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If you think that your Jack Russell would not get along with your cat, you are not alone. In reality, cats and dogs don’t typically get along. Cats are naturally more independent and they are also territorial. Dogs on the other hand are pack animals that consider themselves as the “alpha” of their family circle; this means that they often compete for dominance over their human owners with other pets in the household. However there can be exceptions to every rule and just like any animal, a particular Jack Russell may prefer to live in peaceful harmony with a feline friend; it all depends on their personality. Today’s article is all about Jack Russells and cats.
My Embarrassing Jack Russell and Cat Story!
It’s safe to say that my last Jack Russell Milo was NOT fond of cats in the slightest. He wanted to hunt them down! When I first got him I was only in my 20s. I had owned jack Russells before, but only as pups and never as an adult rescue. Anyway, one day I was washing up in the kitchen when I realised I couldn’t see the dog. Then….this was followed by a bit of a ‘commotion’ next door….
Milo had cleared the wall, jumped into the neighbours garden, ran into the house and chased the cat around the dining room table! The cat screeched ‘meeeoooooooooooooow!’ and jumped up onto the dresser! I had to clear the wall and run in to get him!
Well no one was hurt – I think it’s more about the chase for Milo, but because of how he was I had to keep a very close eye on him after that. I certainly would not have been able to bring a cat into the house with him!
Will they get Along?
But let’s not get ahead of ourselves; the first step to solving this dilemma is to determine whether your dog and cat will get along. Remember that every dog and every cat are different and ultimately you don’t know how they will be until you try it. But test them out in a safe and controlled environment and make sure that you can safely intervene if there are any problems. If they don’t get along, you may be able to keep them both, but it might mean that you will need two homes nor separate areas to accommodate your furry friends.
It’s important to remember the type of breed a Jack Russell is – you’ve got yourself a terrier. Bred for chasing and catching animals such as rats, rabbits and foxes. The prey drive in these animals is high and sometimes this can be diverted towards cats. It’s very difficult to train out of a dog traits that it has ultimately been bred for. If you want a dog and a cat, a Jack Russell terrier may not be the best breed for you.
Pros of Adding Cat to Jack Russell Household:
Jack Russells and cats can live together peacefully if proper introductions are made. These dogs are very tolerant of other pets and even other humans. The only time you may need to worry about your cat getting injured by your Jack Russell is when she nips at the cat to play with it or if she approaches an unknown animal without any sense of caution. Your cat will also be able to play with a dog who likes chasing small moving objects and you can use this mutual attraction to bond the two animals. Since cats like being in high places, you may find the two of them curled up together on top of the couch or a book case; the best part is that they will both look comfortable and will be able to relax for hours.
Cons of Adding Cat to Jack Russell Household:
A Jack Russell and cat that are not properly introduced can make each other miserable; forget about having an orderly household if these two animals are living under the same roof. Keep in mind that a Jack Russell is naturally inclined to hunt small creatures including cats; this does not mean that she will ever act on this impulse, but it does mean that your cat may experience increased anxiety when he knows that a predator is nearby. Another issue with Jack Russells and cats is that they often view each other as predators; when your Jack Russell is outside, he may chase the cat or your cat will become nervous if the two of them are in a room together.
Fighting Cats and Dogs can be Serious
If your Jack Russell and Cat fight, it could result in injuries and possible vet bills. Remember that it’s not just the dog that can cause injury to the cat – it can happen the other way around! If your cat has very sharp claws and swipes at your dogs eyes, this can cause serious eye damage to your dog. Sometimes, the hardest decisions are the best ones and if it comes to the worst, you may have to decide to give one or the other away and get them safely re-homed. This can be tough, but remember that you have to do what’s best for the animals as well as what’s best for your family.
Introduce them to each other First!
Before you decide to add another pet to your household, make sure that both of these animals are going to like each other. If you can get them to play together outdoors, then this will be a much better option than keeping them both in separate households where they fight for dominance over one another.
Consider Introducing them as Puppy and Kitten
As a general rule, dogs and cats often get along better when they are introduced as puppy and kitten. Growing up together, they will learn each others boundaries and maybe even become companions. Some dogs and cats that have grown up together even end up cuddling on the sofa or sharing a bed! A friend of mine once had two cats and two dogs – all 4 of them slept in the bed together!
So if you are thinking about having a cat and Jack Russell who are not familiar with one another, we hope that this article has been helpful. Remember that you can also get some advice from people who have shared their experiences after they were able to successfully introduce Jack Russells and cats into their lives.