Are English Bulldogs Good With Cats? Expert Tips For A Successful Introduction


A dog and cat hanging out
Photo by Joyell VanGelder

Can cats and dogs ever get along, or does the saying “fighting like cats and dogs” ring true? The answer is yes, cats and dogs can get along, but some dog breeds get along with cats a little better than others. So, are English bulldogs good with cats?

English bulldogs are widely known for being good with cats because of their laid back and calm personalities. English bulldogs tend to be less aggressive and territorial than other breeds, which makes them great companions to cats and other pets.

Some bulldogs and cats get along so well they like to horseplay. If you don’t believe us, check out the video below:

Top 10 Reasons English Bulldogs are good with cats

In our opinion, bulldogs are good with everything and everybody. Here are some of our favorite reasons why bulldogs are good with cats:

  1. Their laid-back personality
  2. They are lazy
  3. They sleep most of the day
  4. They can’t be bothered
  5. They tolerate a lot
  6. They aren’t too tall
  7. They aren’t barkers
  8. They don’t require excessive attention
  9. They’re predictable
  10. They’re slow-moving

For some of the very same reasons, bulldogs are great with kids too. We wrote an entire post on the subject if you want to learn more.

Are English bulldogs the best breed for cats?

We would say yes, most definitely, however we’re extremely biased. The bulldog isn’t the only breed that does well with cats. Here’s a list of ten breeds that are known to be good with cats according to the American Kennel Club, as well as a few other reputable sources:

  1. Basset Hound
  2. Beagle
  3. English Bulldog (#1 best with cats in our book!)
  4. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
  5. Collie
  6. Corgi
  7. Golden Retriever
  8. Labrador Retriever
  9. Papillon
  10. Pug

Expert tips to successfully introduce your English bulldog to a cat

We’ve introduced a cat and dogs before and could have been more informed when we did so. These are the expert tips we wish we had during those introductions. The following tips have been collected from various professionals and we hope they assist you in the first introductions between your bulldog and cat.

FYI – In our case, eventually the cat tolerated the dogs, she never loved them but it was a comfortable coexistence. Note, the longer you’ve had one of the two pets, the longer it may take for them to get used to one another. This was definitely the case for us!

When arriving home with either the new bulldog or cat confine the two to separate spaces. Let the newcomer get used to its new home before attempting the first introduction. The cat or bulldog might have had to travel many hours to get to your home and will not be used to you or its new family. This is all very overwhelming for an animal.

Don’t feel like you have to introduce them on the first day. If the new bulldog or cat is taking longer than expected to get used to their new surroundings, give them more time to get comfortable before making introductions. There is no rush, use your discretion and take as much time as you feel is necessary before making the first introductions.

If you have more than one cat or bulldog, introduce them at separate times, and not one right after the other. Once again, for the new bulldog or cat this will all be very overwhelming, so make sure to introduce them to their new brothers and sisters one at a time.

Clip the cat’s claws in advance of the introduction. A cat with sharp claws could be a danger to your bulldog’s snout and eyes. It’s likely the bulldog will get swatted during introductions. So making sure it’s as painless as possible will prevent potential long-term ill will towards one another.

Put the bulldog in his or her crate and give the two time to sniff one another. It’s best to have the bulldog in its crate for first introductions. It will give a safe barrier between the two while they’re getting to know each other. If they look like they are getting along, put your bulldog on a leash and he or she can get to know the cat in a less confined space.

Stay close to the old cat or bulldog. Stay closer to whichever animal you’ve had longer. They most likely will act more aggressively towards the new pet. It’s important to maintain control of them during the introduction. Make sure if you’re staying close to the bulldog that they remember that you’re the alpha pack leader and that they mind their manners!

Give the two time, the first introduction might not go as smoothly as you hope. The first introductions usually won’t go as smoothly as you originally hope. But don’t despair, these things take time, so don’t be afraid to try again! If the introduction doesn’t go as originally planned, separate the two animals to their respective spaces and try again the following day. It could take a while before the two can co-exist comfortably with one another.

Five important warning signs of alarming behavior when introducing a bulldog to a cat

As stated previously, the first introduction probably won’t go as smoothly as you hope. The following are warning signs to look for when making introductions between you bulldog and cat:

  1. The bulldog is overly focused on the cat and is ignoring you. If you lose control over your bulldog during the introduction, stop immediately and separate the two animals. Try again another day.
  2. The bulldog is growling, lunging, or showing other signs of aggression to the cat. To stop the behavior by clapping your hands together forcefully and shout “no!” Don’t use your bulldog’s name when scolding him or her. You want their name to only be associated with pleasant memories so they respond to you when you call it out. If the behavior doesn’t stop after the scolding, stop the introduction and try another day.
  3. The bulldog has a volatile reaction to the cat when it hisses or bats its paw at him or her. If your bulldog has a poor reaction, scold your bulldog. The bulldog needs to know it has to be the passive one around the cat and not vice versa. Ideally, if the cat antagonized the bulldog the dog would act indifferent or walk away.
  4. The cat won’t stop hissing and/or growling at the bulldog. Stop the introduction. Tomorrow is another day so take your time and be patient. A little socializing every day will go a long way to getting the two comfortable with each other.
  5. The cat or the bulldog stops eating, drinking, or using acceptable potty-trained behaviors. Most likely these will be behaviors of the cat, we’ve never seen a bulldog stop eating. If this behavior doesn’t stop within a day or so, you can reach out to a professional animal behaviorist for advice. If that doesn’t work, unfortunately, the two might not be able to co-exist and you’ll have to find a home better suited for the newcomer.

Conclusion

The English bulldog breed is one of the best for getting along with cats. Introducing a new cat to a bulldog or vice versa can feel stressful. Having patience and following tried and true methods for first introductions should help ease some of that stress. Remember to take your time with your two babies and they most likely will eventually get along.

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