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Patterdale terriers are high energy dogs bred in the North of England for hunting. And so it’s no surprise that I get asked so frequently about ‘Patts and Cats!’ It’s definitely a concern that as a cat owner, bringing a patterdale into the house can certainly shake things up a bit.

Can Patterdales live with Cats?

I’ve met many Patterdale owners who have repeatedly experienced problems with their Patterdales and cats, one to the extent that they had to consider rehoming one of the animals (worry not the Patt stayed in the family!) But on the other hand, I have also met Patterdale owners who have Patts and cats living together in harmony. My friend in London had a gorgeous Maine Coon who used to sleep in the same bed with a Patterdale! It depends very much on the individual dog and cat and when and how they were introduced.

Introduce them as Puppy and Kitten where possible

It’s been reported that there is more success mixing Patterdales and cats when they are bought up together as puppy and kitten. Introducing them young (if possible) is often the best option. However, some might even grow up to hate each other, especially as the Patterdales hunting instinct kicks in and so don’t expect this method to be foolproof.

If you can’t Introduce as pup and Kitten, let them get the Scent

If you are not in a position to introduce them as puppy and kitten then it’s a good idea to let the cat roam around the house and leave her scent. then you can shut the cat away in a safe room while you bring the Patterdale terrier in to have a sniff and get used to the scent before introducing them. This may help the dog to accept the cat as part of the household.

Give Kitty a ‘Safe Place’

When they are introduced make sure that your cat always has a ‘safe’ place such as jumping up onto a dresser where the dog cannot reach, so that your cat can be safe. Also watch them for the first few times together and look out for cats scratching the dogs eyes – it’s not just the cute cat who can get hurt in this!

Get Obedience Spot on

Patterdales can be stubborn little terriers and so getting obedience right from the beginning is essential. They need a firm handler and they need to accept a ‘No!’ or ‘Leave it’ command early on which can then be used with the cat (or anything else that they may want to chase that they shouldn’t!)

Patterdales have a Hunting Instinct!

Now if you’re Patterdale has time to get used to the scent he may accept the cat as part of the family. OR he may not! As soon as he started staring and barking you need to give the command very early on with a firm tone – the ‘No!’ ‘Leave it!’ or ‘Ah-ah’ command that they are used to. Once your dog calms down and stops barking you know that the training is successful. You can then start to reward the dog and train the dog to do other obedience tasks and tricks while the cat is in the same room.

Finally they May Settle Together

Once they are used to each other, your Cat and your Patterdale may settle down with each other and happily co-exist. It’s even been reported that Patts and Cats cuddle up when their owners are away!

Did you enjoy this blog on ‘Can Patterdales live with cats?’ If you have a Patt and a Cat that co-exist either harmoniously or otherwise, I’d love to hear about it – please leave your comment on the blog below!

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3 thoughts on “Can Patterdales live with Cats?”

  1. We had two cats and then one day brought home a little rescue mutt that turned out to be a patterdale. At first she chased the cats relentlessly but I put up a baby gate that only the cats could get through so they could escape. As she learned “leave it” (sometimes reinforced with a squirt bottle), things got better and we didn’t need the gate anymore. It’s been 2 years now and although sometimes she tries to play a bit rough with the cats, they are all curled up at my feet as I type this…it is possible—perseverance and consistency does it!

  2. We have 2 cats and I just rescued what I figured out today to be a patterdale terrier two months ago. Came to find out he’s about 1-1.5 years old, found him wandering outside (I fell absolutely in love with him within the first 24 hours and now I’m soo obsessed that my girlfriend gets jealous). He’s such a quick learner and soo smart! But him and the 12 year old cat Sparkle have gotten along wonderfully from the beginning. I actually have a picture of them cuddled up on the couch, I’d post it if I could. Now pumpkin, the other cat, the biggest chicken in the world, but she’s mean to dogs, is still a bit mean to him. But none of the aggression falls on him. Now sometimes he wants to play, never rough or anything, but cats generally aren’t fans of playing in the way dogs are. But never once has he showed any aggression towards the cats, so I guess I got lucky with my rescue!


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