Jack Russel is one happy and energetic dog breed. If you own a Jack Russel like me, you are probably familiar with their desire to be close to you all the time. This is because this breed is most happy when given companionship.
Now, of course, most of you have more than one pet at home, speaking of which, felines are the top most common pet kept by homeowners.
Thus, in case you are thinking of owning a cat and a Jack Russel, you might have several questions regarding if they can live together.
Fret not, throughout this article, I am going to clear all your queries regarding Jack Russels and cats, if they can live together, how you can introduce a Jack Russell to a cat if it’s safe having both of them around, and how you can help both of them get along.
Can Jack Russells and Cats Live Together?
There are numerous incidents of Jack Russells harassing, hurting, or even killing other small pets that may be at home, such as cats, birds, hamsters, rabbits, and so on, which is simply due to their natural hunting and territorial instincts.
However, this doesn’t entirely mean Jack Russels and cats, or any other small pet, cannot live together. Jack Russels are ideal family dogs, with a protective nature.
Because I have owned a Jack Russel for several years now, I can guarantee that Jack Russell Terriers can get along very well and ultimately live together peacefully only if they are socialized with cats right from the start.
This means, in order for Jack Russel to live with a cat in your home peacefully, you must make your canine familiar with your cat from a very young age. This way, both animals will be capable of forming a loving relationship with each other and will get along really well.
If you don’t start the socialization process early enough, it would be quite a struggle for you to get a cat and a Jack Russell to get along and live together peacefully.
How Do You Introduce A Jack Russell to A Cat?
As a general rule, introducing a newly adopted Jack Russel to a cat that you already had at home is quite easy. This is because when Jack Russels are a puppy, they will make themself familiar with your house cat from the start and will not have any issues living with it.
But, in case you already own a Jack Russel and you’re thinking of adopting or bringing home a cat, you will definitely have struggles. However, you shouldn’t lose hope just yet.
Here’s what you need to do in order to introduce your Jack Russel to a cat:
Introduce your Jack Russel with other animals and humans from a young age
By introducing your Jack Russel and making them familiar with other animals and humans right from the start, your canine will never have any issues with other living beings in your household.
Although they will keep hold of their territorial nature, you won’t really face any problems regarding introducing a new animal or pet into your home.
Watch out for signs of aggression or fear
When you first introduce your Jack Russel to a cat, you must keep an eye out for any signs of fear or regression.
Let them explore each other, but watch out for any red flags. You can do this by watching their body language and being prepared for any signs of lunging from either animal.
Reward or treat your dog for good behavior
When you first introduce your Jack Russel to a cat, you must reward your dog for good behavior if he did not show any aggression or hate towards the cat.
Praise it, and treat him with his favorite treats, so that he knows he has done a good job. However, in case he lunges towards the cat or shows anger, calmly says ‘no’ and redirects him to something else.
Would A Jack Russell Kill A Cat?
Of course, incidents of Jack Russel killing a cat is not unheard of, which is only entirely a result of irresponsible ownership.
Therefore, a Jack Russel would only harm, or kill, a cat if and only it has not been socialized and made familiar with the cat, or other animals, from a tender and young age.
As mentioned above, Jack Russels have a natural prey drive, as they are usually kept for hunting purposes. However, you can definitely avoid this from happening by taking Jack Russel’s early weeks after birth more seriously.
I have owned a Jack Russel for almost 6 years now, and I made sure to introduce my canine to other humans and animals so that it won’t show any regression towards any other living being.
Thus, I can assure all of you that if you take responsible ownership, you will definitely never experience any such aggression of your Jack Russell towards a cat, or killing or harming it in extreme cases.
How Do I Help My Jack Russell and Cat Get Along?
Here are a few tips that I personally followed to help you to get your Jack Russel and cat get along better:
Block their interaction if there is any aggression
In case you see your Jack Russel barking at the cat, or if you even spot your cat hissing towards your canine, you must block their ways.
As soon as you see any sign of aggression or hostile behavior, just separate both of them, and allow them to recover.
You can also take them to separate rooms and close the door, and wait till they go back to their routines.
This may take several weeks, but you should definitely continue doing this until both of your pets stop showing agitation towards each other.
Put them on leashes
Make sure to put both of your pets on leashes when they are close to each other. Then, give your cat some freedom to wander and explore. You can also give them food and allow them to play.