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Are Dalmatians Good With Cats? Facts & FAQ

Written by: Grant Piper

Last Updated on June 4, 2024 by Dogster Team

A cute tabby cat and a Dalmatian dog lying side by side

Are Dalmatians Good With Cats? Facts & FAQ

Dalmatians have been popular for hundreds of years. Many people consider getting a Dalmatian every year. One of the biggest questions that come up in regard to a Dalmatian is whether or not they are good with cats. There are a large number of people and households that try to integrate dogs and cats in the same house. Sometimes this can be a problem, and other times cats and dogs get along just fine. So how do Dalmatians fare?

Dalmatians are rated as mostly cat friendly. Many Dalmatians do not have any issues with cats. There is always the chance that your particular Dalmatian might not like cats, but most of the time, people have very few issues. Here is what you need to know about integrating a cat and a Dalmatian, including how to introduce them, signs to look out for, and whether Dalmatians get along with other animals.

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Dalmatians Are Usually Good With Cats

It may come as a surprise to learn that Dalmatians are actually very good with cats most of the time. There are plenty of Dalmatian owners that have Dalmatians and cats living in harmony with one another under the same roof. Once a Dalmatian is properly introduced to a cat, they usually coexist with them just fine. One of the reasons that Dalmatians get along with cats is that they were not bred to hunt small animals like some dogs were. That means Dalmatians have a relatively low prey drive. Cats do not drive Dalmatians crazy like they do for some breeds.

dalmatian dog wearing a collar outdoors
Image Credit: RebeccasPictures, Pixabay

Some Dalmatians Cannot Get Along With Cats

There are exceptions to every rule. Not every Dalmatian will get along with cats. This can be due to a number of factors, including the background of the Dalmatian, the personality of the cat, and the personality of the Dalmatian. Just like there are some Pitbulls that can get super cuddly with cats, there will be some Dalmatians that will not tolerate cats in their house.

The trouble is that it is hard to know how a Dalmatian will react to living with a cat until they are forced to do so. Many Dalmatians adapt after a short transitionary period, but some of them simply won’t. Properly introducing your animals, watching their behaviors, and evaluating them is key to figuring out if your Dalmatian will be a good long term fit for you and your cat.

Things to look out for include signs of aggression such as growling, biting, and posturing. You also want to see if your Dalmatian has the urge to chase your cat and how your cat interacts with the Dalmatian. Some cats are instigators that will not leave dogs alone, which can exacerbate problems.

How to Introduce Your Dalmatian and Your Cat

Introducing your Dalmatian and your cat is a crucial part of the process of integrating them in the same house. There are a number of steps you can take to ensure that the introduction goes smoothly. The introductory period can last anywhere from a couple of days to a couple of weeks. The goal is to let both your Dalmatian and your cat know that the other animal is present and that both are here to stay.

Here are some steps, tips, and tricks you can use to introduce your Dalmatian and your cat to give yourself the best shot of them getting along.

  • Make sure your Dalmatian knows basic commands such as sit, stay, and leave it.
  • Provide individual spaces for both your Dalmatian and your cat. Allow each to be able to retreat to their safe space if and when they need to.
  • Keep the animals separate for a few days and introduce them slowly. You might want to consider keeping your Dalmatian on a leash when you gradually introduce them or leave the Dalmatian in their crate and bring the cat around.
  • Create safe introductions over a period of a few days. Reward each animal after each session; i.e., give your cat a treat or give your dog positive affirmation.
  • When you are comfortable, let your dog off the leash during these sessions and start letting the two animals share communal spaces. Watch for any signs of troubling behavior.
  • Tweak and adjust as necessary.
  • Be patient and take your time!

Many times, cats will simply disappear and hide from your Dalmatian until they are ready to come out and start interacting. Some cats will naturally keep themselves separated from your Dalmatian all of the time and will reduce the possibility of any negative reactions or dangerous situations.

A cute tabby cat and a Dalmatian dog
Image Credit: Katho Menden, Shutterstock

What Were Dalmatians Originally Bred For?

The history of the Dalmatian is a little murky. Dalmatians appeared on the scene in the Medieval Period, but they were not bred for any one particular purpose. Unlike other dogs, Dalmatians have had a variety of different jobs throughout their history. Dalmatians were one of the first reliable “carriage dogs,” or dogs that rode on horse-drawn carriages and alerted the driver to danger. This has made the Dalmatian very comfortable around horses.

After that, Dalmatians were used in a variety of different roles, including as performers, show dogs, search and rescue dogs, and as pets. Some dogs were bred to hunt a very specific animal or were bred to track small animals, which makes them more difficult to integrate with small animals like cats. Dalmatians do not typically have that problem.

Do Dalmatians Get Along With Other Animals Besides Cats?

Yes. Dalmatians can get along with a variety of animals, including cats. Dalmatians often get along very well with other dogs. They get along swimmingly with humans. They are also very comfortable around horses, which cannot be said of all dog breeds. The Dalmatian’s unique breeding history makes them very versatile around a number of living things which can make them perfect companions for households with multiple pets or animals.

dalmatian and golden retriever playing
Image Credit: Grigorita Ko, Shutterstock

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Final Thoughts

The good news for people thinking about getting a Dalmatian is that they are generally good with cats. More often than not, if a Dalmatian is comfortable in a home, they should have little issues with living alongside a feline. However, not all Dalmatians are so accommodating. Every dog is different. The key is to introduce your Dalmatian and your cat and watch for any concerning signs that could let you know that the pairing won’t be a good match.


Featured Image Credit: Katho Menden, Shutterstock

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