Pit Bulls and Cats: Good Idea or Recipe for Disaster?
I realize that any subject about this breed can be controversial, because of the way the American Pit Bull Terrier (A.P.B.T.) has been painted by the media. However, I challenge you to do some research on your own, or perhaps talk to a friend who owns one of these great animals.
Pit Bulls & Cats
I realize that to some people taking about the American Pit Bull Terrier doing such things as being in the same room as a cat, or paling up to a kitten might seem unbelievable.
Pit Bull Terriers are often stereotyped as killers, showing aggression toward cats, other dogs, and even humans.
These stereotypes are mostly baseless, and often stem from fear and misunderstanding.
Actually, Pit Bulls and cats can get along quite well, and I'm going to prove it to you.
I can speak from personal experience when I say that - in the hands of a responsible owner - Pit Bulls can get along just fine with other animals - especially cats.
All dogs are different; some are human aggressive yet animal friendly; some are friendly to cats yet aggressive toward other dogs.
It really varies from dog to dog. Their temperaments are as varied as those of their human counterparts.
Note: No dogs should be aggressive toward their own family. Such aggression is usually a sign of psychological problems with the animal, and should be handled responsibly.
Bad Breed or Bad Rap?
Are Pit Bulls a bad breed? Isn't that sort of like if there is a bad race? There is no such thing as a "bad breed."
A combination of irresponsible and sometimes dangerous owners, and the mainstream media drumming up fear for ratings, have given Pit Bulls a bad rap.
Pit Bulls enjoy people, and are capable of forming very close bonds to their handlers or family.
Pit Bulls are a loving and loyal breed, and they shine when they are given the proper attention from their owners.
Pit Bulls are a highly intelligent breed, which makes training them a breeze. The old saying, "You can't teach an old dog new tricks" doesn't apply here.
These dogs will continue to learn, and are even capable of unlearning bad habits taught to them by their owners (like jumping up on people, licking, or begging for food).
Temperament and Energy
I spoke about the Pit Bulls temperament a little before, but how does this breed stack up to others?
I'm not going to mention any ATTS scores here, because their own website states that their test is not designed for dog to dog comparisons.
That's because certain elements of a dogs character that have been breed in are taken into account. In other words, the expectations from the test can vary from breed to breed.
It is interesting to note, however, that historically Pit Bull Terriers have been breed for great temperament (along with strength, agility, and intelligence).
That being said, Pit Bulls are protective of their owners. I wouldn't recommend running up on *that guy's family without a proper introduction.
You need to be responsible to own a Pit Bull, as they require a lot of attention from their owners.
Pit Bull Terriers are also typically a high energy breed. They can be rambunctious, but can also be surprisingly gentle, when the proper boundaries are set and enforced.
Even so, common sense will tell you that more than one mid-sized, high-energy animal might be too much for your cat(s) to handle (assuming your animals share your home).
Whether you are raising a puppy or bringing in an adult dog into a house with cats (or vice versa), you will need to be consistent in enforcing boundaries with the dog(s).
The good news is that Pit Bulls just want to please their owners, and like kids, are more than happy to operate within the boundaries that you give them.
Raising Pit Bulls and cats together is no big deal, if you are a responsible dog owner to begin with.
I've owned many popular breeds of dogs, as I grew up in a few small, country towns. I grew up raising dogs and cats together.
I have never been more impressed by a breed of dog than I am with the American Pit Bull Terrier.
In my opinion these dogs are the Alpha dog. In the end, these amazing dogs are all about pleasing their owners.
A balanced Pit Bull Terrier is not only capable of getting along with cats for your sake, they may learn to prefer the company of your feline family members.
So give America's first native dog breed a chance, before you rule them out as a new member of your cat-friendly family.