Introducing a new pet to your house can be tricky – especially if you have other pets at home. Mixing cats and dogs can be especially troublesome depending on the dog breed, but luckily for you, beagles do quite well with cats.
Sometimes beagles see a cat as another beagle and try to play with it. Other times they are gentle and cuddle the cat. This type of behavior depends on the personality of the dog. But the harmony between a cat and beagle won’t happen instantaneously, and you have to keep in mind the breeding of the beagle.
Beagles were bred to be hunting dogs, and while most of them do well with cats, some beagles see cats as prey or something to chase. They are also pack dogs, so if you have more than one beagle, they will be more likely to chase the cat since it is an outsider. But don’t be discouraged by this. If introduced properly, beagles can also accept a cat into their pack.
Bringing A Beagle Home To Meet Your Cat
Bringing a puppy home may be the best option in this scenario since puppies can more easily learn to live in peace with the cat. The puppy will quickly learn to accept the cat’s authority after the cat takes a couple of swings at it.
An older beagle may also be a good fit for your family. Older beagles are more set in their ways, so you’ll be able to see the beagle’s personality. Ask if the beagle is good with cats or has lived around them before. Even if the beagle is reportedly good with cats, follow the proper introduction steps and don’t leave them unsupervised until you are positive that they are okay together.
Bringing A New Cat To Meet Your Beagle
If you’re thinking about bringing a cat home to your beagle, consider this first: how does your beagle react to cats in the neighborhood? Does your beagle bark at the cats and chase them? If so, a new cat may not be what your house needs.
In addition to this behavior, you should make sure your beagle will listen to you. Although they can be a difficult breed to train, it will be much easier to introduce a cat to the house if your beagle is able to obey your commands. Work on their training at home and around other animals if possible.
Next, find a cat that is okay with dogs. Ask about the cat’s history with dogs or have the cat smell something that your beagle’s scent is on, and watch the cat’s reaction. Hissing is an indication that the cat is not going to like living with your beagle.
Once you bring the cat home, acclimate it to your house and beagle little bits at a time.
Introducing Your Pets
Whichever animal was there first should be put in a room with a treat, a toy, or a family member while the new pet is brought in. This experience shouldn’t be negative for the animal. Meanwhile, the new pet can be brought into the house and exposed to the smell of the other animal. Watch the reactions of each animal as they pick up the other’s scent. It may take a few days for both animals to get used to the new smells in the house.
Acclimate the new animal to small sections of the house at the time while both animals adjust. Once they are both okay with the other’s scent, put your beagle on a leash and introduce it to the cat. Make sure the cat has an escape route and does not feel trapped. Your beagle will probably get excited and scare the cat away the first few times.
The excitement will start to diminish after a few meetings, and then closer interactions may occur between the two. Continue to introduce the animals to each other every day, but don’t force them to interact. Doing so could make both animals nervous and lead to aggression on either end.
Work on training the beagle to behave with the cat during these meetings. The beagle is most likely to chase the cat if your cat runs away. When this happens, command the beagle to stay or leave the cat alone. You should also command the beagle to leave the cat alone if it tries to bother the cat. Consistent training and rewarding good behavior with treats or praise will help teach the beagle to behave when the cat is around.
Until your pets have fully accepted each other, it’s best to keep them separate when you aren’t watching.
If your beagle is playful with your cat, supervise their playtime and keep the cat’s claws trimmed. An irritated cat may try to scratch the beagle. You can also buy nail caps to reduce the injury your cat can inflict with a swipe of its claws.
Keep the litter box and cat food in a dog-free space. This gives the cat an escape from your energetic beagle and also prevents the beagle from getting into things. Dogs will eat cat food if they can get it, which is not good for the dog, and some dogs feel compelled to eat other animals’ poop, which is not good for the dog.
Once the animals become more comfortable with each other, you can try feeding them together. Eating a meal together will help establish that they are part of a pack.
And throughout the process, remember to be patient. Your beagle and cat may need a few weeks to get used to each other, but once they adjust, you and your pets can peacefully live under the same roof.