Do Ragdoll Cats Get Along With Dogs?: How to Introduce a Dog to Your Ragdoll Family

 Ragdoll cats are large cats that go limp when held. These cats are mellow, affectionate and even will play ‘dress up’. If you want to know more about Ragdollcats, check out my article Ragdoll Cat: Facts & Trivia

Are Ragdoll Cats Dog Friendly? 

Ragdoll cats are social and get along with the whole family. Because Ragdoll cats are mellow, they will get along with most dogs except those that are aggressive. 

Introducing a Dog to Your Ragdoll Cat House 

If you are bringing a new dog into your house and already have a Ragdoll cat, then things should go well, as your Ragdoll should be able to hold its own against most dogs. Since Ragdoll cats are social, they will adopt the puppy as another member of the family. 

For household harmony, it is important to provide both of your pets attention. It is also important to be sure to feed the dog in a different place than your Ragdoll cat. Also remember that cats should not eat dog food and vice versa. For more on what to feed you cat and why not to feed them dog food, check out my post What Should I Feed My Cat? 

As an example of why you should be sure to feed your cat and dog in separate places. I had a Soft Coated Wheaton terrier who was as docile, floppy, and lovable as could be, but if she felt her food was threatened she transformed into Dr. Jekyll. She hardly had any teeth, so generally it was a lot of bluster but no bite. Unfortunately, I counted on this one time too often and she did actually hurt another bigger but older dog. Causing me much embarrassment and costing me some money also. 

You should make sure your Ragdoll cat has a safe space. A high perch can be an ideal safe place for your Ragdoll cat where dogs and people cannot follow. However, remember that Ragdoll cats are not generally climbers, so make sure they can get to this perch. If this is not sufficient, which is unlikely, a cat door can provide a safe escape where the dog cannot follow. 

Note that if you are introducing an older dog, such as a rescue dog this is a whole different story. Experts have suggested that the people at the shelter can usually tell you if a rescue dog will get along with your Ragdoll cat. Be realistic about whether an older dog can adjust to a home with your Ragdoll cat. In general, the older the dog the more likely this situation will not work out. 

Introducing Your Ragdoll Cat to a Dog 

If you are bringing a Ragdoll cat into your house that already has a dog, you first need to be realistic about your dog’s temperament. If your dog is aggressive, then it is less likely that your dog and cat will ever get along and worse one of them may get injured. You also may get injured trying to separate them. 

Assuming your dog has the proper temperament, then you should introduce your Ragdoll cat to your dog slowly. Keeping one of the animals in a crate at first and letting your Ragdoll cat get used to the smell of your dog and vice versa may be a good start. Do not just throw them together. Over time in most houses with a cat and a dog, the two basically ignore each other, although this is less likely with a Ragdoll cat. 

The points stated above about providing attention to both animals, providing a safe place for your Ragdoll cat, and feeding them in separate spots also apply in this case. 

Dog Breeds That Don’t Like Ragdoll Cats 

As I was researching this topic, I wondered if there were certain breeds of dogs that don’t get along with cats. Sure enough there are a number of dog breeds that are generally recognized as not doing well with cats. 

In general, the breeds that do not do well with cats are hunting dogs that will see the cat as prey or are highly territorial. For instance, a Whippet is likely to see a cat as prey, much like a rabbit and chase your cat. Whippets are very fast with peak speeds of around 56 kph (35 mph) and also very agile, so your cat is unlikely to be able to outrun a Whippet. 

Here is a list of dog breeds that people say do not get along with cats. 

Manchester Terrier 
Bluetick Coonhound 
Afghan Hound 
Bedlington Terrier 
Standard Schnauzer 
Australian Shepherds 
*Cavalier King Charles Spaniels 
*Golden Retrievers 
*Labrador Retrievers 

* These dogs I found on both the lists of ‘dog breeds that do get along with cats’ and ‘dog breeds that do well with cats’. I am inclined to believe that the Retrievers will actually do well with cats. 

Dog breeds that do particularly well with Ragdoll cats 

*Golden Retriever 
*Labrador Retriever 
Bichon Frise 
Shetland Sheepdog 
Basset Hound 
Boston Terrier 
*Cavalier King Charles Spaniel 
German Shepard 
Cocker Spaniel 

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