Doberman Pinscher in the woods

Dobermans are strong dogs that protect their territories and families fiercely. Because of this, they may get bad reputations as being aggressive dogs, but they love their humans and are loyal companions. For the dog lover that wants a dog for protection and is an experienced Doberman owner, you can’t go wrong with owning one. But what if you have a cat? Are Dobermans good with cats? Can they be kept together?

Yes, Dobermans can absolutely be good with cats and be kept together as long as they have been properly socialized. In this article, we’ll explore Dobermans and how well they do with cats.

Do Dobermans Like Cats?

Dobermans are perfectly capable of liking any small animal with proper socialization, and that includes cats, which we’ll get into in a bit. Dobermans are one of the smartest dog breeds, and they can learn what is acceptable and not acceptable behavior with no problem. They are highly intelligent, so much so that they can be trained as military and police dogs.

doberman lying on a field of flowers
Image courtesy of Pixabay

How Do You Socialize a Doberman to be Around a Cat?

It’s up to you to properly introduce your Doberman to a cat. For the best result, it’s better to introduce the two at an early age if possible. A Doberman and cat can live in perfect harmony if they are raised together, but that doesn’t mean that’s the only way. To achieve harmony between the two, here are some key steps you’ll need to take to ensure proper socialization:

1. Expose by Scent

You can do this by keeping the two separated by a door. They can smell each other through the door safely, and this initial step is important to get the two acclimated to each other’s scent. You can also try placing an old t-shirt by each animal when they sleep, then switch the t-shirts for more scent exposure. Try this for a few days before proceeding.

2. Alternate Rooms

Let your Doberman hang out in one room and your cat in another, then switch rooms the next day. This way, they can get even more used to each other’s scent. Animals have an extraordinary sense of smell, and it’s crucial to expose the two to each other’s scent as often as you can before actually introducing them.

3. Introduce Through a Barrier

Baby gates come in handy for this step. Using a barrier allows the two to finally see each other safely. Chain link fences work well for this step, too. During this step, it’s important to let your Doberman know that the cat being around is not a big deal. If your Doberman is focusing too much on the cat, especially in an aggressive way, distract your dog by throwing a ball or whatever games they like. This lets your Doberman know that things are not changing, and its life will not be turned upside down because of the cat.

Black and tan Doberman dog dock tail
Image courtesy of Shutterstock

4. Introduce With No Barrier

You’ll want to be on your toes for this crucial step. It’s a good idea to keep your Doberman on a leash while you introduce the two without a barrier in case things get dicey. If your Doberman shows good behavior around the cat, reward with treats and praise.

Dobermans are in tune with your emotions, so maintaining a positive attitude is vital. If your Doberman becomes the least bit aggressive, don’t harshly reprimand them, but, rather, gently correct the behavior.

How Do I Supervise My Doberman and My Cat?

After putting the introductions in place, it’s extremely important to supervise the two. Also, don’t stop communicating with your Doberman. For example, throw a ball if your Doberman becomes too focused on the cat. This helps to keep some normalcy for your Doberman.

Next, watch for signs of aggression. A rigid, stiff body or erect ears and tail are signs your Doberman is not happy. If your Doberman growls or shows its teeth, distract it immediately. Lastly, maintain a positive attitude throughout the entire process and keep calm.


Dobermans and cats can be kept together, but only after you’ve properly introduced them. One final note: be sure your cat has an escape route from your Doberman just in case, such as a cat tree or room to slip underneath a baby gate. If you follow these steps, you’ll be on your way to success, and the two may even become best buds.

Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock