We usually hear the famous sentence, “You fight like cats and dogs” whenever people have violent arguments with each other. This commonly implies that dogs and cats don’t get along very well. The contrary is true, however, as some dogs can live with felines. It’s just that some dog breeds are a little friendlier than others.
The Bullmastiff, for instance, is not a naturally friendly dog. This doesn’t mean though that he won’t always tolerate living with a cat. With the right intervention and training, he will eventually learn to accept that he has to cross a road with a feline inside the house.
If you’re both a dog and cat lover, this article is for you! If you have a Bullmastiff at home and you’re planning to adopt a kitten, you can learn loads from this article. Read more below…
Do Cats Heighten up the Predatory Instinct of a Bullmastiff?
A Bullmastiff who is not familiar nor has a deep relationship with the said cat will most likely end up chasing after it. This canine has a high prey drive making him get easily triggered even by the slightest movement of a small creature he spots in the yard. Due to that reason, it is not always recommended to have cats around the Bullmastiff.
However, this is not always the case. Some owners who have a liking for both cats and dogs would usually raise both together while they are young. Being exposed to each other early on will largely eliminate the predatory instinct of the Bullmastiff and the hostility a cat may show to a dog.
Moreover, even if an unsocialized Bullmastiff ages, he can still be taught how to behave around felines. Remember, this canine is people-oriented. With the right owner, he won’t be showing stubbornness if commanded not to go after a kitty.
The Importance of Socialization and Training
The Bullmastiff breed is inherently mulish and confrontational due to his historical background as a guard dog assisting English gamekeepers. This is exactly why he would need drills and sessions right during puppyhood to mellow down these innate behaviors. Starting at this age is ideal and gives off a higher success rate compared to training a grown dog.
Primarily, what you should do to your Bullmastiff puppy is to help him understand that it is alright to interact with other pets. Learning that he can put his guard down will improve his relationship with others, especially if you want him to get along very well with a cat. Introduce him to the feline as soon as possible to lessen down his territorial alertness level.
Another thing you could do is to bring him to puppy classes. There, he’d be able to socialize with other dog breeds and acquire important puppy lessons. Failing to highlight socialization and training to your Bullmastiff can prove fatal once he spots your newly brought home kitty.
How to Introduce a Cat to Your Bullmastiff
Many owners have been very triumphant in introducing their cats to their Bullmastiff, or even perhaps any other dog. With calmer breeds, the process can be over very quickly, but in the case of the Bullmastiff who has superior protective instinct, the introduction might take some time.
Take note, the longer you have one of the two pets, the longer it will be for him to accept the new arrival. That means, it is always much better to adopt a kitty and a Bullmastiff puppy. Their nature won’t be that strong at that moment and can be altered to a more desirable outcome the moment they become mature.
Here are some ways on how to properly introduce the cat to your Bullmastiff:
Give the Bullmastiff and the Cat Their Own Spaces
When the new cat or the new Bullmastiff arrives at your home, you must recognize how overwhelming this situation is for the animal. After long hours of traveling to your place and seeing unfamiliar faces, the arrival could be stressful. Allow the new pet to get used to the environment first before any interaction is done. Never place them in one area or the old pet might feel threatened with the newcomer.
Do Not Rush Them in Interacting
If the new and old pet is taking too long to adjust to each other’s presence, never rush them into socializing. Some pets become friends in a jiffy, while others take longer than usual. Use your discretion and allow more time for the two of them when needed.
Ensure Your Cat’s Nails Are Trimmed
Cats can be intimidated by a dog, more so if the canine is as large as the Bullmastiff. If you think it’s the right time to present the new pet to the old, make sure first that your cat’s nails are trimmed. This is to prevent her from either swatting or scratching your Bullmastiff’s face. This also dodges a possible long-term ill-will towards one another.
Monitor and Stay Close to Your Older Pet
Whichever you had the longest, always be at his side. The old pet is typically more hostile and you have to control the situation to prevent any potential conflict. Make it known that you have the authority in the house!
5 Alarming Behaviors to Be Aware Of
Encouraging both pets to start a good relationship with each other won’t always be a smooth process the first time you initiate it. Below are the 5 alarming behaviors you must take into consideration during the introduction phase:
1. Your Bullmastiff Shows Aggression Signs
Discourage your Bullmastiff from showing any signs of belligerence like growling or lunging at the cat. Tell him words like, “No!” or “Behave” to inform him that you’re not pleased with his unnecessary aggression. If it continues, the introduction can be done the next day.
2. He Ignores You and Draws His Attention to the Cat
Reschedule introduction if your Bullmastiff no longer pays attention to your commands. Losing control over him could also mean losing control over the entire situation.
3. Hostile Reaction When Hissed by the Cat
Scold your Bullmastiff if he shows a poor reaction when hissed or shrilled by the cat. Make it known to him that he’s larger and stronger, so he must be the passive pet and not vice versa. The next time the cat hisses, he’ll most likely just ignore it and walk away.
4. Constant Display of Belligerence of the Cat Toward the Bullmastiff
If the cat is very guarded and hostile the entire time, you can just continue the other day. She might be too stressed and would need more time to process everything as the new pet. Don’t force anything on them as everything takes time.
5. Drastic Behavioral Changes
If any of the pets stop eating or drinking for a day or so, seek professional advice. If this doesn’t work still, it could be that both your Bullmastiff and the cat are not well-suited for each other. Most likely, you’ll have to look for another loving home for the new arrival.