British Shorthair and dogs—will they get on like a house on fire or set the house on fire?
British Shorthair cats are sweet and loyal, and they enjoy being around their humans. They share these characteristics with dogs, which might make you wonder whether there will be some rivalry if you decide to keep both animals in the house.
Felines and canines who live together have to share personal space and their pet parents, so it's natural to wonder if the British Shorthair and dogs would be a good match. Whether you have a dog and wish to introduce a new feline friend to the household or vice versa, it's wise to gather some information on how to do that successfully.
Untamed explains whether British Shorthair cats get along with dogs and how to introduce them and ensure they have a great relationship.
British Shorthair temperament explained
I love you, this clingy bugger, and even that annoying yapper you take out sometimes.
Source: René Peters
The British Shorthair is an easy-going feline that will be friendly with everyone in your home and easily accept new companions, including the dog. Still, while they love company, these kitties cherish their personal space, so they won't be too happy if you constantly hold or hug them.
They are active and energetic, but not rowdy, affectionate, but not clingy, and intelligent but with no tendency to show off their wit by performing all sorts of shenanigans in your absence. You won't have to worry about finding your fridge wide open, hidden bananas, mangos, and apples nibbled on, and nuts scattered all over your countertops.
Their intelligence makes them easy to train, and you can teach them many fun tricks. They will high five, lie down, sit on command, and enjoy the game of fetch or hide and seek. In that respect, they are pretty dog-like, so it would be safe to assume these two species would play nicely.
Do British Shorthair cats get along with dogs?
British Shorthair cats won't automatically respond with aggression if another animal is bugging them, which is a fantastic quality. They remove themselves from the situation and wait for things to calm down from a safe distance. Instead of punishing an intrusive dog with a painful hit on the nose—claws out and all—the British Shorthair will give them the cold shoulder until they learn to behave. This stoic patience makes them perfect for families with small children as well.
A gentle and playful dog can even be beneficial for these felines. Both animals will be entertained, and your kitty will be alert and more active, which is excellent since British Shorthair cats tend to get lazy as they get older.
These plush kitties and dogs also share many similar interests. They love to play outside, enjoy the company of people and other pets, and don’t mind binging a TV series on lazy Saturday afternoons cuddled up next to their humans.
It stands to reason these two would be a match made in heaven, but caution is advisable whether you are bringing a British Shorthair to a household with a dog or vice versa.
Bringing a British Shorthair to a household with a dog
Don’t get me wrong, I’m grateful for the home. But that thing I hear in another room… Not thrilled.
Source: Jacco Rienks
Cats love to explore new surroundings, but it doesn't mean they won't be nervous when introduced to a new home, especially if an overly excited (and often massive) creature is jumping and yapping around them. Keeping your dog contained while your British Shorthair settles in and becomes comfortable in their new home is critical.
Bringing a new dog to a household with a British Shorthair
Let me play with the thing, please!
Dogs, especially puppies, also like to explore a new environment, which is the first thing they will do once you bring them home. Since felines tend to be territorial, this could spell potential disaster.
It may be wise to limit your new dog's access to parts of the house your kitty treasures the most until they get used to each other. You should also keep an eye on your dog as they go about your home, so they don't cross any boundaries.
How to introduce your dog to your British Shorthair
When you start introducing your two furry friends to each other, do so gradually. It helps if your dog has interacted with cats since puppyhood, but even if they haven't, you can increase your chances of success if you are calm and patient.
Here are the steps to take:
- Keep them separated and create designated areas for each animal
- Begin with brief visits and prolong them as time passes
- Divide your attention equally
Keep your furry friends separated and create designated areas for each animal
I know what you did, I can smell him. Or her. I don’t care! Just keep IT out of my sight!
Once you bring a new pet, you don't want to put them in front of each other immediately. Whoever is the newcomer will need some time to adjust to the new home. Both your cat and the dog should also get used to the smell of their new furry buddy.
Pets also love having their personal space, so you should ensure that they both have a safe place to sleep and relax. You should also get:
- Separate toys
- Different beds
- Food and water bowls for both animals
Begin with brief visits and prolong them as time passes
When introducing your furry companions, start with short visits while keeping your dog on the leash firmly close to you. At this point, let them only see each other and allow no physical contact. If your dog gets too excited or behaves rudely, don't punish them. They will associate negative emotions with the cat, which will be hard to surpass. Praise good behaviour and separate them the moment one of them shows signs of aggression or the encounter becomes stressful for either of them.
After some time, you can bring them closer together, but don't allow physical contact yet. You first want to get your cat and dog used to each other. It will take a lot of patience, but you will see progress step by step.
Play with your pets equally
You think I didn’t see you pet the yapper? You don’t deserve me! That’s it! I’m leaving… until dinner.
Source: Kirsten Bühne
Once your dog and your British Shorthair are comfortable around each other, start petting them and playing with them. Be careful to give them equal attention so that there is no jealousy.
When they start interacting with each other, don't push it and make them stay together for too long. Each meeting should be short and enjoyable for both. You can make every next visit a bit longer.
Once you think they are comfortable around each other, let your cat down and see how they will react. You may want to keep your dog on a leash so that you can react fast if there is any trouble. Repeat this until you are confident your doggy and British Shorthair have become friends.
Be careful around the food
There are two issues with regard to multiple pets in the household and their food, especially if they are of different species:
- Food rivalry is a common problem
- Cats and dogs have different dietary needs
Your dog will often go for your British Shorthair's food bowl and vice versa. This can cause friction between the pets, potentially resulting in a fight over food. The more dominant pet may also eat all the food, leaving the other one with insufficient portions.
It is crucial to feed your feline and canine friends separately and at particular times and remove their food bowls once they have finished eating. Alternatively, you can keep your kitty's bowl high, out of your dog's reach.
Different dietary needs
What is good for your doggy is not great for your British Shorthair.
Image (c) Untamed
A suitable diet for your dog is not an appropriate diet for your British Shorthair. Cat and canine food are formulated specifically to suit their distinctive dietary needs. It is particularly detrimental for your feline to eat your dog's food.
Dog food contains vegetable fillers and grains, which are not harmful if eaten in moderation but can lead to various health issues if they are a part of your pet's regular diet. Felines lack the enzymes necessary to break down and absorb nutrients from vegetable protein, which is why their diet shouldn't contain it.
Another problem is that British Shorthair cats often lead a more sedentary lifestyle as they get older. Food rich in carbohydrates—as dog food is—will lead to weight gain, lazier demeanour, and a whole host of other illnesses, including:
What's the best diet for your British Shorthair?
Your British Shorthair won't start barking if they eat your dog's food, but they will consume many empty calories—courtesy of all the vegetable protein. Since cats are obligate carnivores, the feline diet should predominantly consist of animal protein (meat and fish) and a hint of animal fat to make the meals delicious. These ingredients will ensure your kitty gets all the essential amino acids (such as taurine and arginine), minerals, and vitamins they need for energy and healthy life.
Besides providing the texture and aroma that even fussy kitties can't resist, animal fat found in meat and fish also contains healthy fatty acids that help maintain cell structure and improve your British Shorthair’s immune response.
Check out the ingredients you should look for in cat food and those you should avoid:
Ingredients to look for
Ingredients to avoid
Recommended percentages of macronutrients in cat food
A high-protein diet has a beneficial effect on overall feline health. It:
- Prevents urinary tract infections, cystitis, and struvite crystals
- Improves feline skin and coat, reduces shedding and number of hairballs
- Promotes a healthy digestive system
- Helps with weight management
Regardless of the type of cat food you go for—wet, dry, semi-moist, raw, or homemade—make sure it has the following composition:
50% or higher
No more than 20%
Up to 3%
Untamed helps you keep your British Shorthair slim and healthy
Untamed is the best choice you can make for your feline companion.
Image (c) Untamed
Untamed is the best choice you can make for your British Shorthair's nutrition!
Our meals are suitable for felines at all life stages, including:
- Kittens who need high-quality food to grow healthy
- Pregnant queens who need extra energy
- Neutered males who struggle with weight management
- Senior cats with dental issues, a few teeth missing, and problems keeping their muscle tone
All our recipes are:
- High in protein—Every Untamed meal contains double the amount of exclusively animal protein found in most commercial products. We only use the best-quality ingredients and refuse to taint our dishes with animal derivatives or vegetable proteins
- Vet-formulated—We work with vets to ensure our meals are suitable for kitties at all life stages, whether they have sensitive tummies, suffer from food allergies, or are recovering from an illness. We also offer hypoallergenic meals (Chocka Chicken in Jelly and Tuck-in Tuna in Jelly) for the most sensitive felines
- Fussy cat-approved—We gently steam our food so that it retains all the nutrients and delicious aroma that even cats who aren't fans of wet food can't refuse
Make sure your British Shorthair doesn't raid your dog's food bowl—let them try Untamed now!
How to get Untamed for your British Shorthair
Getting Untamed delivered to your doorstep is as easy as ABC!
All you need to do is:
- Complete our online quiz
- Select a meal plan for your kitty
- Order the trial pack
The taster pack will arrive in a day, and once your British Shorthair chooses the dishes they like best, we can restock your supplies of healthy meals every month.
Once you make the switch to Untamed, you will start noticing positive changes, including the ones in the table below:
The Untamed effects
After a week
Within two months
Within four months