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Are French Bulldogs Good With Cats?

If you already have a cat and are adding a Frenchie to the family, it may cause a few sparks to fly.

It all depends on how you handle the introductions.

Yes, French Bulldogs are good with cats most of the time, and if yours isn’t then you can train him to be.

Having said this, however, doesn’t mean that French bulldogs and cats can never get along.

Introducing these two pets as babies makes it a lot easier for them to adjust to each other and become friends, if not bosom buddies.

With training, patience and loving intervention, French bulldogs can learn to have a congenial relationship with a feline pet in your household.

Do French Bulldogs Get Along with Cats?

Like people, dogs and cats have distinct temperaments and personalities.

If your French bulldog has an aggressive temperament or personality, it can be tricky to establish a friendship between your feline and canine companion.

If your Frenchie has a pretty laid back, affectionate personality, chances are it will get along great with a cat, if introductions are made wisely.

In general, French bulldogs are known for being mellow, friendly, loving pups.

french bulldog puppy with cat

That friendliness often extends to other animals, which could very well be your feline companion.

Frenchies especially enjoy being around people and aren’t avert to being held, kissed and coddled.

Cats, on the other hand, have the reputation for being independent and less tolerant of other animals, although some felines actually enjoy animal companionship.

Cats tend to be more wary of dogs as they instinctively view them as antagonists.

Depending on a cat’s personality, it may ignore, rebuff or accept the attempts of a Frenchie to make friends, as long as it doesn’t overstep its boundaries.

Like any relationship, the key to developing a friendship between a Frenchie and a cat is to develop that friendship from the ground up.

The younger your pets, the easier it is for them to accept each other and learn to get along.

If you have a cat in the home and are considering bringing a Frenchie home, look for a pup with a similar personality as your cat to make it easier for the two to socialize.

The same goes for bringing a new cat into the household.

Trying to match an aggressive, dominant pet with a docile one could produce disastrous results.

How to Introduce a French Bulldog to a Cat

Contrary to what people may think, dogs and cats aren’t “natural enemies.”

Animals have distinctive personalities and traits that come into play when developing social habits, making it possible for them to become friends under the right circumstances.

It may take time and training for a Frenchie and cat to feel comfortable together, but it’s not impossible.

They may even become the best of friends as the years go by.

Friendship, however, isn’t something you can force upon your pets – it has to come more naturally. 

Ideally, it’s best to introduce a Frenchie to a cat when they’re both young.

If that’s not possible, then at least make sure that both of your pets are properly socialized before getting them together.

It’s easier for pets with socialization skills to develop friendships, especially when they’re from different species.

If a French bulldog and cat have spent time with other animals such as siblings or other pets, they’re more likely to accept one another as friends in the same household. 

Here are some steps to follow when introducing a French bulldog to a cat:

Keep Pets Separate

Keep your pets apart for several days after bringing your new pet home to avoid altercations from the start.

Your pets can take turns being in their crates and roaming the house, so they can get accustomed to each other’s scents before putting them together.

Arrange “meets” between your pets while they’re in their respective crates so they can get used to seeing each other.

Keep these meets short and sweet – just a few minutes twice a day for starters.

Keep your Frenchie on a leash so you can instantly remove him if he starts to bark or growl.

You don’t want your cat to develop a fear of your pup just as you’re getting started.

You can hold kitty in your arms when visiting your Frenchie in its crate to help keep her calm.

Keep pets in separate rooms or sections of the house in between meets to avoid incidents that can thwart your friendship-developing efforts. 

Reward Pets for Friendly Behavior

Reward your pets with praise and treats when they show nonaggressive behavior towards each other, so they’ll know you’re pleased with their friendly actions.

If the meets are going well, extend the time to 10 minutes several times a day so your pets can get to know each other without feeling stress or pressure.

If you’re relaxed and happy about your pets’ interactions, these feelings will rub off on your pets and help them feel more relaxed as well.

frenchie with cat

Spend Quality Time with Your Pets

During this time, make sure you spend quality time with both of your pets to avoid bouts with jealousy that could lead to aggressive behavior.

Keep in mind that French bulldogs can be quite possessive of their owners.

They love to be the center of attention and don’t relish sharing their affections with other animals.

Therefore, it’s important to give your Frenchie ample love and attention so it doesn’t feel threatened by your cat.

On the flip side, cats can be territorial and you may be the territory they want to protect!

By spending quality time with both your pets, you make it easier for them to accept one another and not vie for your attention.

Remove Barriers and Supervise Interaction

Once your pets show they can be friendly towards one another in their meets, you can try to remove the barriers under supervision to see how your pets will react.

Keep your Frenchie on a leash in case you need to take control of the situation quickly if it turns bad.

If there’s no aggression between your pets, allow them to approach each other, if they want, but be ready to jump in if it looks like an altercation could occur.

Keep monitoring your pets’ behavior for the next few weeks as they share the home together.

Close supervision is a must in the early weeks of their developing a friendship as you never know what will happen.

It only takes one altercation to sour their relationship and create a major setback that could throw you back to the beginning of the friendship process.

If you have to leave the room or area where your pets are for any length of time, separate them into their respective rooms, even if you’re going on a bathroom break.

Your pets need constant supervision at this early stage.

Never force your pets to spend time together, but simply follow their lead as they learn to be tolerant of each other’s presence.

Your pets’ curiosity will draw them together naturally, giving them opportunities to overcome their anxieties and fears and develop a friendship.

It may take months for your Frenchie and cat to come to terms with each other and not view each other as an intruder or predator.

Until then, keep supervising your pets until you have full confidence that they’re not going to cause problems if they’re left on their own, however long it takes.

Mealtimes/Personal Property

Separate your pets for mealtimes to avoid food trials.

You could even set different meal times to establish much needed boundaries and prevent your pets from getting into each other’s food. T

each your pup to respect your cat’s property, i.e., scratching post, catnip and litter box, as these aren’t public property.

Friends at Last

After months of living under the same roof and sharing your affection and love, you may delightfully discover that your Frenchie and cat have actually become friends.

Your hard work will have paid off in giving you not one, but two loving, faithful, fun-loving pet companions to share your home with.

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National Canine Research Association of America