Scottish Terriers And Cats: Do They Get Along? All You Need To Know

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The Scottish Terriers have a very energetic personality. They are an independent-minded and confident breed. With that piece of information, you might be wondering if they get along with cats.

So, do Scottish Terriers and Cats get along?
Yes, a Scottish terrier and a cat can get along, but, only if they are given the right training and properly socialized from an early age. It is also important to understand your Scottie’s personality before you bring a cat home.

Scottish Terriers were bred to hunt for small games, such as rats, foxes, and badgers. So they possess a natural inclination to prey src

However, if they get the right training, they would be able to bond and respect cats. In this article, we will be looking at the various means to help ensure the Scottie gets along with a cat, what to do if they don’t, and so on.

First of all, let’s take a look at understanding the temperaments of the Scottish terrier.

The temperament of Scottish Terriers

The Scottish Terriers are alert, confident, and energetic dogs. They were originally bred in Scotland as rodent and vermin hunters. 

Since they are naturally bred to be hunters and so are always on alert and would bark when they notice strange activity. However, they are also friendly dogs and are fun and playful. They make great pets for kids and everyone in the family.

Scottish terriers are also very reserved dogs and do not bark unnecessarily. However, as I mentioned earlier, because they are naturally bred to be hunters, they will bark when they notice strange activities.

Training Scottish Terriers is difficult, although they enjoy liberty and can be stubborn sometimes. 

You would need to be firm when training your Scottish Terriers and exert yourself as their leader. That would be the only way to put their stubborn behavior in control.

Be positive when training your Scottish Terrier even when you are frustrated. 

Do not be harsh on them, be gentle with them, and encourage them with treats and praises when they behave.

Does being a terrier affect their relationship with cats?

The Scottish Terriers are hunting dogs. Just as the name implies, hunting dogs are a breed developed for hunting. In the case of the Scottish terriers, they are bred to hunt vermin, rats, and mice. 

Scottish terrier getting along with a cat
Scottish Terrier and a Cat

Below are some behavioral problems that your Scottie might have, that would affect a smooth relationship with your cat. I also offered tips on how you can curb or control these traits.


As terriers who are hunting dogs, they are often aggressive and might not tolerate other pets. That is why it is important to take your Scottie to socialization classes from early as when he/she is just a puppy (3 months old). 

The socialization classes are the training they would need to get along and tolerate other pets, including a cat.


Scottish Terriers are hunting dogs and, because of this, they’re high-energy dogs who become restless when they are idle, and when they are idle, they tend to bark a lot.

This loud and incessant barking might come off as aggressive to your cat and would make them not ever want to come close to your dog.

To prevent this, you need to try to keep your dogs occupied at all times. Do not leave them idle for an extended time. They are not the type to sit indoors and do nothing.

What is important to note is that your Scottie should always be stimulated. If it is possible, make sure they exercise daily

Small Dog Syndrome

Due to their small size and stubborn nature, they could develop what is known as Small Dog Syndrome, a condition that affects their self-esteem. You would find your dog trying too hard to exert themselves and show “who the boss is.”

You would find your Scottie being moody, snappy, too territorial, and barking incessantly. This would affect their relationship not only with your cat but also with you.

The only way to prevent this is to give them the right training. Do not be overly lenient with them or indulge their demands all the time. You need to also set rules for your Scottie. There should be limits to what they can or cannot do.

Remember, the best way to achieve this is if you’re firm and consistent with the training.

How to introduce a Scottish Terriers to a cat

It is important to understand the various steps and ways you need to successfully introduce your Scottie to a cat and in this section, we are going to be taking a look at them.

One of the best ways for your Scottie and cat to have a smooth relationship is to introduce them at a young age.

When they are raised together from an early age, they would form a bond that would mean a smooth relationship when they’re adults.

You should be careful with introducing your young Scottie to a mature cat, as the cat might harm the puppy with its claws. 

In the same way, you should be careful when introducing an adult Scottie with a kitten cause he/she could easily hurt the kitten. When introducing them make sure to supervise them.

Scent Swapping

If you can afford the time required to keep them apart, it would be quite beneficial to both of them.

While apart, you can engage in what is known as scent swapping; transferring one scent from one pet to the other. This can be done by either taking their sleeping blankets and swapping them after days of usage or taking a clean piece of cloth to wipe one pet then, proceed to wiping and presenting it to the other.

This swapping of scents will help create a familiarity between them without even meeting in person. When the first meeting happens, they would recognize each other’s scent making the meeting less eventful.

Exercise your Scottie

It is important to remember that the Scottie is an active dog breed and can be quite excited, this could be a disadvantage because your Scottie could injury your cat in the process.

It is important to get your Scottie exercised and relaxed before introducing them to your cat.

Create an escape route for your cat 

Ensure to ready a safe space for your cat to go to in case he/she feels threatened by or needs time away from your the Scottie.

This safe space should be inaccessible to your Scottie and should be high above the ground. It could be a shelve or tabletop

Take care of your cat litter box

Remove the cat litter box and food from places your Scottie has access to. This is because your dog could eat both the food and the fecal material in the litter box, and could even cause your cat to start defecating in other areas of your home.

Take things slow

Do not rush introducing your pets to each other. You could leave your Scottie in a crate if he/she is crate trained, this would allow your cat freedom to approach the dog without fear.

You could also try to keep the Scottie on a leash when in the presence of the cat for the first introductions. Don’t be disappointed if your cat and dog don’t actually socialize or play together, what matters is that respect each other.

Praise your pets or give them treats when they get along fine, without barking or hissing.

How to ensure they coexist peacefully

Now that your cat and dog have been successfully introduced, here are ways to ensure they continue to live peacefully.


Animals are often very possessive of their food. To ensure your Scottie and cat live peacefully, provide separate feeding areas and bowls for them.

Preventing them from eating each others’ food also ensures their health, as they are animals of different species and have a different specific diet.


While your new pet needs a lot of love and attention and might take up most of your time, do not neglect the older pet. 

Your older pet should still feel loved. If they ever feel like they have been abandoned or feel like you love the newer pet more, it might cause feelings of jealousy and resentment to develop, which would impact your pets’ relationship. 


Cats are solitary animals, while dogs are bred to live in packs, however, both cats and Scotties are territorial. 

Your older pet must have already marked its spots within your home, ensure that the new pet doesn’t trespass on this territory. Train the new pet to find his/her spot elsewhere.

Both your Scottie and cat should have separate sleeping areas so they don’t fight. 

What happens if they never get along

Despite all your attempts to get your pets to bond and coexist peacefully, they might never get along. Even though this is rare, you should prepare yourself for the possibility.

If they are always at loggerhead, try to understand the causes of their conflict, and try to resolve them.

If nothing changes and they continue to fight despite your efforts, it is best to take directions from a vet or someone who specializes in ethology.

As has been mentioned in this article before, the best way for your Scottish Terrier and cat to get along is if they are raised together from an early age, as a puppy and kitten.

It is nothing out of the ordinary if the cat finds your Scottie terrifying and intimidating during their first meeting. You would notice that with time and much-needed dedication from you, the cat and your Scottish Terrier would start to bond, become more tolerant and accommodating of each other.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can a Scottish Terrier kill a cat?

No. Your Scottie and cat might frequently get into fights with the dog prevailing and giving your cat an injury. However, it wouldn’t get to the extent of your Scottie killing your cat, except it is a kitten and your Scottie an adult dog. This is why it is strongly advised not to try to raise an unsocialized adult dog with a kitten.

Can Scotties impregnate a cat?

No. They are of different species of animal. Scotties are dogs, therefore, cannot impregnate cats. They cannot even mate together.

Can Scotties eat cat food?

Yes. However, it shouldn’t be so. Cat food contains a high amount of fat which is not suitable for Scotties because it could put them at risk of some diseases. Some of these diseases include diabetes and pancreatitis.

Can Scotties and cats become best friends?
Sure. Scottish terriers can become best friends with cats despite their aggressive nature.

There are a higher chances of this happening when your Scottie and cat are introduced at a very young age. The bond they developed at that tender age would nurture, and in adulthood, they could have the most cordial relationship. 

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