Cats and Dogs: How to Introduce your Shiba Inu to Cats

Most individuals think that cats and dogs will never get along. This is a myth! In fact, there are certain dog breeds that are naturally good with cats and for canines that aren’t, proper socialization makes it so you can have both cats and dogs at home. 

If you have a Shiba Inu, you will know they make wonderful family dogs. But, you also know that they have a dominant personality that makes sharing the space a bit challenging. 

Do Shiba Inu and cats get along? 

There’s no definite answer if a Shiba Inu and a cat get along. It still entirely depends on both of their personalities. But based on Shiba’s proud temperament, friendship won’t happen overnight.

Shiba Inus were originally bred to be hunting dogs, and even though it’s been modern times and they are no longer trained to hunt, the instinct stayed. 

Naturally, they have a high prey drive which means they are very attracted to chasing small and fast-moving animals. And though cats are not, generally, small and fast-moving, a roaming one at home can still trigger this hunting impulse. 

Shibas are also famously known to be stubborn and assertive. These personalities will most likely lead to your Shiba Inu overpowering your cat in the first few weeks they are together. 

It takes two to tango, so you also need to take note of your cat’s personality as well. A more relaxed cat that’s been around other pets might warm up faster to your dog than a dominant cat. 

How to introduce Shiba Inu to cats

Slowly introduce your Shiba Inu to your cat and keep watch of their interaction the first time. Give them time together so they’ll be able to build a bond. It is also best to start while they are still young. 

Let them smell

Sniffing is an animal’s way of gathering information about its surroundings. So before having them personally meet, allow your Shiba and cat to investigate first. 

Give your cat something your Shiba uses, like a favorite toy, and vice versa. Allow your Shiba to smell your cat’s favorite spot or pillow. 

Prepare a meeting space

Their first meeting can be overwhelming for both of them, especially if you’ve observed contrasting personalities. 

So prepare an open space where there are areas your cat can reach but your Shiba can’t. This could be a table, a cabinet, under the couch, or just a place your cat can escape to. 

Later on, even though your cat and Shiba Inu have been acquainted, make sure your home has a dog-free zone for your cat to hide and hang out.

Keep your Shiba on a leash

For their first introduction, you don’t want to leave these two alone. You need to keep watch of this first interaction, especially noting your Shiba’s body language or if they are displaying negative behavior. 

This is why it is safer to keep your Shiba on a leash first as they socialize and get to know each. 

Allow your cat to run

Seeing your Shiba for the first might stress your cat out, and just like humans, stress is also bad for your pets. So if your cat wants to run away during their first meeting, let them. Allow them to breathe and walk over again on their own. 

Closely monitor

In their first introduction, your focus should be on your cat and Shiba Inu. Rid off distractions like your phone and put all attention to your pets and their body language. 

Make sure your Shiba is on a leash and watch if they are starting to get worked up. If they are, command them to sit and calm them down. 

Repeat daily

Slowly, steady, and be consistent. Allow your cat and Shiba Inu to meet daily so they’ll get used to each other’s presence and until you can start leaving them unsupervised. Reward with treats, both cat and dog, if they are good and getting along well. 

After a few weeks, you might have yourself a cat and dog best friend pair. 

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