Breeds | Dog Training

Are Cockapoos Good with Cats?

are cockapoos good with cats
Are Cockapoos good with cats? How can you make a Cockapoo and a kitten friends?

A Cockapoo, (the dynamic and fun Cocker Spaniel and Poodle hybrid), is generally known to be very friendly and kid-friendly. They get along well not only with other dogs but other types of animals too!

But what if you leave your Cockapoo home alone with your cat? Are cockapoos good with cats?

The truth is… Cockapoos are okay with cats * (with a big asterisk).

A lot of people do say that cockapoos get along perfectly with cats. Still, these traits vary in degree from dog to dog, and you may need to train your pets a bit to behave amicably towards each other.

You see, although cockapoos are harmless and loving, they are also very active and excitable. So even though your Cockapoo would hardly bark at your cat aggressively or try to harm it, it would love to play with it and chase it around. And your cat may not take that very well. The Cockapoo may not like the cat’s hostility in return, either. 

f1 cockapoo puppy sleeping bed wavy
Photo by Andrew Bone /CC BY

But are cats good with cockapoos?

This is another way to look at it. If you own a cat, you know that they are often peaceful and specifically solitude loving than dogs.

They can be territorial and sometimes get upset when their territory (including people they consider being part of their territory) is breached!

Some owners think that cats are not as loyal or prone to get too emotionally attached to you either. It may not as a surprise if your cat does not appreciate your Cockapoo encroaching on her space and wanting to play with it. And you should also be aware that Cockapoos LOVE to chase and cats… often don’t enjoy being pursued.

So usually, cats have more problems with cockapoos than the other way around.

Can you train your dog to be friendly?

The Cockapoo is so intelligent and thus very easy to train. It is a mix of a spaniel and poodle, both of which are considered very smart.

So if it likes chasing your cat, you can teach it not to. All you have to do is to reward it when it does something useful (positive reinforcement). And don’t be too harsh with it when you disapprove of something. Mild disapproval is okay, but do not scold it or shout at it as that may make it stop trusting you. 

Within a few weeks to a few months, you can get your Cockapoo behaving exactly as you like. Success will depend on your consistency. Stick with it!

Mini Cockapoo On Couch Wavy Red Golden Autumn
Photo by Ray Larabie /CC BY

Can cockapoos be aggressive?

Cockapoos are known for their friendly nature. However, there are occasional cases that demonstrate aggression. You can tell if they snap and barks (or even bites!) at you excessively, or at other animals.

This can be overcome through training too. You may need to keep your dog on a leash for a while before becoming accustomed to the exposure.

You’d have to take your dog out on walks to public places where it can regularly meet with other people and animals, and overcome its hostility. You’ll have to pull it back if it misbehaves and reward it when it behaves well. Studies show that reward based training is more effective.

You may even send your dog to a school for proper training classes!

Tips for introducing your Cockapoo to your cat

Train your dog to be obedient

Before you introduce your dog to your cat, you should take the time to train your dog separately. Teach it to obey commands like “stay,” “sit,” and “down.”

These will help to keep it under control, especially to stop the puppy from chasing your cat. Every time your Cockapoo gets too excited or starts chasing your cat, you can tell them to “sit” or “stay.” If your dog already listens to and understands these basic instructions, they will quickly catch up on more stuff. 

Make safe spots

Your cat should have some safe spots (high places where your dog cannot get to, like the top of a cupboard, shelf, or fridge). 

Prepare yourself with a plan for trouble. When there is a chase or scuffle, your cat may feel threatened by your Cockapoo. Plan easy escapes in every room for the cat to run to and climb up.

Both your pets would like to have their own safe space where they can retreat whenever they want.

how much does a cockapoo bark

Take it slow

Patience is key. Your pets need time to get used to seeing each other. Do not expect them to be friends in a few days. 

Even if it seems that they are getting along, be cautious for a while. Please take it in small steps. For example, at first, you should try to keep your Cockapoo on a leash or in a crate so that it cannot jump out at your cat the first few times he sees her.  

You can keep the meeting time-limited too and slowly increase it, as well as the accessibility.

It takes time to adapt to new things, for animals too! So give it time, and they’ll start getting along. You’ll see it!

Age matters too

A puppy and kitten will get along better than an adult dog and an adult cat. The best way to make sure your pets get along with each other from the get-go is to adopt them together when they are very young.

Like babies, they will be so harmless, and you may not have to do too much extra to get them to accept each other. If they grow up together, chances are they’ll turn out to be (and stay) the best of friends!

Keep close watch

Do not leave your pets together unattended and unsupervised, especially in the beginning. Keep a close eye on them lest they cause each other trouble. 

You can’t give your constant feedback (positive or negative) unless you are watching them. Observe their behaviors (and changes in them) very closely to judge how much more stimulation and freedom you can allow in each step.

If you ever have to go out without them, leave them in separate rooms in a way they can’t get at each other.

Positive reinforcement is key 

We did already talk about this a bit. Make sure you reward your Cockapoo when it behaves the way you want. Avoid being harsh.

Shouting, scolding or hitting is a big NO! You do not want to scare your pets or lose their trust. It may start associating even more bad feelings with the cat if you scold him for going near her. Be gentle, kind, and positive!

dog bluebell field cockapoo play
The beautiful Dora (Cockapoo) in a field of bluebell flowers. Used with written permission from the talented Jayneboo.

Leashing or crating

When you bring your Cockapoo home for the first time, don’t let him loose completely. You must keep some form of physical separation or control to keep them in check before they’ve gotten used to seeing each other.

Keep your dog on a leash or in a crate and invite your cat to say hello! Let them observe each other and sniff each other without getting too close to invite mischief.

You can slowly increase the Cockapoo’s freedom by extending its leash and then removing it completely when you are pleased enough with its behavior.

Another means of separation is a baby gate. This is a gate with a grill or bars to separate the two but allows them to poke their noses to get familiar with each other. This slow desensitization is essential to limit their overexcitement.

Familiarize them using scents

Animals rely significantly on their sense of smell. You can try exchanging their belongings once in a while to let them get familiar with each other’s scents. They’ll soon start feeling at home with the new scent.

These tips are simple but will be very useful in training your pets to like each other!

Get your Cockapoo toilet trained as soon as possible. A dog that is better trained will be less likely to act out.

Bottom line on are Cockapoos good with Cats?

So what have we learned, are cockapoos good with cats?

Mostly, yes. But you will need to train them a bit and get them to know each other slowly. 

Keep in mind that temperaments vary from pet to pet and are not always compatible. It’s best to get a pet whose character matches your existing one. Once you’ve got one, take it slow and implement the simple tips and tricks we discussed above to get the best results! 

(Have you got a Cockapoo? Check out our article about the best Cockapoo brushes, and the top 5 harnesses for an active Cockapoo of any size).