Are great pyrenees good with cats

Great Pyrenees and Cats: A Furry Friendship?

Great Pyrenees are large, friendly dogs known for their calm and level-headed personalities. Originally bred as livestock guardians, they have a natural instinct to protect those in their care. But, are Great Pyrenees good with cats?

Turns out, their relationship with cats can be influenced by several factors, such as their health, age, environment, social skills, and training, as well as the cat’s temperament.

In this article, we’ll go deeper into the topic, providing you with comprehensive insights into the relationship between Great Pyrenees and cats, and how to foster a harmonious coexistence between them.

Natural Instincts of Great Pyrenees

Great Pyrenees dogs are known for their protective nature. Historically, they were used as livestock guardians, a role that required them to protect animals under their care.

This protective instinct often extends to other animals in the household, including cats. However, it’s important to remember that each dog is unique. While many Great Pyrenees dogs are good with cats, there can always be exceptions.

The Hunting Instincts of Great Pyrenees

While Great Pyrenees are protective, they also have hunting instincts. This doesn’t necessarily mean they will hunt your cat, but it’s an aspect of their nature that you should be aware of.

With proper socialization and training, these instincts can be managed effectively, ensuring a peaceful coexistence between your Great Pyrenees and your cat.

Are Great Pyrenees Good With Cats?

Yes, Great Pyrenees can be good with cats, especially if they are introduced to each other at a young age. They are gentle giants by nature and are known for being protective of their family, which can include cats.

Just keep in mind that every dog is different, and some Great Pyrenees may not be as tolerant of cats as others.

Factors Influencing the Relationship

The relationship between a Great Pyrenees and a cat can be influenced by a variety of factors. Here are a few key ones:

  1. Socialization: Early and positive exposure to cats can help Great Pyrenees dogs understand that cats are part of the family and not a threat or prey.
  2. Training: Proper training can help manage the hunting instincts of Great Pyrenees and teach them how to behave around cats.
  3. The Cat’s Personality: Cats are known for their independent and sometimes aloof nature. A cat that is comfortable around dogs can significantly influence the success of the relationship.
  4. The Dog’s Temperament: While Great Pyrenees are generally calm and protective, individual temperaments can vary. A dog that is naturally calm and well-behaved is more likely to get along with a cat.

Real-life Experiences of Owners

Many owners have reported successful cohabitation between their Great Pyrenees and cats. These owners often highlight the importance of early socialization and proper training.

Some have even observed their Great Pyrenees showing a protective attitude towards their cats, a testament to their guardian heritage.

However, it’s important to remember that every animal is an individual. What works for one might not work for another. Therefore, it’s important to pay attention to the specific needs and behaviors of your pets to ensure a harmonious relationship.

The Role of Training in Fostering a Positive Relationship

Training plays a crucial role in ensuring a positive relationship between a Great Pyrenees and a cat. It can help manage the dog’s instincts and teach them how to behave around cats.

The Importance of Obedience Training

Obedience training is the foundation of any good dog behavior. It’s where your Great Pyrenees will learn basic commands like “sit,” “stay,” “come,” and “leave it.”

These commands are essential in managing your dog’s behavior around your cat. For instance, if your dog is too excited around the cat, a well-timed “sit” or “stay” command can prevent any potential mishaps.

Socialization Training for Great Pyrenees

Socialization training is equally important. This involves exposing your Great Pyrenees to a variety of people, environments, and other animals, including cats, at a young age.

This exposure helps them understand that these things are normal parts of their world and not something to be afraid of or aggressive towards.

When it comes to cats, early, positive experiences can help your dog understand that the cat is a friend, not a foe or prey. This can significantly reduce any potential aggression or hunting instincts towards the cat.

How to Introduce a Great Pyrenees to a Cat

Introducing a Great Pyrenees to a cat is a delicate process that should be done with care. Here are some steps to guide you through this process.

Preparing for the Introduction

Before the introduction, ensure that your cat has a safe space where it can retreat if it feels threatened. This could be a separate room or a high perch that the dog can’t reach. Also, make sure that your dog is well-exercised and calm before the introduction to reduce its excitement levels.

Step-by-step Introduction Process

  1. Scent Introduction: Start by introducing the scent of each animal to the other. This could involve swapping blankets or toys that each pet uses. This allows each animal to get used to the other’s scent without the stress of a face-to-face meeting.
  2. Controlled Introduction: For the first few meetings, keep your Great Pyrenees on a leash and let the cat approach at its own pace. Never force the interaction. This allows the cat to have control over the situation, reducing its stress levels.
  3. Monitor Their Interactions: Watch their body language closely. If either pet shows signs of stress or aggression, calmly separate them and try again later.
  4. Positive Reinforcement: Reward both pets for calm and positive interactions. This could be treats, praise, or petting. This helps them associate positive experiences with the presence of the other.
  5. Gradual Increase in Interaction: Gradually increase the time they spend together, always under supervision, until you’re confident that they can interact safely.

Remember, patience is key. It might take several attempts before your Great Pyrenees and cat are comfortable with each other. In the next section, we’ll look at the signs of a successful cat-dog relationship.

Signs of a Successful Cat-Dog Relationship

Recognizing the signs of a successful relationship between your Great Pyrenees and cat is crucial. It helps you know that your efforts in training and socialization are paying off.

Positive Interactions Between Great Pyrenees and Cats

Positive interactions are the most obvious signs of a good relationship. These can include:

  1. Playing Together: If your Great Pyrenees and cat engage in play, it’s a good sign that they’re comfortable with each other. Remember, play should always be supervised to ensure it doesn’t get too rough.
  2. Relaxed Body Language: Both pets should display relaxed body language around each other. This includes loose body posture, wagging tails, and relaxed ears.
  3. Sharing Spaces: If your Great Pyrenees and cat can comfortably share the same space, it’s a good sign. This could be them sleeping on the same bed or lounging together on the couch.

Understanding Body Language of Great Pyrenees and Cats

Understanding the body language of your pets can help you gauge their relationship. Signs of stress or discomfort include:

  1. For Dogs: Growling, stiff body posture, intense staring at the cat, or chasing the cat in a non-playful manner. (1)
  2. For Cats: Hissing, swatting at the dog, arched back, or constantly hiding from the dog.

If you notice these signs, it might be a good idea to revisit socialization and training. In the next section, we’ll discuss how to deal with potential problems that might arise in the relationship between your Great Pyrenees and cat.

Dealing with Potential Problems

Even with the best training and socialization, problems can arise in the relationship between your Great Pyrenees and cat. Here’s how to manage them.

Managing Aggression in Great Pyrenees Towards Cats

If your Great Pyrenees shows signs of aggression towards your cat, it’s important to address this immediately. Consult with a professional dog trainer or a behaviorist.

They can help identify the cause of the aggression and provide strategies to manage it. Never punish your dog for aggression as this can often exacerbate the problem.

Check out our article 10 Great Pyrenees Behavior Problems to Be Aware Of

What to Do if Your Great Pyrenees Chases Cats

Chasing can be a sign of play, but it can also be a sign of predatory behavior. If your Great Pyrenees is chasing your cat in a non-playful manner, it’s important to intervene.

Teach your dog the “leave it” command and use it when they start to chase. Reward them for listening to the command. If the chasing continues, consider consulting with a professional.

Tips for Maintaining a Peaceful Household with Great Pyrenees and Cats

Maintaining a peaceful household with both Great Pyrenees and cats is achievable with a few strategies.

Creating Safe Spaces for Both Animals

Both your Great Pyrenees and cat should have their own safe spaces in the house. For your cat, this could be a high perch or a room that the dog can’t access.

For your dog, this could be a specific bed or crate that the cat isn’t allowed to enter. These safe spaces provide a retreat if either pet feels stressed or overwhelmed.

Monitoring Interactions and Intervening When Necessary

Always supervise interactions between your Great Pyrenees and cat, especially in the early stages of their relationship. If you notice any signs of stress or aggression, intervene calmly and gently. Never yell or punish either pet as this can increase stress and make the situation worse.


Great Pyrenees and cats can indeed live together harmoniously. This coexistence is largely influenced by factors such as early socialization, proper training, and understanding each pet’s individual personality and needs.

While the Great Pyrenees’ protective nature can be a boon, it’s important to manage their hunting instincts.

Remember, introducing a Great Pyrenees to a cat should be a gradual and controlled process. Always look out for signs of a successful relationship, such as positive interactions and relaxed body language. If problems arise, don’t hesitate to consult with a professional.

The most important thing is to be patient and understanding. Give it some time, and you’ll see that your Great Pyrenees and cat can develop a bond and truly enjoy each other’s company. After all, our pets are part of our family, and a peaceful household is beneficial for everyone involved.

Thank you for reading, and we hope this article has been helpful in guiding you towards creating a harmonious home for your Great Pyrenees and cat.

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