Do Beagles Get Along With Cats?
[All you need to know]

By kropek2021. • Updated July 27, 2021

Right from childhood, we have been listening to the rumor that dogs and cats are mortal enemies (Cartoon references including Tom&Jerry). This adage is just a myth. There are innumerable households worldwide where dogs and cats live in absolute harmony under a single roof.

If you happen to be a proud owner of a beagle dog breed and wondering if your dog will get along well with cats, the answer is “Yes.” Beagles are friendly, and given that the initial introduction goes smoothly between the dog and cat, things can turn out to be pretty amicable.

In this article, we will discuss the beagle traits that make them gel quickly with cats. We will also talk about how you can strengthen the dog-cat bond using specific preparatory steps and a list of considerations to keep in mind.

So, let’s get started then!

Reasons Why Beagles Get Along With Cats

Although beagles can be stubborn, with time and patience, they can become good friends with cats. This section will describe some of the personality traits that make them treat cats as allies rather than enemies.

Pack-Animal Mentality

Originally bred as hunters, Beagles worked in packs. This aspect made them evolve as “pack- animals.”

Beagles tend to feel sad when lonely, so they crave other animals’ company. If the meet and greet happen in the right way, beagles will treat the cat as if they belonged to their pack. Post this acceptance phase; they will act protective and affectionate around cats and assume a guardian’s role.

Gentle Nature

Beagles are non-aggressive and one of the best breeds to mingle with cats. They are curious and exploring by nature. They were bred as tracking dogs in the past.

Their caring and loyal nature towards other animals and children make them low maintenance around other pets like cats.

Easy to Train

Although beagles initially show a bit of inertia, they respond well to obedience training with proper positive reinforcements.

If you tingle what motivates them, they will turn out to be a fun companion for cats. Feed them their favorite treats, give them toys and spend quality time in games. These activities are guaranteed to make them responsive to your commands.

Being inherently inquisitive, beagles love to play chase with cats. They can be good at outdoor activities.

These characteristics make beagles a decent companion for feline friends.

Prerequisites Before Introducing Beagles and Cats

If you have decided to own a beagle and cat together, few pre-introductory steps are to be done before the initial meeting happens.

  • If your beagle has dominant hunter features like aggressively chasing cats, you need to think twice before bringing a cat to your home. In this case, their chemistry can be chaotic.
  • Cats are not as sociable as dogs in general. It would be a good idea to get them familiarized with the dog’s scent before introduction. A blanket or cushion with the dog’s smell can be a good start.
  • If you’re adopting the cat from a shelter home, it is advisable to enquire about the cat’s history with other animals like dogs. If they are fearful, the chances are they might run away from your home.
  • If you own two or more dogs, bringing a cat to the circle will not be a great idea. Dogs have an affliction to gel easier with other dogs. This trait can make the cat feel like the odd one in the gang.
  • The age of the cat and beagle is another crucial factor. An older cat and a young puppy may not be the best mix and vice-versa. The reason is that their energy levels will never be in sync. Similarly, an aged cat and beagle would be the safe bet.

We will look into the preparatory steps for both cats and beagles before the grand introduction in the following sections.

Preparing the Cat

  1. Beagles tend to eat cat food. Being high in fat, dogs relish munching on cat food. This action can lead to digestive disorders in beagles and nutritional issues. We recommend placing the cat food and sleeping area in an inaccessible area for beagles.
  2. Unfortunately, beagles also possess the tendency to eat cat feces. This behavior makes it necessary to keep the cat’s litter box hidden away from your beagle.
  3. Cat’s super sharp claws can be detrimental to your dog. Using plastic caps on their claws can be a safety measure to protect them from your canine buddy.
  4. Try placing a pet gate for the cat. Cats being smaller in size, it is wise to have a raised gate that makes it easy for them to slip into, for accessing food, litter box, and sleeping area.

Preparing the Beagle

  1. Provided the beagle’s prerequisites above are met (low hunter instinct), then the next consideration is their responsiveness to commands. If they are obedient to orders when the tendency to harm the cat is lingering, the situation is under control.
  2. If you know of any friends, relatives, or neighbors who own a cat, request them to pay a visit to your home along with their feline pal. Observe the reaction to the cat from the beagle. Check if they respond to your commands while interacting with the cat.

Now that the preparatory steps are taken care of, we are all set for the introduction. 

Introducing Beagles and Cats – The Initial Phase

The initial few days/weeks can be the tricky part. We recommend you follow the pointers given below for a smooth start.

  • As part of the prerequisites section, we talked about getting used to the other’s scent. Once that step is done, there will be a growing sense of familiarity and comfort in each other’s presence.
  • While you start feeding them together, ensure you place their respective food bowls far from one another. Some space between them will give them a sense of security, and they will not feel threatened by the other party’s presence. It is never a good idea to feed them in close proximity. There is always the chance of attacking the other animal’s plate, and that response can lead to fights.
  • After a week or two of acclimatizing, allow them to meet in a neutral area. Cats are more territorial than dogs. Always leave an escape route for the cats to slip if they get irritated in the dog’s presence. Feeding a few treats to the beagle can be an excellent way to calm them down. When either of them starts behaving positively around the other, engage in some positive reinforcements like comforting words or food treats.
  • Cats can get annoyed easily around over-excited dogs. If the dog is acting all hyper, command them to sit and calm down. This action will ease the tension and steady the cat too.
  • Do not overdo the meetings. Limit them to three to four times a day with a timespan of no more than 15-20 minutes. These short and frequent visits will ensure that either party does not feel threatened or overwhelmed.
  • Feed both of them at the same time with the bowls placed nearby after the first month. Giving food together helps garner a sense of pack mentality in each of them. This action ensures the bond gets more robust as time progresses.
  • Last but not least, if all of the above steps go as per plan, you may start leaving them alone in unsupervised conditions. An occasional check every 20-30 mins is recommended nevertheless. 

If the progress is not going well in between, never shy away from taking a step back to keep the situation under control. Beagles often behave differently in the absence of the owner. So it is advisable to leave them unsupervised now and again.

Take care to give equal love and attention to both the cat and the dog. This statement may sound silly, but it is not. When either of the animals feels the other one is the family’s / owner’s favorite, they look at them as a competitor instead of a friend. This emotion can pave the way for unwanted jealousy, anger, and physical aggression subsequently.

Once you and your pets cross through this tricky phase, it will be followed by harmony and peaceful co-existence. You will get to know that all the effort was worth it as both of them will shower genuine love and affection upon the other. 

As a pet owner, this is a truly fulfilling and enriching experience. Sometimes I feel my Julia (Cat) and Jimmy (Beagle) love each other more than the sibling bond between my kids! Yes, guys, the effort is worth it.

Additional Considerations to Keep in Mind

  • As we saw earlier, beagles have the hunter and tracker instinct in them. There will be occasional chasing and running around the house or anywhere outside, like the park or the garden. If the friendship bond is strong enough, both of them will consider this a game rather than an assault.
  • Ensure that your home and garden have sufficient high spots that can help your cat plan an escape if the beagle starts acting aggressively by any chance. Cats can quickly jump at high positions, making them inaccessible to the dog.
  • It is always recommended to keep the age difference as low as possible while selecting the cat or the beagle. A senior member’s treatment of a child member of the other species can be unpredictable and risky.
  • Even after taking all precautions to keep the cat’s litter box away from the dog, there is a chance the beagle will still manage to consume the cat poop. If you observe any health issues with the dog, seek medical attention at the earliest. The harmful bacteria and parasites can infect your beagle in no time. Never indulge in self-treatments. Let the experts – veterinarians or dog trainers handle and resolve the problem. 

Despite all these considerations, the story of bonding between each beagle and cat would be different. Character traits and likeability towards the other species can often be a subjective choice.

Conclusion

We have reached the tail end of our article. To summarize, there is no reason why a beagle and a cat can not get along well. This bonding will take time and effort. When the prerequisites and initial meetings are taken care of, they can be buddies for life.

Showering them equal love and attention along with reinforcements for even the slightest progress shown can be very useful in cementing the bond. Beagles being hunters by instinct, praise them well when they make an attempt to love the feline. Never rush into leaving them unsupervised; let them take their own time to get comfortable around each other.

Ensure to schedule periodic checkups with the registered vets to make sure both of them are entirely healthy and nutritionally balanced. Things may not go smoothly always, even if you happen to be the proud owner of two docile creatures. Never back away from medical consultations to decide whether to continue petting or separate the two animals.   

As responsible owners, we must accept that both of them take their own pace to adapt themselves around the other. Both of them have their level of temperament and body language. We must be vigilant around these aspects.