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Are Great Danes Good With Cats? (Answered!)



Reviewed By: Dr. Joel Robertson

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If you are a pet lover, then you pretty well know that most of the pets we keep in our homes do not get along quite well. It is practically impossible to imagine a Great Dane, with its humongous body, being friendly with small pets such as cats.

When it comes to pets, there are a lot of different opinions out there. Some people think that dogs and cats can never get along, while others believe that they can be the best of friends. So, the question is: are Great Danes good with cats?

The answer to this question largely depends on the individual dog and cat, as well as their personality and temperament. In this blog post, we will explore the relationship between these two animals and provide some tips for how to make them get along if you decide to bring both into your home.

Key Takeaway

  • Danes can get along with cats if they become acquainted with them. While Great Danes are usually gentle pets, it’s important to introduce them to cats slowly and supervise their interactions closely.
  • The key to introducing a cat to a Great Dane is to start slow, supervise their interactions, and be patient while rewarding good behavior and observing body language.
  • Choose a safe space for a cat and Great Dane to play, evaluate the home space, choose an open area without hazards, secure the space, provide hiding spots, and monitor them during playtime.

Are Great Danes Good With Cats? 

Are Great Danes Good With Cats

Great Danes can be good with cats, but it depends on the individual dog and cat as well as their socialization and training.

On the other hand, great Danes that haven’t been around cats since they were puppies may mistake a cat for a prey animal. It may lead to chasing, catching, or even an attack.

It is important to remember that each Great Dane is different. So, you will need to take the time to get to know your Great Dane’s personality and temperament before introducing them to any cats.

If you do decide to introduce a cat into your home with a Great Dane, be sure to keep a close eye on the two of them at all times until you are confident that they are getting along well. Remember, it is always better to be safe than sorry!

My youngest Dane puppy grew up playing with the male cat, chewing on him, and sleeping with him, so she views him as another dog, just shorter and with more claws. It takes diligent training and the type of attitude they won’t run, but they can co-exist in harmony.

If you have an older Great Dane and want to get a cat, you will need to spend some time adjusting your dog to them. It may take a few weeks, but the two should get along very well over time.

Do Great Danes And Cats Get Along?

Are Great Danes Good With Cats

Yes, Great Danes and cats can get along quite well. While it is important to exercise caution and care when introducing the two species, they can actually form very strong bonds with one another, just like cats do with other animals.

Initially, I never entertained having cats and dogs in the same compound. But with proper training and socialization, I realized these two animals could be best friends. Ensure that your Great Dane understands that a cat is not a threat, toy, or potential prey from a young age.

As a puppy, your Great Dane must be socialized with various people and animals, including cats. It also entails exposing the puppy to loud sounds, new places, new people, and new experiences.

If you’re not sure whether or not your Great Dane would enjoy having a cat friend around, here are some things you can do:

  • Take them to a friend’s house who has cats and see how they react.
  • If you have another pet, like a cat, observe how they interact when they meet.
  • Look for signs that your Great Dane is uncomfortable around cats, such as growling or trying to avoid them.

Keep in mind that even if your Great Dane does not seem interested in getting to know cats, there is still a possibility that they could get along fine with one. Again, it really depends on the individual dog’s personality.

However, if you are ever in doubt, it is always best to err on the side of caution and not put any animals in a situation where they may feel uncomfortable or threatened.

How To Introduce a Cat To a Great Dane

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to introduce a cat to a Great Dane:

Step 1: Create a Safe Space for Your Cat

Before introducing your cat to your Great Dane, it is essential to create a safe space for your cat where they can retreat and feel secure. Choose a quiet room in your home where your cat can access food, water, a litter box, and toys.

Step 2: Introduce Scent

Allow your Great Dane and cat to become familiar with each other’s scent by rubbing a blanket or towel on each animal and placing it in the other’s space.

Step 3: Supervise Initial Meetings

Next, start their interaction supervised in a neutral area, such as a large room or an outdoor space, keeping the dog on a leash and harness to control their movements.

Step 4: Keep The Leash On

Keep your Great Dane on a leash during the initial meetings to monitor their behavior and ensure that they don’t chase or injure your cat.

Step 5: Reward Good Behavior

Praise and reward your Great Dane for good behavior, such as being calm and gentle around the cat.

Step 6: Provide Positive Reinforcement

Offer positive reinforcement to your cat, such as treats or toys, when they show progress in accepting the Great Dane’s presence.

Step 7: Gradually Increase Interaction Time

Gradually increase the amount of time the animals spend together, starting with shorter supervised sessions.

Step 8: Observe Body Language

Observe both animals’ body language and behaviors for any signs of aggression, discomfort, or fear and separate them if necessary.

Step 9: Be Patient

Be patient and understand that the introduction process may take time, and some cats and dogs may never fully get along.

Step 10: Seek Help If Needed

If you have any concerns about your Great Dane and cat’s interaction, seek help from a professional veterinarian or animal behaviorist to ensure the safety of both animals.

How To Choose a Safe Spot For Great Dane and Cat To Play

Here is a step-by-step guide on how to choose a safe spot for a Great Dane and a cat to play:

Step 1: Evaluate Your Home Space

Evaluate your home space, including the size of the rooms, the layout, and the existing furniture. Consider the accessibility of different areas and any potential hazards for your pets.

Step 2: Choose an Open Space

Select an open space where both your Great Dane and cat can move around freely without feeling confined or trapped. Ensure there are no obstacles that could cause injury, such as sharp corners or unstable furniture.

Step 3: Remove any Hazardous Objects

Remove any hazardous objects from the space, including toxic plants, electrical cords, sharp objects, or anything that could cause harm to your pets.

Step 4: Create Hiding Spaces

Create hiding spaces for your cat where they can retreat if they feel overwhelmed or frightened. These spaces can be elevated areas or enclosed spaces that are inaccessible to your Great Dane.

Step 5: Provide Adequate Lighting

Ensure that the area is well-lit and provides adequate visibility for both animals to avoid accidental injuries.

Step 6: Secure the Area

Secure the area by closing doors or using baby gates to prevent your pets from escaping or entering other areas of your home.

Step 7: Introduce Toys and Treats

Introduce toys and treats to encourage positive behaviors and interactions between your Great Dane and cat. Consider interactive toys that require participation from both animals.

Step 8: Monitor the Playtime

Monitor the playtime between your Great Dane and cat to observe their behaviors, body language, and reactions. If necessary, intervene and redirect their attention to prevent aggressive or dangerous behaviors.

Tips for Socializing Your Great Dane Puppy With Cats

  • Take your puppy for frequent walks to familiarise him with noises, smells, and other animals.
  • Allow your Great Dane puppy to sniff and observe new animals such as rabbits, cats, and even horses.
  • As your dog sniffs the new animal, remain calm and speak softly to them. Always keep them on a leash and never let them chase the animal.
  • The ideal age to begin socialization is between three and twelve weeks.
  • It becomes more difficult to socialize your puppy after four months.
  • Enroll your puppy in an obedience class where they will be exposed to various people and situations.

Together, these things teach the puppy to be well-rounded and adaptable to change. So that when they’re older, if they’re in a new situation or meet a new animal, such as a cat, they won’t freak out.

How To Help Your Great Dane Get Along Cats

If you have a cat and want to bring a Great Dane puppy into your home, you may need to prepare your cat. When you get a new Great Dane puppy home, you begin the process of socializing both the puppy and the cat.

Take your time, and at first, let them hang out together for short periods. Since the puppy has come onto your property, make sure to comfort your cat along the way. Hold the cat, pet it, and reassure it. Here are some more ideas to help your cat get along with the Great Dane puppy.

  • Ensure your cat has a safe place to go where the puppy cannot follow.
  • Fill this space with your cat’s litter box, bed, food, and water.
  • Take walks with your puppy. Put the dog in his crate when you get home and pick up your cat.
  • You can leave your cat in the dog’s area while you’re gone if you’re confident she won’t spray or poop in it.

Never let your Great Dane chase your cat. Keep the puppy on a leash to prevent him from doing this. When your Great Dane puppy is gentle with the cat, reward him with a treat.

Allow your cat to become acquainted with the puppy in the same manner. Give the two short periods together. Allow them to sniff each other, their toys, or their surroundings.

If the Great Dane gets too rough, pick up the cat and pet the dog’s head simultaneously, talking to both of them. Don’t be alarmed if your cat hisses or acts agitated; this is normal behavior. It could happen.

How To Help Great Danes Become Adjusted to Cats

So, if you have a Great Dane but want to add a cat to your household, is it possible? Yes, but it will take time and careful supervision of your two pets. 

Leave your Great Dane alone with your new cat at all times. Because you don’t know how they will behave if you need to leave the house for a short period, confine your new cat to one room with the door closed.

Then, with the door closed, place the Great Dane in another room. Even if one is an escape artist, the other is still trapped behind a closed door. You can never be too cautious when introducing a new pet with your Great Dane into your home.

Tips on how to introduce a kitten to a Great Dane

  • Use a leash to keep your Great Dane under control at all times.
  • Allow your new cat to roam the house while your dog is restrained or in a kennel.
  • Hold your cat up to your dog’s kennel and let them sniff it. If your dog starts barking uncontrollably, pull the cat away and speak softly to them.
  • Allow your Great Dane to sniff the cat without getting too close.

This process may take some time before both animals are at ease with one another. Continue to introduce your Great Dane to your cat, and vice versa. When the cat comes around, your Great Dane will soon relax. These two will be best friends and inseparable before you know it.

Can Full-Grown Great Danes Adopt A Cat Attitude?

Yes. Your adult Great Dane may fall in love with the new kitten and adopt it as their own, or he may perceive the cat as a threat to his turf. Keep in mind that its upbringing and personality will determine the reaction of your Great Dane towards your cat.

I had to watch both my Great Dane and my kitten because they were strangers. As time passed, My full-grown Great Dane became great friends, and they never left each other’s side.

Adult dogs are less adaptable, so their adjustment may be more complex because they are more set in their ways. Take your time introducing them, and don’t leave them alone. You start their time together by sniffing the dog while controlling it with a leash.

Other factors that will help your adult Great Dane accept the new cat:

  • When you bring the cat over to your Great Dane, please give them a treat. They will associate the cat with receiving pleasure and look forward to having the cat approach them.
  • Take them for a walk to tire them out, then give the Great Dane some supervised time with the cat.
  • Spend more time with your Great Dane if they appear depressed due to the new cat in the house.

Are Great Danes Scared of Cats?

No, Great Danes are not particularly scared of cats. In fact, they can get along quite well with cats, provided that they are introduced to each other gradually and properly.

However, it is important to keep in mind that Great Danes are large dogs, and as such, they may accidentally hurt a small cat if they’re not careful says Dr. Andrew Jones (DVM). Therefore, it’s always best to supervise interactions between Great Danes and cats.

With that said, let’s take a look at some tips for helping your Great Dane and cat coexist peacefully.

One of the most important things you can do is socialize your Great Dane from an early age. This means exposing them to as many different types of animals (including cats) as possible. The more comfortable your Great Dane is around animals, the less likely they are to be scared of or aggressive towards cats.

Another important tip is to never force your Great Dane and cat to interact with each other. If either one of them seems uncomfortable or unwilling, give them some space and try again another time. Remember, it’s important to go at their pace in order to avoid any negative experiences that could make them even warier of each other.


Q: How can I introduce my Great Dane to my cat?

A: When introducing your Great Dane to your cat, it is important to do so in a controlled and supervised environment. Start by keeping them in separate rooms and allowing them to sniff each other’s scent. Gradually introduce visual contact by using a baby gate or a screen door. If they seem comfortable, you can then allow them to interact closely while using positive reinforcement and treats to reward calm behavior.

Q: What if my Great Dane doesn’t get along with my cat?

A: If your Great Dane and cat aren’t getting along, it is important to consult with a professional dog trainer or behaviorist. They can offer guidance and provide training techniques to help improve the relationship between your pets. In some cases, it may be necessary to separate them and ensure their safety and well-being.

Q: Can I teach my Great Dane to get along with cats?

A: Yes, it is possible to train your Great Dane to get along with cats. Start by providing them with positive experiences around cats and rewarding calm behavior. Use desensitization techniques to gradually expose your dog to cats in a controlled manner. Consistency, patience, and positive reinforcement training methods are key to teaching your Great Dane to coexist peacefully with cats.

Q: Are Great Danes prone to aggressive behavior towards cats?

A: While Great Danes can display aggressive behavior towards cats, it is not common or a breed characteristic. Aggression can arise due to fear, guarding instincts, lack of socialization, or previous negative experiences. Proper training, socialization, and early positive experiences with cats can help prevent aggressive behavior in Great Danes.

Q: Should I adopt a Great Dane if I have a cat?

A: Adopting a Great Dane when you already have a cat requires careful consideration. It is important to assess the temperament and behavior of both your cat and the Great Dane you are considering. Some Great Danes can coexist peacefully with cats, while others may not. It is advisable to consult with a knowledgeable rescue organization or breeder who can help match you with a dog that has a cat-friendly temperament.

Q: What are some signs that my Great Dane and cat are getting along?

A: There are several positive signs that indicate your Great Dane and cat are getting along. These include relaxed body language, comfortable interactions, sharing spaces without tension, and engaging in play or grooming behaviors together. It is important to note that each animal’s personality and preferences may vary, so they may express their companionship differently.

Q: Can Great Danes be trained not to chase cats?

A: Yes, Great Danes can be trained not to chase cats. This training process involves teaching your Great Dane basic obedience commands, reinforcing positive behaviors around cats, and providing them with consistent training and socialization. It is important to start training from an early age and use positive reinforcement techniques to encourage desired behaviors.

Q: Are there any cat breeds that are more compatible with Great Danes?

A: While compatibility largely depends on individual animal temperaments, some cat breeds are known to be more tolerant and adaptable to living with large dogs like Great Danes. These cat breeds include Maine Coons, Ragdolls, and British Shorthairs. However, it is still important to introduce and monitor any interactions between cats and Great Danes, regardless of their breed.

Q: Can Great Danes and cats be left alone together?

A: It is generally recommended not to leave Great Danes and cats alone together unsupervised. Even if they have a good relationship, accidents can happen, and it is important to ensure the safety and well-being of both pets. It is advisable to separate them when you are not home or unable to closely monitor their interactions.


Finally, Great Danes are happy, easygoing dogs who love to play. If properly socialized as puppies, they are not aggressive and get along with most animals, including cats.

Socialization is essential for your new Great Dane; don’t put off starting the process because it takes a lot longer to socialize your Great Dane after four months.

Fortunately, it is never too late to mix a dog, but it does take a significant amount of time and patience to socialize an older dog to get along with a cat.

Please take the time and leave a comment below if this article helped you, or you have any additional questions.

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