You love your cat, but admittedly, he or she isn’t always as crazy about the company you keep. Your kitty gets playful and swipes at the family or tries nibbling if they feel overstimulated. Now you’re thinking of bringing a dog into the mix, and not just any dog, but a Samoyed. Given their gentle nature, is it a good idea to take a Sammy home if you already have a cat?

Samoyeds are sweet canines that can get along well with most animals, including cats. However, it’s much better to acclimate the two animals when the dog is younger. Once your Samoyed grows to full size, you’ll have to monitor your pets so your dog doesn’t overpower your cat when playing nor chase them relentlessly.

In this article, we will go over everything you need to know about introducing a Samoyed into a household with cats. Whether you have one kitty or several, you’ll learn to acclimate the animals, how to stop any roughhousing, and plenty more for a (mostly) peaceful coexistence.

Are Samoyeds Good with Cats?

Samoyeds are some of the kindest dogs around. Their Siberian background saw them herding around reindeer and other animals, often those far larger than them. Still, Samoyeds wouldn’t use aggressive tactics towards these creatures.  

Also, if you recall, we’ve mentioned on another blog regarding How Samoyeds protect the house, that Samoyeds are generally watchdogs instead of guard dogs. This refers to dogs that will safeguard your home and its inhabitants. They’ll also warn you of danger, but they’ll be reluctant to attack or stop that danger with physical force.

For those reasons, we’d say your Samoyed can coexist with just about any other creature, be that babies, children(we discussed in another blog, click to read), or pets like cats. That said, these things don’t just happen. It’s much better to introduce a Sammy puppy to another animal like a cat than to do so with one who’s already an adult. That’s because these older dogs get trained a certain way for years and are thus set in their ways.

When you acclimate your Samoyed to a cat earlier in the dog’s life, they learn that having a cat around is part of how things are. It’s not a jarring change to them, as they’ve never known life without a cat around.

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How to Introduce Your Samoyed to a Cat

Now, your Sammy probably won’t mind your cat, but what about your kitty’s feelings? If you have an especially clingy feline, then they might not be thrilled that another animal has encroached on their territory and taken time away from their favorite person. They may also detest the babying and attention the new dog receives.

Whether you have a friendly cat or one that’s more guarded, you must still take precautions when introducing your kitty to your Samoyed. Make sure you follow these steps.

Bring the Two Pets into the Same Room

Your Samoyed and cat should have their own separate dwelling quarters. One should not venture into the other’s space, such as using their bed or eating from the same bowl. That’s doubly true when the animals don’t know one another and thus aren’t comfortable around each other.

Since you keep the two pets apart, the introductions begin with bringing them into the same room. First, you want to start with your cat. Make sure you close the door so your kitty can’t dart off. Then find your Samoyed. To get him or her comfortable, let them smell the cat scent that lingers on your skin.

You want your Sammy leashed when you begin the introductions. Your cat probably doesn’t have a leash, but if they do, you might want to use it as well. Also, for safety’s sake, separate the pets with a gate or screen.

Watch What the Pets Do

Keep your eyes peeled on the animals. Your Samoyed is probably more curious than anything, so they might sniff around your cat. If they begin to jump excitedly, lunge, or bark at the sight of the other animal, then command your Samoyed to sit and stop. You might also cut this introduction short.

If the two pets don’t want to get super close to one another during this first meeting, that’s fine. There will be other opportunities.

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Keep Repeating the Process

Over days and weeks, if you keep this up, you might try bringing your Samoyed into the same room as your cat, but now off their leash. You should still use a doggy gate or screen.

Keep an eagle eye on your Sammy the first time you let them around your cat without a leash. They may try to jump the doggy gate or even knock it down in their rambunctiousness. Make sure you’ve been keeping up with your training so you can stop your dog if they get too overeager.

Take the Barriers Down

If all has gone well to this point, then you can take away the barriers like the gate or screen. You will want to leash up your Samoyed again for this just so you can control them better. Again, once your dog shows they can be around the cat, you can take their leash off. This might take a few sessions, though.

When your Samoyed and cat do well, you want to reward them with treats for each successful meeting. This will keep up the good behavior.

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Can You Leave Your Samoyed Alone with Your Cat?

With a lot of time spent acclimating, you could go out for an hour or two and the Samoyed and cat shouldn’t have ripped up the house or each other. That said, you must follow the introduction steps above before you ever leave your Sammy and cat on their own with no one at home.

Otherwise, the two animals might not do so well together. Your Samoyed could begin chasing the cat, who will feel they have no choice but to defend themselves. By scratching or biting your Sammy, you could come home to a very injured dog. They could have surface scratches, but if your feline gets the dog in the eye, your Samoyed could lose sight in that eye. That’s a worst-case scenario, but one that’s possible.

To tell if your Sammy and your cat are ready for time together without anyone around, look out for some telltale signs. These include:

  • Your Samoyed can get near your cat without a major incident. Your cat might swat if your pup gets too close. If your Samoyed takes a step back and gives the cat some space, that’s all normal.
  • The two pets don’t really pay much attention to one another as they wander around the house. No one’s treating the other as prey.
  • They can both nap in the same room (not the same bed).
  • They can both eat in the same room.

Test Drive

Even if the above all occurs, you might still want to take the cat and dog’s alone time for a test drive. Before you ever leave for real, exit the room and watch the animals from a distance. Then, gradually, start watching while away from the room for longer and longer. You don’t necessarily have to be able to see the animals, but you should always be able to hear them.

For the first few times, you truly leave the house and the pets are by themselves, use a doggy gate or a screen again. Make sure your dog can’t get past this. If they can, then your cat needs a means of escape and/or hiding spots.

If all goes well with the above setup after a few outings, then gradually, you can get rid of the gate or screen. The two pets should do fine on their own. Still, as you surely know, Samoyeds don’t do well with being left alone all day. Be conscious of how long you’re gone.

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Related Questions

Q: What should you do if your Samoyed and cat begin roughhousing?

A: Those herding instincts of your Samoyed drive them to push around smaller animals, too. That means your cat is the perfect target in which to chase. Not only could your Samoyed run off your cat, but they could try to play, too. As they get to full size, your Sammy overpowers the cat in every way. Even some gentle playing can be too much for your kitty.

The opposite can also occur. Your cat might pick on the dog, scratching, biting, or swatting at them. In either situation, you need to let both animals know their behavior is wrong. Whether you use a spray bottle, you clap or make another loud noise, or you shout, separate the animals first and foremost.

Then, you want to discipline the naughty pet. You may also want to focus more on training to avoid future instances of rough play.

Q: What if my pets don’t get along?

A: Sometimes, even if you follow all the above guidance exactly, you find that your cat and dog just don’t like each other. Whenever one gets too close, the other turns aggressive. You want your Samoyed and your kitty to live well together, but you’re out of ideas.

You might want to enlist the assistance of a professional pet trainer at this point. Whether your dog needs further behavioral and obedience training, your cat does, or they both do, a class or two should teach the animals to at least tolerate each other. 

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