CATS and Jack Russells

Q: Will my Jack Russell Terrier get along with my cat?

A: Jack Russells are commonly known to harass, injure or kill other small pets, such as cats, birds, rabbits, mice, rats, etc., simply due to their strong natural hunting instinct. Raising a puppy with a cat does not guarantee the cat's life-long safety!

It is important that you understand that Jack Russells are instinctual hunters, that this is a built in response to a chase or roughhousing activity. A dog doesn't usually hate cats, but when play gets too rough the dog can and sometimes does respond too roughly with the cat getting injured or worse.

Jack Russells are what they are and can not be changed, but they can be well-socialized and trained, a must for this breed! You can take steps to keep your pets friendly towards each other and to protect the cat. Do not allow any roughhousing play between them, even in fun. As you are probably aware, play is how young animals learn hunting skills, which you do not want to encourage in this situation. When you are not in the room to supervise, the cat and the dog need to be separated by closed doors. Dog in the securely fenced yard, kitty in the house. When you are watching TV and having lap time, just make sure the cat has a high area to jump up from the dog or other escape route available. Keep the two of them busy with other toys and goodies, they need to know each other so there is no novelty associated with the cat. You'll get used to the routine.

Don't be lulled into a sense of false sense of security, there is often a "honeymoon" period of sometimes many years before mishaps occur. Just keep up your routine and everyone should be well.

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