Are Goldendoodles Good with Cats?

You’ve made your choice and have decided that a Goldendoodle is the dog for your family. Known as man’s best friend your four-legged buddy will be devoted and loyal to you all its life. However, what about the other four-legged friend in your life – your cat? You want to be sure your Goldendoodle will get along with your cat and look out for any tips to make the settling process run smoothly. We look at factors to consider when bringing together two different animal species and discover whether their friendship can be forever.

Goldendoodles are a good fit for families with cats due to their instinctively low prey drive. However, there are factors to consider including both the personality of each cat and dog. The initial introduction of the two and how successful that was can also impact a cat/dog relationship.

Each dog has a unique personality so it will depend on your Goldendoodle’s nature. Of course, you also need to factor in your cat’s general character and whether they are laid back or more highly strung. Let’s explore the ins and outs of bringing cat and dog together in your home. Whether it’s bringing the cat home to meet the dog or vice versa, we’ll look at all angles.

The Goldendoodle Personality

Let’s begin by looking at the nature of the average Goldendoodle. They are widely described as great family dogs, being popular among families with small children. Friendly, gentle, and loyal are three words often associated with Goldendoodles. They are very sociable and keen to please which is all great news when considering them sharing their space with a feline.

However, when you do consider the possibility of bringing a cat and dog together it’s important to look back at the dog’s history, or both parent’s history if your dog is a crossbreed.

Goldendoodle Parentage and their Prey Drive

Prey drive is something to take on board when considering introducing one pet to another. The higher the prey drive the higher the desire to chase and capture a living animal. Certain dog breeds are renowned for having a high prey drive and these include terriers, border collies, greyhounds, and spaniels.

All dogs to some extent have the inbuilt instincts to prey on smaller animals. The good news is that the prey drive of the Golden Retriever is fairly low. However, the prey drive of the Poodle is thought to be somewhat higher. Both dogs were originally bred as water retrievers and had the amazing ability to fetch their prey from the water and bring it back to their owners unspoiled.

However, Poodles seem to have a higher instinctive nature to chase smaller animals such as squirrels, birds, and rabbits. Goldendoodles, in general, seem to have a lower prey drive which is promising.

The days of raising domesticated pets mean that Poodles and Golden Retrievers have become well-adjusted to households including those with other pets. So just because they were bred to retrieve animals and bring them back it doesn’t mean they will in the home. Having some prey drive also doesn’t mean your dog wants to harm your cat – they enjoy chasing and stalking but doesn’t mean they will try and hurt it. Like with all socialization, dogs need time, consistency, good training methods, and it’s no different when bringing two pets under one roof.

Why Won’t My Cat and Dog Get Along?

So perhaps you’ve already bought your new bundle of Goldendoodle fluff home, but introductions haven’t gone so well with your feline friend. You’ve studied up on prey drive and know your Goldendoodle has a relatively low one so what’s gone wrong? Here are some of the possible reasons you may have not considered when bringing together two pets:

  • Cat’s Temperament: Your cat’s general character will go a long way to determining how it will get on with a new animal in the house. The more laid back and confident the cat the more likely they will get along or at least tolerate each other. It’s also worth thinking about the age of your cat – the older they get the less tolerant they can become.
  • Gradual Introductions: As with so many other aspects of bringing up a pet some things can’t be rushed and socializing two animals falls into this category. The more gradual a cat and dog are socialized the more likely it’ll be a success. When your pup first comes home it can be a good idea to keep them in their crate for a while, letting your cat smell and become aware of them. Then perhaps put your pup on a lead for the next step and see how that goes. Eventually, with an adult present you can try having both in the same room, but make sure the animals have somewhere to go should they become overwhelmed. Keep at this, sometimes you may need to take a step backward before progressing forwards so patience will be needed.
  • Keep an eye on body language: When your pup comes home and you’ve started socialization with the cat keep an eye on the body language of both. Body language is the first sign of how each animal is feeling. Any hissing, tail swishing, or pinned back ears from your cat are signs it isn’t happy.
  • Play Instinct in Goldendoodles: Goldendoodles can be very excitable and energetic and your cat may be wary of such behaviors. Reward-based training with your pup will help a lot and teaching the leave command will be very useful. Goldendoodles are naturally very inquisitive and may forget your cat needs its own space.

The Friendship Between Cat and Goldendoodle

It might be that you had no problems introducing your new puppy to the cat and this is great news. Pets that get on generally respect each other and enjoy each other’s company. But they will both need their own space and will enjoy equal amounts of adult attention. Once a friendship is struck between Goldendoodle and cat it’s likely this will remain in place throughout the animals’ lives. However, in some cases, the dog’s natural instinct to prey can resurface or strengthen and they may start chasing or tormenting the cat. In this case, strict training will need to commence to avoid a stressful situation.

Should your dog start tormenting your cat then it’s time to go back to basics and commence training again. Reward-based training is great and being patient and consistent is key. Teaching the leave command will remind your dog of the boundaries and they will soon learn to give the cat space. You do need to be careful because when cats feel threatened or backed into a corner they will retaliate. This retaliation usually comes in the form of a sharp claw to the dog’s face and if the claw catches the eye you might have problems.

Can I Bring a Cat into a Home with a Goldendoodle?

Perhaps you got your dog first and would like to expand your animal family by giving a home to a cat? If this is the case and the dog came first, then again, you’ll need to spend time researching and preparing for this to happen. You’ll be aware of your dog’s personality by now and hopefully have instilled good training techniques too. If they understand and respond to the leave command, then this will help a lot. If you have noticed a higher prey drive in your Goldendoodle and they like to chase anything and everything then you may encounter problems.

Here are some tips for making the process as smooth as possible:

  • Have separate eating areas for both animals. All animals are territorial over food and putting them close together especially in the beginning may lead to aggressive behaviors from both sides.
  • Make sure you apply the same rule for sleeping and potty areas. If both animals understand where their individual places are within the home life will be much calmer.
  • Training will be key so teach your dog to give the cat space for those times it doesn’t want to play.
  • Once they become friends there may be play fighting, but this can quickly escalate so be confident to stop it when necessary. Dogs will play all day long given the chance, but cats tend to have shorter fuses and can go from playful to standoffish very quickly.
  • If you are using a dog/cat rescue be sure to ask if they have been around each other previously. Some rescue animals may have had a troubled past or a traumatic experience with another animal and may not be suitable in a house with more than one pet.

Related Questions

Are Goldendoodles Hyper?

Goldendoodles can be hyper during their puppy years but generally calm down around 18 months old. With regular exercise and stimulation, Goldendoodles are not typically hyper dogs but like all dog breeds need training and lots of playtime to stop unwanted behaviors.