If you’re reading this article, I’m going to assume you are either an Irish Wolfhound owner thinking about getting a cat; a cat owner thinking about getting an Irish Wolfhound; or someone thinking about getting an Irish Wolfhound and a cat for the first time.
Whether or not your Irish Wolfhound will get along well with a cat, depends a lot on which one of those three categories you fall into.
More often than not, Irish Wolfhounds tend to get along with cats. If you raise them together, the odds of them getting along are very good. However, if you do not raise them together, there is a chance your Irish Wolfhound may see the cat as prey because Wolfhounds are a hunting breed. Continue reading to learn more about mixing Irish Wolfhounds with cats…
Raising an Irish Wolfhound with Cats
Even though Irish Wolfhounds are a large, imposing, dog bred for hunting, they are actually incredible gentle, loving animals. For example, many owners of this breed praise them as being the ideal family dog. They love to play, they are tolerant, and they get along well with kids and other dogs.
But what about cats?
If you raise an Irish Wolfhound and a cat together from a young age, there is a good chance they will become best buddies. The dog will perceive the cat as a member of the pack, and respect it as such. On the other hand, if you are introducing a new Wolfhound to an older cat, or vice versa, things might get complicated…
If you already have a cat, and you get a new Wolfhound puppy, it should be fairly easy to train the dog to be kind towards your cat. However, the cat might not like this new addition to the family. This might not be a big issue, though, because Irish Wolfhounds are extremely tolerant. Your cat might tease the dog, whoop on it, or just ignore it completely; but the Wolfhound probably won’t care much either way.
If you already have a Wolfhound, and you bring a new cat into the household, things could get a lot hairier. Irish Wolfhounds go after small prey instinctually, and cats are no exception. In this scenario, you may have to train your dog to leave the cat alone. I already wrote about this in my article about Bulldogs and cats, which you can read here.
If you are attempting to mix an older Wolfhound with an older cat for the first time, this is likely to be the worst scenario. Neither the dog nor cat have been socialized to the other species, and therefore probably won’t like each other very much. In this situation, you’ll likely need to do extensive training with both animals, and may even consider hiring a professional trainer. In all honest, it may not be worth the headache.
The Dangers of Mixing Irish Wolfhounds with Cats
Even though most Wolfhounds seem to get along just fine with cats, you should still be aware of the potential risks of putting these two animals together in the same home.
Irish Wolfhounds are extremely large and powerful dogs with a strong instinct to hunt small animals. If you think there is any chance your Wolfhound might be aggressive towards your cat, you should proceed with caution and keep the cat in a crate when you introduce them. The Wolfhound could easily injure or kill the cat before you even have a chance to stop them – if you are even capable of stopping them.
American Kennel Club. Irish Wolfhound. Retrieved from https://www.akc.org/dog-breeds/irish-wolfhound/