Scottish Folds are adorably cute with their folded ears and expressive faces. It’s no wonder they are an increasingly popular breed among cat owners. But what if you already own a dog? Will the two ever get along?
Although individual cats will differ, Scottish Folds can get along with most dogs if you introduce them properly. Their calm, easy-going, and friendly nature means they enjoy spending time with people, children, and other pets.
Learn how to introduce your Scottish Fold and dog properly in our step-by-step guide below. We also throw in a few tips on how to keep your cat safe. Let’s dive in.
Will They Be a Good Match?
It doesn’t matter how friendly a Scottish Fold is. It takes two to tango. Therefore, you must consider whether your pup is the right match for a Scottish Fold cat.
The chances of the two getting along are high if your dog has been friendly and welcoming to other animals in the past. However, the relationship might not blossom if your pup has a history of being aggressive toward other pets.
Doing a little experiment can help If you’re unsure how your pup will react. For instance, you can try introducing your dog to your friend’s cat (at a safe distance, of course). You can also visit an adoption center, where the cats sit safely in their cages.
How your dog responds primarily depends on its breed. Some breeds have a high prey drive and will likely view your Scottish Fold as prey. You can train the pup to be friendly, but you’ll need lots of time and patience. Conversely, cats with a low prey drive will not take as much time or effort.
Size also matters when determining whether your dog is the right fit for your Scottish Fold. Generally, smaller dogs are better suited for cats. Large dogs can accidentally injure your cat when they step or bump into it.
That doesn’t mean you should underestimate small dogs, though. For instance, Terriers are bred to pursue animals, even ones larger than themselves.
How to Introduce a Scottish Fold to Your Dog (Step-By-Step Guide)
The introduction phase can be short or long, depending on your furry friends’ personalities. So, it is better not to rush things.
Here is a step-by-step guide you can follow. Remember to watch the pets throughout the process in case of trouble.
1. Gather Supplies
It is best to keep a few items ready before you can start. For instance, a pet gate will come in handy when separating your furry friends. You might also need treats, toys, and towels.
Introductions often require two people. So, you may want to have a friend or family member around if you need help.
2. Keep Them Separate
Allow the pets personal space by keeping them in different areas of the house. That may seem counterproductive. But the idea is to make them feel comfortable sharing the house while enjoying their personal space.
Ensure they have everything, including food, water, toys, and a litter box. And don’t forget to give them attention so they feel loved and valued.
3. Introduce Their Scent to Each Other
Familiarizing them with each other’s scent before the official introduction is advisable. You can do that by switching up their bedding. For instance, let your Scottish cat snuggle on the blanket your pup has been sleeping on and vice versa.
Do that several times for effect, preferably for a week.
Alternatively, you can rub a towel on each pet and let the other sniff it. Consider offering treats or feeding them while doing that to create a positive association.
4. Introduce Their Sounds to Each Other
Now that they know each other’s scent, it’s time to take things a notch higher by letting them hear each other. You can keep them in two adjacent rooms separated by a door.
It’s better if the pets have fun as they hear each other to create positive associations. That’s why you might need a friend to help you out. They can play with the dog while you play with the cat in the other room. Reinforce the positive association by offering treats.
5. Introduce Them Gradually
You can officially introduce your Scottish Fold to your dog after 2 to 3 days of closed-door acclimation. Don’t rush things, though. Instead, start with short sessions and gradually increase the time as the relationship blossoms.
Keep the pup on a leash the first few times if it reacts aggressively. The leash will also prevent the dog from approaching the cat before it’s ready.
The 3 Tips for Keeping Your Scottish Fold Safe
Just because your Scottish Fold is getting along with your dog doesn’t necessarily mean it’s safe. Like all normal relationships, things can be calm at one moment and then spin out of control the next.
Here are a few measures you can take to keep your kitty safe.
1. Provide a Safe Space
Ensure there is a safe spot for your cat in the house where your dog can’t reach it. Cats love perches. So, you can mount one against the wall, preferably close to the window, where your cat can sit and observe the outdoors.
Training your dog to obey voice commands is also critical. It will enable you to recall the canine if it becomes too dangerous for your Scottish Fold.
2. Know Your Cat’s Limits
Scottish Folds are friendly and easy-going. But they are not an athletic breed. Therefore, they might struggle to keep up with your energetic dog.
Setting boundaries during play is imperative. For instance, be ready to break up the game if your pup pushes the cat’s limits too far.
3. Understand Body Language
Watch out for signs of stress if your furry friends are engaged in play. Both can feel overwhelmed, stressed, or threatened. You should be ready to step in when that happens.
Cats will maintain a soft and steady gaze when they feel safe and comfortable. They will raise their tails slightly and curl them at the tip while relaxing the whiskers.
Conversely, when feeling stressed or threatened, a cat will flatten its ears, tuck its tail, and arch its back. It may also crouch, hiss, and hide.
The dog can feel stressed and threatened too. It might growl, tuck its tail between the legs, look away, yawn, or lick its lips.
How Long Does It Take for Your Scottish Fold and Dog to Get Along?
How long your Scottish Fold and your dog take to get along after the official introduction varies depending on their personalities.
Some might hit it off the first day, while others might need a few weeks. Generally, it takes 2 to 3 days for cats and dogs to acclimate to each other If there are no significant hiccups.
Remember, your Scottish Fold cat needs time to adjust to their new home. Dogs need around three weeks to adapt, but cats can take as long as a month.
Which Dog Breeds Get Along With Cats?
Dogs and cats have a reputation for being mortal enemies. In reality, they can get along fine with proper training and socialization.
However, some breed groups have instinctive behavior that would make it challenging to get along with cats. For instance, the hound group and the sighthounds are natural chasers; canines in the Terrier group were bred to hunt, and the pups in the herding group tend to corral other animals.
On the other hand, some breeds have calm and easy-going personalities and are more likely to get along with your Scottish Fold. Some examples include the Toy Group and the Sporting Group. They are warm, friendly, and outgoing.
We are only generalizing here, though. In truth, any dog can learn to live peaceably with a cat if trained and socialized from a young age. Also, individual personalities play a crucial role in determining whether the cat and dog get along.
Here is a list of dog breeds that can get along with your Scottish Fold:
If you introduce them properly, Scottish Folds can get along with most dogs. They have a calm, easy-going, and friendly disposition that makes them compatible with people, children, and other pets in the household.
However, each cat is different regardless of the breed. Moreover, the dog’s personality also plays a role in determining whether the two can get along.
Therefore, being patient is imperative when making introductions. While it may take a few days for some cats and dogs to hit it off, others might need several weeks to get acquainted.
Keeping your Scottish Fold cat safe is essential. So, remember to pay attention to the interaction the first few days. Watch out for signs of stress, and be ready to intervene if your cat seems overwhelmed or threatened.
Featured Image Credit: LightField Studios, Shutterstock