If you’re a cat-owner and are considering bringing a poodle to the fold, you may be concerned about the oft-mentioned hostility between cats and dogs. So, how will it work out between the poodle and your resident cat in this new ‘blended family’? This article answers that question and also gives a guide on introducing the poodle to your cat the proper way.
So, do poodles get along with cats? The answer is yes! Poodles are generally OK with cats. Poodles are highly social canines who are also protective of their families; this protection extends to their cat relatives as well. Poodles are less likely to chase around your cat or other cats in the neighborhood for that matter. However, some characteristics make certain kinds of poodles an ideal match for cats.
Let’s find out how well the three breeds of poodles – standard, miniature, and toy – each get along with cats.
The best poodle match for your cat
Toy Poodles and cats
Toy poodles generally weigh around six to nine pounds and are roughly 10 inches on average.
That means that most toy poodles are about the same size as cats. Actually, toy poodles could be actually smaller than some cat breeds.
The relative size of toy poodles to cats can make them a cordial companion to your kitty.
You don’t have to worry about your toy poodle harming your cat as this kind of poodle does not have a body advantage over your cat.
However, something about the toy poodle that could rub your cat the wrong way is their snappy behavior.
Toy poodles typically snap when they are anxious. It’s their aggression arsenal.
This might startle the cat and make their bond a testy one. Therefore, a toy poodle might not easily be compatible with your cat.
Miniature Poodles and cats
Miniature poodles are about eleven to fifteen inches tall and weigh roughly fifteen to seventeen pounds. This makes them the medium size out of the three poodle types.
At this size, they are not too much larger than the standard adult housecat which measures about nine inches tall and weighs about seven to ten pounds. Therefore, in terms of size, the miniature poodle is a good choice.
A problematic quality of a miniature poodle could be the high energy that this breed has. Therefore, a miniature poodle could be too much for your kitty, especially if it’s one of those ‘chill’ cats.
Standard poodles and cats
As far as size is concerned, the standard poodle is the largest out of the three. It measures between fifteen inches and 22 inches and weighs between forty-five and seventy pounds.
Despite the large size of this poodle, he is a true charmer. Standard poodles are easily the mellowest out of the three kinds of poodles.
The large size of the standard poodle might startle your cat a little bit at first, but the warm temperament of this poodle will win over your cat.
Therefore, this big fella is the best choice of poodle if you’re looking for a compatible canine for your kitty.
Ultimately, in addition to the above considerations, it is important to remember that cats are individuals.
Your cat may behave differently towards its new guest. So, you need to look out for your cat’s specific response.
And to maximize the chances of a good match-up, here are a few tips!
Introducing a Poodle to your cat
Generally, an adult cat that has been around dogs is more likely to accept your poodle with little fuss. All the same, tread carefully.
Trim your kitty’s nails and ensure that, at least for the first few days, your poodle is kept on a leash and by your side.
In the first few moments of introductions, here are some measures you can take:
- Put your cat and poodle in separate rooms at first – Before the poodle enters the house, it can be more prudent to place your cat in a room and close the door. That way, you can control the level of initial interaction better.
- Familiarize the cat and the poodle through a crack under the door – Cats and dogs are very perceptive creatures. Allow your cat and poodle to sniff each other through a crack under the room’s door. Alternatively, you can let them look at each other from a safe distance.
- Use an exercise pen to shield the poodle – Once your cat and the poodle are ready for that first face-to-face, you can take steps to protect the cat from being chased around the house or pounced on by placing the poodle in her crate or an exercise pen. In this case, your cat can approach the poodle when it’s more comfortable.
Helpful tip: If your cat has never been around dogs, you will want to familiarize him before even introducing the poodle. A good way to do this is to socialize him with a cat-friendly dog.
For instance, you can ask a friend who has a cat-friendly dog to bring him over for a visit. Even though your cat doesn’t actually meet the dog, being under the same roof can get him used to the idea of the poodle.
Creating the right living conditions
Whichever response you get in the first face-to-face meeting, keep in mind that it’s going to take some time for the poodle and your cat to coexist peacefully.
You’ll know it when it happens. For instance, the poodle and your cat sleeping next to each other are a strong sign.
However, while you await this magical moment, here are a few safeguards that I definitely recommend:
Leave your cat escape routes
More often than not, it will be the poodle chasing your cat if there’s some fuss. Therefore, you need to protect your kitty in case of these instances.
You can do this by installing a baby gate in the doorway to a safe room for your cat. That way, when things heat up, your cat can quickly jump in while the poodle is kept out. Here, I’m assuming you’re dealing with a poodle puppy.
Or, you can clear high areas in rooms for your cat
If you’re not able to install that baby gate, what you can do is clear off the tops of dressers or a few shelves on a bookcase so that your cat can jump on these surfaces to escape the poodle.
Create useful hiding places
If you’re wondering how on earth the cat will know that he’s supposed to jump over the baby gate or on top of cleared surfaces, you can try this idea.
Arrange your furniture in such a way that there are hiding spaces between them for your cat to quickly dip into.
These spaces will help to make your cat comfortable even in normal moments when they’re just hanging out in the house.
Prevent pestering from either of them during eating or when using the litter box
Poodles and cats are both sensitive and they each could react with aggression towards either of them disturbing them during these moments.
Exercise your poodle well before the first face-to-face meeting
Poodles are high energy canines that have a strong ‘hunting gene’. Therefore, it would help a lot if you could temper your poodle’s pent up energy by exercising him well. After this exercise, reward your poodle with a good meal.
In the end, ensure that you take precautionary steps to create a smooth union and be patient with the two pets. Just like us humans, it will take as long as it takes to make friends. But when it happens, it’s pure magic!