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Can French Bulldogs Live With Cats?

Can French Bulldogs Live With Cats?

Do you want to get a French Bulldog but aren’t sure if they’ll get along with your cat? Maybe you want a cat to join your family but already have a French Bulldog. Here’s everything you need to know about cats and French Bulldogs.

Can French Bulldogs Live With Cats? Yes, French Bulldogs can be trained to live happily with cats, provided they’re introduced to each other carefully and responsibly. It’s easier to bring a French Bulldog puppy into a cat’s home, than to bring a cat into a French Bulldog’s territory.

Read on to find out how to introduce a French Bulldog to a cat, how to minimise any issues that may crop up, and whether cats and French Bulldogs will always live happily ever after.

Never use the advice in this article as a substitute for professional veterinary advice or treatment. I am NOT a Vet, qualified dog trainer or dog behaviourist. This article is based on research, personal opinion and experience of owning dogs over the last 12+ years. 

Do French Bulldogs And Cats Get Along?

Yes, French Bulldogs and cats can be trained to get along. However, as all French Bulldogs and cats are individuals, some may take longer to adapt to living together than others. It depends on each pet’s age, personality, background and hierarchy in the home.

There’s no way of knowing for definite how well they’ll get on with each other.

But, provided you take the time to introduce your French Bulldog and cat to each other carefully, they should learn to get along quite well. In fact, they may even become good friends!

If you want to add a cat to your family and you already own a French Bulldog, then it may be best to consider choosing a kitten, instead of an adult cat.

That way, the kitten will learn to respect your adult French Bulldog’s boundaries and is more likely to grow up knowing how to behave appropriately around them.

It can be harder to introduce a new adult cat to your adult French Bulldog, as either one may have had negative experiences in the past which could leave them feeling unsure. 

If you do decide to adopt an adult rescue cat, make sure they’re used to living with dogs, to make your introductions go more smoothly.

Even though it can be more difficult to introduce an adult cat to a French Bulldog who hasn’t lived with cats before, it’s not impossible! So long as you take your time with the introduction.

Similarly, if you already own a cat, it may be best to bring a French Bulldog puppy into your family, instead of an adult.

Puppies are naturally inquisitive so they’ll usually find it easier to adapt to living alongside a cat. Getting a puppy or a kitten really is the best way to go!

How To Introduce A French Bulldog To A Cat

This is how to introduce a French Bulldog to a cat to help to make their introductions go as smooth as possible:

Swap Scents & Sounds

Try to get a blanket or toy that smells of your new French Bulldog to bring home in advance of their arrival. That way, your cat can get used to the scent of your new puppy or adopted dog before you actually bring them home.

You can then see how they respond to this scent, which may give an indication of how they might react when they get introduced.

It can also be helpful to play sounds of dogs to your cat so they get used to hearing them. 

Put The Cat In A Separate Room

Choose a separate room for the cat that the French Bulldog will not be allowed to go into. Leave the cat’s food and water bowls, bed, toys and litter tray in there.

Use Stair Gates To Separate Them

Use stair gates around your home to help keep your French Bulldog and cat separate to start with. That way, they can still see and smell each other, without the dog being able to chase after the cat.

Most cats can easily squeeze through a stair gate or jump over it, if they don’t want to be around the French Bulldog at that moment in time.

This is particularly important during the early stages of introduction, whilst your French Bulldog and cat are still getting used to each other’s company.

French bulldog with a kitten on a yellow background with a speech bubble that says 'Can I live with cats?'
French Bulldog And Cat Living Together

Let The French Bulldog Explore The House

When you bring the French Bulldog home, walk them around the house on a light leash while the cat is safely in the other room.

Let The Cat Out Of The Room

When it feels safe to do so, keep your French Bulldog on a leash and let your cat out of the other room.

Wait for the cat to approach the French Bulldog and watch how they react.

This shouldn’t be rushed or forced at any point as that could make your French Bulldog or cat feel stressed and anxious, which you definitely don’t want!

Distract Your French Bulldog If They React

If your French Bulldog barks, tries to chase, or stares at the cat intensely, distract him with a treat or toy and move away. If they behave well, reward with a treat and lots of encouraging praise.

Go Slowly

You want to take things really slow and steady. So keep your French Bulldog on a leash and don’t move. You need to leave it up to the cat to decide how close they want to get to your French Bulldog. 

Repeat The Routine Over And Over

You may have to do this same routine over several days or weeks until both your French Bulldog and cat seem calmer and more relaxed about being around each other. 

Open The Stair Gate

When you feel the time is right, take away the stair-gate barriers but keep your French Bulldog on a light leash. 

Remove Your French Bulldog’s Leash

Once you’re sure your French Bulldog isn’t going to chase the cat, take them off the leash but supervise them both very closely until you’re absolutely certain everything is ok.

Supervise At All Times

You should always supervise your French Bulldog and cat when they’re together. 

This is particularly crucial when they’ve only just begun spending time with each other, as this is when incidents are most likely to happen.

Interactions should be kept short to begin with, before gradually building them up. 

Even when your French Bulldog and cat are happy in each other’s company, it’s still not a good idea to not leave them alone together. You don’t want a situation where you’re not there to resolve any potential issues.

Only ever leave your cat and French Bulldog alone once your trust your dog 100% not to chase or hurt the cat.

Feed Them Separately

Make sure that your French Bulldog and cat have separate feeding stations in your home.

Not only will this avoid any arguments between them over food, but it will also stop them eating each other’s food too!

Give Each Pet Space

Making sure your French Bulldog and cat both have a safe space to call their own can be really beneficial to each of them. They shouldn’t be forced or pressurised to spend time with each other constantly.

This place or room should be easily accessible to them at all times and somewhere where the other can’t disturb them.

Cats tend to prefer elevated hiding spaces, so they can survey the situation from above.

French Bulldogs may prefer a crate or comfortable bed to get some time alone.

Give Each Pet 1-2-1 Attention

It’s important that neither your French Bulldog or cat feel left out by you.

If you focus all your attention on the new member of your family, the other may feel jealous. This could lead to increased tension building between them.

So make time to spend with your French Bulldog and cat individually, and do something with them that they enjoy so they feel more reassured. 

French bulldog with a cat on a blue background with a speech bubble that says 'Can I live with cats?'
French Bulldog And Cat Living Together

Is It Safe For French Bulldogs To Live With Cats?

Yes, it’s usually safe for French Bulldogs to live with cats. However, there are some risks that you should be aware of.

Cats have particularly sharp claws that can easily scratch and injure a French Bulldog. Their eyes are particularly susceptible to being damaged by cat claws so that’s something to watch out for. 

If your French Bulldog gets excited when they’re playing, they might decide it would be fun to chase the cat to try and play with them.

Naturally, a cat would be unhappy and scared by this, so might defend themselves by trying to scratch your French Bulldog. This could potentially injure them.

So, always discourage your French Bulldog from chasing your cat, even if they’re just trying to play, as it’ll scare the cat which isn’t fair on them. 

How To Stop A French Bulldog From Chasing Cats

You can stop a French Bulldog from chasing cats by discouraging them from doing so as soon as they look like they’re about to start running after them.

Although most French Bulldogs don’t have a very high prey drive, they can still be tempted to chase cats sometimes.

You should redirect this behaviour into something more appropriate so they’ve got something else to think about instead of chasing the cat.

You could offer them a tasty treat or a fun game with a toy to take their mind off the cat and give them a more exciting alternative. 

So there you have it! French Bulldogs can live in harmony with cats, provided they’re introduced to each other carefully. It’s going to be easier to bring a French Bulldog puppy into your cat’s house, than to bring a cat or kitten into your French Bulldog’s home!

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