach your Husky commands that would involve playing nicely with your cat or leaving her alone when necessary.
To achieve this, you will need to use positive reinforcement, and the best way to do that is with treats, of course. Treats are like drugs for dogs that will make them do anything you want in order to get a bite of them.
Some good commands that you can teach your pup are to ignore the cat. Since Huskies are very energetic and like attention, they also like to show it a lot. On the other hand, cats aren’t usually like that, and they might not like their big brother jumping around them or bothering them.
Also, it is important to teach them to play nicely and gently with kitties. This especially goes for adult Huskies that are, of course, much bigger and stronger than cats.
Every time your pup successfully does what you commanded him, give him a treat until he learns to do it more often without even receiving the special treat.
Should You Hire A Dog Trainer?
Sometimes, a good idea is to get a dog trainer. No matter how good of a dog owner you are, some dog behaviors need special care and someone who is specifically educated to treat them.
The dog trainer will be able to isolate any unwanted behavior, such as prey instincts, read their body language better, and specifically treat good behavior with appropriate positive reinforcement training; thus, hopefully preventing them in the future.
Slow Introduction And Co-Existing
Some people get so excited when they become a new pet owner that they try to introduce them as soon as possible without even a second thought. I must tell you that this is usually never a good idea.
You should always introduce your Husky and your cat very slowly, step by step. Cats are usually not very good with a big (Husky-big) change, and they might need some time to get used to everything.
First introductions should always be under supervision! You can think of this first introduction as the first impression you get when meeting someone new. If you make a good first impression, your relationship with that person is off to a good start, and most likely, you will end up being good friends.
Well, the same is true with animals. If you make a positive first introduction, it is more likely for these two to make progress more quickly and become friends sooner.
How Do You Do The Introduction Properly?
During the first meeting, a good idea is to keep them separated by a baby gate and keep your Husky on a leash. This way, you will be able to keep the interaction safe and react quickly if anything goes wrong.
Smell is one of the cat’s most important senses through which they gather information and communicate. It is important to let your cat smell the new puppy. However, how do you do it safely?
Well, it is easy. The thing you need to do is place your pup in the crate or kennel, which will then allow your cat to roam around and stiff how much they want without the fear of repercussions.
For the first couple of weeks, the Husky and the cat should be separated, and only introduced for a little bit each day through different situations in order to get them used to co-existing.
Physical Exercise And Mental Stimulation
Siberian Huskies are dogs with high energy levels, which means that they need a lot of physical and mental stimulation to keep them healthy and happy. A bored dog is never a good situation because what do Huskies do when they are bored? — mischief, of course.
They might start making a ruckus around the house, chewing things, become hyper or aggressive, and eventually, also bother the cat.
Exercise can include anything that will eventually tire your Husky to the point that they are calm and not showing any sign of excessive playfulness or aggression. The Siberian Husky needs at least two hours of exercise or activity during the day.
Prepare for long walks, trips to the dog park, hikes, runs, or playing fetch. These are just some of the activities that will provide your pup with much-needed exercise. Along with physical exercise, mental stimulation is also necessary, if not even more important.
It makes a huge difference between a calm and a disobedient Husky, and in the ways he interacts with the cat. Some of the best ways to give your Husky more mental stimulation include smell time, interactive puzzle toys, playing hide and seek, training and learning new tricks, and spending more time with them.
When you feed and how much food both of your pets get is really important. It is necessary to set a strict feeding regime that will be followed at all times since both of the animals can get very protective about their food.
It is highly important to keep your Husky well-fed because if they are hungry, they might start to get agitated or look for other sources of food (the cat). Your adult Husky will need around two to four cups of food per day, depending on his size and weight.
If you want to feed both of the animals at the same time, some people advise that you first feed your cat, and then your Husky. This way, due to the pack mentality, the Husky should understand that the cat is important and deserves respect.
However, always be careful with this since while it can be completely alright with puppies that have been socialized and trained properly, some adult Huskies that come from Husky rescues, for example, might still retain a very protective and aggressive behavior towards food.
Cat Escape Routes
Cats are very alert and observant animals. Even without the addition of a Husky, they like to have some high places around the house where they can jump and observe what is going on around them. It is part of their instincts.
However, with a Husky around, those high places can also be great escape routes for your cat if she feels threatened or just wants to get away from the dog that has been bothering her. This is a great and easy way for cats to protect themselves, but also have a place to chill, which we all know they love.
Rewarding Good Behavior
Humans are not the only creatures that love to be rewarded. Animals also love this, especially if it includes a nice treat. It will stimulate their brain into learning that what they have just done is actually good, and since they know that includes a reward, they will do it more often.
This way, you can reinforce not only obedient behavior, but also good and nice relations between these two. Every time, at least in the beginning, when you see the two of them having a nice playtime, or when they follow your commands, give them a treat.
Don’t forget to include the cat in this reward system also.
Equality Is The Key
Lastly, probably the key point in making your Husky and your kitty cat best friends is equality. I can’t express enough how much equal and patient treatment is important in this process.
We talked a little bit before about how you must have patience with both of your animals, especially during their young age, but giving them the same amount of attention is also highly important, if not even more necessary.
Cats can get pretty jealous, especially if they have been the only pet in the house, and then you bring a new creature in… a dog especially of them all. If you all of a sudden give more attention to the new dog, then the cat will most definitely feel neglected and jealous, which can be reflected in her behavior towards the dog.
Are Huskies Good With Other Small Animals?
Due to their high prey drive, Huskies are not that good even with other small animals in the house, such as hamsters, guinea pigs, bunnies, birds, or even small dogs.
All those things are small, furry, fast, and interesting, and they make perfect objects for an untrained Husky to chase around and possibly hunt down. There is always a great risk with bringing a Husky to a home that already has other pets.
So, the same goes as for the cats, while it can be a risky and dangerous situation, it is not impossible to train your Husky to be friends with small animals. It may take a lot of time and patience, but it is possible.
However, please remember that this doesn’t mean that Huskies are bad animals or bad pets. They may not have evil intentions, but sometimes their instincts just prevail, so it is important to train them efficiently.
Are Huskies Good With Children?
On the other hand, Siberian Huskies are very good with small children. They are extremely friendly, gentle, and affectionate, and they simply adore human interaction. Their energetic nature and excitement will most likely go really well with children’s curious nature.
However, again, it is highly important to train your dog. Early socialization and extensive training, especially at an early age, will lay great ground for further improvement and a good relationship between the two.
To Sum It Up
“Are Huskies good with cats?” is a question that many people ask when they plan to have both of them as family pets. These two in a pair are an extremely adorable sight to see, but do they get along?
As we have discussed in this article, the answer is usually no. Siberian Huskies are not known for being good with cats or other small animals due to their natural instincts and strong prey drive.
However, there are many cases where it has been proven that with the right training and treatment, it is possible for these two to be good friends and live together peacefully.
Do you have them as pets at home? If yes, let us know your experience with the Husky-kitty relationship!