French Bulldogs are quite an amazing breed. However, as popular as they are, a lot of people don’t know much about them. That’s why I always get tons of questions about my little Frenchies regarding their temperament and their behavior around kids.
In addition to children, one of the most common questions that people ask is “can you have a french bulldog with cats in your house?”
Whether you’re considering adopting a French Bulldog or a cat, this article will provide you with everything you need to know about living in the same house with cats and Frenchies.
I’ll also provide you with a guide to introduce them and keep your French Bulldog’s good behaviors as well as possible concerns to watch out for. So without further ado, let’s hop in!
Table of Contents
Do French Bulldogs Hate Cats?
Cartoons like Tom and Jerry have embedded the idea that Bulldogs and cats are sworn enemies who can never get along. But, this is actually not the case. In fact, French Bulldogs are extremely nice and sociable dogs who would usually prefer being friendly over making enemies. This doesn’t mean that they don’t get defensive. In the end of the day, they’re still dogs and territorial dominance and still in their genes. From a French Bulldog perspective, aggression isn’t a common way to solve problems. That’s why they don’t usually hate cats and it’s pretty easy to encourage them to be kind towards them.
How To Introduce A French Bulldog To A Cat
French Bulldogs can be laid back and easygoing when compared to other species of dogs. However, you don’t necessarily have to say the same for cats, as each of them has their own personality. While it’s fairly easy to introduce a French Bulldog to children as well as a wide variety of dog species, doing the same with cats requires some special attention. To make things easier for you, here’s a detailed guide that walks you through every step in the way to get introduce your French Bulldog to cats
Step 1: Keep Them Around But Fully Separated
Rushing the introduction step is one of the mistakes that a lot of people fall into when they’re introducing a French Bulldog to a cat. Before they get to meet each other, the two of them should be around each other but separated by a barrier. However, I’ve found that you can play it even safer by putting each one of them in a separate space while keeping some of the other’s belonging around. This way, they can both get a good sniff out of them and know each other’s scents. Once their curiosity about the smell subsides, it might be a good time to advance to the next level. You can notice that when both of them start to act indifferent towards each other’s scents.
Step 2: Prepare for the Introduction Phase
Now that they’re well aware of each other, you can put them in the same place but keep the barrier. This can be done using a variety of ways. Some people put the Frenchie in a crate and let the cat wander around the room. Others might separate the room with an opaque fence. The first method is usually easier to pull off because dog crates are widely available and provide a safe barrier for your dog. You can leave the dog in the crate for as long as 30 minutes. Cats are expected to sniff around the crate, which would create a link between the smell and the earlier one. Once both of them are minding their business normally, you might advance to the next step. However, you should know that this could take days of trial.
Step 3: Remove the Barriers and Let Them See Each Other
When you think both of them are ready to finally meet each other face to face, you may give them a meeting. Make sure that you’ve prepared for everything before they’re introduced to each other. For example, you might want to put your dog on a leash, especially if it’s a puppy. Frenchie, especially younger ones, are much more easygoing than cats, so they might run up to them for play and further sniffing, which might get the cat territorial and defensive. The meeting period should be as brief as possible, about a maximum of 10 minutes should be enough at first. After that, both of them should be back in their area while keeping some of the belongings exchanged to maintain the scent familiarity.
Step 4: Encourage Them Both to Stay at Good Behavior
Of course, while introducing them to each other, you shouldn’t expect things to go as smoothly as you’re hoping for. If you feel the heat and tension in the air, end the introduction period for the day and give both of them enough attention and affirmation. Also, you might use a bag of treats to keep both of them engaged and also to reward whoever is being on their best behavior.
Step 5: Slowly Proceed into the Introduction Without Lowering Your Guard
As you approach a level where interactions between them are relatively calm, you might start to extend the period they have around each other. Yet, never let your guard down! Always observe them from a close distance and be ready to intervene at any point if they get a bit aggressive towards each other.
How To Teach A Frenchie To Behave With Cats
Ideally, French Bulldogs might behave nicely with cats, unless they regard them as prey. If you want to keep your Frenchie to behave with cats, you need to encourage them to be friendly from their puppyhood. This means keeping them socialized and dealing with cats as they grow up. Also, you should encourage them to stay a good boy or girl by rewarding them when they behave well and stopping the treats when they misbehave. This is known as positive reinforcement training and it’s one of the most successful methods to train dogs for just about anything!
Tips To Successfully Live With A French Bulldog With Cats
If you want to make the most out of your furry friend’s companionship, here are some excellent tips that will help you succeed as a multi-species house!
Keep Them Active
As you already know, being overly excited as well as boredom can get your Frenchie a little destructive. If you want them to be nice to cats, you have to keep them active all day, especially while introducing them to cats. By tiring your dog out, they won’t consider being aggressive or defensive a viable option, so they’ll easily resort to making friends over enemies. The same goes for cats too!
Separate Them During Mealtimes
Since the dawn of age, food is the main reason for hierarchy and territorialism among both felines and canines. If you want them to be less defensive and aggressive towards each other, each one should have their meal as far from the other as possible. This also packs a health benefit, as some cat food can actually make your French Bulldog sick.
Have Enough Space for Both of Them
This goes both mentally and physically. Until you’re completely sure that they get along and won’t harm one another, never force them to live, eat, and sleep in the same area. Also, make sure that you show them both a lot of love to avoid jealousy, which always generates aggression and violence.
Start from an Early Age
Raising a kitten and a puppy as siblings is the easiest way to get them both to love each other and get along without a lot of hassle and ensure the highest level of success. If you’re planning to adopt both of them, make sure they’re both at a young age.
Body Language To Look Out For
One of the things you should know about cats and dogs is that they don’t communicate in the same way. For that reason, a lot of body language and moves presented by either of them might be misinterpreted by the other, which is a recipe for disaster if you don’t meddle. One of the body language moves that you should look out for is rubbing against each other. On one side, cats will show that as a sign of showing affection and being peaceful. On the other side, a Frenchie would simply take it either as a threat or an invitation to play. And boy do Frenchies play rough with each other! This can easily end up injuring the cat, especially for an overexcited dog, which pushes the cat to get scratchy and injure the dog too! Another behavior you might keep an eye for is raising the paws. In the dog’s world, it’s a sign the dog is friendly and wants to play. However, a cat will take that as a form of warning or a possible attack.
There you have it. A complete guide that answers the question “can you have a French Bulldog with cats in your house?” As you can see, a French Bulldog is a sociable and easy-going breed by nature. So, you usually have a decent chance of having them live happily with a cat in the same house. However, you should also remember that the cat’s personality will also have a lot more of an impact on this relationship. If you’re planning to introduce them to each other, make sure that you follow the previously mentioned guide and take your time with it. Keep in mind that even if you’ve witnessed any initial success in the introduction, you should try to avoid the temptation of rushing through the introductory phase as much as possible.