Goldendoodles have been gaining popularity over the past 20 years or so and make ideal family pets. They have a reputation for being friendly with people but what about other family pets?
For instance, are Goldendoodles good with cats, another firm family favorite?
Goldendoodles are genetically coded to be good with other pets such as cats because golden retrievers and poodles have a low prey drive. However, how well a Goldendoodle behaves around cats is also reliant on other important factors which should not be overlooked.
As with all dog breeds, a Goldendoodle should ideally be exposed to cats as a puppy to ensure it learns to live in harmony with them.
Even if a Goldendoodle gets along with cats, be careful as things can turn sour after many peaceful years due to dormant natural instincts resurfacing.
Why the Goldendoodle does not have a high prey drive
Though dogs have long been mollycoddled pets and no longer need to hunt in order to eat, they still possess natural instincts to prey upon smaller animals. A cat is naturally one of these.
As a Goldendoodle is the product of a Golden Retriever and a Poodle it is important to understand the prey drive of both of these breeds.
The Golden Retriever was bred and trained to retrieve shot waterfowl for hunters. They have the ability to bring back shot birds in their mouths without damaging them.
Because of their breeding and training, Golden Retrievers are dogs with a low prey drive which makes them generally safe around other animals, including cats.
Poodles were also bred as water retrievers with their name being derived from the German word Pudlehund meaning splashing dog. They can also carry the spoils of a shoot back to their masters without damaging it.
The Poodle is therefore, also a breed with a low prey drive and is very unlikely to harm another household pet.
The Goldendoodle is a genetic mix of two dogs with a naturally low prey drive, resulting in an excellent family pet that does not have a high prey drive at all.
As long as one is reared well from a puppy it should be perfectly safe around cats and other dogs in the household.
How cats behave with Goldendoodles
If there’s ever a problem with how a Goldendoodle and a cat get along, you may well find it’s the cat that causes issues. This is not because cats have a huge prey drive that makes them attack dogs, however.
Cat’s can be naturally defensive with other animals, and they aren’t concerned about their size either. Even gentle cats can swipe out if someone gets too close or makes them jump.
As Goldendoodles, especially puppies are full of energy, they can be a bit too bouncy around cats. If a cat shows aggression towards any dog, there’s a chance the dog will instinctively retaliate.
A cat’s personality, age, and breed can all have a bearing on how tolerant it is of dogs. A carefully orchestrated introduction is the best way forward.
How to ensure a Goldendoodle and a cat get along
1. Get a Goldendoodle puppy and a kitten at the same time if possible
A kitten and a puppy have the greatest chance of bonding. It isn’t always possible to achieve this situation but if you can then you’ll hopefully end up with a Goldendoodle and a cat that get along like a house on fire.
2. Introduce a Goldendoodle slowly to an existing cat
Some people believe you should just let the animals sort it out by plonking them in a room together. Cat’s are extremely territorial and often don’t accept a new animal just like that.
When you bring a Goldendoodle puppy home and you have an existing cat, make sure the cat has a clear exit from the room in which you introduce them. Bouncy puppies can really freak the calmest of cats.
If you have a cat tree, your cat will be happy to adopt the high ground and observe the goings on.
If you have a really nervous cat, think twice before you turn its life upside own by bringing a dog home.
Most cats will adjust to a dog in the house but the amount of time it takes will vary immensely. Everyone involved just has to be patient. My mother-in-law adopted a dog 7 years ago. Her cat hated it until earlier this year!
There is no way of knowing how long it will take a cat to accept a puppy or dog. Only time will tell.
3. Bringing a cat home when you have a Goldendoodle
Invariable this scenario works better than the other way round (point 2 above).
Dogs such as Goldendoodles are friendly and sociable. They may be jealous of a new pet (cat or other) so ensure you give it equal attention, if not a little more than the newcomer.
Also carefully supervise a Goldendoodle with a new cat until you are sure that the dog is accepting of it or the cat can hold its own!
When a dog and cat just don’t get along
There is always a chance a Goldendoodle and a cat will not get along. It is very difficult to live with a situation like this unless you have oodles of space and the two can keep well apart and still have a good quality of life.
You have to weigh up very carefully if you should introduce a second pet to an existing one. If there is any way in which you can trial the situation before committing, then do.
Most of the time, dogs and cats live in harmony and you’ll find plenty of examples of this. Occasionally they just don’t.
Do Goldendoodles and cats get along? – Conclusion
It is impossible to claim that Goldendoodles are good with cats or vice-versa. All animals are individuals with unique personalities and different levels of tolerance of other animals.
As Goldendoodles are easygoing dogs with a low prey drive, it is very likely they will be perfectly happy to live with cats. It’s the cats that are much more likely to rock the boat of harmony!
So it’s probably fair to say Goldendoodles will get along with cats but it will most likely be on the cats’ terms. As Goldendoodles are intelligent and quite perceptive of moods, they will most likely sense when to steer clear of a cat.