If you are wondering whether a sheltie and a cat can share a home, then the news is good. Even though shelties have a strong urge to herd other animals, a cat will generally teach them that it’s not going to happen and they can become good playmates.
Shetland Sheepdog Personality
Shetland sheepdogs, or shelties, are gentle and playful. They are active, intelligent dogs that require daily walks and have a strong instinct to herd whether they are around sheep, ducks or children. They are easy to train and, providing they are properly introduced, will quickly adapt to sharing a home with a cat. Shelties are prone to barking when they are bored, so having a cat to keep them company when you are not home can actually help them from developing bad habits.
Introducing the Sheltie and Cat
Shelties and cats get on best if they are introduced as puppy and kitten and grow up together, but this is not always possible. The first introduction must be supervised whether they are young or old, and the cat must have a safe area to escape to if he feels threatened. A cat tree or any area above the reach of the sheltie is perfect. Keep the dog on a leash and try to keep both of them calm as they become familiar with the sight and smell of each other. Do not force them to interact but give them praise and treats if things seem to go well and there is no barking, growling or hissing. Let them both have their own space and bring them together over time.
Tips to Make Them Accept Each Other
Feed the sheltie and cat in separate locations to prevent them stealing food from each other -- this can lead to gulping down food and digestion problems. Put the cat litter tray where the sheltie can’t visit it as he will probably eat the cat droppings and get sick. Give each pet some one-on-one time and when they are together be encouraging and affectionate with them both and be careful not to show any favoritism.
Sheltie and Cat Friendships
An online search will show many videos of shelties and cats having fun together. Provided you handle the introduction well your pair should become friends that play together, keep each other company and possibly even groom each other and sleep together. Sometimes, despite your efforts they may ignore or simply tolerate each other; this is most likely to happen if one of them is quite old and finds the other too boisterous. Even in this situation they still benefit from some live company when you are not home.