If you have an Australian cattle dog and want to bring a new pet into your home, don't make a decision without thinking everything through carefully first. Cats and Australian cattle dogs aren't always the most successful and practical of pet combinations.
Australian cattle dogs are midsize herding canines, generally weighing between 35 and 45 pounds at maturity. Male Australian shepherds are usually a little taller than the females, with average shoulder height between 18 and 20 inches. The females, from their shoulders, are 17 to 19 inches tall. Australian cattle dogs are considered self-sufficient, nimble and intelligent animals. The breed emerged in Australia during the 19th century.
Together at Young Ages
Cats can fare well in households with Australian cattle dogs if they were brought up together from young ages. If your Australian cattle dog is still a young puppy and you plan on introducing a kitten into your home, you might have some chances of success. Despite that, it's impossible to ever predict how two animals might get along. Both pets might be accepting of each other, allowing for a harmonious and peaceful environment. They might feel indifferent to the other. They also might actively dislike each other.
High Prey Instincts
The desire to go after prey in Australian cattle dogs is strong. When these dogs spot wee critters scampering around, their automatic response is usually to go after them. Whether the critters be mice or squirrels, expect an Australian cattle dog to be riveted and to try to immediately catch them. This applies to cats. This is the primary risk in getting a cat for a cattle dog, and why they should share homes only if they've done so practically since birth.
Around Fellow Dogs
Consideration is necessary even for allowing Australian cattle dogs to live alongside other dogs. Australian cattle dogs sometimes can live peacefully near fellow canines, especially if they are similar in size and were brought up together. Some Australian cattle dogs can be fierce toward other pooches, though, particularly if they're of the same gender. Some canines of this breed enjoy being the sole dog in a household, favoring human interplay.
- Australian Cattle Dog Rescue Association: Frequently Asked Questions
- VetStreet: Australian Cattle Dog
- Animal Planet: Australian Cattle
- DogChannel.com: Australian Cattle Dog Breed Profile
- The Westminster Kennel Club: Australian Cattle Dog
- Seattle Purebred Dog Rescue: Australian Cattle Dog
- Australian Cattle Dogs; Richard G. Beauchamp
- Duncan Smith/Photodisc/Getty Images