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Do Great Danes Get Along With Cats? Species Compatibility & Introduction Tips

Written by: Sarah Psaradelis

Last Updated on July 12, 2024 by Dogster Team

great dane dog and cat in the grass

Do Great Danes Get Along With Cats? Species Compatibility & Introduction Tips

Great Danes are best described as “gentle giants” with a sweet and gentle temperament that allows them to get along with people and other pets like cats. Even though the Great Dane’s large size can be intimidating, they can get along quite well with cats and even form bonds with them over time.

Although Great Danes can be trained and socialized to share a home with cats, it can be more difficult to get cats comfortable around Great Danes, as their large size can make cats feel scared to be around such a big dog.

However, with lots of patience and gradual positive introductions, you will find that Great Danes can get along well with cats.

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Are Great Danes Good With Other Pets?

Yes, Great Danes get along well with other pets, especially if they have been socialized from an early age. Some situations can make your Great Dane less tolerant of other pets, usually if something negative happens with the other pet.

If your Great Dane grew up without being socialized to cats and dogs, it can take much longer for them to get along with the other pets. In some cases, Great Danes can be too aggressive and defensive against other pets, making it challenging to keep other pets in the same household as your Great Dane.

Overall, the Great Dane’s gentle and docile temperament makes it natural for them to get along with other pets, but the other pet must also be able to get along with a Great Dane. Some Great Danes can get irritated by other pets, especially if they are too affectionate or playful.

This can occur with puppies or other dogs that try to interact with a Great Dane who is sleeping and will growl as a way to communicate that they want to be left alone.

collie and great dane_No-longer-here_Pixabay
Image By: No-longer-here, Pixabay

Do Great Danes and Cats Get Along?

Great Danes and cats can get along and share a home, and it mainly depends on both pets’ personalities and past experiences. Great Danes who have not been socialized from an early age or in a positive environment will have a difficult time getting along with cats. You may notice that your Great Dane will growl, bark, or chase cats they do not get along with.

Like all dogs, Great Danes have the instinct to chase cats, and they won’t always get along with cats the first time they meet them. Eventually, when both the cat and Great Dane become comfortable with one another, your Great Dane will no longer feel the need to chase or bark at cats that they are familiar with.

However, they will still bark, chase, and pursue cats if they have not been properly introduced.

man with his great dane dog by the pond
Image By: Dmussman, Shutterstock

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The 5 Tips for Introducing Your Great Dane to Cats

A good introduction between your Great Dane and any cats you want to bring into your home is important. Early socialization is best, and it’s best to encourage your dog to become familiar and comfortable living with cats, starting in puppyhood.

A Great Dane who grows up surrounded by cats will be more tolerant of them as they get older than a Great Dane who has no previous experience with cats and needs to learn the right socialization skills as an adult or senior.

Here are five tips that can help your Great Dane get along better with cats:

1. Teach Basic Commands

Teaching your Great Dane basic commands such as sit or stay can make it easier to introduce them to cats because if they chase or bark at the cat, you can get them to stop by listening to your voice commands. Barking and chasing are stressful for the cat, so getting your Great Dane trained can help during the introduction process.

dog training
Image By: Piqsels

2. Keep Them Separated At First

When you first bring your Great Dane or cat home, you must keep your pets separated for the first few days to settle in. This will allow them to get accustomed to their new environment and all the new sounds and smells before being introduced.

cat snuggling with owner
Image By: cottonbro, Pexels

3. Keep Your Great Dane On a Leash

When you finally let your Great Dane meet your cat, keeping your Great Dane on a leash can prevent chasing or fights between the two animals. Allow your Great Dane and cat to sniff each other, and gradually increase the amount of time they spend together in a controlled environment.

blue Great Dane out for a walk with its owner
Image By: Guy J. Sagi, Shutterstock

4. Give Both Pets a Place to Escape

If your Great Dane or cat feels scared of the other pet, giving them a safe space to retreat can make them feel safer. If you only allow them to meet each other in an enclosed room, your Great Dane or cat may feel trapped, making them feel defensive towards the other pet.

owner with her cat at home
Image By: Pixel-Shot, Shutterstock

5. Different Feeding Areas

Once your cat and Great Dane have gotten used to each other, keeping their food bowls in different areas can be beneficial. When it comes to food, your Great Dane might feel threatened to have the cat eating near them, which can cause your cat to feel scared to eat their food. By keeping their feeding bowls in different areas of the house, you are allowing your Great Dane and cat to eat in peace without having to worry about each other.

owner pours dog and cat food in the feeding bowls
Image By: Anastasiya Tsiasemnikava, Shutterstock

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With lots of early socialization and a positive introduction when they are first introduced to each other, a Great Dane and a cat can get along well. It can take time to familiarize your Great Dane with cats, but once they have been socialized with cats, they can coexist peacefully.

Featured Image Credit: ButtermilkgirlVirginia, Shutterstock

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