Having a cat and dog in the same household — can this be a reality? Huskies are a mischievous, energetic, outgoing dog breed. They are affectionate towards their human family and good with children and other dogs.
But do Huskies get along with cats? This is a difficult question to answer. Huskies are a breed that possesses a high prey drive, meaning they tend to chase down small animals like hamsters, guinea pigs, squirrels, rabbits, and cats.
If you are looking to get home a cat and Husky, it will require training, attention, repetition, and a lot of patience on your end. The article will introduce different techniques you can use to house a Husky and a cat under the same roof.
- Why are Huskies Always on the Move?
- Do Huskies Get Along With Cats?
- What Type of Cats Will Get Along with Huskies?
- How Can You Train a Husky to Live with Cats?
- How to Introduce an Adult Husky Dog to a Cat?
- How to Keep a Husky Calm?
- What Dog Breeds are Compatible with Cats?
Why are Huskies Always on the Move?
Huskies is a breed that was originally brought up in Eastern Siberia by the Chukchi people. They were used to form a pack and pull sleds in the harsh terrain.
During WW II, owing to their exceptional navigation skills, Huskies contributed to several search and rescue missions. They are highly vocal animals that need a job or activity to be kept busy. Huskies are a lot of work on their own.
Do Huskies Get Along With Cats?
Huskies like to assert their dominance. Given a chance, they will whine and scream until they get their way. Their evolution in the icy mountains of Siberia, where food was scarce, and their dominant trait leads to natural and high prey drive in them.
Unfortunately, incidents where a Husky ended up killing a small animal, are common. With training, reinforcements, and distractions, you could help the Husky manage their prey drive. Be careful, though, as supervision will always be needed from your end.
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What Type of Cats Will Get Along with Huskies?
Cats that are confident, affectionate, and social; and will fare better in the company of Huskies – for example, cat breeds like American Shorthair, Siberian, Maine Coon, or Abyssinian.
If your cat is afraid of the Husky, it can dash across the room to hide. Or it can get aggressive, have its claws out and start hissing. This, in turn, will provoke the Husky, and it can get into attack mode.
Let us dive into training techniques to help your cat and Husky feel comfortable in each other’s company.
How Can You Train a Husky to Live with Cats?
Along with training techniques, the timing of the training is also important. Starting early is the way to go. If you wait too long, your Husky will develop the habit of chasing the small cat around.
In this situation, it is not impossible to train the Husky, but the task will become all the more challenging.
Let us look at ways you can use train Huskies to get along with cats.
#1. Keep Them Separate
When you first bring the Husky home, it is best to keep it and the cat in separate rooms. Keep the animals away from each other for a few days, and do not let them interact. If needed, close doors or use baby gates to keep your over-enthusiastic Husky away from the cat.
The cat and the Husky should be able to recognize the scent of the other. You can take some of the cat’s and the dog’s bedding and swap them. The animals will get familiar and also adjust to each other scent.
#2. Introducing Huskies to Cats
Before you introduce the Husky to the cat, it is important that they can follow basic obedience commands. For example, the dog should obey commands like ‘sit,’ ‘stand,’ ‘stay,’ ‘leave it.’ They should also have had all their vaccinations.
Keep the Husky on a leash when you first bring them into the room with the cat. Do not push the dog towards the cat; wait and see how they react to each other’s presence.
A car should ideally be placed in a position higher than the dog – for example, on a table or a countertop. This will help them have a clear line of vision on the dog. You can also hold the cat and make a fuss around them. The action will let the Husky know the cat is not some prey but a part of the family.
#3. Use Distractions
Huskies are intelligent animals. They have a lot of energy. This dog breed requires a bit more attention and care from its owners. If you let them, they will run and play the whole day. Huskies like to be in the company of other dogs as well.
But do Huskies get along with cats? Well, not entirely. Do not worry; it is not a lost cause. With time and training, they can learn to co-exist.
When in the same room with the cat, give your Husky distractions to deal with. Use their intelligent and playful character trait to your advantage.
Huskies love to chew. Invest in a sturdy chew toy that can withstand the onslaught of a Husky’s sharp teeth and powerful jaw. There are puzzle toys available with varying levels of difficulty. It can keep the dog engaged for hours. Look into the range of squeaky plush toys as well.
These distractions can drive the Husky’s attention from the cat.
#4. Use Reinforcements
Reinforcement increases the chances of a behavior being repeated. Positive reinforcements help build a good relationship between the behavior and the consequence. For example, if the Husky ignores the presence of the cat in the same room, you can reward the dog with a treat. Shower the Husky with love and attention.
A positive reaction from your end lets the Husky know that its behavior is appreciated. So, next time when the cat is in the room, your Husky will try to repeat the ignoring behavior.
You need to have patience, though. The dog will not learn this behavior overnight. Using distractions and repeated positive reinforcements will help form a long-term habit.
#5. Look Out for Signs of Aggression
Monitor the body language of the animals. Look out for signs like – Husky using its teeth inappropriately during playtime, pushing, obsessively running behind the cat, lunging towards the cat to frighten it, or having a rigid stance towards it.
Cats can also get aggressive with their behavior. Dilated pupils, tail wagging, pinning the ears back, hissing or growling are all signs of aggression in cats. Or, if they are anxious, they might try to dash across to safety quickly. Such behavior can provoke a Husky.
At the first sign of aggression in either of the animals, it is best to separate them. You can try reintroducing the pets when they have calmed down.
#6. Have Escape Routes Planned
Typically cats go into hiding when faced with a dangerous or unfamiliar situation. For example, if you have your visitors around the house or another animal in the room like a Husky. The feelings of fear, concern, and anxiety make cats run away into hiding.
A hiding space makes them feel safe and protected. As a pet owner, you need to understand this urge to hide and help the cat by providing them with safe hiding spaces.
If your cat tends to run away from the Husky, ensure they have a clear escape route. The hiding space should be at a height that the dog cannot reach.
#7. Keep Interactions Short
In the beginning, when the dog and cat are getting used to each other’s presence, keep the interaction period short. Maybe 10 – 15 minutes a day. The animals need constant supervision. Having them in each other’s faces for hours on end can be exhausting for you as well.
When attempting to increase the duration of the interaction, ensure that the cat is in the comfortable part of the house. Have distractions and treats ready for the Husky.
#8. Let Them Have Their Own Space
Having separate rooms for the Husky and the cat is an ideal living arrangement. Even if the animals learn to co-exist, they should have a space in the house that is their safe haven.
For example, your cat might tolerate having the Husky around, but it might always be on guard. The cat will live in a state of fear and stress. With a separate room, your cat can relax in its own space.
Ensure the dog cannot access this room. Set up barriers, if required.
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#9. Letting Go Off the Leash
Introductions between the Husky and the cat should always begin with the dog on the leash. You can allow the dog and cat to interact. But, use a short leash, so you are always in control.
As the animals become relaxed and comfortable around each other, you can try letting the dog go off-leash. You should do this only once you are confident that the Husky will not get aggressive towards the cat.
If things turn ugly, you should be able to physically remove both the animals from the situation.
#10. Always Supervise
Supervising all interactions between the dog and cat is a must. Regardless of whether the dog is on the leash, is busy playing with its toys, or the cat is safely tucked on a high platform. The animals may be comfortable with each other, but accurately predicting their behavior 100% of the time is not realistic.
Be proactive in your approach. See if your dog is showing any aggressive behavior. See if your cat is distressed or anxious. You can remove either or both animals from the room before an incident occurs in such situations.
How to Introduce an Adult Husky Dog to a Cat?
Introducing an adult Husky to a cat can be much more challenging. An adult Husky may have already developed the habit of chasing small animals around. Think carefully before bringing an adult Husky into a home that already has a cat.
It is not an impossible living scenario. You can make it work, but it will require significant effort and time.
The distraction and reinforcement methods work best with adult Huskies. When the cat is in the room, try your best to drive the Husky’s attention to you. Train it to ignore the cat and give the dog a treat when they do so.
Also, try to show your cat some love in the presence of the Husky. This way, the dog will understand that the cat is a part of the family and not prey to be eaten.
If the dog gets aggressive and you find it difficult to control the situation, reach out to an animal behaviorist. Sometimes, housing a cat and Husky in the same home may not be feasible despite your best efforts.
How to Keep a Husky Calm?
Do Huskies get along with cats? They might with training. A Husky that has its needs met will be more likely to leave the cat alone.
Here are ways you can keep a Husky calm:
- Give them plenty of exercise. If your dog is confined to a room all day long, it will chase down that poor cat the movement it is let free.
- Give them love and attention. Huskies are a dramatic dog breed that constantly needs attention.
- Give them enough food so it does not make your cat the food.
- Give them chew toys, plushies, and puzzles. The intelligent breeds need to have their mental stimulation needs to be met.
What Dog Breeds are Compatible with Cats?
If you have a cat and want to bring home a dog, consider the below dog breeds:
- Golden Retriever
- Labrador Retriever
- Basset Hound
Adopting a puppy, starting with early training and supervised interactions, is the way to introduce a dog into a home with a cat.
We hope you now have a comprehensive answer to the question – do huskies get along with cats?
It is surely a difficult but not impossible task to have an over-enthusiastic Husky and cat in one home. The task can be a reality with training, consistency, attention, time, and patience. Do not expect them to become best friends, but they can certainly learn how to co-exist peacefully.
Always supervise interactions between your pet animals. If you cannot invest effort into the process, it would be best to consider a different dog breed that is highly compatible with cats.
Heather Abraham is an owner of two dogs, one cat, a leopard gecko, and a parrot (who her dad still cannot teach bad words to), and an avid blogger. From the time she was a young girl, she always felt a connection with pets. She brings her love of every type of pet to you, with information on animal nutrition, medication, toys, beds, and everything else in between. Along with newly-on-board veterinarian DVM editor Elena, she puts pups first while offering other various fun tidbits along the way.