Can huskies, a breed with such a high prey drive, get along with cats? If you want to own both a husky and cat at the same time then there’s some crucial information you need to know. This article explains everything about huskies getting on with cats.
Huskies do not naturally get along with cats, but it is possible with time and careful training for them to become friendly with one another. As huskies have a strong prey drive, caution is always necessary when around cats.
Why Huskies Don’t Naturally Get On With Cats
It’s very common to hear about huskies chasing and killing small animals. This can be a real problem if you have another pet or a small animal living with you. Huskies do this because of the high prey drive that has been ingrained into them from their past.
The Siberian Husky was bred by the Chukchi Tribe in Siberia thousands of years ago where food wasn’t readily available. Whenever the huskies were not used for transportation, the tribe would have been out with them hunting for food.
This way of living for so many years gave the Siberian Husky a very high, instinctive prey drive that you’ll never fully stop no matter how much training you give. The only thing you can do is limit it, but caution will always be needed for huskies around small animals.
The Main Problem With Cats For Huskies
The number one issue is when cats move suddenly and dart across the room or street (which they love to do) These quick sudden movements trigger the universal predation sequence that starts with See – Chase – Grab – Kill.
Your husky would have already seen the cat long before you! All that needs to happen now is for that cat to dart away and your husky’s immediate prey instinct kicks in without thinking twice.
This is very hard to train against. Even if you do successfully manage to teach your husky to live happily with another small animal it’s never guaranteed to stop his instinct. That’s why caution is always needed.
This sequence isn’t always followed as it is there, it’s completely possible that your husky or any other dog will chase, but not kill. Maybe the chase instinct is activated but once they catch up with the cat or small animal they will initiate friendly play. It depends on your dog, the situation, and the other animal.
Can a Husky Live With a Cat?
Good news! not all hope is lost.
Despite what we’ve talked about above, there are many husky owners that successfully live with a cat under the same roof and have never had any issues. Despite being difficult it can certainly be done.
Here’s how a husky can live with a cat. In order for your husky and cat to live harmoniously, your husky must learn that your cat is part of the family and part of the “pack” just like he is.
Understanding the pack mentality, ranking and authority are very important.
As well as your husky accepting the cat in the pack, you actually need your husky to believe that the cat is higher in “rank” than himself. This is because your husky can kill your cat, but your cat can’t kill your husky.
So you need to have your husky consider your cat be above him in the pack ranking. This ranking level is very important to the success of your training.
You must then teach your husky and cat to be calm around each other.
You don’t want your cat to be on edge around your husky…
Not only will your husky pick up on this, but the second your cat feels uneasy and darts away, your husky will begin to chase.
So, how do you do all of that!? Let’s get into it 🙂
Training Your Husky To Live With a Cat
Training your husky to live with a cat takes time and patience, and a lot of consistency. Huskies learn the best through repetition so the more times you go through this with your husky the quicker you will see results.
This is how to train a husky to live with cats:
Step 1 ⭐
The first moment together inside your house. You should keep them in separate rooms and close the door.
Your cat will smell your husky when you arrive regardless of the door being closed.
This is the best and safest way to start them getting familiar with each other. This step will last a couple of days before physical introduction should happen.
Step 2 ⭐
When you introduce them to the same room, keep them separated (on a leash).
You then need to instantly show your husky that the cat is part of the family/pack and they’re not prey.
Pick your cat up and hold them, stroke them, make a fuss of them in front of your husky.
Keep your husky on the lead across the room with someone else holding him and distracting him.
With time, both your cat and husky will begin to understand that they BOTH belong in there. Making a fuss of each of them is something you need to constantly do to show them they are both in the family.
Step 3 ⭐
It’s important you have a lot of treats and distractions to help avoid overly stressful moments.
When they first see each other, tension will rise dramatically so have another person help keep them apart.
Distracting them will bring their anxiety back down even while they’re in the same room with each other.
Do this enough times and they will start to become increasingly calm. This is exactly how you need them to feel.
Step 4 ⭐
After 1 week or 2 weeks depending on how well your cat and husky are dealing with being together, you need to get rid of the leash and let them gain closer proximity to each other.
Of course, a lot of close attention will be needed by you and perhaps another person. Keep them both distracted with treats to avoid tension building up too much.
Step 5 ⭐
For the first few months, your husky and cat should only be in the same room under supervision. Ultimately your cat will dart across the room at some point.
This is the key moment you need to be there to intercept your husky chasing your cat.
Whenever a chase happens, in a loud deep voice intercept and say NO! your husky is not allowed to engage in this.
Distract him away from the cat and reward your husky once he changes his focus. With enough times of interception, he will learn that he shouldn’t chase the cat.
The most important tips to remember for successful training
1. Make interaction times short, 15 minutes a few times per day or week is a good start.
2. Only have interactions when they’re both calm, happy and ready to do so.
3. Give both of them some treats at the same time, but not too close together, let both of them engage in something nice while in the same room.
4. Keep your cat’s litter box in a different room, let your cat and husky do their business uninterrupted.
5. Let your cat be physically higher than your husky if they want to be. Give them their food at a higher level than your husky. This will lead your husky to know that the cat is higher in rank than them and give them respect.
The perfect video to demonstrate this type of training is from Sixty Formula on Youtube For your convenience you can watch the video here without needing to exit the post. Thanks to Sixty Formula for this awesome video.
The perfect way to end this article is to clarify that huskies can definitely live with cats, but it may be a long process. With time, patience and the correct training you will have no problems having a husky and a cat in the same house. One big happy family!
Thank you for reading! If you have experience with this PLEASE share your tips and advice. You can help other husky owners that are also in this difficult situation.
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