Cane Corso and Cats: Everything You Need to Know About Introducing

Have been dreaming about getting a Cane Corso but aren’t sure it will get along with your cat? Or, maybe you already have a Cane Corso but want to adopt a cat too.

Either way, making sure that this dog gets along with your other pets is key. Below, we’ll go over what you need to know!

So can a Cane Corso get along with cats?

The answer is yes, definitely. However, proper socialization and careful introductions are essential. Cane Corsos are powerful dogs with a moderate prey drive and territorial disposition.

So, you will need to either acclimate this dog to cats as a puppy or proceed with extreme caution if both animals are full-grown.

Fully grown Cane Corsos who have never been around smaller animals are likely to hurt a new cat if the two are left alone together haphazardly.

An Overview of the Cane Corso

The Cane Corso is loving and devoted toward its family members and suspicious of strangers.

These dogs may also be territorial with other dogs or cats. Since Cane Corsos were once used for hunting applications, they may also have a moderate to high prey drive.

With that in mind, their prey drive is often lower towards smaller animals and greater toward large animals. This is a good thing if you want to teach your Cane Corso puppy to like cats.

Cane Corso Traits and Features

  • Large dog weighing 100 lbs on average
  • Comes in many coat colors
  • Naturally protective
  • Relatively healthy
  • Intelligent and trainable
  • Requires minimal grooming
  • Origins traced to Ancient Rome
  • Working Breed Group
  • Mastiff type
  • Devoted and loyal

Why Do Cats and Dogs Fight, Anyway?

So why do cats and dogs fight? Well, there are many reasons for this. For one thing, many dogs have an intense prey drive instinct. This is the Instinct that causes them to chase and try to catch small animals of prey.

Simultaneously, cats are wired to escape from predators larger than they are. As such, cats are likely to flee, hiss, or provide strong reactions to animals deemed unsafe.

When these two opposing forces are combined, the results can be humorous, stressful, and in some cases, catastrophic. Therefore, cats and dogs fight for many reasons.

How to Make Sure a Cane Corso Won’t Hurt Cats?

Is there a way to make sure that a Cane Corso is good with cats? The answer to this depends on many factors. Is your Cane Corso a puppy or is it fully grown?

Is the cat you are introducing a kitten or an elderly cat who hates dogs or a dog-friendly cat who won’t run away if chased?

Are you planning to have both animals living in the same home? Your unique situation will have an impact on the way these two opposing species get along.

The Best Case Scenario

In the best-case scenario, you will have a Cane Corso puppy and an adult cat that is relatively friendly toward dogs.

If this is you, congratulations, you’re one of the lucky ones! All you have to do is introduce these two animals while providing positive reinforcement over the next few months. In time, they should get along well.

The Worst-Case Scenario

In the worst-case scenario, you will own an adult Cane Corso that has never met a cat and be bringing home a small kitten or a cat that is fearful of large dogs.

If this is the case, your cat may run from the dog. This fleeing movement can trigger the prey-chasing instincts of your Cane Corso dog.

Depending on how intense these prey drive instincts are in your dog, the results can be tragic. For this reason, I always keep a Cane Corso firmly restrained around cats or other small animals if you are not sure how they will react.

Consider Your Situation and Use Common Sense

In a nutshell, whether a dog will be aggressive towards cats, dogs, or other pets, will depend on the circumstances surrounding the situation. Breed, upbringing, experiences, and environment all play a role.

Even the most well-socialized Cane Corso may still have a tendency toward suspicion or strong prey instincts when introduced to other animals.

For this reason, proceeding with caution when introducing any Cane Corso to a cat or small animal is critical.

Proceed with Caution

To keep both animals safe, cat to dog socialization and training can help enormously. Depending on the dog, socialization may eliminate small animal aggression issues entirely.

If you are uncertain about introducing an adult Cane Corso to a cat or even to another dog, having an experienced dog trainer or Cane Corso handler with you is wise.

With this in mind, there are a few things that you can do to help things go smoother. Remember, ensuring the safety of your Cane Corso and the cat in question is paramount.

This type of introduction should not be taken lightly, especially with a fully grown Cane Corso. A good defense is the best offense in this situation, and you don’t want to have a tragedy on your hands.

Watch for Warning Signs

If you are introducing a Cane Corso to a cat, you will need to know how to read a dog’s prey drive body language.

Ideally, a Cane Corso will entirely ignore any cat that you introduce it to. However, if your dog seems keenly interested in cats, there is a good chance that it has a high prey drive.

Alert pricked-up ears, a stiff tail, a quickly wagging tail, and fast-moving eyes are all signs that your dog is very interested in the cat.

As cute as this can seem, it is actually a sign that your dog is ready to start chasing that cat. Once the chase starts, things may end in disaster.

Never let your Cane Corso chase after a cat that you want it to get along with. This can teach the dog that cats are animals that should be hunted.

Prepare Your Dog First

Once again, the best way to make sure that a Cane Corso won’t hurt a cat is to start with a good defensive plan and use common sense. Early socialization is the best defense.

This is the number one way to teach a Cane Corso never to attack or hurt smaller animals. When socialized from puppyhood, most Cane Corsos can get along with just about any animal.

Also, having your dog well-trained can be extremely helpful. Teaching your Cane Corso to leave other animals alone on command is smart.

Though, if your dog is already in a state of high energy mid-chase, there is little likelihood that it will follow through on commands.

This is why it is so important to safely expose your dog to cats at a young age when these hunting instincts are not yet set in stone.

Keep the Animals Separated Until Training is Complete

Perhaps, you have already adopted a cat and are trying to decide how to introduce it to the Cane Corso you already own.

If this is the case, keep both animals separate until introductions and training have been completed.

Never leave your Cane Corso alone with a cat unless you are 100% sure that neither animal will be harmed.

Not only can a Cane Corso hurt or even kill a cat, but a cat might cause damage to the Cane Corso as well.

A cat that feels threatened might claw at the eyes or nose of a dog. This can actually cause significant damage to these soft tissues.

Really, letting these animals have at each other is a lose-lose situation. So, until you have properly introduced both animals and they are getting along in perfect harmony, make sure to keep them separated.

Socializing a Cane Corso Puppy with Cats or Small Animals

In the best-case scenario, you will have a Cane Corso puppy and a calm cat at the same time. In this situation, the full-grown cat will probably be able to easily protect itself from the clumsy Cane Corso puppy.

Alternatively, the Cane Corso puppy will be open to new experiences. At this tender age, the puppy can learn that cats are animals that should be treated with gentility, befriended, or simply left alone for the most part.

Cane Corso Puppy and Kitten

Additionally, if you have a Cane Corso puppy and a kitten at the same time, these animals may become friends or at the very least, housemates.

However, kittens are delicate and could easily be damaged by a large breed puppy. So, proceed with caution and always provide supervision in this situation.

What to Expect with a Puppy and Cat

With a young Cane Corso puppy, socialization is a fairly easy task. The goal will be to give your dog positive reinforcement whenever the cat is nearby while also preventing injuries to either animal. Usually, the cat will hiss and show aggression toward the puppy. This is normal.

It can take cats a while to get used to puppies or new dogs. Some cats will never fully adjust to the presence of a dog. With time and patience, these animals can be acclimated to each other and learn to co-exist.

Although they may never be best friends, it is possible to teach a cat to tolerate any new dog that you bring home.

How to Socialize an Adult Cat and a Cane Corso Puppy

Now, let’s go over exactly how to socialize a Cane Corso puppy with a cat. In this situation, we are assuming that you already own an adult cat and would like to teach it to get along with your new Cane Corso puppy.

Prepare for the Intro and Teach Your Puppy to Come When Called

For this important exercise to work, your puppy must be able to come to you and respond to its name when called.

Also, when you first bring your new Cane Corso puppy home, do your best to keep it separate from your cat until proper introductions can be made. Not to worry, most cats will usually avoid you and your puppy at first anyway.

The thing is, you will want to control the interactions your cat and puppy have with each other as much as possible at first. T

his way, you can prevent accidents from happening and give both animals the best chance at getting along.

If you complete the socialization process properly, your Cane Corso will grow up feeling as if cats are a non-event. You will also be able to own other cats throughout the life of your dog.

Keep in mind that this will apply to cats inside of your home. Stray cats and strange animals outdoors may still trigger a chasing instinct in your dog later on.

Start in a Calm Quiet Room

First, get your cat and take it in the same room as your Cane Corso puppy. Close the door and sit down on the floor while holding your pup. Let the cat get comfortable and relaxed.

Make Slow Patient Introductions

Let your puppy sniff and interact with the cat. Likely, the cat will hiss and show fear or distaste for the puppy. Make sure that the puppy is safe from the cat’s claws.

Praise Your Puppy when it Ignores the Cat

After a few minutes, the cat will likely retreat to some distant corner of the room and begin ignoring you.

When your puppy focuses on you instead of the cat, reward it. At this time, your daily socialization session is complete. In the meantime, keep the animals as separate as possible so that you do not stress out your cat.

Repeat

At scheduled intervals, repeat this exercise. You can also give you a Cane Corso puppy tasty treats when it ignores the cat.

As the cat prowls around the room, call your puppy to you. Give it a treat when it ignores the cat and comes to you instead. In time, this will teach both animals to get along.

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