Boxers are friendly and pleasant dogs. If socialized properly, this breed is a joy to have around children, and can get along well with other animals—even cats. However, without socialization and training, a Boxer will instinctively chase smaller animals that he may view as "prey," even if that animal happens to be the family cat.
Tips to ensure harmony
The following steps can help smooth the introduction of Boxer and cat:
- Keep control of your dog: If you allow your dog to approach your cat, he will scare it. Initially, hold your dog on your lap or put him in his crate before allowing your cat to approach him.
- Allow your cat to investigate: Once your dog is secured, either call your cat over, or let his natural curiosity lead him to your Boxer. Let the cat approach the dog so that it can become familiar with the dog. Do not hold your cat, as you may be scratched if it tries to escape.
- Allow your Boxer to sniff the cat: If you are holding your Boxer, allow him to sniff the cat. But make sure that he doesn't get too close. If the cat gets scared she could lash out and scratch him. However, most cats will swat a new dog with claws retracted. This is the cat's way of giving a warning and exerting dominance over the dog. This gesture shouldn't be discouraged.
- Make sure your cat has an escape route: Your cat should always have somewhere to run—preferably a place where the dog can't follow. If a cat feels trapped and frightened it will most likely lash out at the dog. This can cause injury and create a poor start to their relationship.
Training your Boxer to get along with your cat takes patience and consistency, and the sooner you start, the better. Repeat the introductions daily for the first few weeks. When you see your Boxer and cat becoming comfortable with one another, slowly allow your dog to get closer to the cat. Eventually, they should be able to live happily under the same roof.