As all dog owners know, it is important to consider a number of factors when deciding what breed of dog is best for your family.
Do you have small children?
Do you live in a small apartment or a house with a large backyard?
Do you work outside of the home, leaving your dog alone for long periods of time?
Not to be ignored is whether or not your dog will get along with other pets, namely a cat.
If you have or are considering purchasing or adopting a Siberian Husky, you have probably heard that they have a bad rap as cat killers.
Is it true?
Maybe yes, maybe no.
Regardless, here are some things to keep in mind.
Related: Are Huskies Loyal?
“Are Huskies Cat Killers?” and other things to think about before adopting
Is the husky you’re considering a puppy or an older dog?
As with any older dog, you don’t entirely know what you’re going to get. You don’t know how the dog was treated (or mistreated) before he or she moved into your home. If you’re looking at a puppy, you have more control over training the dog to co-exist peacefully with other pets (including cats) in your home.
Introduce your puppy and kitten to the house at the same time.
If you’re really committed to the idea of having both a husky and a cat, the best practice is to bring them into the house together.
Both animals will learn that this is normal for their lives and you’ll have both a happy dog and a happy cat. Growing up, my family had a cat who didn’t much like people. But he loved our dog, because they were raised together.
Don’t forget that huskies are hunting and running dogs.
Part of the genetic make-up of certain breeds of dogs are instincts such as hunting and running.
Huskies are bred for this purpose, so it is part of who they are. My dog, Gracie, is part whippet or Italian greyhound (we’re not sure which) – both breeds that also are “to be avoided” with cats due to a strong hunting instinct.
There have been many times she has come thisclose to catching a squirrel outside, and I have no doubt her instincts would take over if she caught it.
Each dog’s personality is different.
You can use breed as a rule of thumb to give insight into temperament, but don’t forget that each dog is an individual.
One husky may be really aggressive, while the next could be more of a lover. Get to know your dog before introducing a cat to the family.
Using Gracie as an example again, while she chases squirrels, she has always been fine with domestic cats in my family members’ homes. She’s curious about them, but she has never once tried to hurt one of them.
All cats are not created equal.
If you are successful in training your husky to live nicely with your cat, don’t think that means your dog is safe with all cats.
Just as your dog might love your kids but is aggressive toward others, the same is true for cats. If there are neighborhood cats who roam free, make sure there are none in your yard before you let your dog outside. Otherwise, you may have an unhappy neighbor on your hands.
Play it safe.
Even if you suspect that your husky would never hurt your cat, it’s still a good idea to be cautious.
When you leave the house, crate your dog or close your cat into a separate room. Supervised interactions will ensure that both your dog and your cat continue to co-exist peacefully.
Just because you have a cat doesn’t mean you can’t also have a husky, and vice versa. By taking the above precautions and being vigilant, your husky doesn’t have to feed into the stereotype that all huskies are cat killers!
Have you been successful at introducing a husky and cat into your household? What has worked for you?