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How Good Is a Vizsla With Cats? Tips, Instincts & FAQ

Written by: Elizabeth Gray

Last Updated on June 29, 2024 by Dogster Team

Vizsla dog

How Good Is a Vizsla With Cats? Tips, Instincts & FAQ

Although dogs and cats are traditionally considered enemies, many members of the two species co-exist happily. Not all dog breeds are feline-friendly, though, especially those bred for hunting. However, despite their hunting heritage, Vizslas can be good with cats—with the proper socialization. Keep reading for tips on how to help a cat and Vizsla live together in harmony. You’ll also learn which pets you should avoid pairing with this breed.


What Is a Vizsla?

The Vizsla is a high-energy, sleek red dog that originates from the country of Hungary. The ancestors of this breed date back to the Dark Ages. They were bred to serve as bird hunters and affectionate companions, but the Vizsla is growing in popularity as a family pet.

Vizslas and Cats

As hunters, Vizslas helped sniff out, point, and retrieve game (mostly birds) for their human companions. While this job requires them to have a reliable prey drive, it’s not as strong as that of other breeds, such as Terriers, that were bred to kill what they caught. With socialization, Vizslas and cats can live together safely.

However, individual dogs can vary in how they react to felines. If your adult Vizsla shows a tendency to chase and harass neighborhood cats, it may not be the best idea to add a kitty to the house. Similarly, if your cat is shy and runs away from any dog they encounter, your Vizsla may be more likely to view them as prey.

Image Credit: martine552, Pixabay

Vizslas and Other Small Pets

While Vizslas can learn to get along with cats, you should keep them away from other small pets like birds and rodents. These prey animals are likelier to trigger the dog’s hunting instincts. In addition, just being around a predator-type animal can cause dangerous stress for pets like rabbits.


The 4 Tips to Help Vizslas and Cats Get Along

1. Play Matchmaker

Introducing a cat and a Vizsla may be easier if you pair a young dog with an adult cat. Adult animals may accept young ones more easily. In addition, puppies are easiest to socialize with other pets and people when they’re still learning and growing.

Adult Vizslas may view tiny kittens as prey even if they don’t mind adult cats, so be especially cautious if you’re adopting a young feline. If you’re adopting an adult cat, try to choose one that’s already lived with dogs if you have the option.

2. Create Separation

When you bring a new cat or dog into the household, it’s essential to keep them separate at first. Set up a safe room for the cat to use while they get used to their new home. Allow the dog and cat to sniff each other under the door and get used to hearing and smelling the new arrival.

You can also let the cat out to explore the house briefly while the dog is outside or on a walk. The two should be used to each other’s scent before they meet.

domestic cat lying on floor and looks up attentively to something it hears
Image By: Dima Berlin, Shutterstock

3. Make Introductions Slowly

When it’s time to meet face to face, ensure everyone’s safety by keeping the Vizsla on a leash until you see how the dog and cat react to each other. Make sure the kitty has the option to escape if they feel uncomfortable.

Watch your Vizsla for signs of aggression or too much interest in the cat, such as stiff body language, barking, growling, or lunging at the kitty. Monitor the cat for signs of anxiety too, such as flattened ears, hissing, growling, and crouched body language.

If you notice that the two animals aren’t getting along, it is okay to take a break and go back to letting them get used to each other’s scent. There’s no set timeline for how long this should take.

4. Use Positive Reinforcement

Help the cat and Vizsla form good feelings about each other by rewarding them when they interact calmly. Feed the two animals on either side of a door or baby gate to help build a positive association as they get to know each other. Offer both pets treats when they start interacting face-to-face.

Keep your attitude calm and positive during the introduction process. Animals are good at picking up on their owner’s moods and responding to changes in their behavior. Vizslas are especially sensitive and attached to their owners, so they’re likely to take their cues from you.

young leashed vizsla dog with a woman standing on grass outdoors
Image By: Laszlo66, Shutterstock



With patience and supervision, Vizslas can be good with cats, depending on the personalities of the individual animals. If you’re considering adding this breed to your animal family, carefully research them. They need a lot of exercise and don’t like being left alone often. Vizslas aren’t the best fit for every owner, but for active owners with time to train, they are the ideal companions.

Featured Image Credit: Chiemsee2016, Pixabay

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