Are Rhodesian ridgebacks good with cats?

Rhodesian ridgebacks can be good with cats if they are raised with them from a young age, if they are supervised when they are introduced and if the cat has a place to escape to. Ridgebacks are playful dogs and have natural hunting instincts so it is important that your cat has a space to get away from your ridgeback when they need a break.

If you introduce your ridgeback and cat from a young age, they can grow up to be best friends. Without training and a proper introduction process, ridgebacks could chase and harm your cat.

This article will explore more about ridgebacks and cats and what you can do to help them to live happily together.

Rhodesian ridgebacks and cats

Ridgebacks can learn to live happily with cats if they are introduced at a young age and their behaviour is moderated and mediated by you. Ridgebacks are hunting dogs by nature so a new can that is introduced to an older dog that has not been trained can look like prey.

Here are the factors that will affect whether or not your ridgeback and cat will get along together.

Age of the ridgeback

A young ridgeback that is introduced to cats when they are a puppy can learn to respect and behave around cats. Bringing a cat into a your home with a young ridgeback can go well is you supervise them, control the behaviour and give both the cat and your ridgeback space when they need it.

Wet got out ridgeback when he was around 12 weeks old. This is the perfect time to introduce your dog to a cat with you watching. Puppies are playful and will try to play with your cat. If your cat is young or playful, they can get along as great friends and continue this friendship as they get older.

Gender of the ridgeback

Female ridgebacks are generally more tolerant of smaller animals than male ridgebacks. Males will be more territorial and seem to have a stronger hunting instinct than females.

An older male ridgeback will be more likely to drive a cat out of your yard or home rather than tolerate it. If you have a male ridgeback it is important to introduce cats at a young age. Watch their behaviour and make sure you take charge if the play gets out of hand.

Female ridgebacks are generally more relaxed and less territorial. If they are socialized with cats they will learn that they can share the space both indoors and outdoors.

Age and personality of the cat

A cat that is social, playful and tolerant of large animals will be easier to keep with your ridgeback. Many cats will see a ridgeback as a threat and run and hide as soon as they see them. This can cause your ridgeback to start to chase and their relationship will not grow.

A cat that is used to dogs will be less likely to run and your ridgeback can sniff and get to know them. Make sure you are always in the room when you introduce your dog to a cat. Their hunting instinct can kick in and they may injure the cat if it is not controlled.

Ridgeback traits

Ridgebacks are naturally playful but can also switch back to their hunting instincts when small animals are around. Ridgebacks are large, have huge paws, large claws and big mouths. They can easily intimidate or hurt a cat if their behaviour is not controlled.

If your ridgeback sees a cat outdoors usually they will completely ignore you and their instincts will kick in. A running cat can seem fun to chase if they have not been taught otherwise.

My ridgeback was never introduced to cats when he was young and would always see cats and something fun to chase. While he would not intentionally hurt a cat if it caught up to it, he could accidentally place his paw on it. My ridgeback is over 80 pounds and that amount of weight can definitely hurt a cat.

Ridgebacks are also very loving, will get to know their family members, pets included and will learn to be around small animals. My ridgeback will happily be around pet rabbits and chickens but sees cats differently as they are fast, run away and seem like a play thing.

Be aware that ridgebacks are natural hunters and chasers. A cat can seem like a fun target if you don’t teach them otherwise.

How to train your ridgeback to live with cats

If you want to train your ridgeback to be with your cat, check out some easy tips.

Start when they are young

The best way to get your ridgeback and cat to live happily together is to introduce them while they are young. Ideally you would get a puppy and a kitten and introduce them when they are both young.

IF this cannot be done, the next best thing is to introduce a young ridgeback to a mature cat. You will need to teach the pup to respect the cat, but a tolerant cat can lead the way and show the pup how to behave.

Always supervise your dog and cat when they are together to make sure that play does not get out of hand.

Supervision and management

It is essential to supervise your ridgeback when they are around cats, particularly when they are young. Start by introducing them with a cage or fence between them. Placing your dog and cat on either side of a child-safe gate is good for their first introduction.

Start with 5 minutes at a time and gradually lengthen the time. As they start to get used to each other you can supervise them in the same room. You can pop your ridgeback on a lead so you can control them if they become more playful. This will allow the cat to escape and find their own space if they feel uncomfortable.

Creating safe spaces for your cat and dog

It is essential that both your cat and your ridgeback have safe spaces to escape to. Cats should have a high space to relax in, a cat pole works well if it is secured to the floor and can’t be knocked over.

Your ridgeback should be able to find their own space outdoors or away from the cat if they need a break. A dog house or crate will work well for your ridgeback. Keep and eye on them together and they can learn to get along and live in the same house in harmony.

Are Rhodesian ridgebacks good with cats? | Summary

Rhodesian ridgebacks can learn to live with cats if they are introduced when they are young, supervised and their behaviour is controlled. Ridgebacks are natural hunters so can see a cat as pray if they run away. With some work and training ridgebacks and cats can learn to get along.