“Akitas and Cats” aren’t exactly two words that you hear very often, at least without hesitation and speculation. Thankfully, in this day in age, training the two species to coexist has never been more fun.
Yes! Akitas do get along with cats (vice versa), and they hold wonderful potential in building a lifelong friendship with one another while living in the same family. In fact, when Akitas and cats do have a strong relationship, they serve as a great dynamic for owners of all ages, preferences, and circumstances.
The bond that can be formed with an Akita and a cat is one of which displays Yin and Yang tendencies, however is extremely rewarding to observe over the years. If you learn to introduce the two animals properly, you’re on the road to success!
Akitas and Cats
Depending on the Akitas age, puppies have a higher chance of socializing and adapting to the presence of other animals, especially cats.
Therefore, it’s recommended to introduce and raise the two species together as a puppy/kitten.
Other reasons why it’s easier to raise both animals while they’re young:
- Your cat is not seen as prey
- They’ll be used to one another once adolescent/matured
- Over the years, such circumstance can aid in your dog’s socializing development
- You don’t need to worry about ingrained bad behavior and snapping them out of it
If your adult Akita hasn’t been trained, this can serve as a problem when attempting to build a bond between both species. In this instance, it’s less likely for the two to coexist peacefully.
Adult Akitas can become aggressive or irritable, causing them to lash out at strangers or animals (even causing harm). Introducing a cat into an environment where the dog does not recognize good behavior is dangerous and careless.
However, if your Akita has been trained and you’re introducing a cat into your home, there can still be hope for the two species…
Although it may take longer for the pair; With consistent encouragement, active bonding, and careful observation, they can be civil acquaintances in no time!
Akitas and Their Relationship With Cats
The Akita canine originated in Japan, originally bred to assist humans and hunting. These dogs were able to hunt animals such as deer, boar, and bears. As time progressed, Akitas were slowly integrated with the human domestic lifestyle and became household pets.
Unfortunately, however, Akitas continue to hold a natural instinct of defiance and aggression, specifically when it comes to other animals (like cats or smaller prey).
This means that cats are often seen as prey to an Akita and can end up in pretty dangerous situations when left alone with an untamed one. More often than not, an Akita will try to kill a cat (especially if they haven’t known each other for long) or do serious harm to them.
For this reason alone, it’s important when purchasing an Akita (and a cat), that the Akita is tamed and can safely coexist with another species. This can be done through continuous socialization as a puppy as well as training.
Akitas that have been trained as a puppy to coexist with cats or have been socialized with them from day 1 have much higher acceptability to such animals (or similar “prey”) and can usually be left alone together, whereas such case is not advised with new or adolescent/adult Akitas.
How to Introduce Your Akita to a Cat?
When learning how to introduce your Akita to a cat, you’ll need to first determine whether the Akita has had socialization skills. This can dictate how firm and watchful you’ll need to be in the beginning.
As a basis, follow these steps:
1. Pick a large area within your home and ensure that you close all possible escape paths.
2. Make sure you Akita has burned enough energy (dog park, exercise, outdoor activities) prior to putting a leash on.
3. With the leash on, carefully introduce the Cat to the dog by holding the cat and making sure they have observed one another.
4. Depending on their initial reaction, if both your dog and/or cat reacts in a calm manner then you’re most likely on a great track!
5. If, however, either the cat or dog reacts in a defensive, aggressive, or anxious manner (which is normal), you’ll need to continue this process daily until they’re happy with one another’s presence.
6. In the meantime, you should actively separate both cat and dog until they can both be supervised and on a leash.
At first, it can be hard to keep one another away from each other depending on your living situation, however, it’s vital to do so as Akitas can do harm to cats and similar animals and vice versa.
Remain optimistic and eventually, both animals will be able to coexist together and live happily ever after!
Feed Them in Separate Places
To begin with, it’s best to feed both animals in separate places. Akitas like their privacy, they enjoy having separate food bowls, separate water bowls, and if they observe an inquisitive cat roaming their territory, this may cause friction.
Play it safe by separating their feeding places until they’ve become accustomed to one another presence over a long period. In the end, you may decide to leave them with their separate designated feeding areas due to convenience and habit.
Importance of Socializing Your Akita
Socialization is crucial for an Akita, as this can aid in additional development in areas such as behavior, training, and adaptation to their environments.
It’s recommended to develop their socialization skills early on, as the puppy – adolescent years can play a huge part in their development once matured.
If an adult Akita has never socialized with both humans or other animals growing up, they’re usually more aggressive, anxious, defensive, and can work as fantastic guard dogs.
However, if this isn’t your intention, then you should socialize your Akita as a pup to provide them the basic skills needed for interacting with strangers and animals.
Puppy/adolescent Akitas who have grown up socialized (and continue to do so), can integrate with society and adapt to other animals sufficiently, without hesitation of territory or stance. These canines are also less likely to be dangerous, despite common misconceptions about the breed.
Body Language to Pay Attention to
You can tell an angry Akita if they get into predatory mode. Usually, this means they’ll be in an upright position, their head, back, neck, and shoulders held high, possibly roaming an area with caution, their ears pointing forward and their tail curled upwards.
Look out to pay attention to an Akita presenting this type of body language, as it could mean they’re about to unleash some anger and need to be controlled.
House Pets to Avoid with an Akita
Technically, you should avoid owning a cat if you own an Akita, as these animals have a 50/50 chance of coexisting peacefully. This goes the same for common household animals such as birds, rabbits, or reptilian species.
Thankfully, however, this is not the bare end of all things. And you can still own these animals if you also own an Akita, as peaceful coexisting is entirely based upon the Akitas upbringing, as well as the owner’s tenacity to train and tame their dog.
If the owner has raised their Akita with adequate socialization skills, and proper taming, then most house pets are fine to live with this breed of dog.
How to Make Akitas Like Cats?
Unfortunately, there is no magic trick to getting an Akita to like a cat. Mainly because there are different things that can factor a dog’s overall decision. However, as an owner, there are ways we can aid in one another’s liking.
Making an Akita Like Cats:
- Introduce the pair slowly, always observing the two while in each other’s vicinity
- Allow your dog to sniff the cat, and adapt to its presence
- Lay cat toys around your home with the scent of the cat lingering from the toy
- Allow socialization to happen under close supervision
- Start training your dog beforehand
- If possible, start when the pair are kittens/puppies
- Attach a leash to your dog and allow it to roam around the cat’s cage
Akita and Other Small Animals
Small animals are often looked at as prey in an Akita’s eyes, therefore, it isn’t recommended to allow the two to roam freely together.
Akitas are naturally wary animals, who keep their guards up at all times. While they’re unsociable animals, if an Akita sees anything that can pose as a threat to themselves or their family, they’ll instinctively attack.
If you own small animals and are considering purchasing an Akita, the younger the puppy the easier it’ll be to train them to accept and adapt.
Can Akitas and Cats Ever Actually Be Friends?
Yes! Akitas and cats can eventually become friends, in fact, some families can protest to their cat and dog companions are lifelong mates.
Cats and dogs who have been raised together since young have an exceptional advantage to becoming good friends. This is due to both animals being raised through similar owner teachings, adapting to each other’s presence, as well as spending the majority of their days in the same home.
For older cats or dogs who may have been introduced to one another at a later stage, may face some turbulence to their indefinite friendship. It’s up to the owner and family members to encourage the friendship in a healthy way, allowing them to familiarize themselves with one another’s presence.
Raising Akita Puppies with Cats
Akita puppies have an incredible chance to accept and socialize with cats and other animals they may be exposed to in the future. For this reason alone, it’s recommended to train Akitas from early on to get the possible outcome as they reach maturity.
If you’re introducing an Akita puppy into the home with household cats living amongst you, there are different ways to combat this issue.
1. Place dog toys inside of your home prior.
2. Designate an area within your home for your cats to go to if they need space.
3. Keep a watchful eye on your puppy, ensuring to teach them well-behaved manners immediately.
4. Spend time each day socializing both your cat and pup together.
5. Possibly confine your new pup to a designated area within your home for the first 5 weeks, until your cats have familiarized themselves with the pup’s presence.
Remember: It will take a few weeks for your cats to get used to the behavior of your Akita, especially puppy behavior. However, if you train your pup immediately to interact and behave nicely when surrounded around other animals, your Akita will grow up to be a social butterfly.
Helping Your Cat and Akita See Eye to Eye
When helping your cat and Akita attempt to see eye to eye, you must remember there is only so much you can do given your circumstances. It’s ok if they don’t get along at first, however, with perseverance they have the potential to become best friends.
You can help your cat and Akita see eye to eye through:
- Providing a safe area for them to interact with one another.
- Maintain a secure relationship through bonding with both animals at the same time, ensuring to give each of them your full attention.
- Actively train your dog what’s right from wrong (Including behavior, habits, and playtime boundaries).
- Separating the pair when you observe one of both needs some alone time.
- Be firm and lay rules out to the pair of them, specifically nurturing your dog slightly more as they are more likely to abide by the rules and can set as an example to the cat.
Preparing Your Cat to Live With Your Akita
1. Introduce the Akita’s Scent
You can scatter items throughout your home such as a dog bed, kennel, squeaky toys, or pretend dog bones.
2. Section off Areas of Your Home
When your Akita arrives, it’s more than likely they’ll want to dominate the entire house and claim their territory. This may cause problems with your cats, therefore, section different areas specifically for your cats so they can feel safe until they’re used to the new-comer.
3. Show Extra Love to Your Cat
It’ll come as a shock to your cat about another animal living in their home, especially because cats are usually timid and quiet animals. To stop the shock from being too hard of a blow, provide some extra TLC towards your cat leading up the arrival of the dog.
Preparing Your Akita to Live With a Cat
1. Introduce the Cat’s Scent
Place items such as spinning toys, a kitten litter, or a cat tree to aid in familiarization for your Akita when the time comes.
2. Section off Areas of Your Home
Akitas who are forced to welcome a new family member into their home will more than likely want their own area to have some alone time for the first few weeks (while getting used to it). Your cat may also want some alone time, therefore it’s a great idea to have different areas of the house as an out-of-bounds area for both species to be in at the same time.
3. Train Your Akita Immediately
If your dog has not been trained, you should at least teach them basic commands such as “Stop!”, “Go!”, “Off!”, or “Stay!”. These commands will work well in situations where your dog is overly excited and freaking the cat out.
4. Invest in a Cage
Depending on your dog, if you think they will pose as a threat towards your new cat you should invest in a large cage to keep them separated until further notice.
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