Beagles are adorable, playful, and kind dogs. They are known for their intelligence and great hunting skills. So, is it a good idea to keep a Beagle and a cat together? The answer to this question is yes, it is possible, but it depends on each individual animal. According to the American Kennel Club (AKC), Beagles 1 “are generally friendly with other animals. They are loving companions who are likely to see cats as just another member of the pack.” However, these characteristics specific to the Beagle do not necessarily mean that cohabitation with a cat will be without conflict.
In this article, we explore ways to make cohabitation between a Beagle and a cat more peaceful, along with tips on how to introduce your little hunting dog to a new feline friend.
Can Cats and Dogs Be Friends?
It’s natural to assume that these two animals can’t get along. After all, most common knowledge about keeping dogs and cats as pet friends is based on the assumption that their natural instincts will kick in sooner or later. Of course, many households that have both animals seem to refute this theory. Still, not all dogs and cats are created equal, and each has their own personality and temperament. The likelihood of your animal friends getting along (or not) directly correlates to their specific needs. Some cats are more independent than others, and some dogs are friendlier than others.
So Can a Beagle and a Cat Live Together?
Yes, a Beagle and a cat can live together. These two animals can usually learn to get along fine if given a chance. This is especially true if the Beagle is raised along with the cat from a young age. Generally speaking, dogs and cats don’t naturally get along because they have different needs and behaviors, which can sometimes lead to conflict. Dogs are typically more social and friendly, and cats are usually more solitary and territorial. The key to overcoming these aspects is taking the time to understand each of your pet’s needs and personality. Only then can you work to create a safe and healthy living situation for everyone.
Things to Consider Before Adding a Cat to the Family
Before adding a cat to your home, remember that felines are different creatures from dogs. Make sure your new cat has everything that they need while being careful not to neglect your Beagle’s needs in the process. Ensure that you have the right food and toys and a designated area for each animal to call their own. For the Beagle, that might mean giving your dog a designated corner where your canine companion can feel comfortable away from the cat. For your cat, that might mean having a place to perch or hide where your dog can’t go. In general, it’s a good idea to set clear boundaries with each animal. For example, if your cat likes to sleep in the hammock, it’s probably not a good idea to let your Beagle jump up there.
Does Your Beagle Like to Chase?
If your Beagle likes to chase, it’s important to consider this before bringing a new kitten into the house. This is one of the biggest reasons that dogs with a strong prey drive and cats don’t always get along. This isn’t to say that every Beagle will chase a cat, but it’s something to be mindful of if you are bringing a cat into a Beagle home. Fortunately, there are plenty of toys and games that you can play with your pup that don’t involve chasing. There are also many ways to keep your dog busy and engaged without them going after the cat.
How to Introduce Your Beagle to Your New Cat
As with any relationship, the best thing that you can do for your Beagle and cat is to give them time to get to know one another. This is especially true when introducing a new cat to an existing dog. To make friends, your Beagle and cat will need time to adjust and become comfortable with one another.
Once your new kitten is in the house, keep them and your Beagle separated until both animals are comfortable and relaxed with each other. This is especially true if one or both of the animals are young and full of energy.
As your new cat becomes more relaxed in their new home, you can begin to introduce them to the dog:
Side note: For extra safety, use a pet barrier to separate your cat and your Beagle when you need to be away from the house for an extended period of time.
At the end of the day, the best thing that you can do for your Beagle and your cat is to be patient and understanding. Both animals have their own unique needs and habits that should not be overlooked when trying to determine if one can live with the other. When bringing a cat into the home with an older Beagle, for example, it’s important to let both animals set their own pace. If you’re bringing a kitten into the home with an adult Beagle, it’s likely that both animals will need to adjust their pace to meet the other’s needs.
In short, be prepared for an adjustment period, set up a designated space for each animal, follow a routine that suits the needs of each animal, and never leave them unsupervised at first. With time, patience, and understanding, your Beagle and your new kitty will likely become firm friends.
Featured Image Credit: New Africa, Shutterstock