Do Huskies Get Along With Cats?
[Our detailed guide]

By kropek2021. • Updated June 28, 2021

Siberian Husky dogs are some of the most beautiful dogs that you can have as pets. They are loving, kind and enjoy time spent with their family and other dogs in their house. They have a beautiful coat, bright eyes, and a cheerful attitude.

However, you might still be wondering, do Siberian huskies get along with cats? This can be a tough question to answer because every husky is a unique individual with a unique prey drive and a willingness to chase small animals that move quickly. 

Huskies have a higher percentage of wolfiness than other dog breeds, which means that they can sometimes act with their instincts rather than their trained behaviors. This can make them a challenge to keep in a home with small dogs or cats living in it. Guinea pigs, small dog breeds, and cats are all common victims of chasing by Husky dogs.

Do Huskies Like Cats?

The question of whether or not huskies get along with cats does not have much to do with them liking or disliking the cats in their household. 

It is more about how high their prey drive is. This is not a dog breed that was created to live inside or to be a pet, so prey drive can be a big determining factor in their overall behavior.

If you have cats in your home and are not sure that a husky will get along with them, you need to understand more about the breed first.


Why Was the Husky Breed Created?

The Siberian Husky dog breed was bred by the Chukchi Tribe in Siberia thousands of years ago. This dog was made because there was a lack of food in the area, and the huskies were used to transport food as well as to hunt food. They were not meant to be pets, and this can leave issues common to two animals living together.

Huskies were created to be hardy and to look out for their own needs. This way of living and selectively breeding the Husky breed has led to a very different outcome than many other dog breeds that are commonly domesticated.

The reality of owning a husky and having cats in your home with it is that you can limit your dog’s prey drive, but you may always have trouble controlling their desire to chase and kill small things that move quickly. 

Do Siberian Huskies Eat Cats?

The biggest issue with cats living in the same house as a Husky is their desire to run or dart quickly from place to place. This kind of behavior matches the prey behavior that huskies were bred to identify with their chase instinct and hunt.

The predatory sequence that makes huskies chase cats when they move quickly is known as See-Chase-Grab-Kill.

While your Husky may not have the intention to actually kill your cat, it is very easy for a large and powerful dog to kill a cat by accident when its natural instincts take over.

A Husky that is well-fed living in a home will, generally speaking, not have the intention of killing a cat or small animal to eat it. They will only be acting on instinct because they saw something moving quickly near them. Keeping your husky well fed can make a big difference in their strong prey drive. Many husky owners will tell you this is a great way to make sure that both cat and Husky get along.

Whether or not Siberian huskies are good with cats is a question of training rather than innate breed characteristics.

Can I Teach My Siberian Husky to Live With My Cat?

This is something that you can accomplish, but it will take lots of effort on your part. Overcoming instinct is a difficult process, and this is a particularly hard instinct to overcome when you are training a husky dog. Compared to most other dog breeds, this can be a challenge for Siberian Huskies.

There are some simple ways to make sure that your husky does not chase your pet cat or treat it as prey, and you will need to make sure that you reinforce these training techniques daily if you want them to work.

  • Make Sure They Know Your Cat is Family

You will need to be certain that your Siberian Husky is clear that your cat is a part of the family. They might think of your cat as a prey animal that has gotten into your home, or maybe they are just not aware that you have an attachment to the cat.

You will need to leverage the pack mentality to encourage your Siberian husky to behave itself around your cat. Make sure that your dog is aware that the cat is important to you and that they are a ranked part of the pack.

You can enforce this concept by making sure that the dog is submissive to the cat when food is concerned as well as when going through doorways and other small spaces. This kind of work can help convince your dog that the cat has a place in the pecking order.

  • Keep Food Separate

Just like any dog, Huskies will not appreciate other animals snooping around their food when they are eating. Your Siberian husky might not mind your cat, but they will mind having their food stolen. Make sure that you teach both animals to eat their own food and not to bother one another while they are eating.

You can put the cat food up high so that your Siberian husky does not mistake this food for their own. Having the cat food up high will also eliminate instances where the cat is underfoot when your Siberian Husky is eating.

Food-related aggression is common among all kinds of animals, and your cat might even exhibit this behavior! Nipping this kind of behavior in the bud on the part of both your Siberian Husky and your cat will help keep the peace in your home.

  • Work on Recall Training

This skill can be very beneficial in other contexts, as well as when you are trying to prevent your dog from chasing your cat. Recall training is very useful for Siberian Huskies because they tend to be runners. It is not an uncommon story to hear about the family Siberian Husky who has run away into the woods not to be seen for a week,

Recall training makes this an easy behavior to limit or halt altogether, and you can use this same skill to break your dog’s focus when they want to chase your cat. To teach your dog to have excellent recall, make sure that you are armed with treats and then take the time to come up with a cue that you want to use for their recall word.

You do not want this to be their name because they will hear their own name in so many other contexts all day long. You want the recall word to be something that you do not use for any other purpose during your daily interactions with your dog.

Once you have selected a word that will not be used for any other interaction with your dog, you will need to reinforce this command with treat training. You will just need to go to a large space where you will be free of distractions and throw a toy for your dog. 

When your dog starts to play fetch, call it back with the command and then reward it with a treat. Use this skill over and over until your dog learns that they need to come to you right away when you use the command. This skill will come in handy the next time that your dog goes after your cat or even the next time that your Husky gets off its leash.

Consider Getting Help From a Professional Dog Trainer

If you are still feeling overwhelmed trying to make your Husky live happily with your cat, you can always get the help of a trainer to teach you additional skills to take care of this unwanted behavior.

A qualified dog trainer can be a helpful resource and can teach you other coping methods to convince your Husky not to bother your cat or other animals that run when it is around. Check out this great video that goes over some of the training techniques that can be used to help teach your Husky not to chase your cats.

 

Dog trainers are always willing to work with you as often or as seldom as you prefer, and you might find that you only need a few lessons to learn the best ways to keep your Husky from bothering your cat. The dog trainer may have some suggestions about making your home friendly to both your cat and your dog, even if they need to live in close proximity.

Make Sure Your Cat Can Get to a Safe Space

During the first month or so that your Husky is learning about your cats, make sure that they have an escape route to hide from the dog. This can be somewhere up high or in a separate room divided from the rest of the house by a cat door.

It is important to make sure that your cats are aware that this space exists so that they take advantage of it in their times of need. Having two animals in close proximity is all about making safe spaces for each of them.

Are Huskies Able to Learn to Live With Cats Like Other Dogs?

The answer to this is usually yes! If you have been worried about what you are going to do about your Husky chasing your cat, keep an open mind. Many training techniques can be used to teach your dog not to bother your cat, and training always takes some time.

You only need to be concerned if you have been working with your Husky for a few months and there has been no change in your dog’s behavior. It is a hard truth that some Huskies are just not good with other small animals, no matter how hard you try to teach them to be.

Getting a Husky Puppy

It is always easiest to teach a young dog or a husky puppy to identify cats as their friends and not prey. If you are getting a younger dog to add to your home, your chances of success in training them to get along with your cat or cats are much better.

You should be aware that sometimes an older husky cannot be trained to get along with smaller animals. If this happens, you can find a home for your Husky dog, or you might be able to set up a kennel arrangement for them to live in. Always think of the overall long-term happiness of all of the animals in your home when you run into behavioral issues that you cannot control.

Conclusion

If you are still thinking about getting a Husky and you have cats, you will need to plan on taking the first few months to teach them how to interact with the cats. Have patience with your new pet, and make sure that you give the cat places to hide if the dog scares them.

Over time and with some hard work, you will be able to teach your cat and your dog to be friends for the long haul. Dog training does not happen overnight, but with repetition and practice, you will be able to teach your Husky to integrate with your other pets successfully!