If your German Shepherd doesn’t get along with cats then you might be wondering why and what you can do about it. This post will show you a number of reasons why your German Shepherd doesn’t like cats and what you can do about it.

So, why doesn’t your German Shepherd like cats?  

One reason is that German Shepherds have a strong prey drive that triggers their instincts to chase small things. Cats also like to run which can cause German Shepherds to want to chase.

Another possible reason is that your German Shepherd is jealous of the attention your cat is getting and it wants it for itself. 

And, what can you do about it?

A quick way to keep your cat safe would be to keep them both separated as much as possible. You can also train your German Shepherd to leave your cat alone by teaching it to stay when it is being distracted by the cat. Giving your German Shepherd lots of exercise also helps to reduce its urge to chase things.

Getting a German Shepherd to stop chasing cats is something that many people have struggled with before so to get it to stop won’t be an overnight event. The good news is that a number of people have been successful in doing so.

Before getting your German Shepherd to stop chasing your cat it can be helpful to take the time to figure out why it is doing it.

Why your German Shepherd doesn’t like cats

There are a few reasons that your German Shepherd might not like cats that I will mention below.

Strong prey drive

German Shepherds are a breed that is known to have a strong prey drive. This means that they have it in their nature to chase after small things like cats, rabbits and even small dogs. 

They have actually been known to kill small animals so it’s important not to keep them together until you are certain that your German Shepherd won’t do anything. 

Cats like to run

Another problem is that cats like to run. German Shepherds, as well as most other dog breeds, will naturally chase after small things that are moving. This is why, when you’re teaching your German Shepherd to stay, one of the last distractions you would show it would be a moving toy.

To correct this behavior it will be necessary for you to do lots of training with your German Shepherd on a regular and consistent basis so that you can break it out of the habit of chasing your cat.

Jealousy

Another possible reason that your German Shepherd might not like your cat is jealousy. German Shepherds are a breed that can demand a lot of attention and it could be that it doesn’t like all of the attention that your cat gets and it wants it all for itself.

To correct this it will be necessary for you to give your German Shepherd lots of attention and to give it lots of exercise so that it doesn’t feel the need to be jealous of your cat.

How to get your German Shepherd to stop chasing your cat

There are a number of things that you can do to get your German Shepherd to stop chasing your cat that I will mention below.

You can look at the book Training Your German Shepherd on Amazon to get more tips on how you can train your GSD.

Separate them

A quick and easy way to get your German Shepherd to stop chasing your cat would be to simply keep them separated. By doing this you will be able to keep your cat safe and to prevent bad interactions. You could do this by keeping your cat in separate rooms or you could try to section off areas using room dividers.

If your German Shepherd is still young then you might not want to do this since it’s easier to get your German Shepherd to get along with cats when they’re younger. So, you’ll want to emphasize on the training method in the video below.

Keep it away from other cats

You should also take measures to ensure your German Shepherd doesn’t get to be free with other cats. If you do then you’ll be risking having your German Shepherd chase after it. This means that you should make sure that it’s difficult for it to escape your backyard and that you should ensure that you have it on a leash when you’re outside with it.

Train it not to

You can also try to train your German Shepherd to get along with cats. If your German Shepherd is still young it’s very important that you take the time to do this now. It’s also important that you train it regularly and that you maintain it over a long time period.

To train your German Shepherd to get along with your cat you’ll do it in three stages. First, you’ll teach it to stay, then to stay when it’s being distracted then to stay when the cat is around.

I have written about how to teach your German Shepherd to stay and how to do it when being distracted in the past here.

After you have taught it to stay when being distracted it will be time to slowly introduce the cat.

You’ll do this by telling your German Shepherd to stay and then start by just putting the cat in the same room.

Then after your German Shepherd maintains its attention on you you’ll reward it for doing so. You’ll repeat this process where you get your German Shepherd to stay with the cat in the same room until you’re able to get it to keep its attention on you easily.

Once it’s good at doing that you’ll continue to tell it to stay but you’ll reduce the amount of distance between your German Shepherd and your cat until you’re able to get your German Shepherd to keep its focus on you even when the cat is nearby.

Watch the video below to see how it is done.

Give it lots of exercise

German Shepherds are a breed that needs a lot of exercise to be properly stimulated. If your German Shepherd isn’t currently getting much exercise then you should make sure that it does. A lack of exercise will often result in your German Shepherd becoming hyperactive which will increase the likelihood of it misbehaving around cats.

A good way to give your German Shepherd a lot of exercise without needing to do a lot yourself is to teach it to play fetch. By doing that you’ll be able to get your German Shepherd to do a lot of running over a short time period without needing to yourself.

Feed them separately

You should also take measures to ensure that you feed them separately. The probability of your German Shepherd lashing out at your cat is much more pronounced when they are eating. So, by feeding them separately you’ll be able to reduce the likelihood of something bad happening.

Things to consider

They can be quite stubborn

When you’re getting your German Shepherd to get along with your cat you’ll likely find that they can be quite stubborn. This means that it will be very important for you to train it regularly, consistently and over the course of months so that you can really change its habits around your cat.

Start it early

The earlier you train your German Shepherd to get along with your cat the easier it will be for you. As your German Shepherd gets older its habits of being aggressive towards cats will be more pronounced and harder to change so it’s better to start when it’s still young.

Related questions

Do German Shepherds eat cats? Due to the strong prey drive that German Shepherds have, they have been known to kill cats. This is why it’s very important that you train your German Shepherd to be well behaved around cats from an early age and that you keep them separated as much as possible.

Most Recommended For German Shepherds

Best German Shepherd Training Program

Our favorite: The Dunbar Academy Training Program. If you want a happy and obedient dog, this is one of the best online dog training programs available right now.

Best German Shepherd Guide

Our favorite: The German Shepherd Handbook (on Amazon) - Shows you all you need to know to keep your GSD happy, healthy and well-behaved.

Best German Shepherd Treats

Our favorites: N-Bone Puppy Teething Ring (on Amazon) - Great for German Shepherd puppies. American Journey Dog Treats (on Amazon) - Great for adult German Shepherds.

Author

Pin It