Are Border Collies Good with Cats?

Pet Type


March 15, 2023

Adding a new pet to your home can be both exciting and stressful. If you already have pets, you want to make certain that any new additions will be a good fit. When introducing dogs to cats, the last thing you want is for the cat to be fearful.

Whether you have a cat and are bringing a dog home or vice versa, making sure the two are a good fit is key. With border collies, the question becomes: Are border collies good with cats? Here is what you need to know.

Do Border Collies Get Along with Cats?

The good news is that, yes, most border collies get on well with cats. That said, they have natural herding instincts that can prove problematic. Some feel that those herding instincts make them less than trustworthy around cats.

To give your new duo a better chance at a successful relationship, you need to know a few key things, including cat and dog temperament, the herding nature of border collies, and more, all of which can help you make the right decision.

A border collie and a cat may not be good with one another initially. With time and a bit of patience, you can train your border collie and cat to be friendly with one another. Herding dogs can be a bit tougher to introduce to a cat, as you will have to discourage that natural herding behavior.

Given that they are natural protectors, border collies are much safer to keep around your cat than some other dog breeds. They don’t bite, grab, or get aggressive with smaller animals.

Border Collie Temperament

One of the most important factors to consider is the temperament of border collies. Are border collies good with cats? Yes, they are, and part of that has to do with their friendly nature. Though they are an active breed, they can be quite calm and even-tempered.

Border collies also rarely display any kind of aggressive tendency. For that reason, the border collie is ideal as a family pet. They do well around not only other animals but small children as well. They might chase every once in a while, but they won’t actively seek to harm a cat in your home.

Natural Herders

The one issue can be that they are natural herding dogs. Should they see a smaller animal, their natural instincts kick in and make them want to guide that animal to safety. Some of that herding behavior can include chasing and staring, which can definitely be alarming to smaller animals like cats.

Thankfully, their herding nature does not include aggressive instincts. They know not to attack or bite the animals that they are attempting to herd. Even if you notice that your border collie is chasing the cat, it isn’t really doing any harm other than stressing the cat out.

Naturally Protective

Another lovable trait about border collies is that they are naturally protective. You won’t ever fully train their herding instincts out of them. That said, you can teach them to see your cat as a friend rather than a small animal that requires herding.

Should they encounter a cat they don’t recognize, then those natural herding tendencies will come out again. Herding dogs aren’t likely to chase unfamiliar cats, however. But managing your border collie’s interaction with your cat is about showing your collie that the cat is part of its pack. Do so, and the dog will be much more likely to accept the cat as part of the pack.

Introducing Them

There are steps to take to properly introduce your border collie and cat. Do this as soon as you can; otherwise, when your collie is curious, it may accidentally wind up hurting your cat. Just make sure to keep them separate at first. Put one in a bedroom, the other in a bathroom, for example.

That space can make them feel at ease. It also helps prevent any of the potentially stressful encounters that can lead to a less-than-ideal introduction. Keep them separate for a few days, keeping doors closed and lines of sight between them limited.

Before you have them meet, introduce one another to their scents. Since they are so dependent on smells, it will give them a way of becoming familiar with that animal without stressing them out. They can get the scent without feeling endangered.

Finally, give them face-to-face time. After they seem comfortable with one another behind closed doors, bring them together. Having a gate can be important to keep them safe while still allowing them to get familiar with one another. Should you notice signs of stress, end the session and try again later. It takes time and patience to get the animals properly acclimated to one another.


Border collies do get on well with cats, but it isn’t all roses. Border collies have a naturally friendly nature, while some (or most) cats do not. So while your cat may want to be left alone, your collie may not be quite so willing.

Are border collies good with cats? Mostly, but there are some essential pieces of information to know beforehand. It is possible that both can live together in peace, though the cat will likely have a few things to say about it.