Pop culture has perpetuated the myth that cats and dogs are mortal enemies that cannot live under one roof. Nothing can be farther from the truth. Dogs and cats can live together.
But what about corgis and cats? Can these two live peacefully inside your home or is this a bad idea that you need to dismiss now?
You can get the best of both worlds and own a corgi and a cat. However, there are several things that you need to do, from introducing them properly to supervising their interactions.
Corgis and cats living together in your home
Dog and cat pairings are nothing new. Many households have successfully kept both canines and felines together inside their homes without too much trouble. Corgis and cats can live happily with one another, but you need to understand a few key critical details to ensure success.
Corgis are working-class breeds
Do not let a corgi’s diminutive size and cute appearance fool you into thinking that it is a toy dog that will contently sit beside you or on your lap at all times. Working-class dog breeds have strong and vigorous personalities. The corgi, in particular, can be quite vocal and high-strung, especially if he does not get sufficient exercise.
Furthermore, the corgi is a herder and will attempt to use such instinct on every member of the household, including felines. Corgis can chase and nip the hindquarters of a cat in an attempt to herd it. When a corgi does that, it does not show malice or aggression. It is just a matter of being wired that way due to selective breeding.
All of these can translate to a stressful living environment for a cat that prefers a quiet environment. The corgi’s tendencies can often trigger your cat’s fight or flight behavior, at least during the two pets’ first interactions. To put it succinctly, corgis can make life stressful for some cats.
But when the cat understands the dog’s true intentions, he can eventually play with the canine and reciprocate with his playful energy.
Matching corgis with the right breed of cats
Individual characteristics of each pet should be considered but you also need to take into account the tendencies of every breed.
If you are keen on owning a corgi, the next important decision that you need to make is deciding what cat breed you should adopt.
Fortunately, there are several cat breeds that not only tolerate dogs but do enjoy living together with canines.
- American Shorthair
- Japanese Bobtail
- Maine Coon
- Norwegian Forest Cat
Although these cat breeds have several differences, they do share a few key traits. First, most of these cats are affectionate and highly sociable. This means that they can get along well with every member of the household, including canines.
Many of these cats are also confident enough to handle the corgi’s big personality, with some capable of matching the dog’s bubbly personality.
Pros and cons of corgis as cat companions
The corgi is a small breed. But what it lacks in size, it makes up in its big personality. And that brash, confident personality can make the dog a tough match for some breeds of cats.
The corgi is a confident dog with tendencies to become bossy if left unchecked. He can bark excessively and herd cats and small children. That is not to say that these dogs are aggressive. However, the breed’s herding drive can make these canines highly excitable.
Initially, the cat may be wary or even fearful of a corgi. But over time, this initial anxiety will slowly vanish as dog and cat get to know each other better. Soon after, the two pets can tolerate or even learn to enjoy each other’s company.
Before you consider getting a corgi, it is worthwhile to know the pros and cons of the breed as a housecat companion.
Pros of owning a corgi
Although corgis and felines tend to take on the alpha role in a household, the former can be trained to take a more submissive role. Compared to a cat, a corgi can take a less dominant role if you take the time and effort to teach him. The same thing cannot be said to most cats.
Because of the dog’s relatively small size, you do not have to worry about it spooking your pet cat. Plus, your feline can make himself look bigger, putting him in more or less on equal footing in terms of size with your corgi.
Both corgis and cats have high prey drives. While this may seem a recipe for trouble, you can use this to your advantage by letting both of your pets use their instincts to form a strong bond. Your cat and corgi can even work together to stimulate each other’s minds. They can take on the same puzzle and work together to win a prize.
Cons of owning a corgi
Working dogs need to be physically and mentally stimulated daily through vigorous play and walks. Without these, a canine can become bored and frustrated. In turn, this can lead to destructive behavior.
And when you have a bored corgi, he can turn to your feline which creates an anxious environment for the latter.
As much as possible, you should spend at least 45 minutes playing with your corgi. The problem is that your cat can get jealous of the special attention that you are showering your pet dog with. And in turn, you may notice bad behavior from your kitty.
And when it is time for you to spend some quality time with your cat, your corgi may succumb to separation anxiety, perpetuating a vicious cycle.
Aside from this, corgis are notorious for guarding their food. You can overcome this by feeding each pet separately, preferably in different locations in the house, away from one another’s view.
Through proper training and by setting ample time for exercise and one on one sessions with each animal, you can make the feline-canine combination in your home to work.
It is not unusual for corgis and cats to form strong bonds with each other if their owners train them well, especially when they are still young. They can grow up together, confident in their position in your pack. It may take some work and effort but you will be rewarded immensely by the love and enjoyment that you will get from your pets.
Which should you get first: the corgi or the cat?
Which pet should you adopt first? The corgi or the cat? There is no definitive answer to this question. Some households found ways to make either approach work for them.
If you are not averse to the choice, you can get an adult corgi instead of a puppy. Older dogs tend to be mellower compared to puppies. And a cat may not tolerate a puppy’s shenanigans.
If you must get a corgi as a puppy, get one first before the cat. This will allow you to shower him with much-needed attention during his early days. Plus, this gives you ample time to train and socialize him, both of which are essential to forming a great relationship with a feline.
Furthermore, mature cats are resistant to change. Bringing home a corgi, whether as an adult or puppy, can trigger that resistance. If you feel ready to adopt a feline after you have trained and socialized your corgi, choose a kitten if possible.
Kittens can adjust more readily to a new household, especially if said household has a dog, compared to an adult cat.
If you are up to the challenge, you can get both a puppy and a kitten at the same time, allowing them to grow with one another. It may take more time and effort, but over the long term, your pets can form a stronger bond with one another.
How to introduce your corgi to your cat
The key to a strong bond between your pet rests heavily on how you introduce one to another. Whether you have a cat or corgi, you should never bring your first pet to the shelter or the breeder’s home. This will only expose your pet to health and safety risks. Introductions should be done at your home.
1. Keep both pets separate
First, make sure that your resident pet has a crate. This will allow one pet to roam freely while the other one is confined to a crate.
Once one of the animals is inside his crate, allow the other one to roam and smell the scent of the other pet.
Observe the dog’s behavior. If he cries, barks, or digs when he sees the cat, you may need to enlist the help of a professional. Otherwise, if both of your pets are calm and can go about their normal routines, you can take the next step in the introduction process.
2. Supervise their first interaction
The next step in this process is supervised introduction. Start by putting a leash on your dog. Next, bring both pets into a room. Ideally, your dog should be calm while your cat should be able to go about his normal business. Continue doing this until both of your pets feel relaxed in the presence of each other. At this stage, you should not let your pets interact with one another unsupervised.
3. Watch for these warning signs
Typically, it will take a couple of months before you can leave your pets unsupervised. But before that, you should be confident that your pets will not try to hurt each other.
Here are a few warning signs to watch out for in both.
- Your dog is overly focused on the cat, totally ignoring you.
- Your dog displays aggressive behavior like snarling, lunging, and snapping when the cat is otherwise calm.
- Your cat displays aggressive behavior like hissing and spitting when your dog is calm.
If the aggressive behavior in either pet does not subside, you may have to reconsider getting another pet. Otherwise, you will only create an anxious, if not a hostile environment for either pet.
Keeping a cat and a corgi
Keeping a cat and a corgi in the same home is not an impossible task. With patience and preparation, you can enjoy the perks of having a cat and pet in your home.
Image: istockphoto.com / Nataba