Keeping a Dalmatian and cat is a dream of every pet enthusiast. Everything you need to know about how to keep the two pets together happily.
Do Dalmatians harmonize with Cats? Things you need to know before keeping these two darlings together.
You’ve finally decided to get a Dalmatian as a pet. You love their spotted fur, friendly disposition, and loyalty to you.
But your pet enthusiast soul cries out for more. You want a cat, too!
While most dog breeds can live harmoniously with cats, you must know whether or not Dalmatians are good with cats before introducing them to each other.
You might think that the answer is straightforward, but several factors come into play when determining how well these two species will get along.
We’ve got everything covered you need to know about Dalmatians and cats before bringing the two darlings under one roof.
Are Dalmatians Good With Cats?
Dalmatians are typically very friendly, outgoing dogs that enjoy the company of other pets.
Their playful and energetic nature makes them fun to have around and interact with.
While they still retain their hunting instincts, they don’t typically chase after small pets like cats or birds as regular day-to-day activities.
However, it is important to consider that Dalmatians were bred as livestock guardians like many other dog breeds. This means they are territorial by nature and will likely view other pets as an intruder into their territory.
But this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t keep the two furry buddies under one roof.
The simple answer to the most commonly asked question ‘Are Dalmatians good with cats?’ is YES!
Dalmatians make excellent companions for any felines! As long as you introduce them properly, both will likely get along quite well. A Dalmatian who is not used to cats as a puppy can behave inappropriately with other pets and chasing cats can occur.
Proper socialization with other animals for all dog breeds is necessary to ensure your Dalmatian dog is cat friendly and the two species can peacefully coexist. My mother owned a Dalmatian dog called Gemma, many years ago. Gemma had a best feline friend. Each individual dog will respond differently to other animals and some will get along with cats.
07 Steps To Introduce A Dalmatian To A Cat
It’s time to introduce your cat to a new friend — a Dalmatian.
Dalmatians are known as a very friendly dog breed, but introducing them to your cat can be a little tricky.
But, if you do it right, you’ll have two happy pets in no time!
Step 01: Teach Your Dalmatians Basic Commands
Teaching your dog commands like “sit,” “stay,” and “down” will help keep him under control when meeting with the cat for the first time.
While you’re working on commands, keep the cat away from the dog, so they don’t have any chance of interacting until he is fully trained.
Make sure you practice these commands often, so they become second nature for your dog.
Step 02: Give Your Two Pets Individual Space
The first time you introduce your cat and dog, give them their own space in separate rooms.
This will allow them to get used to each other’s scent before they’re forced into close contact.
Keep them separate until you are certain that the two pets can coexist peacefully.
Step 03: Feed Them Separately
A Dalmatian dog can be very territorial and don’t like sharing their food. This is why it is best to feed them separately for the first few weeks until they get used to each other.
You can also bring their food bowls into separate rooms during mealtime so that they don’t feel like they’re competing for territory.
Also, try feeding them and the other pet at different times of the day so that they are not around each other for most of the day.
Step 04: Arrange A Meet Up on the Opposite Side of The Fence/Baby Gate
Introducing a cat to a Dalmatian dog can be fun and exciting, but it could also turn out to be difficult if you are not careful enough while doing it.
When arranging a meet-up between your cat and dog, it is best to do it on opposite sides of a baby gate or fence, not in the same room for the first few sessions.
The barrier will prevent jumping on each other in excitement or aggression.
Also, make sure no toys are lying around which might cause an injury
Step 05: Arrange A Meet Up In A Common Room
When the meet-up with the fence/baby gate goes well, you can now arrange a meet-up in a common area without any barrier.
Keep the meet-up session short and ensure your puppy is on-leash.
If the two pets are calm and friendly towards each other, you can now let them play together in the same space. However, if they are not getting along well, try to separate them before things get out of control.
Step 06: Reward Them For Exhibiting Good Behavior
It’s easy for dogs and cats to get riled up when they’re together — especially if they’re not used to each other yet.
Start off by rewarding both pets for exhibiting good behavior while they are around each other.
Treat their minor positive acts, whether they are sitting quietly when they see each other, sniffing each other through a partially opened door, or even just looking at each other without growling or hissing.
The treats and rewards will encourage positive behavior in them, and they will value each other’s presence.
Step 07: Keep An Eye on Them
Even when the pets are behaving well, it’s important to keep an eye on them. Make sure they’re not getting rough or being aggressive with each other.
As soon as you notice signs of aggression, such as growling or hissing, be sure to separate the two pets immediately.
Note: If the two furry buddies aren’t getting along well, restart with step 01.
Things To Avoid When Introducing A Dalmatian To A Cat
Remember, the first step isn’t only challenging for you but for your pets too.
They are feeling stressed, too, and trying to adjust to each other’s presence.
Below are the things that need to be avoided when introducing your Dalmatian to a cat.
First, Don’t Be Harsh To Any of Your Pets
Even though the introduction process can be a little stressful and frustrating, it’s important to remember that you should never be harsh or mean with either of your pets. This includes yelling at them, giving them mean looks or names, hitting them with an object, and more.
You want to make sure they both feel safe and comfortable during this time.
Don’t Confine Them Together In One Room
When confined in one room together, the two pets might end up hurting or chasing each other, leading to destructive behavior.
Therefore, keeping them in separate rooms while they are getting used to each other is recommended.
Never Use Shock Collars
Shock collars are used for punishment-based training. And while introducing Dalmatians to a cat, we avoid harsh behaviors.
Moreover, shock collars cause severe physical harm or even death if misused by their owner.
Therefore, using shock collars on either of your pet is highly discouraged.
Pros And Cons of Dalmatian Dogs
There is a big debate about whether or not people should have Dalmatians in their homes.
Before you weigh in on the issue, it’s important to consider the pros and cons of Dalmatians at home.
Pros of Dalmatian Dogs
All dog breeds have its own specifications, which make them different from the others.
Similarly, Dalmatians have pro points that make them stand out from other breeds.
1. Eager To Tickle Pink
Dalmatian dogs score a 10 in bonding with their human family. Dalmatians are known for their loyalty and eagerness to please their owners.
They love to play around, go on a walk, respond quickly to given commands, and understand their owner.
Their endless love makes the owner tickles pink.
2. A Micky Mouse
Forget about your dark nights, gloomy days, and stressful life.
Dalmatians are here to save you!
Everything becomes colorful and exciting when you have a Dalmatian by your side. They are a source of happiness and laughter and will give you a break from your hectic schedule.
Their playful nature, mischievous actions, and great sense of humor will surely make you laugh out loud.
3. Bundle of Energy
Dalmatians are highly energetic and are always up for adventure and fun.
They love to play, run around, and chase things. They have high stamina and can keep up with your busy lifestyle. They are also great companions for taking walks or running errands around town.
4. Easy To Train
Dalmatians are very intelligent dogs and can be trained with ease.
They love the attention and praise they get when they do something right, making them quick learners, and they will remember the things you teach them.
Dalmatians can be easily trained to obey basic commands such as sit, stay, come, and heel.
5. Pal Around
Dalmatians love to be with people. You’ll see your puppy whirl around their favorite people and other pets.
They have outgoing and playful personalities and are very good with children. They love to play and will keep your kids entertained for hours on end.
6. A Guardian
Dalmatians have an innate desire to protect their owner, which makes them good guard dogs. They will bark at anything that comes near their yard or home, making them good watchdogs.
Though they are not aggressive toward strangers, they will not hesitate to give warning barks if they feel something is wrong.
Cons of Dalmatians
Bringing a Dalmatian into your home can end up being more than you bargained for.
A few cons of owning a Dalmatian include:
1. Heavy Shedders
Dalmatians are heavy shedders, and their fur can get everywhere.
They shed year-round and will leave behind bits of hair on your clothes, furniture, and floors.
Grooming and bathing are daily chores that you have to deal with when owning a Dalmatian.
People with allergies should not own Dalmatians.
2. Not Suitable For First Time Owner
Dalmatians are independent-minded dogs who can be stubborn at times. They may be easy to train but requires patience.
Their highly energetic soul, extensive exercise need, and tendency to bond with one owner may make them a bad choice for first-time dog owners.
3. Not For Small Apartments
Dalmatians are energetic dogs that need a lot of exercise.
Dalmatians are not a breed for you if you live in an apartment or condo and don’t have access to a yard.
4. Can Be Destructive When Left Alone
Dalmatians love to socialize with their loved ones and can easily get bored when alone.
Dalmatians are prone to destructive behavior when left alone and may end up chewing furniture or other household items to keep them busy.
5. Health Problems
Dalmatians are prone to multiple health problems. They suffer from deafness, urinary stones, iris sphincter dysplasia, hypothyroidism, allergies, seizures, and more.
Are Dalmatians Aggressive?
Dalmatians have an outgoing and friendly nature. They are not aggressive, which makes them good family dogs.
However, their aggression depends on their upbringing, breeder, and environment.
Some people fail to recognize their high maintenance, exercise, and social needs, which turn them into aggressive Dalmatians.
However, when these puppies are not properly trained or socialized early, they can become aggressive. Dalmatians also suffer from separation anxiety which makes them destructive when left alone for a long time.
What Causes Aggression in Dalmatians?
There are many reasons why Dalmatians become aggressive. Some of the common causes of aggression in Dalmatians are:
- The dog was not properly trained and socialized at an early age
- The dog is left alone for a long time which causes separation anxiety and leads to destructive behavior such as chewing on objects or urinating in the house
- Poor breeding
- Mistreatment in the former year of life.
- Using shock collars
What Are The Signs of Aggression In Dalmatians?
Like other dog breeds, Dalmatians show the signs of aggression in multiple ways, including;
- Growling and snarling
- Snapping or baring teeth
- Erected tails that don’t wag
- Pulling leash
- And more
Final Words: Do Dalmatians Get Along With Cats?
While the cartoon image of the Dalmatian certainly suggests that it will get along with cats, the real-life version is often a little different.
The Dalmatian is playful and doesn’t mind spending time frolicking with cats. However, he may find it irresistible sometimes to playfully nip at their tails and pounce on them, so you have to supervise their interaction closely.
If you see any signs of aggression in your Dalmatian, it’s important to take action immediately. The Dalmatian is shown in the non-sporting group at American Kennel Club Shows.
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References and Further Reading:
 American Kennel Club, Dalmatian Information.