Are German Shepherds Good With Cats?

Yes, German Shepherds can co-exist with cats in the same house, but there's a caveat.
Are German Shepherds Good With Cats?

German Shepherds are often portrayed as aggressive dogs that don’t mix well with other pets. But is this really true when it comes to cats? Not really. With proper training and socialization, your GSD can live happily with your cat. However, there are some important considerations before bringing a German Shepherd into a home with cats:

Prey Drive

German Shepherds have a strong prey drive, meaning they will often instinctively want to chase small, quick animals. This means they may view cats within their home as potential prey. With proper training, you can curb this natural instinct so your German Shepherd knows cats are friends, not food.


An individual German Shepherd’s personality plays a big role in how well they do with cats. Calmer German Shepherds with lower prey drives tend to do better. Puppies who are raised alongside cats are also more likely to see them as companions rather than prey.


Early and extensive training is key to ensuring a German Shepherd is safe around cats. Obedience training, impulse control exercises, and positive reinforcement can teach a German Shepherd to control their instincts and obey commands to leave the cat alone.


Frequent positive interactions between your German Shepherd and cats are important for teaching them to get along. Always supervise interactions at first to correct unwanted chasing or roughness. With time and socialization, most German Shepherds and cats learn to respect each other.

Safety Precautions

Take precautions, like keeping the cat’s food, water and litter boxes elevated or behind closed doors. The cats should also have an escape route to high perches, cat flaps that only allow your cats in and out of rooms keeps them safe when unsupervised, and a baby gate also keeps dogs out of cat zones.

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Exercise and Training

A German Shepherd prone to chasing cats needs ample exercise to burn energy and reinforcement of training. Obedience training, combined with distraction training around cats, helps minimize chasing. Ensure your German Shepherd knows commands like “leave it” very well.

The Verdict

While their high prey drive makes cohabiting with cats a challenge, German Shepherds can live peacefully with cats with the right training and introductions.

With consistency, patience and proper training techniques, many cat-loving owners find that German Shepherds can adapt to living in harmony with felines. The temperament of the individual dog still plays a role, but socialization, boundaries and structured training go a long way toward making the cat-dog relationship a peaceful one.

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