Are Great Danes Good With Cats?

Are Great Danes Good With Cats?

Have you ever wanted to own a Great Dane but you are worried that it may not get along well with your cat? Dogs have long been believed to be a cat’s nemesis although a quick look at the modern setting tells a different story. Most households in the US that have both cats and dogs report them getting along just fine.

Are Great Danes good with cats?

Yes, Great Danes may be good with cats and can get along well with them. These gentle giants are friendly with all animals including cats especially if they have been properly socialized. It is best to start them young with socialization and training so your dog becomes well-adjusted in the company of cats. If you have an older Great Dane it may mean more intensive training and socialization before he can adjust to having a cat around. It may take a couple of weeks and tons of patience but they will eventually learn to get along well. 

How to socialize your Great Dane?

Here are some socialization tips for your Great Dane so he will learn to get used to having a cat around. These will also allow him to become well-rounded and more flexible to changes. 

  • start socializing him at around three to twelve weeks of age since dogs that are four months old or more are more difficult to socialize 
  • you may opt to enroll your Great Dane dog in an obedience class to allow him to become more exposed to people and situations 
  • bring your Great Dane dog along on walks so he becomes acquainted with the noises, smells and other animals around 
  • let your dog sniff and see new animals like cats, horses and rabbits 
  • keep your dog on his leash as he sniffs new animals and do not allow him to chase them 

You may also check out our earlier article on cats and dogs living together and best dogs for cats for more information. 

How to help your cat to get along with a Great Dane dog?

Here are some tips that may help your cat how to get along with a Great Dane dog:

  • Make sure the cat has a special spot or safe space to go where the dog cannot follow.
  • Place your cat’s bed, food, water and litter box on this spot or area. 
  • Take the dog out for walks but when you get back home, place the dog in his area and pick up and pet your cat and talk to her so she will see that you are still giving her attention aside from the dog.
  • If you take the dog out for walks, you may allow the cat to go to the dog’s area for her to familiarize herself with his scent but make sure she will not spray or poop there.
  • Always secure your Great Dane dog on a leash so he cannot chase your cat. Praise and give him treats if he is kind to the cat and does not show aggression. 
  • Allow the two of them to sniff each other, their toys and their areas but only for a brief time. If the dog gets too rough, pick up the cat and pet the dog. Talk to them at the same time.
  • Your cat may hiss or become upset but this is part of a cat’s normal behavior when she is still not used to having a dog around. Allow her some time to adjust. 

A Great Dane’s level of adjustment with a cat may depend in part on his upbringing and personality. If the dog is young, he may get along well with the cat more easily since young dogs are more flexible compared to adults. Getting the two animals acquainted takes time and patience. Do not allow them to be alone, always be the one to initiate their times together, make sure to control the dog with a leash and give them treats to help build a positive association. 

Great Dane dog breed:  History, physical traits and personality 

Great Danes are considered as the Apollo of dogs because of their grace, beauty, stature and courage. Here are some helpful facts about their history, physical traits and personality. 


Despite their name, this dog breed is not Danish but German in origin.  They are thought to have been around for more than 400 years and descendants of the mastiff-like dogs bred by German royalty to hunt wild boar and protect country estates. These dogs were known in the 18th century as guardians of estates and carriages and fairly popular for sport since it is rare for dogs during the day to bring down wild boars. 

The Germans banned the name Great Dane in 1880 and instead called it “Deutsche Dogge” meaning German mastiff but English-speaking countries continue to call the breed Great Dane. Back then, these dogs were already popular with city dwellers who kept them as family pets and as guards against robbers. 

Physical traits 

Great Danes are powerful, huge and elegant. They are considered among the tallest dogs in the world with males reaching up to 32 inches and weighing at around 120 to 175 pounds while females are around 30 inches tall and may weigh up to 140 pounds. These dogs have massive heads with a narrow and flat top, have prominent eyebrows and ears that either drop forward or are cropped and erect. They have a long and strong neck, a muscular body, straight front legs and a medium-length tail. 

Great Danes have short and sleek coats and are considered light to average shedders. The recognized coat colors and patterns are black, fawn, blue, harlequin, brindle and mantle while the non-recognized ones are merle, fawnequin and white. Sadly, their life expectancy is only around seven to 10 years. 


These regal dogs are popular for being friendly, dependable and patient with kids. They are dependable, have a sweet nature and certified people pleasers. They are effective home guardians, affectionate and moderately playful. These dogs also get along well with other animals especially if they were raised with them from a young age but they tend to become aggressive toward dogs that are strangers to them. 

Issues that may arise if you have a Great Dane

This dog breed is easy to train but may tend to be stubborn because of their independent streak.  You should be financially ready if you are passionate about getting a Great Dane because they tend to be high maintenance and eat large quantities of food. Be sure that you are prepared to incur above-average medical fees and wear and tear to your home or car. 

You should also be prepared to take your Great Dane for long and daily walks as they need constant physical exercise. 

Great Danes should also be obedience-trained so they will grow to become manageable and obedient. Healthwise, these dogs are prone to develop a condition called gastric torsion or canine bloat which involves twisting of the stomach and gas buildup so make sure to give your dog two or three moderate meals instead of a large one and see to it that he rests for at least an hour after he eats his meal.

Also, your dog may need a raised food bowl so he does not have to splay his legs during mealtime.

Other common health problems may include hip dysplasia, cardiomyopathy, tricuspid valve disease and cancer. 


While cats and dogs are immortalized as arch-enemies they can actually get along well together and may become best of friends. Great Danes for instance tend to be good with cats because they are affectionate, friendly and have a sweet nature. Nevertheless, proper socialization and training are necessary and ideally, both your cat and Great Dane dog should be introduced to each other while they are still at a young age to ensure that they will get along well. 

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