How well do Boston Terrier’s get along with cats? The Boston Terrier was at one-time the premier dogfighters. They are no longer like that. But it makes one ask the question of what effect this might have on their relationship with other animals. Can Boston Terriers get along with cats? Or will they fight?
While the Boston Terrier was used as fighting dogs in the past, they are now one of the most lovable breeds, veritable little gentleman. Cats and Boston Terriers can get along well with each other. In fact, they can be good friends. Their size, temperament, and overall amiability make them natural friends to cats and people. Training, of course, will matter as well as how you set your house up for the relationship.
The Boston Terrier having such a pleasant disposition plays well in regards to getting along with other animals. Still yet, you, as the owner, will need to put in some homework paving the way. While a puppy and kitten raised together are almost assured to be friends, older animals could face difficulties.
Overcoming those difficulties and establishing the right foundation will depend upon knowledge combined with action. How to train your dog, training your cat and setting up your house will all be covered below.
But first lets explore a little of the history of this noble breed of dog.
Boston Terrier History
Boston Terriers are one of the younger breeds of dogs, being bone of the few breeds to have been developed in the United States. Originating from Boston, which also gave them their name, these dogs got off to a sad rough start before eventually flourishing as one the best companion animals of all time.
There are several versions of this dog’s origin story. One has it that wealthy New England families crossed bulldogs with the now-extinct English White Terrier to create fighting dogs. Whatever its true origins, we know for sure that the breed initially started with a dog named Judge.
Not long after, the AKC recognized the breed in 1893, making it one of the first of the 10 AKC recognized breeds that originated in America. As early as 1915 they were already the most popular breed in the US. This popularity would remain strong up to the present time.
Boston Terriers have a large size differential between individual dogs. They can range from under 15 pounds to as much as 25 pounds, standing on average from 12 to 17 inches tall at the shoulder. A very sturdy looking dog, they should never look skinny.
Their size is just about the ideal size for a dog companion to a cat. They are not so big that they could overwhelm the cat nor harm them too greatly. While that is great news, it isn’t everything you must consider.
Since they’re small but not too small the cat shouldn’t be too much of a threat to them. While most dogs tower over cats, there are some breeds that are so small that one might have to worry about the cat hurting them. Fortunately, Boston Terriers don’t have to worry about this problem.
Boston Terrier Instincts
Most of the instincts of this breed consist mainly of loving their family. In terms of personality and temperament, this dog has almost anything that a family could want. Sense of humor? Boston has it in spades. A happy breed with a strong friendly personality their isn’t a lot that will faze them.
This is not a touchy breed. No walking on eggshells around the gentlemanly Boston. Training is made much easier with this breed as they are very eager to please their family. They can, however, be protective, so it is important that you socialize them well. So they know when to protect and when to let things go.
As long as you well socialize them then getting them friend with your cat should be a cinch.
Dog Training Techniques
Much depends upon whether the dog or cat is the newcomer to the household. Either way, it is important to think of some good rules to establish between your dog and cat.
Since Boston Terriers are generally eager to please, most of the training and rules should be focused on them. Cats are much more aloof and likely to ignore you.
Some good rules to set for your dog might look like this:
- Don’t harass the cat
- Leave their kitty litter alone
- No chasing the cat
- Barking at the cat is not allowed
All the rules you will want to establish depends greatly upon your lifestyle and personalities of your cat and dog. But whatever rules you do establish, make sure you enforce them consistently. Otherwise, your dog will grow frustrated and confused.
Command Phrases are important
The ability to stop your dog’s actions with a single word is a great power to have. With this, you can prevent many problems that might face a dog. Not to mention making your cat safer and happier.
This can be a strong “no” or “ack-ack” some people even have success with a clicker. The important part is that it needs to sharp and short. That way it will get your dog’s attention quickly. Since Bostons are fairly easy to train compared to other breeds, training them to heed a command phrase should not be difficult.
Things to Do For Your Cat
While training your dog can be very important, you should do some things for your cat as well. Most of these do not consist of any special training for your cat. But rather to set up the house in such a way to allow the cat to feel at ease.
This is important because a cat that feels stressed and harassed can lash out. Considering how long and sharp cats claws are, they can do a lot of damage fast if they feel threatened. This could hurt you or your dog.
So we need to provide them with some things so they will be chill for us.
- Cat room
- Separate feeding areas
- Cat trees and other toys
The Cat Room
To cut down on conflicts between your cat and your Boston, setting up a cat room can be a powerful tool. Just like people cats need someplace of their own. Cats can get really tense when there is a lot of stuff happening around them.
Their senses are a lot sharper than our own. This is really cool. But it also causes some problems. Mainly that it can make it hard for them to relax. So they need a nice quiet retreat area.
Now, this can be a room but it doesn’t have to be. It could also be part of a hallway or a certain corner of the house. Vertical is another direction you could go to, by giving your cat some sort of platform where they won’t be bothered.
Blocking off areas of the house from your dog is made easy with a child-gate. Especially with a smaller breed like a Boston Terrier. They shouldn’t be able to knock it down or jump over it, which your cat will appreciate.
Boston Terriers while being known as gentleman also have an energetic side. Sometimes they can have immense bursts of energetic activity. They will come on fast and leave equally as quickly. But before they’re done, they could leave your cat in an unhappy tizzy.
A frazzled cat will be more likely to pull out the claws, literally in this case. Plus since your cat and dog will be sharing the floor with each other their may not always be a way for your cat to escape.
To your dog, your cat might sometimes look like a fun bouncy ball or a plush chew toy. Cats do not appreciate this. So give your cat a walkway of their own.
Make it up high to take advantage of your cat’s climbing abilities which dogs do not share. You could line up some tables and bookshelves or string several cat trees together. Do it in a way where your cat can traverse key pathways of the house without being worried about being chased by the dog.
Doing this will cut down on the chances of serious conflicts between your animals.
Separate their Feeding Areas
Food is yummy. Cats, dogs, and people all appreciate it. But whatever everyone likes everyone’s going to want. As much of it as they can. That’s how nature made animals so as to foster their survivability.
Picture it, there’s your cat getting ready to happily munch on their food. When suddenly a Terrier comes bounding around the corner knocking your cat over and gobbling up their food before you can say cheese.
This will make your cat sad. Cats though don’t go cry in the corner when they get sad. They retaliate, probably when you least expect it.
Too make sure this doesn’t happen, feed your cat somewhere where your dog can’t get to it. While this could be in their special cat area, another alternative is somewhere high like a counter. That way your cat can enjoy their meal in peace.
There are few dogs more compatible with cats than Boston Terriers. But not all will be perfect. You will need to train your dog and set up your house. These things shouldn’t be very hard or take too long. But they will pay off in the long run.
Getting your animals off to good start early on in their life will give you years to reap the benefits. There are few things in life more enjoyable than seeing a dog and cat happily in play with one another. While life has no guarantees, give your dog and set the best opportunity to be friends that you can. Trust me it will be worth it.