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Are Rottweilers Good With Cats? Facts & FAQ

Written by: Nicole Cosgrove

Last Updated on May 21, 2024 by Dogster Team

Rottweiler and Cat together_Shutterstock

Are Rottweilers Good With Cats? Facts & FAQ

Despite the longstanding rivalry between dogs and cats, there are plenty of dogs that get along just fine with cats and vice versa. Especially with good training, many dog breeds not only tolerate cats but end up viewing them as one of their own family members.

One such dog is the Rottweiler. Despite their large size and guard dog background, Rottweilers can be good with cats if you take the time to train and socialize them properly. If you take the time to socialize the Rottweiler from the time they are a puppy, they will likely get along with cats great.

To learn more about socializing your Rottweiler so that they get along with cats, read on.

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Are Rottweilers Good With Cats? It Depends

Rottweiler by the river
Image Credit: AlexasFotos, Pixabay

Whether or not a Rottweiler is good with a cat depends on the dog. Many individual factors will impact the dog’s compatibility with the cat. For example, Rottweilers that were never introduced to cats from a young age are less likely to be good with them. However, Rottweilers that have been around cats all their lives often love cats. So, it really depends on the individual Rottweiler.

In comparison to other guard dogs, Rottweilers are surprisingly good with cats. Because of how easy they are to train and socialize, as well as their bubbly personality, Rottweilers are much more suited to living with cats than other somewhat aggressive breeds.

At the same time, there are other breeds that are more suited to living with cats than the Rottweiler. Labrador Retrievers or small dogs, for example, often require next to no training to get along with cats simply because they were not bred for guarding purposes.

The 3 Reasons Rottweilers Are Good With Cats

rottweiler/bulldog mix rottweiler
Image Credit: AS AT, Shutterstock

To fully understand whether or not Rottweilers are good with cats, it’s important to understand the traits of the Rottweiler that impact its compatibility. There are three main reasons why Rottweilers are potentially good with cats: they are loyal, have bubbly personalities, and are incredibly easy to train.

1. Loyal

Rottweilers were primarily bred as watchdogs that could fit in with the family too. As a result, this breed is known for being highly loyal to their family members. Much like other dogs, Rottweilers can introduce several different animals into their pack, including cats.

If a Rottweiler associates a certain cat with their family, the dog will likely defend the cat just as they do you or your children. When the dog is loyal to the cat, you don’t have to worry about the dog being aggressive towards them. In fact, you must worry about the dog acting aggressive to other animals in defense of the cat.

2. Bubbly Personality

Even if the Rottweiler is not outright loyal to an individual cat, these dogs have very bubbly personalities that rely on socialization. Furthermore, they have low prey drive since they weren’t used for hunting purposes. Because of their personality, Rottweilers are not outright aggressive to cats. Instead, they may get excited simply to make a new friend!

3. Easy to Train

The last main reason why Rottweilers are good with cats is because these dogs are easy to train. Being listed as the ninth most intelligent dog, it’s no shock that these dogs are intuitive and take little effort to train.

On the one hand, Rottweilers can respond to commands in as little as one repetition. This means that you don’t have to work too hard to train the Rottweiler. On the other hand, Rottweilers have a unique form of intelligence that allows them to learn from watching other people. What this means is that the Rottweiler will easily pick up on the fact that you love the cat and not attack as a result.

With both forms of intelligence in mind, Rottweilers are great to train around cats. They will both listen to and watch you to learn what they ought to do in the cat’s presence.

The 2 Reasons Rottweilers Are Bad With Cats

Image By: Ricantimages, Shutterstock

Even though the Rottweiler has certain personality traits that make them suitable for cats, they have other traits that show the opposite. The Rottweiler’s independent streak and somewhat aggressive personality makes them less suitable for cat companionship than more easygoing dogs.

1. Independent

Though it is true that Rottweilers are highly intelligent, that does not mean they are guaranteed to listen to you. Rottweilers are known to be very independent and stubborn at times. Some of the most stubborn dogs run the risk of ignoring your commands when it comes to cats.

This may be the case for Rottweilers that have never been socialized around cats before or who have had negative experiences with cats.

2. Aggressive Background

Rottweilers were bred specifically for guarding purposes, but they have also been bred for fighting. This background means that Rottweilers are courageous and much more likely to be aggressive than other dogs. Because of this aggressive background, Rottweilers might be less lenient toward cats and other animals.

Can Rottweilers Be Trained to Get Along With Cats?

The good thing about Rottweilers is that the positive attributes of their personality often outweigh the negative. Because of this fact, Rottweilers can easily be trained to get along with cats. In fact, it is super common for households to have both cats and Rottweilers in the same area.

The best way to ensure that your Rottweiler will get along with the cat is to train them properly and socialize them around other cats from an early age. With the right socialization, you don’t have to think twice about having a cat inside the home with your Rottweiler.

If you get a Rottweiler when they are a puppy, that is the best time to socialize the dog. If the puppy grows up next to a cat, you likely won’t have to do any extra training regarding their behavior around the cat. Unfortunately, early exposure is not always an option, such as when you adopt an adult dog.

Adult Rottweilers may take a bit more time to acclimate to cats. With gradual exposure and training, most Rottweilers will adjust pretty quickly.divider-paw

The 4 Tips for Training a Rottweiler to Get Along With Cats

If you need to train your Rottweiler to get along with cats, here are some tips to implement during the training process:

1. Start as Early as Possible

As we mentioned above, early socialization is the easiest way to train your Rottweiler to get along with cats. Whenever the dog is a puppy, they haven’t yet learned any bad habits or matured enough to develop their full guarding instincts. For this reason, it’s much easier to introduce a puppy to a cat than a full-grown dog. This does not even consider the size factor!

If you can introduce the two animals to one another when they are both young, it’s highly likely that they will grow attached to each other. Because of the Rottweiler’s deeply affectionate nature, their affectionate instincts will likely take over for you and basically make the need for training cat compatibility unnecessary.

2. Do a Slow Exposure

Don’t introduce the two pets to each other too quickly, which can create a stressful and escalating scenario. Once the two animals have been exposed to each other in a stressful setting, they will likely associate the other with that same feeling.

Instead, begin by introducing the cat to your Rottweiler by allowing the dog to sniff items that the cat has laid on. This allows the Rottweiler to get acclimated to the cat’s smell without seeing the cat.

Once the dog stops responding to the cat’s scent, you can allow the dog to see the cat through a glass window or fence. This technique allows the dog to associate the familiar scent with the cat itself. Still, the cat is fully protected from the dog if they respond badly.

Eventually, the Rottweiler will stop responding to the cat behind the fence. At this point, you can allow the cat to be in the same room as the Rottweiler, but keep the Rottweiler on a short leash. Continue this leashed technique until you feel comfortable allowing the Rottweiler to be off the leash around your cat.

3. Give the Cat Control

Because Rottweilers are so much bigger than cats, give your cat the control. That way, the cat does not associate the dog with danger. You can give your cat control by allowing the cat to come up to the dog, but do not force them to do so. If you force the cat around the dog, they will likely be afraid of your Rottweiler.

4. Create Cat-Only Spaces

Whenever you start introducing the cat to your Rottweiler, make sure to create cat-only spaces that the cat can flee to in case they get scared. For example, add cat trees or cat doors so that the cat can flee to safety without the dog following behind.divider-paw

Final Thoughts

Even though Rottweilers have aggressive backgrounds, their compassionate and bubbly personalities make them more suited for cat homes than other aggressive dogs. Especially with intensive training and early socialization, it is pretty easy for Rottweilers to not just get along with cats but love them.

If you know outright that your Rottweiler is more aggressive than other dogs in the breed, we do not recommend introducing a cat to the mix. Even though these dogs are often great with cats, not all are. Never put the cat or dog at risk of being harmed.

Featured Image Credit:  Jagodka, Shutterstock

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