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Are Mastiffs Good with Cats? (All You Need to Know)

If you already have a cat and you’re planning on adopting a dog, you must be worried since not all dogs are cat friendly and some may cause potential harm to your cat.

In such a case, you can consider a Mastiff as she’s both cat-friendly and good with kids.

Are Mastiffs good with cats?

Mastiffs despite their size are good with cats when introduced early and with proper training. The calm, friendly, and loving nature of Mastiffs make them suitable for families with cats and kids. However, sometimes Mastiffs may chase, drive and run after cats due to their natural instinct.

Let’s see can different breeds of mastiffs be good with cats or not –

Tibetan Mastiff:

If you introduce your Tibetan Mastiff to your cat from a very young age, she’s most likely to get along with the cat. With early socialization and proper training, your Mastiff baby will remain calm and even play with your cats at times. 

However, not all dogs are the same. And Tibetan Mastiffs may chase your cat when she feels chase drive.


Bullmastiffs have high predatory instincts. As a result, they may find it hard to get along with cats if not socialized early.

However, you can curb this behavior with positive reinforcement training from an early age and introducing your Bullmastiff to the cat from the first day you bring her home.

English Mastiff:

English Mastiffs are notorious for being friendly with both cats and kids and with other members of the family. These canines are known as therapy dogs for both owners and other pets.

Families with little kids and cats are highly recommended to adopt an English Mastiff if they plan to raise a dog and a cat together.

Neapolitan Mastiff:

Neapolitan Mastiffs usually grow out of their chasing nature if introduced with cats and other pets at an early age. With primary socialization and proper training, you can have a Neapolitan showing a friendly attitude towards a cat.

However, the opposite also occurs. Due to their big size and chase drive, they can be a potential threat to cats.

French Mastiff:

French Mastiffs can be pretty hostile towards cats when raised by inexperienced owners. An owner with both a cat and a French Mastiff must be very aware from the beginning.

It is better to let your French Mastiff socialize with cats since his puppyhood. On the contrary, a French Mastiff will have a predatory attitude towards cats in his adulthood.

Moreover, you may also find him chasing cats or other small pets in your house which can result in a huge mess.

Italian Mastiff:

Italian Mastiffs can actually become good family dogs and cat-friendly if socialized properly. Training an Italian Mastiff is not really a cup of tea for novice owners.

They require proper attention and training to grow out of their comfort zone and friends with cats.

Pyrenean Mastiff:

You can have a calm, friendly, and loving Pyrenean Mastiff who happens to be friends with cats if you start training him from day one.

However, with negligence and improper training, a Pyrenean Mastiff can also be harmful to your cats.

Do Mastiff dogs get along with cats?

Mastiff dogs are notoriously gentle and calm with little to zero temperament issues. Hence, usually, they tend to be friendly with cats, kids, and other small pets. They get along with cats well when introduced at a young age.

If you already have cats at your house, it’s best to take in a Mastiff puppy. This way, you’ll be able to raise them together and your Mastiff will grow up to be a cat-friendly dog. Start training your puppy from the first day you bring her home.

Thus, a Mastiff will be able to adapt to cats and other pets since her puppyhood. As a result, no issues are recorded afterward. However, introducing an adult Mastiff to a cat can be quite an issue.

Do all Mastiffs get along with cats?

A typical Mastiff can get along with cats with early socialization and proper training. However, there may be different consequences for different dogs. Not all dogs prefer to have a cat companion around them.

Mastiffs have a reputation for being calm, loving, and gentle dogs. Since they have a moderate energy level, they don’t create a big ruckus if not triggered. If you plan to raise a Mastiff and a cat together, adopt her when she’s still a puppy.

Nevertheless, every dog has a different personality. Even when raised with a cat, a Mastiff still can get aloof towards small pets due to their natural instinct. In such a case, don’t push your pup to be forcibly friends with cats.

Or else, your pooch will develop destructive behavior.

How do I train my Mastiff to be friendly with cats?

It can be quite a hassle to raise a Mastiff for owners with cats. Sometimes, Mastiffs show predatory behavior towards cats and can also mean real harm. In such cases, you have to know how to train your Mastiff to be friendly with cats.

Six ways to train my Mastiff to be friendly with cats-

Obedience Training:

It is important that your Mastiff listens to you before starting training with a cat. To develop self-control of your pup, start with small instructions like ‘STOP’, ‘SIT’, ‘COME’, ‘GO’.

This way your pooch is obedient towards you even when she’s not friends with cats yet, you can reduce the potential threat from your cat.

Introduce To Cats Early:

If you’re to raise a cat and your Mastiff together, start training from day one. Show your cat to your pup initially from a distance and let her observe and watch the cat. Make sure she’s on lease during her first days of training.

Start crate training:

Once your Mastiff is comfortable at your house, place her in a crate. Ensure to use the crate only for training and that she takes the crate as a happy place. Remember to never use them for punishment.

Once she adjusts herself on the crate, bring the cat to that room. Give both of them some time and let them absorb the situation.

Let them sniff each other:

In this step, you can place a baby gate between your cat and dog. Both your cat and pup will see, touch, and sniff each other staying behind the baby gate. It will make them familiar with both of their scents.


Your pup tends to be over-excited seeing a cat and start jumping and running. It might cause your cat to feel uneasy and uncomfortable. Don’t appreciate such behavior of your dog and keep her calm.

It will create a better environment for both the cat and the Mastiff.

Total exposure:

Once both your cat and the Mastiff are comfortable with each other’s presence, you can expose them completely with each other. Keep them under your supervision primarily, and don’t leave them alone.

When you notice, the Mastiff is no longer a threat to your cat, you can extend their playing period.

This way, gradually your Mastiff will get friendly with cats.

How to know if a dog and cat will get along?

To know whether a dog and cat will get along, first introduce a dog to a cat. Let both of them see and sniff each other. If your dog doesn’t get hyperactive seeing the cat, and your cat also remains calm, it implies that they will get along.

However, throughout the process, don’t leave them alone. Keep them under your supervision and lookout if your dog is showing any predatory behavior towards the cat.

How do I desensitize my Mastiff to a new cat?

To desensitize your Mastiff to a new cat start with limited exposure to each other. Notice your pooch’s reaction when she first sees the cat. Let them see and sniff each other for a short period initially.

If your pup shows over-excitement, place them on either side of a baby gate. With gradual exposure, your dog will get desensitized and be calm when she sees a cat again.

How long does it take for a Mastiff to get used to a cat?

While some Mastiffs click with a cat right away, it may take a few weeks to a few months for your pup to get used to a cat.

With early socialization with a cat since your Mastiff’s puppyhood, she’ll get used to by her 2 months to 6 months of age. However, for some Mastiffs, it might take quite a long time.

If your pup is not immediately getting used to a cat, don’t worry. She’ll eventually find herself in a comfort zone with cats.

How do I stop my dog from driving prey?

A healthy diet, proper exercise, and correct socialization can stop your dog from driving prey. If your puppy’s tummy is full before going out, she’ll not feel the prey drive easily.

Ensure to exercise your pooch regularly to stop her burning energy by running after preys. Obedient training and socialization with small pets from a young age can curb the prey-driving instincts of your dog.

Final Thoughts:

Despite the huge size, they’re surprisingly good with cats compared to other dog breeds. Don’t pull yourself back from taking in a Mastiff just because you’re a cat owner. As you’ve seen, with the correct training you can have a loving environment with a Mastiff and your cute kitty at your home.

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