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Springer Spaniels & Cats: Tips for a Peaceful Household

Bringing a new pet into your home can be both thrilling and challenging, particularly when it comes to forming a bond between different animals.

In this article, we’ll share our experiences with Molly, our adorable English Springer Spaniel puppy, and Bolt, our 13-year-old Bengal cat.

Our Bengal cat Bolt in our bed staring at me.
Our Bengal cat Bolt.

Together, we’ll explore the traits of Springer Spaniels that contribute to their compatibility with feline friends and address the challenges posed by their hunting and game retrieval instincts.

We’ll offer practical advice on fostering peaceful coexistence between these two species, sharing how we’ve overcome these challenges to create a harmonious relationship between Molly and Bolt.

The irresistible charm of Molly meets unshakable cat-titude πŸ™‚

So, prepare to learn how you can help your Springer Spaniel and cat live together in harmony, creating a delightful and loving environment for all members of your household.

Molly & Bolt: A Perfect Example of Dog and Cat Friendship.

Long before we found our perfect dog, we were a bit nervous about our now 14-year-old Bengal cat Bolt’s reaction.

We’ve seen many times that he wasn’t afraid of dogs, often even attacking them when they ventured too close.

With that in mind, we planned how to introduce our future Springer Spaniel Molly to the old grumpy cat that was always ready to show dogs their place.

English Springer Spaniel puppy next to a Bengal cat on a sofa.
Molly and Bolt on a sofa.

Our idea was to separate Bolt from Molly for the first week but have them close enough so they could smell and see each other.

We hoped this solution would allow Bolt and Molly to get used to each other while avoiding potential incidents.

We trimmed Bolt’s claws before introducing him to Molly; we did not want to take any chances.

Even though a wired garden pen fence separated them, we ensured Bolt had a safe place to go if he needed a break.

To our surprise, we didn’t have to wait a whole week for Bolt and Molly to get along. As Springer Spaniels are highly intelligent dogs, she quickly learned that Bolt doesn’t like to be bothered too much.

A Bengal cat investigating a Springer Spaniel puppy in our home.
Early interactions between our cat, Bolt, and Molly.

Our cat resorted to gently smacking her in the face with his paw (it was a good idea that we trimmed his claws a few days before) if she approached too close, and Molly, being a Springer Spaniel, was always excited and hoping Bolt would play with her one day.

As a senior cat, Bolt was never interested in playing with Molly.

That doesn’t mean she stopped trying, though. You can see their interaction in the video below.

Paw-Poke Fun: Molly’s Playtime Attempts with Bolt πŸ™‚

Molly is just over one year old, and although they’re good friends now when Molly tries to encourage Bolt to play with her, he still shows her who’s boss by just lifting his paw.

Their interactions are often hilarious but never dangerous.

In fact, we’ve never seen Bolt trying to slap Molly with his claws.

We’re not sure if he felt safe from the beginning or if this behavior developed over time, but we’re glad they can now be left together without us worrying that they might harm each other somehow.

Springer Spaniel Personality and Living with Cats.

English Springer Spaniels are known to be friendly, energetic, and smart, which can help them become friends with cats.

However, they were specifically bred for hunting and game retrieval, so their high prey drive might make a happy coexistence with a cat more challenging.

A Springer Spaniel puppy and a Bengal cat taking a nap on a sofa.
Taking a nap together.

We were worried that Molly’s instinct to chase or attack another animal might overshadow her gentle and friendly nature, leading to a scuffle between her and our cat, Bolt.

Our concerns were unnecessary, though, our cat Bolt can look after himself, and Molly has quickly learned who the boss is πŸ™‚

Tips for a Smooth Puppy-Cat Introduction.

When bringing a Springer Spaniel puppy home, ensuring a smooth introduction with your cat is essential.

Here are some steps to follow based on our own experience:

Trim your cat’s claws.

Trim your cat’s claws a few days before introducing him to the puppy.

This allows time for the sharp edges to smooth out, which can lower the risk of injury if the cat tries to defend itself.

Creating a safe space for a new puppy.

If possible, keep the cat away for the first few hours to a day after bringing the puppy home.

This allows the puppy time to adjust to the new environment without the distraction of the cat.

Separate the cat from your puppy.

Separate the cat from your puppy in the first few days if possible, but make sure they can still smell and see each other.

Monitor their interactions.

Keep a close eye on their interactions, even through a safety gate or pet-wired pen.

Keep the food separate.

Place the cat food in an area where the cat can access it but not the puppy.

Keep the cat litter box away.

Put the cat litter box in an area where the cat can access it but not the puppy, as puppies and even adult dogs are known to eat cat feces.

Slow introduction.

After a few days, or in our case, the same day, start slowly introducing your cat to your Springer Spaniel puppy.

Keep the interactions short and under control.

At first, keep the interactions short and under strict control, so you can intervene if necessary.

Control rough play dog behavior.

If your puppy tries to play with the cat in a too-rough way, use squeaky toys to encourage the puppy to play with them instead.

Training Molly: Respect, Boundaries, and Sharing.

We quickly realized how important it was to start training Molly right away.

We gave her just a day or two to get used to us and her new home before beginning her training.

Luckily, Springer Spaniels are very intelligent dogs, and it took no time to teach her basic commands like Sit, Lay Down, Stay, or Leave It.

The last one, “Leave It,” was especially important, as it helped us teach Molly not to touch Bolt’s food, investigate his litter box, or try to steal his toys that weren’t designed for dogs and could be destroyed in seconds by Molly.

Springer Spaniel puppy and a Bengal cat taking a nap together on a sofa.
They love to sleep together.

Training Molly to leave our cat’s food was a challenge, but nothing we couldn’t handle.

Even now, just over a year old, she often lies down next to Bolt when he eats. She never tries to eat what Bolt left in the bowl, though.

She knows she has to leave the food as we trained her to, but we allowed her to clean anything around the bowl that fell on the floor.

She waits for us to pick up the bowl, and then she’s free to clean the floor. We’re not really concerned about our cat Bolt eating Molly’s food.

He never had any interest in that. The only thing he does is drink water from Molly’s bowl.

We’re happy because it allowed Molly and Bolt to learn to share the bowl. She never had problems with him drinking from her bowl, and having only one bowl to fill up is a bonus for us.

Socializing Pets Early for a Lasting Friendship.

Introducing pets to various animals and experiences early on is essential. Molly’s early socialization made it easier for her to live with Bolt and respect him as her cat sibling.

Sofa shakedown with Molly & Bolt.

I cannot emphasize the importance of introducing your puppy to the animals in your home as early as possible.

Springer Spaniels are intelligent and extremely friendly dogs, and although we don’t have experience with animals other than our cat, I’m confident they can also live happily with other animals.

Maintaining a Happy Relationship with Training & Observation.

Training commands like “Leave It” and keeping a close watch on Molly and Bolt helped them become friends.

We stepped in when needed and praised good behavior. We couldn’t be happier with how quickly Molly learned those commands, but we couldn’t have done it without some help.

As we spent a lot of time preparing for the big change of bringing her home, we came across an amazing YouTube channel called Zak George’s Dog Training Revolution.

We loved Zak’s approach to dog training and used his techniques to teach Molly everything she knows now, being just over a year old.

Tips for keeping your puppy’s behavior in check:

  • Start training right away. Give the puppy a day or two to get comfy in your home. It’s time to begin training once you see them relaxing or playing with you.
  • Begin training sessions after your puppy has exercised to help them focus better.
  • With the correct approach (check out Zak George’s Dog Training Revolution), your puppy will learn basic commands in no time. But remember, practice makes perfect.
  • Train anytime and anywhere you can reinforce the commands.
  • Give your puppy a break. Training sessions can be exhausting, and puppies have short attention spans. Keep sessions short (10-15 minutes), and let your puppy rest afterward.

Handling Challenges Between Dogs and Cats.

Challenges such as different energy levels or territorial behavior may arise when introducing a Springer Spaniel to a cat.

Addressing these issues with patience and persistence is key to overcoming them and fostering a positive relationship between your pets.

Learning from Our Dog and Cat Experience.

Molly and Bolt’s friendship proves that English Springer Spaniels and cats can get along.

You can establish a happy multi-animal home by understanding each pet’s personality, training them effectively, and creating a positive environment.

English Springer Spaniels and cats can develop a wonderful bond with the right approach.

It’s important to be patient, understand your pets’ needs, and train them properly.

In our case, we faced a minor issue with Molly stealing Bolt’s toys, but with consistent training, she learned to respect his belongings and focus on her own toys.

This strengthened their bond and ensured our home’s peaceful and joyful atmosphere.

By implementing the tips mentioned in this article and staying committed to your pets’ well-being, you’ll be well on your way to creating a harmonious household where your English Springer Spaniel and cat can form a strong bond and live happily together.

Before you go…

We hope you’ve found our tips for keeping the peace between Springer Spaniels and cats helpful. It’s all about patience, understanding, and good training to help them get along.

If this has sparked your interest and you’re considering bringing a Springer Spaniel into your home, you might find our detailed discussion on the ins and outs of owning this breed enlightening.

Dive right into it and keep growing on your pet parenting journey. Your Springer Spaniel could just be your new best friend!



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Author
Tomasz Wzorek
Hi there! My name is Tomasz Wzorek, a passionate writer, and knowledgeable animal lover. With a deep understanding of Springer Spaniels, I invite you to follow my journey with Molly, my endearing canine companion. As we embark on daily escapades, learn about this amazing breed, care tips, and expert advice through this engaging blog.