Poodles are teddy bears – living, breathing, and smiling bundles of joy. When you hug a teddy bear, you do not expect it to return your embrace… because that would be a horror movie right there.
However, these cute poodles are going to hug you back, and you’ll feel their love and gentleness lift your heart. I know I sound optimistic and excited, and no, I’m not here to convince you to buy a poodle. I genuinely love how they look and feel in my arms.
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Poodles and Cats
Since they belong to entirely different species, canines and felines rarely have anything in common. They also have species-specific body language. For instance, cats’ mouths are closed even when they’re excited and happy, but dogs smile, and their tongues hang out! Dogs wag their tails to show affection, whereas cats do so in response to aggression.
So, you get my point, right?
If you want your poodle and cat to co-exist, you must understand their differences and behaviors. You should also observe and be alert when they show signs of imminent war. Poodles are known to get along better with cats than they do with children. That might be a deal-breaker for many of you, but one can adapt and adjust.
The best way to ensure they are compatible is to bring them up together. A young pup and kitten raised together, under the same roof. They have so much to learn as they grow, which makes them easier to train.
An older dog or cat may not adjust well enough to your liking. There’s so much baggage to deal with in terms of territorial and possession-related aggression and hostility.
But, if you fell in love with an older poodle and already have a cat at home, you must know how to introduce them properly.
Do Poodles Get Along with Cats?
Poodle Personality and Cats
Considering people bred them to be hunters, poodles have hunting in their DNA. You can’t forget that even though, centuries later, they’ve transitioned to becoming house pets. Smaller poodles make for great companion dogs, but they tend to get very attached to their owners. Possessiveness isn’t very healthy if you’re planning on having two pets, as it means your Poodle will need to learn to share your attention.
Here are some points to consider about a poodle’s temperament before you make your decision.
Poodle Temperament Issues to Consider Before Going All-in
Aggression: The Poodle dog breed are active dogs, and as such, they exhibit a tremendous amount of energy when they play. This can often be seen as aggression. If you have a kitten, be watchful during playtime. Your Poodle isn’t intentionally hurting the kitten, but it needs to know when to stop.
Do also remember that the breed has an extensive hunting background. It doesn’t hurt to supervise your Poodle and cat’s playtime, at least until you’re sure that they’re accustomed to each other.
Sensitivity: Poodles are loyal to a fault (compare them to a Goldendoodle to see) . They form attachments to their owners like no other breed. As such, jealousy is expected. If you plan to have two pets, of which one is a Poodle, ensure you spend equal time with both. Don’t give either pet a reason to feel ignored. This should not be much of an issue if you have a cat, as cats don’t need physical attention like dogs.
Friendly dogs: Poodles are inherently very friendly. If they’re raised right, they form quick bonds with other animals, too. From puppy to adult dog – you can hope for a happy household. You will need to train your Poodle well to mix with cats and even other dogs easily.
Poodle Temperament Differences Based On Their Size
Toy poodles: They’re the same size as cats, and hence are perfect. But, you might expect with a smaller Poodle, the tinier, the snappier. Toy poodles would be the first to snap in an unpleasant situation. And that wouldn’t go down well with cats.
Miniature poodle: These come in the middle in size, and are slightly larger than cats. But, they are probably the most energetic. If they don’t get their daily dose of exercise, they could try to get all that energy out by playing with your cat. And that could get rough.
Standard poodles: These guys are the most “chill,” even more than a beer fresh out of your fridge. They would feel consistently relaxed with your cat, so you have least to worry about having them both under the same roof.
And so, the cat-loving Poodle is the…
Standard poodle! It could come as a surprise, but these poodles make the best cat companions, indeed. They’re simply the best.
All poodles are friendly, but the standard ones are the best bet when it comes to their chill factor.
This, however, doesn’t mean that you cannot consider other Poodle types. You can! All you have to do is help them be the best version of themselves. In and out.
Coach Your Poodle to Bond with Cats
Start socializing your dog when it reaches around seven weeks of age. Socialization gets a dog accustomed to new sensory stimuli and other social beings. It is a responsbility of being a pet owner. They learn to stay calm and cool around any new additions to their comfort zone. The more the pup is socialized, the better its temperament will be when it reaches adulthood.
Don’t stop there, though.
Socializing is an activity that must carry on throughout their life, or else their behavior can change. Imagine having to stay at home without ever meeting anyone for weeks.
We all know how that feels now.
And it’s not nice.
This helps dogs with a strong prey drive as it teaches them not to react aggressively to small objects or animals. Size could act as a trigger for hunting dogs like Poodles. Desensitization works by diverting their attention elsewhere. It requires patience, but I tell you, it’s worth it. Your dog would feel less predatory around small animals like cats.
This method will help you get your animals comfortable around each other. With every accomplishment, you give small treats to both your Poodle and cat. They will start associating together time as reward time. And that’s always guaranteed to bring out their best behavior.
Creating commands that control your dog’s impulses reduces their instant reactivity, usually around other small animals. You can also condition your dog to look to you for approval before taking any independent action.
Since poodles are intelligent and prone to act on instinct, you must train your dog to curb this impulse around your cats as well.
Pointers to Keep In Mind for Poodles and Cats to Get Along
There are times when your Poodle and cat will have a conflict. It’s inevitable. So I’ve come up with a few points for you to help them get along better.
The first step is to initiate an alliance with one another. Slowly and gradually are keywords to remember. They must be able to smell each other first, behind closed doors. Then, once they come face-to-face, keep your Poodle under a leash so that you have greater control should a conflict arise.
Please don’t leave them all alone without any chaperoning. There might be consequences, and you’d have to try harder to bring them together in the event of a conflict.
Don’t allow your Poodle to chase your cat – that’s a big no.
Encouraging that would increase their prey drive, and they would end up attacking and harming the cat if they’ve succeeded in cornering them. If they already get along well, then a game of tag and chase is harmless. But, something like this, in the beginning, could result in a battle of poodle-loo.
Habituating each other’s scents
So here’s a tip: you put your cat’s toys with your Poodle’s. You could put their beds together as well. Perhaps even their bathing accessories like towels and combs or brushes. The idea is to place objects with both pets’ scents side-by-side for gentle accustomization. When they get used to each other’s smells, they will not get as intimidated if either of them suddenly appears in front of the other.
Use a Cage
If your Poodle is a little on the enthusiastic side, or your cat is skittish, it will help if, at the first introduction, your Poodleis in its closed crate or cage. Then the cat does not have to worry about being attacked.
They say that a family that eats together stays together. Well, the same goes for our paws and whiskers here. Not exactly at the same dinner table, because that could lead to food-based aggression.
But feeding cat food and Poodle food in the same room each day helps condition each animal-they are together in positive activities, which allows them to feel more relaxed around one another. When animals let down their guard while eating, it implements comradeship.
Avoid Your Poodle and Cat from Having a Cat-And-Dog Fight
1. Achilles’ weakest was his heel. But your cat is at its most vulnerable while in the litterbox. Your Poodle cornering your cat while the latter is busy pooping can result in a brawl. I suggest you keep the litter box away from your dog’s reach to avoid such a situation.
2. Escape routes – If you’re not at home and your doggo wants to chase your cat, what are you going to do?
You teach them to escape and stay safe. Teach your cat to jump on a high piece of furniture to which the dog has no access. Equally, give your dog a place to hide where the cat cannot get to it.
3. Cat claws – Ever had a kitten try to climb your bare legs? Or had one that jumped on you, claws extended from on top of a cabinet? Yes, ouch. Cat claws are equally playful to dogs, too. If your cat is older and has never socialized, they might not know when to hide the claws. This could turn a playful swatting session into a terrible tussle. Keep your cat’s claws clipped or filed (do not declaw), and spend time teaching your cat to play without clawing.
4. Don’t leave them alone – I cannot stress this enough. Especially if your pets don’t get along well, please do not leave them alone. You need to be sure before leaving them alone. A cat is not a match for a standard poodle should they engage in a bitter battle. Similarly, your toy poodle will not survive a ferocious onslaught by your cat.
Why the History of the Poodle Makes Cat Friendship Tricky
Poodle sounds like a noodle, and if I were an artist, I’d love to doodle a poodle. The name itself has a rhythm to it. Just saying “poodle” sounds like a lyric. But, I digress!
Back to my history lesson.
The German word pudel or pudelhund, which translates to “to splash in the water,” could be an inspiration for the name “poodle.” (It is also why Poodles just LOVE water)
Poodles aren’t just show dogs that flaunt their elegance and style for a prize.
They’re very clever and intelligent. They’re also super-friendly and loving. So if you’re planning to adopt one, you won’t regret your choice.
Poodles come in three sizes-standard, miniature, and toy. Of these, the toy poodles are the smallest – and the cutest. There’s no doubting their cuteness quotient.
Their origin is either from Germany, as a water dog, or from France, as a French barbet. Their origin is disputed to date, but we know that people bred them to hunt ducks. From there, they went on to become show dogs! Either way, they make excellent companions at home.
If you love cats and have them as pets at home, you have no reason to worry if you bring home a poodle. The Poodlebreed is less aggressive than many other breeds and more open to non-dog companions.
But, all poodles and Poodle mix dogs aren’t all the same, just like people. And all cats don’t have the same personality and tolerance level.
The Verdict: Do Poodles and Cats Make a Great Match?
Your Poodle and cat will most probably make a great match, as long as you have trained them well. I’m sure if you keep alert and observe their behavior regularly, you’d be pretty successful in maintaining a peaceful environment.
Cats usually avoid dogs they don’t like, so if that’s the same with your situation, then you must train your dog to ignore your cat. Then they’d be able to co-exist without a hassle. Much of it can come down the the indidual cat’s personality.
It’s always easier to introduce young pups and kittens. That reduces the level of conflict. But if you have decided to adopt or have already adopted an older poodle or cat, you’d still be just as successful if you follow all precautions.