Cats and Goldendoodles: Hand in Glove or Oil and Water?

Goldendoodles are famous for getting along with everyone. They can be the happiest and most well-socialized dog you could have. They may click with a complete and total stranger. But what about when you introduce your new Goldendoodle puppy into a cat’s home? Or the other way around?

It depends on a myriad of subjective contexts, and none of them may be like any of the others. Domesticated dogs and cats descend from predatory ancestors—animals that hunted other animals for food they needed to survive. Those are instincts that can flare up when least expected.

But what is it that makes a dog chase after a cat? And will your Goldendoodle be able to resist the urge created by millions of years of instincts? Some cat and dog pairs develop life-long friendships, while others seem just never mesh.

Predatory instincts

First, we need to understand what it is that drives your pets. At the heart of it, both animals are predators. Our domesticated versions do not need to hunt for their food anymore and are quite content to lounge around in the lap of luxury while we provide for them. But they still have that instinct. 

Even in a modern house, they compete for the same resources: food and water. They also strive for your attention. Cats do not hesitate to use their claws to take a swipe at a dog’s nose when provoked. This can lead to a little bit of animosity.

Some dogs seem to get along perfectly well with cats if they have been raised with them. If your Goldendoodle has never been placed in close proximity to a cat, though, the results may not be as postcard perfect as we would like. Dogs can sometimes exert misplaced aggression toward a smaller cat.

It comes down to predatory instincts in both animals. But we have Goldendoodles. Both the Golden Retriever and the Poodle have lower prey drives. They were bred to retrieve downed animals, holding them without causing harm. This will help make things smoother if you have a cat in the same house with a Goldendoodle.

Steps to ensure civility

The best way to facilitate a congenial relationship is to raise them together. Puppies can be excitable. This can irritate an older cat to the point that he won’t hesitate to reach out and swat a tender nose with his claws. Kittens can be demanding of time and attention. This can bother an older dog that just wants to spend time with her owner. However, if your Goldendoodle is brought up from puppyhood with cats, her prey drive will not typically extend to cats.

If you already have a cat and want to introduce a Goldendoodle puppy to your home, you need to make sure he can exit the area quickly whenever he wants. Cats are territorial, and you are introducing something new. Take it slow.

If you already have a Goldendoodle and want to introduce a cat into her life, this could be the easier option. Make sure you give your Goldendoodle equal attention at a minimum, or she could grow jealous. Watch your pets together and make sure nothing too exciting happens.

As soon as your Goldendoodle has accepted that there will be a new living arrangement, she will be fine. After all, she has a new playmate now.