Are Rottweilers Good With Cats?

Aaron Rice Expert Dog Trainer
Written: January 17, 2022

Just like the cat and mouse hostility, the dog and cat debate has been going on for ages now. Based on our years of experience at the dog training center, dogs can coexist peacefully with cats, but this is a purely subjective statement. Studies have shown certain dog breeds gel well with felines in comparison to others. 

Speaking about the Rottweiler breed, although they have their reasons to keep a distance from felines, they can be trained to befriend and socialize. Rottweilers are generally easy to train. This aspect can be used to the owner’s advantage in this case. 

Being socialized to another pet like a cat can help the Rottie accept the kitty as a friend. Their loyal and protective nature makes them assume the role of a guardian to the cat. The chances are that the Rottie may get along better with the feline compared to other dogs of the same breed.

With a well-planned introduction and systematic obedience training in parallel, Rotties and Kitties can turn out to be quite the companions. We will discuss the Rotties’ barriers to friendship, training techniques for getting along with cats. This article will also cover the proper introduction method and the do’s and don’ts while having a cat and Rottie under the same roof.

Now then, without any more wait, let’s cut to the chase, shall we?

Barriers Towards the Rottweiler-Cat Friendship

In this section, we will look into a few potential barriers that can hinder Rotties from getting along with cats. Although you can train your puppy to get along with cats, the result may not always be favorable and in the way you desired it to be.

Rottweiler’s Prey Drive

They are brimming with high energy at most times. Rotties also have an instinct to chase down almost anything moving. The sense that anything in motion at a quick pace is meant to be a prey, and it is their moral obligation to capture this entity.

Cats being nimble, agile, and smart fall into this category. An untrained Rottie will perceive your cat as potential prey and will be in constant chase mode. This trait will eventually lead to painful injuries and can prove fatal for the cat.

Stubbornness Associated with Herding Breeds

Originally raised as a cattle-herding breed of dogs, Rotties have an inherent stubborn mentality associated with them. Their mindset is hard-wired to herd the animals under their supervision at any cost. 

They may not try the herding aspect on their human owner, but this may not be the case with the cat. The felines will be under constant pressure from the dog if this trait is not brought under control.

Large Physical Stature 

The Rotties’ muscular figure and the assertive posture with a weight quickly touching 50-60 kilos is more than the 3-5 kilo cat can handle.  

This drastic variance in the physical appearance can create a sense of intimidation and insecurity for the smaller-sized being, i.e., the cat. 

Cats can explode in an all-out aggression mode without any particular reason due to this issue.

Socialization Gap

Rottweilers who haven’t been subjected to ample socializing time from their puppy phase are slaves to their natural hunter instinct. If your dog has been brought from a rescue home, this situation is even more prevalent.

In such cases, as a responsible owner, you need to be patient in training your dog even more to overcome this socialization gap. This measure is necessary to avoid constant duels between your beloved pets.

Territorial Nature of Cats

Cats give top priority to their privacy and space. Although much smaller in size, cats are never a push-over. They will react strongly if their territory is breached by the dogs, even though their intentions are of a friendly kind.

Your dog may enter the cat’s designated area to play or give some love and affection to the cute feline. But the response at the opposite camp can be pretty devastating. Things can go down south in no time!

We have seen a few possible issues that creep up while attempting to bond the cat and the Rottie. In the next section, we will discuss in-depth the most crucial aspect of training your Rottie to get along with cats.

Ways to Train the Rottweiler to Bond with a Cat

From our experience, we have seen most cases of the Rottweiler-Cat bond pan out well. Even when there is a socialization gap, systematic training techniques can help bridge the barrier. 

Nonetheless, we will look at some of the tried and tested ways to shape your Rottie into a cat-loving doggie.

Start with the Basics

The best starting point for the Rottweiler training is the “sit” and “look” commands. Never forget the significance of reinforcement of positive behavior. This measure can significantly improve the speed and quality of the training process. 

An easy way is to make the dog look at a tasty treat and bring it down. Once they are in the sitting position, feed them the snack. Next time you say sit, they will obey for sure. The tone of voice is crucial here. Say it assertively but not overly aggressive.

Similarly, you can train them to respond to the “look” command. Make them look at the treat. Bring it in such a position that the snack is near the front of their nose and move it away in a straight line. Bring up the snack/treat between your eyes and utter the command “look!.” 

Next time you repeat this command, they will stare at you without fail. These two commands are beneficial to prevent the chasing tendencies when they see the cat. 

You can use the commands to create a redirection in the minds of the Rotties. Feed them or pat them each time they restrain from their natural tendencies of aggression towards other animals.

Make them Master the Art of Ignorance 

Using this technique, you can train your dog to ignore a cat’s presence in the vicinity. Before starting with this activity, ensure your dog is leashed to avoid unpredictability. Rotties can get excited and riled up when they notice other animals like cats. The idea is to reward them for being calm and not getting too hyper around felines. 

With the help of a friend, colleague, or family member, bring a cat near you and your Rottie. Check the dog’s reaction. If they jump in excitement, pull the leash and give an assertive “look!” command. As they look at you, indirectly, a distraction is created for them to calm down. Reward dogs with a treat when they behave themselves. With time, they will learn to be neutral and ignorant of the cat’s presence. You can follow up this step by allowing the cat to roam around in the room while the dog is under supervision.

The point to remember is that these experiments may not be entirely fruitful in the first few attempts. As loving pet parents, be patient, trust the process, and you will start seeing your dog making good progress. 

Socialize from Puppy Phase

The training process becomes so much easier when you start socializing your Rottweiler from an early age. Taking them for walks to get a hold of the happenings in the outside world regularly is a good starting step. 

Enabling interactions with other animals by taking them to dog daycare centers is another helpful activity you can do. Being in the vicinity of different animals in multiple age ranges can make them more adaptable. 

If you have any friends or relatives who own cats, you could take your pup to their home on some excellent kitty exposure. Notice their reactions.

These are some simple yet significant steps to lay a solid foundation in building a strong dog and cat bond. As mentioned earlier in this article, the introduction is crucial for this relationship to work out as intended. In the next section, we will look into a few action points you can adopt to ace the initial phase.

Methods to Introduce your Rottweiler to the Cat

Here, we will describe some of the proven methods to help the Rottie-Cat bonding process. Please accept that every case is subjective, varying in pace and level of bonding. Adopting these measures will help each of them tolerate each other at least.

Crating One of Them

Making the initial introduction in the open may not be the best idea, considering your dog’s inherent chasing tendency/ prey drive. We recommend putting one of them in a crate which limits access to the other party. 

The choice of pet to be put in a crate will depend on who is the new buddy at home. If you Rottie is the new pet, lay a small trail of treats towards the crate and close the gate when they enter. Allow them to settle in. You can adopt a similar method if the cat is the new admission to your home.

You can try leaving the other pet around the crate for a limited time and see how the interactions go. Once both parties are entirely calm in the other’s presence, you can let them out of the crate and supervise how the mood is in an open environment.

With timely progress, your dog will be fine even without the leash. 

Systematic Desensitization 

It is advisable to keep the initial few interactions limited in time. Extended meetings can be challenging, considering the chances of energy outbursts from the dog that can freak out the cat. 

Isolating each of the pets into different rooms is a clever ploy. An area of the house like an unwanted storeroom can be made their space by providing all the essential items like food, sleeping pillows, litter box, etc. 

Desensitization can begin by letting the dog view the cat for short stints. Control them using commands and reward their positive responses to make the behavioral modeling as intended. 

Once the isolation phase is a success, try feeding them in a single room but away from one another. Making them have meals together is a powerful bonding agent. With growing comfort in the other’s presence, feed them in close proximity.  

For the pets to familiarize themselves with the other’s scent, you can try letting them have a blanket or a toy of the other party. 

Never expect the results to always be positive. The key is not to rush things for the sake of them. Commit yourself to the process and see how things work out. 

Wrapping Up

Rottweilers and cats can get along well provided the proper prerequisites are ticked off. Socialization from a young age and a solid training strategy are the cheat codes for a smooth and lasting bond between your dog and cat.

As pet owners, never feel dejected when things fail to progress quickly. Each pet is different; they take their time to tolerate other animals. By following the training process strictly, you will see positive results. If things still do not go as intended, seek the help of professional dog trainers who can lay out customized techniques to help your pets get along well.
For the first few months, ensure human supervision whenever the canine and feline are close to each other to avoid unwanted attacks and injuries. In case of any mishaps, never shy away from seeking the help of veterinarians for resolving the problem.

We hope you found some valuable insights on the Rottweiler and cat relationship.