Do you have a Ragdoll cat? Do you have a dog? How do they get along?
One of the questions I am asked quite frequently is whether or not Ragdoll cats get along with dogs. After all, we all know the stereotypes about cats and dogs hating each other. But is that true, or is it just what cartoons teach us, and can Ragdoll cats and dogs co-exist in a home?
Do Ragdoll Cats Get Along With Dogs?
There’s no guarantee that a Ragdoll cat will get along with dogs – it depends on the individual cat’s personality and the dog in question. Introducing pets slowly and with full supervision is essential to ensure you can separate them if any signs of aggression are shown.
Typically, Ragdolls are one of the better cat breeds for introducing to dogs. That’s because they are generally friendly cats, and they’re also a larger breed, which can help the cat to feel like more of an equal to a dog.
Ragdoll cats are sometimes called ‘puppy cats’ due to their playful and warm nature, but that doesn’t guarantee that they’ll do well with dogs. It’s not that you shouldn’t try. Still, you must be careful to choose compatible dog breeds, ideally with a similar personality to your Ragdoll.
Do Ragdoll Cats Like Dogs?
Ragdoll cats can be a very loyal breed, and if they are successfully introduced into a home with dogs, they can like them the same way they like their owner. However, you shouldn’t be disappointed if the best reaction you get from a Ragdoll cat is tolerance – that is perfectly acceptable for a happy home!
Best Dog for a Ragdoll Cat
The best dog breeds for a Ragdoll cat aren’t very aggressive, are quite playful, and ideally, not a bundle of constant energy, as that might be overbearing. Of course, Ragdolls are a playful breed, but that doesn’t mean they are constantly jumping and running around everywhere.
A canine that is capable of fun but also enjoys some quiet downtime and that won’t be aggressive or territorial would make the best companion breed for your Ragdoll cat.
Some examples of the best breeds include:
- Irish Wolfhound – very noble, gentle, and loyal
- Cavalier King Charles Spaniel – a quiet, smaller dog breed
- Beagle – bred as pack animals, so they are more likely to view a cat as a friend
- Golden Retriever – calm, sedate, and loving dogs
- German Shepherds – loyal and typically calm around Ragdolls
These are some good examples but only some of the most popular choices. And again, you can’t assume that every Ragdoll cat will be excellent companions with any dog from those four breeds. Each animal is an individual and has their own personality, anxieties, and vibe.
It’s worth noting that you shouldn’t need to worry about whether your cats and dogs are males or females. They’re different species, so there is no issue with different sexes mingling; the hormones or attitudes won’t make any difference in their relationship.
A good idea is to look at a dog’s ‘breed group’, as they often have similar traits. For example, the herding group likes to round up smaller animals, while hounds are known for chasing other animals.
Again, not all hounds – the Irish Wolfhound usually has a more easygoing personality – but if you’re unsure of a specific breed, you can look at the traits of the group to see whether you think they’re a good fit for your Ragdoll. The sporting group and the toy group are considered suitable matches for Ragdolls.
Ragdoll Cats and Golden Retrievers
Golden retrievers are typically gentle and loyal dogs. Despite their large size, they can still make good companions for Ragdoll cats. They aren’t usually the type to get jealous of attention with a lap cat. While they enjoy playing games, they are also quite happy relaxing, especially as they enter adulthood. They’re gentle giants.
Ragdoll Cats and German Shepherds
German Shepherds are loyal, large, and energetic dogs, so many people wonder whether they’re the perfect fit for the Ragdoll breed. While they may not tick every box, they can get along just fine. German Shepherds are typically not aggressive if trained correctly.
If you read Floppycats regularly, you know that my parents have two German Shepherds and two Ragdolls. I took some videos this past week to show how well they get along – other than Napa (the youngest of the 4) wanting to play…
How To Introduce Cats and Dogs
It would be best to introduce cats and dogs like you would introduce them to other new cats. As a quick summary:
- Introduce the new pet into a safe room in your home that is closed off. Give the new pet 1-2 weeks to adjust to the smells of your home. Use a large playpen if you don’t have a suitable separate room.
- Swap the scents of the animals. With cats and dogs, this is easiest done with a blanket, left in their respective beds for a couple of days, and then swapped.
- Once the new pet has adjusted, allow them to interact with the existing pet through a barrier to remain safe.
- If that goes well, begin supervised time in the same room, gradually increasing their time together.
- If, at any stage, there are signs of aggression or anxiety, move back one step and wait a few days to try again.
You must remember that any pet coming into a home with existing pets needs time to feel secure in its surroundings. These pets are strangers at this stage and need to be able to get used to the idea of being around other animals.
This means bringing the new pet into a safe room in your home and letting them adjust while giving the resident pet the time to smell the newbie from opposite sides of a door.
Once they’ve had time to adjust (which you can aid with scent swapping – swapping blankets belonging to both pets between them), you can install a barrier and allow the pets to meet without getting to each other physically.
Once you can observe the cats and dogs interacting without any signs of aggression, you can start to allow them time in the same room. Always supervise them until you know they’re comfortable together.
Try to distract your dog’s attention with toys if you notice them seeming unsure, so they can get used to a positive experience while near the cat. Of course, you can do the same with the cat too.
How To Get Cats And Dogs To Get Along
You can’t force cats and dogs to get along if they don’t. It would be the same as trying to force two people together with opposing personalities. It’s unfair on them; they shouldn’t feel uncomfortable with a pet they don’t get along with.
The most important thing is to follow the introduction steps and take the process slowly.
Don’t rush things; otherwise, you could damage your chances of a harmonious household.
I’m anxious to hear about your experiences with Ragdoll cats and dogs…
Hi, I’m Jenny Dean, creator of Floppycats! Ever since my Aunt got the first Ragdoll cat in our family, I have loved the breed. Inspired by my childhood Ragdoll cat, Rags, I created Floppycats to connect, share and inspire other Ragdoll cat lovers around the world,