Do Border Collies Get Along With Cats?

Aaron Rice Expert Dog Trainer
Written: January 17, 2022

Some people who get a Border Collie often ask, “Do Border Collies Get Along With Cats?” This is a fair question if you are getting a family dog who needs to share your cat’s space.

Not every breed of dog is friendly to smaller dogs or cats, and many pet owners struggle to make their group of animals be friends while living in the same house. This is because cats tend to want to run from danger. Dogs have an instinct to chase things that move quickly.

If you have recently gotten a Border Collie to add to your family, you might be wondering if your new dog and your cats will get along. Read on to learn more about the Collie breed and their attitude toward cats and other pets.

The Border Collie Breed

This is a shepherd breed that was developed for herding cattle. They are high-drive dogs with lots of enthusiasm for life. They love to learn new skills and are happiest and healthiest when they feel they have a job.

Border Collies love children and are loyal family dogs. Even a Collie puppy will respond well to proper training, making them easy to integrate with other family members.

Collies are kind, easy to keep clean, and loveable dogs who leave a lasting mark on any dog owner who gets one.
The Collie breed was created to herd other animals, and this behavior rooted in instinct can sometimes lead to strife within the home. A Border Collie might only jump at sudden movements, or they might give chase to things that run by.

It is important to remember that Collies are generally not trying to hurt something they chase. Their instincts only tell them not to let the thing passing them run off. Even if the thing running by is not a sheep or a cow, their herding brain will tell them to stop it.

This can pose some trouble when moving a Collie puppy or an old Collie into a house with other pets living there. However, the Border Collie breed is generally easy to train, and this is usually a temporary problem.

Do Border Collies Get Along With Cats?

The real question that needs to be answered here is can herding dogs can be trained not to chase cats. While not every Border Collie will have the urge to track animals that move quickly, this drive is part of their DNA and has to be considered.

If you are trying to decide if you can make your cat and dog get along, you might need to consider getting a little help with training your dog. A dog trainer can show you skills that you will need during the first few weeks that you are teaching your Collie about their new home.
Any dog can learn not to chase things that move quickly around them, and a Border Collie may need some extra effort to be put in by its owner to prevent issues between the cat and dog in the house. Collies and cats often live together in perfect harmony, but you need to set some ground rules for both the cat and the dog from the beginning.

Some useful strategies can be put in place in your home to help you keep your mixed-pet family happy and healthy. Use these tricks and skills to teach your Border Collie about the cats in your home.

Training a Border Collie Not to Chase Cats

Training is the basis for any good relationship between a dog and another member of its home unit. Proper training will give your dog the right background to make decisions about how to behave toward other people and animals in its home.

Border Collies and cats can live together in perfect harmony, though you will have to set some boundaries for both sides of the friendship. There are some really great training techniques to use to teach your Collie not to chase things that move.
Ways to teach your Border Collie to get along with your cat:

  • Distraction With A New Task: This is a basic dog training skill and can be used for many different needs. Dogs enjoy play, and they can be encouraged to channel this energy into various activities relatively easily.

    If your Border Collie wants to chase your cat, you can give them a new task to do instead. Sending your dog on a new mission, such as laying down on their bed or going to an assigned location, can use their instinct for herding to advantage.Be sure that your pet knows where you are sending them and reward them with a treat when they obey. If your Collie has its own bed, this is a great location to send them to. Ensure that the dog is fine with the spot you send them so you don’t make them more frustrated.
  • Sit and Stay: This may seem like a basic training response to employ to halt chasing behavior, but it works really well when used correctly. If your puppy or mature dog starts to chase your cat, use the sit and stay command to break their focus. Give a treat for a successful sit and stay.For collies with a really high drive, adding a lay-down cue to this skill can be helpful. Laying down will make them think more about you and less about the kitty.
  • Socialization: For a puppy or an older dog to understand the behavior you want from them, you need to set up the rules with guidance. Ensuring that your Collie and your cat enjoy a friendly time together while you are watching can be very helpful. This breed loves to play and may not realize that cats will not enjoy the same kind of interactions as other dogs. 

Other Ways to Stop Your Border Collie From Chasing Your Cat

Training alone is often not enough to be sure that your Border Collie does not chase your kitty around.

Create the right home environment for both pets to make sure that they are likely to live into old age together happily.
Some simple changes that you can make to your home so your Collie and your kitty can fall in love with one another:

  • Create Cat Havens: Cats like to climb, and dogs will not give chase if the cat can leave the dog’s level behind and jump up to safety. Make sure that your puppy or older dog cannot reach your cat when it decides to go to its haven. Each new dog will have to learn about the cat haven, and you must discourage them from giving chase to your cat when it decides to jump into their safe space.
  • Create Dog Havens: Just like your cat gets their own space in the home, your dog should have their own space as well. Ensure that you discourage your cat from climbing on your dog while it is sleeping, and try to teach it not to lay on the dog’s bed. While you will never prevent some cat behaviors, you can discourage the cat from making choices that make living with a kitty hard for the dog.
  • Keep Them Apart: Sometimes, it is only fair to your dog and cat for them to have some space from one another. Put your Border Collie outside a few times a day to allow your cat to roam the house and eat and drink. Strong herding instincts can lead to tired owners who are working on these incorrect behaviors.Your cat will thank you, and your dog will have fun outside. Make sure to give your dog things to do in the yard, such as toys. You can even take them outside to work on obedience and the skills to help them be fine with the cats in the house.
  • Provide Exercise for Your Dog: Part of proper training for your Border Collie is keeping them busy. They are intelligent herding dogs who need a job to feel happy. Keeping them cooped up too much can lead to your dog trying to chase or play with anything or anyone around them.This is a breed that needs daily exercise. That does not mean you can simply put them outside alone for a few minutes. Play fetch or work on obedience skills. Your Collie needs to use its brain and its body daily to be a happy dog.
  • Buy a Crate: If you are concerned that your new dog and your cat cannot be left alone, buy a crate. Even an old dog can benefit from the security and quiet of a crate, and your cat can get a little break from the dog while they are in the crate.


Remember that any training technique or any change you make to your dog and cat’s routines must be consistent. Do not get angry with either pet if they make a mistake. Being patient with all of your pets will lead to a happy, peaceful home.

Make sure that your cat knows it can get away by going to its haven. Also, make sure your Border Collie knows that it is not a friendly behavior to chase the cat. You will need to be attentive to a puppy at first, but even older dogs need reinforcement of these ideas from time to time.

Being consistent with your commands used to train the animals in your house will save you anguish and frustration later. Your pets will also feel safe long-term and will be more likely to let other pets and people enter their homes without any issues.

Are Border Collies Good With Cats?

If you have read to this point, you have probably figured out that any dog might want to chase a cat if it runs away.

Border Collies are working dogs and do have a strong instinct to herd things, but they are not uniquely inclined to chase cats.

Providing good training to your Collie and offering your cat places dog-free inside the home are good strategies to encourage safe behavior from all the pets who live with you.
If you are tired of struggling with your dog and cat running around in your home, you probably just need to set some new boundaries for both of them.

Border Collies make great family dogs and can be trained without much work not to chase your cat.