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There are dog people, and there are cat people, and then there are people who love both animals. Now cats can either get along with dogs or ignore them completely.
But on the other hand, we are talking about dogs, and in our case, hounds who were specifically bred to be hunting dogs and have the instinct to chase small animals.
So if you already have a basset hound and planning to get a cat, you may have this question: Are Basset Hounds good with cats?
As basset hounds were bred to hunt in packs, they are very friendly and social with other dogs and animals. They are likely to see cats in the same household as a part of their pack and even try to form a close bond with them.
Most Bassets will readily accept a new cat and welcome them as a pack member, provided you introduce the two properly.
Further in this article, we will learn how to introduce your Basset to the cat and also look into some preventive measures you must follow.
Reasons Why Most Basset Hounds are Good with Cats
Here are the main reasons Basset Hounds tend to get along with cats.
They Are Innately Amiable to Other Pets
Basset Hounds are generally kind, amiable, and empathetic dogs. They accept cats as part of the family because of their friendly, loving nature.
Of course, some young Basset puppies might need some basic training and socialization so that they aren’t tempted to chase your cat. However, once socialized, most Basset Hounds are likely to be amicable toward cats.
They are Lovers – Not Fighters
Bassets do not have a mean bone in their body. Their friendly and loving nature makes them easily accept and welcome cats and other housepets in their circles. They are not jealous as some other dog breeds tend to be.
If the cat is willing to share the space with your Basset, your Basset will be more than willing to do the same. Their sweet, affectionate nature even makes them safe to be around smaller pets like gerbils, guinea pigs, and hamsters.
They are Pack Animals and Enjoy Having Company
Basset Hounds were bred to hunt in packs. They are more interested in hunting for dinner rather than chasing after a cat.
This is why most Bassets tend to view cats as their siblings or fellow pack members. Most Bassets also tend to have separation anxiety and hate being alone. This is why they’d prefer having a cat to give them company instead of being alone at home.
They are Laid-Back Dogs That Love to Lounge Around
Basset Hounds are relatively lazy, laid-back and low-energy. As long as they get their daily dose of exercise, they prefer napping on the couch instead of chasing the cat.
Once your Basset Hound has welcomed and accepted a cat in their life, they might even cuddle with the new feline friend (provided your cat allows the same!).
How To Introduce your Basset Hound to a Cat?
Here are some steps to help you introduce your Basset Hound to a new cat:
Step 1: Prepare Your Home
Cats also need perches and vantage points to feel safe and secure. Invest in some cat condos or cat towers for your new pet to climb upon and perch.
Step 2: Let Them Meet on a Neutral Territory
Instead of carrying on the first meeting inside your home, let your Basset meet your cat outside on neutral grounds a couple of times. You may keep your Basset leashed and place the cat inside a pet carrier or a crate. Allow them to sniff each other. Keep the initial meeting sessions short.
Step 3: Allow Face-to-Face Meetings
Once your Basset has met your potential cat several times outside, you can bring the cat home. Allow both pets to be off-leash. Most cats will prefer perching on the furniture or cat tower.
If your Basset shows signs of chasing/herding your cat, use a command such as ‘leave it,’ ‘come,’ or ‘stop.’ These will prevent your Basset from chasing the cat. Your Basset must be trained in these basic commands.
Step 4: Feed Both Animals At the Same Time
Feeding your Basset and your cat on the opposite sides of a door or a screen at the same time can help them make positive associations (food) with the other animal’s scent.
Do this over several days until you can confidently remove the screen and feed both the animals in the same room.
Step 5: Keep an Eye on Both Pets and Proceed with Caution
Most Bassets will readily welcome your new cat within a couple of days. However, it is still important that you keep an eye on both animals for their safety. If either pet shows signs of bullying or aggression (hissing, growling, chasing, etc.), it may be best to separate the two.
How To Get Your Basset Hound to Stop Chasing Your Cat?
In the rare event that your Basset chases your cat, the following tips may help prevent this behavior:
Prevent The Behavior from Early On
Ideally, you must begin training your young Basset puppy (between 4 and 6 months) to get along with cats.
Puppies learn faster than adult dogs, and it is easier for them to befriend a cat lot more quickly at a young age.
Reward Good Behavior
As mentioned earlier, feeding both pets simultaneously is one way to get them to accept each other. Basset Hounds are food-oriented dogs.
Rewarding your pet for being calm around your cat can help nip any chasing or aggression right in the bud. Use high-value tasty treats which will keep your dog’s attention focused on you instead of on the cat.
Teach Your Basset The Leave It Command
Train your Basset in basic obedience (away from the cat so there are no distractions). If needed, seek help from a professional dog trainer.
Once your Basset learns the Leave it command well, they should refrain from chasing the cat.
Basset Hounds are mostly good with cats because they are gentle, laid-back, and loving dogs. They love the company of other animals and will gladly accept and welcome a cat’s company.
It is also important that you introduce your Basset and your cat properly. Training and early socialization also go a long way in helping both pets live harmoniously under one roof.