** . As an amazon associate, I earn from qualifying purchases, this post may contain affiliate links and I may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you.
Welcome Crazy Cat People
When we have an already established pet household it can be very worrying to introduce a new cat or dog to the home.
It is natural to be fearful and this can be a very stressful time for both pets and owners alike. You may be asking yourself questions such as ”Will my ragdoll and dog get into a fight?” or ”Will my pet get jealous of the new cat/dog?”
In this post, I did some research to answer your questions.
In general ragdoll cats get along really well with dogs. They are a friendly and docile breed and have similar traits to dogs and are often called the ”puppy-cat”. They are a large breed so can often stand up for themselves when engaging in play however not all breeds of dogs get along easily with cats.
Even though the introduction period can be stressful there are lots of things you can do as a pet owner to make this transition period a lot less stressful and pain-free.
In this post we look into detail about why ragdoll cats get along easily with canines, we look at the best breeds of dogs that will get along with cats as well as the breeds that may pose a challenge.
We then look at how to introduce your ragdoll safely to your dog or vice versa, so keep reading to find out more.
Do ragdolls get along with dogs? – A detailed look
One thing I will say and this is my personal opinion, if you are thinking of getting a cat for an already established pet home whether that be a cat-friendly breed of dog or another cat who is not too territorial, then a ragdoll cat is one of the best choices you can make.
Ragdoll cats are well known for their placid, loving and dog-like temperaments.
I think the best way I can show you what a ragdoll is like is by guiding you through a day in the life of a typical ragdoll cat and then you may see for yourself why this breed will get along with your dog!
A Day in the life of a Ragdoll Cat
6 am) – You are woken up to a loud meow from this vocal breed who will let you know when they want something especially food, they greet you with a good morning and will want some attention and stroking from you he minute they see you.
Good morning human!
7 am) – Ragdolls love to play so they will need a play session from their favourite human, some ragdolls even learn to play fetch just like a dog. One thing you can rely upon with a ragdoll is when engaging in play is that they will rarely scratch or bite, they are a super gentle breed.
8 am) – You decide to have a shower and get ready to go to work, your ragdoll follows you around everywhere because they are just like a puppy.
You sit on the toilet and they follow you and stare at you, expect to never get much peace while you have a ragdoll around, they are your new shadow!
9 am – 5 pm) – You leave for work in the morning and your ragdoll looks at you at the window as you leave. They feel upset even though they know you will be back home at some point because you are their life and the centre of the universe.
Ragdolls do not like to be left alone for very long and can get very lonely so a partner in crime to keep them happy is a very good idea!
5.30 pm) You get home from work and your little doll is waiting at the door, she is so happy to see you and instantly demands attention. You go to give her a stroke and she meows and you then decide to pick her up.
Ragdolls love cuddles and attention and when you pick her up she goes limp and floppy in your arms, literally like a ragdoll!
She has missed you and she loves company whether that be human, canine or another feline!
7 pm) – Now it’s time for more playtime before dinner and let’s not forget when you go to lay on the sofa you must still need to be giving your ragdoll the love and cuddles she craves.
You have been out all day long (How very dare you) so you will need to make up for not being at home to tend to your dolls need of affection!
Facebook poll results –
I did a little poll on a popular cat group to find out what people said about there dogs and cats getting along, the results are below!
|My cat and dog get along just fine||My cat and dog hate each other and DO NOT get along|
There you go! 85% of people said there cats and dogs got along just fine and they had no problems!
Dont get me wrong they didn’t all say it was easy! They said it took time and patience so unless your really lucky it wont be an easy ride but it will be worth it in the end!
I hope this has given you a good insight into not only what a day with a ragdoll is like but also how they might be a perfect breed to get along with a dog.
Their playful yet placid personality is perfect for a house with dogs. They behave just like a puppy themselves and as I have already stated they will even learn to play fetch with you and being a super-intelligent breed they can even learn to do tricks.
If you are introducing a new dog to a house with dolls then it can be a lot easier than other breeds of cat because ragdolls tend to be a lot less territorial which can make the transition a lot smoother.
Let’s remember that ragdolls are also a large breed weighing between 10 – 20 pounds with the males being slightly larger so when engaging in rough play with a dog they will find it easier to stick up for themselves too. They crave companionship so having another pet around the home will also keep your ragdoll happy while away and prevent boredom and stress.
I hope you can see just how much a ragdoll has the potential to be an amazing companion for your dog!
Do ragdoll cats need a companion?
Ragdoll cats are significantly more social and crave more attention than other breeds so a companion is always a good idea especially if you are frequently away from home. Always look out for changes in behaviour when a ragdoll is left alone that may indicate stress and the need for companionship.
Ragdolls are very dependant on human interaction, they love being around people and other animals.
They are prone to loneliness if they are left alone for extended periods of time. I own two cats who are not ragdolls and even they show signs of stress if I leave the house for too long and they have each other to keep themselves company while I’m out!
I have yet to meet a cat who can tell me how they are feeling so you must watch out for signals from your cat that he/she is feeling stressed and lonely.
The signals they give will be subtle but if you own one ragdoll and they are showing any of these symptoms then you need to consider if getting another pet is the right choice for you and your little fur baby.
Changes of behaviour to look out for
- Marking and stopping using the litter tray – This can often be a sign that the cat is very stressed while you are out or that they may be experiencing a health problem so always see a vet and get this checked out.
- Vomiting – Is this more frequent than what would be normal? A little bit of cat sick is normal every now and again but if it’s every time you go out then this may be an indicator of anxiety.
- Destructive behaviour – Ragdoll cats hardly ever engage in destructive behaviour so if they do you know something is wrong.
- Long meows and being more vocal – Are they trying to tell you something? You should after a while begin to understand their different vocalisations and what they mean. So be aware of sudden changes!
These could all be signs that your pet is lonely and stressed when you are not around and the last thing you want to do is let these symptoms escalate into deep unhappiness!
What do I need to consider when getting a companion for my ragdoll?
There is a lot to consider when deciding if to get another pet to accompany your cat.
The biggest one is most definitely price, not just the cost of buying the other pet but the annual and monthly costs of looking after more than one pet.
If it’s a dog or cat then you will also need to consider having the time to make sure you are at home throughout the introduction period and this may mean taking time off work. It’s very important to make introductions slowly over a period of time and for them to be supervised through this stressful experience.
Some resources I have written that may help you are –
”Are ragdoll cats expensive” – The average price of a ragdoll cat.
”How much does it cost to look after a cat” (The real truth) – A very detailed look at just how much it costs to adopt a cat, to feed a cat and how much you will pay annually and monthly for there care and there needs.
I am sure you will make the right choice when you introduce a companion to your ragdoll!
Just make sure they are happy and are spoiled with lots of love!
How do I introduce my ragdoll cat to my dog?
The first and most important part of introducing a dog to a cat is to NEVER LEAVE THEM ALONE TOGETHER until you are certain that they have got used to each other and that there will be no fights!
Cats and dogs can live in harmony despite what some people say!
In cartoons and stories they never seem to get along but in reality, they can share a happy lifetogether. The dog can play a big part in your ragdolls life and they can develop a strong, loving bond. They will playfully chase each other and can often be seen cleaning each other and cuddling up together on the bed.
Watch the youtube video below and see how much fun ragdolls can have with dogs 🙂
Before you get anywhere near that level of peace and harmony between canine and feline there are some very important things you must do!
It is a good idea to make sure the dog has been taught how to follow basic commands such as ”sit” or ”down” before the introduction commences.
You must have lots of free time to supervise the introduction and be warned this can take anywhere from a week to a month or more depending on your dog and cats individual personality.
Please don’t fear the crazy cat man is here!
Below I am going to walk you through step by step what you need to be aware of and the precautions you need to take!
Set up a separate safe room for both your cat and dog.
Please ensure the cat’s room has all she/he will need such as food, water, toys, scratching post and bed.
Keep the door closed to make sure that the cat and dog cannot see each other, they will smell each other through the door and slowly get used to each other’s scent. It is a good idea to not let them meet face to face for the first 4-5 days.
A great tip is to get two new clothes and rub them on each pets scent gland. On a cat, this is their cheeks and forehead and on a dog, this is their armpits and their flank (the side of the dog between the end of the chest and the rear leg.)
Leave the cloth with the dog’s scent on in the cat’s room and the cloth with the cat scent on with the dog.
Make sure over the 4-5 days you spend an equal amount of time with the dog and cat to make them feel calm and relaxed, when you enter each room they will smell each other’s scent on you so they will learn to associate you with the new smell.
Make sure your dog is well trained.
Let the dog sniff at the door for a short while but then distract them away by getting them to give all of their focus to you.
Once they are distracted and come over to you give them a treat or their favourite toy. This is teaching them that if they focus on you they will be rewarded.
This will help further down the line if the dog gets too excited from seeing the cat, do this over the several days that the cat and dog are separate to really make this new training and behaviour stick with your dog.
What we are doing above with the two steps is introducing dog and cat through scent first before we introduce through visuals and this is super important.
Cat proof your home.
This is also a super important step to take. You need to make sure in your home that there are lots of places that your cat can escape to if they are stressed!
Cats need high spaces!
So use your imagination, my cats like to jump up on top of my fridge. One of my cat’s favourite places is right on top of the boiler in the kitchen. I think she likes it up there because it tends to be the warmest spot in the house.
A very good idea is to have one or two large cat trees, basically anywhere where the dog cannot get to and the cat can look down to survey her kingdom, her own little safe spot!
Only carry out this next step when the dog is not super interested and engaged with the cat on the other side of the door! Remember first impressions count!
You have two options here, if you have a glass door then use the glass door so the cat and dog can now visually see each other and have one person on each side of the door keeping the pets calm and relaxed while they check each other out.
Owning a glass door is not that popular so another good option is to put a baby gate up, a normal baby gate is okay as long as the cat can fit through the slots to retreat to the safe space if needed. An even better idea is to purchase one of those baby gates that has a little door on it, you can find these easily on Amazon.
Once the gate is up and the pets can see each other it is a good idea at first to keep your dog on a leash, it’s a good idea to make sure the leash is loose so the dog doesn’t feel any tension from you, start with a short leash and then as the dog calms down you can make the leash longer to allow the dog more access to the cat. They will naturally want to sniff and do a scent investigation on one another at some point.
The baby gate will allow the cat to come out whenever they are ready and feel safe to do so and retreat whenever they so wish.
When the dog comes out please get the dogs attention. This is where all the work you carried out in step 2 will now start to pay off! Get their attention with treats to distract them away from the cat.
We want the cat to realise that if she is nervous, she can go back to safety and get away easily but also when they do enter the room, the dog is not just focused on the cat all the time.
This is where we need to be super vigilant and be aware of body language, look for signs of stress in both animals.
Signs of stress in a cat
- Ears flat aginst the head
- Super wide pupils
- Hair standing up on back of the head
- Making themselves look bigger with hairs standing up
Read the PetMD article for more info on what to look out for in a stressed cat.
For the dog lookout for signs of overexcitement and wanting to chase the cat, if the dog tries to attack the cat in any way or both animals seem stressed then it may be time to separate them again and retreat to individual safe spaces with doors closed for a day or two before trying again.
Remembering again to spend individual time with each pet.
It can be useful to make sure that the dog doesn’t have lots of pent up play energy before the introduction, so maybe take them for a long walk before doing this step or go into the garden to play a long game of fetch.
This should reduce the chances of the dog just wanting to chase the cat.
This can be stressful and it could take a lot of time but eventually, feline and canine will live happily together.
What breeds of dogs may not get along with cats?
Dogs and cats can get along regardless of the breed but some dogs are just more suited for feline interaction.
One thing we need to ask ourselves is ”Is the breed of dog the type that will chase my cat and be constantly running after them all day?”
If they will be constantly chasing your cat then this could really stress your cat out in the introduction phase and leave a bad first impression. Generally, dogs that are bred for hunting and seeking prey may find it harder to get along with cats.
Below we explore some of those breeds!
The racing greyhound
These dogs are bred and used for chasing small objects around a field all day long.
They are extremely active dogs and love a good chase, they can have a lovely temperament and I’m not saying they don’t make a good pet but will they be chasing your smaller cat around the garden or house all day?
This could lead to trouble!
Whippets can learn to get along with cats but again they are a super active breed of dog. It may take a while to teach the whippet to not chase your cat.
Not impossible but it may take longer than other placid breeds.
Terrier breeds are historically trained to catch vermin, so with a small cat, they may see them as vermin. I am not saying they will eat them for dinner but they may be constantly chasing.
Also, this breed does like to have their humans to themselves in a similar way to a ragdoll so there could be a power struggle!
The Rat terrier
Very similar to a Jack Russel, they have super strong hunting instincts and some of these dogs will keep that instinct and not enjoy the company of cats. Again they can learn to live with them but you may have a tough job on your hands!
These dogs are rare but do have a historical instinct for ratting and do not get along well with rodent pets such as gerbils, hamsters etc… They may also see a small cat or kitten the same way. If they are brought up together from a young age there shouldn’t be any issues but introducing them when adults may pose a problem.
Afghan hounds! I am sorry but how cute do they look! 🙂
However, they are powerful hunters built for long days chase and hunt, so we again need to ask ourselves if this is the right breed to introduce to a cat.
The Azawakhs -This hound chased prey for years such as antelope, wild boar and hares so be warned you may have a constant chase on your hands!
The Source of this information was from the website pet coach, please visit their super helpful blog here if you have time!
What breed of dog gets on well with cats?
We have looked at the dogs that may have trouble getting along with your ragdoll but now lets look at the dogs that are known to be super friendly and laid back just like your little doll!
When looking for a good companion for your cat just think of a laid back, happy, lazy breed that doesn’t want to chase constantly.
So without further a due the crazy cat man brings to you!
Pugs are such little cuties! I mean how could anyone not love that face?
They are lovers not fighters and are a small breed of dog. Your pug may even be smaller than your cat. You will often spot them sleeping together and playing gently together.
A perfect breed to go with a peaceful gentle ragdoll! A match made in heaven if you ask me!
The pomeranian, another little cutie!
Such a very small breed of dog. They are again perfect with cats because of their lovely temperament and there love of affection, just like a ragdoll.
A much larger breed of dog but they are known to be patient, calm and protective of all members of the household including cats!
They are very good natured and also docile. Is this beginning to sound familiar? All traits of a ragdoll.
This pair will get on like a house on fire!
That picture above is just the cutest ever!
Poodles are an highly intelligent breed of dog. They are agile and graceful and tend to be calm in the home although they do have high energy levels at times.
They are generally calm and mellow though so are suited for cats especially if they are raised together from a young age.
These are generally very peaceful dogs and one of the smallest of the toy breed dogs with a similar size to a small toy breed poodle.
They are laid back and not aggressive in anyway. They are very trusting of people and other pets so a perfect partner for your little ragdoll.
OMG! Since writing this post I cannot actually cope with this cuteness overload!
Goldren retrievers are one of the most popular dog breeds in the world. They are gentle, loving, adaptable and really sweet, they are super friendly with humans and cats.
Boarder collies are an energetic breed, they are hard working and are know has the herding dog. They are very intelligent dogs that love to play and have a very mellow temprement.
They are famous for their love of children and that often extends to cats to.
There energetic nature may be too much for some cats but if your ragdoll is playfull then they can make a good match.
The beagle is a sub set of an hound but less of an hunter than some other hounds.
They are generally merry, fun loving and very gregarious. They can live happily with cats as they may see them as members of their own pack.
They are not much bigger than your average cat and may be a similar in size to a ragdoll.
The Basset hound was originally bred as a pack animal so they love to be with their families and they will learn to see your cat as part of their pack.
Affectionate, friendly, Gentle and devoted dog!
Cavalier king Charles
Another super cute toy breed!
Sweet, gentle breed that gets along easily with cats and humans alike!
The cavalier is a lap dog although they are very playful and very sociable just like a ragdoll. So another great companion for your cat!
I don’t know about you but after seeing all those cute pictures of dogs I want to take them all home! – I am sure you will find the perfect breed to go with your ragdoll, you are literally spoilt for choice.
Just to re-iterate all dogs can get along with cats so this is not to say that the dogs I have mentioned would never get along with a cat but it is important to match pets on their personalities for the best results!
Key takeaways – Can ragdoll cats live with dogs?
- Ragdoll cats are friendly, adaptable, gentle and get along with most people and most pets.
- Make sure you choose a breed that has a similar temperament to your ragdoll.
- Introduce the two pets very slowly, at first with scent, then visual and then let them interact.
- Always be mindful of body language when introducing both pets.
- Make sure you have the time, patience and money for two pets.
As always take care of yourself and your fur babies!
Mark (The Crazy Cat Man)