Are Jack Russells Good with Cats? [The Truth & Tips] is reader-supported. If you buy a product through a link on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no additional cost to you.

Potential Jack Russell Terrier owners and perhaps even current Jack Russell owners may be curious how a Jack Russell will behave when around a cat and if it is possible to allow a Jack Russell and a cat to co-exist under the same roof.

I have owned a Jack Russell Terrier now for several years, and here is what I can tell you on this topic.

Jack Russell Terriers are good with cats if they are socialized with cats beginning at a young age. Jack Russells who are socialized with cats from a young age are capable of being loving towards one another and can live together.

However, if you do not begin the socialization process at a young enough age, it may be more of a struggle for you to successfully get a cat and a Jack Russell to get along.

That is what I want to dive deeper into for the rest of this post.

More specifically, I want to break down this post in the following manner:


Feel free to use any of the links directly above to skip around in this post.

Otherwise, sit tight for about 3 minutes, and I will break down what I know about a Jack Russell living in the same home as a cat and what you can expect.

Jack Russells With Cats

You may be curious if Jack Russells are good with cats for a variety of reasons, but I imagine most of you want to adopt one pet or the other and need to make sure it is a good idea first.

It is a good idea to plan in this fashion.

Here is the deal with Jack Russells and cats and may be completely different from what other websites state on this topic, which clearly do not own either of the pets being discussed.

A Jack Russell can be good with cats and co-habitat with cats.

A Jack Russell may also not be good with cats depending on how you introduced them, among other factors.

With Jack Russells and any dog breed for that matter, socialization at young ages is imperative.

This includes being socialized with humans and other pets.

Therefore conflicting reports can easily be found about how compatible a Jack Russell maybe with a cat.

If you are considering adopting either a cat or a Jack Russell and want to make sure they can live together, let’s cover how you can introduce them successfully to one another.

How Do You Introduce A Jack Russell to A Cat?

In my opinion, if you have a cat now, and want to adopt a new Jack Russell, you will be fine.

If, on the other hand, you have a Jack Russell now and want to bring home a cat, it may be a bit more challenging.

That does not mean it will not work, but it will be more of a challenge, and here is why.

Jack Russells are known to be possessive and territorial.

It is one of the traits that make them an excellent guard dog.

However, when they are introduced to other animals and humans beginning at young ages, this becomes much less of an issue.

It has never been an issue for my Jack Russell, who is now 2 years old and lives with my other dog and has been around plenty of friends who own cats.

She does not care and is social and friendly with other family pets when she is around them.

However, I started this process right out of the gates.

I already had my 7-year-old yellow lab, so she has been accustomed to being around young children and other pets since early puppyhood.

This is what is needed to ensure you will not have an issue with a cat and Jack Russell fighting or causing any physical harm to one another.

A Jack Russell, who has never had to be around other pets may struggle and be more aggressive towards a cat or another family pet.

Adopt from A Local Breeder

I also want to point out that adopting a Jack Russell from a local breeder near you in this scenario will be much more beneficial.

Local breeders often have their puppies around other dogs, other animals, and humans all the time, which ensures you are adopting a dog that can handle social interaction with other animals and people.

I am not stating that adopting a Jack Russel from a rescue will not work, but it is much harder to understand what you are getting yourself into with a rescue dog.

You do not know their past and how social of a dog they are.

Again, if your Jack Russell has already been living and the only animal in the home for years and you want a cat, I may reconsider that decision unless you understand your Jack Russell’s behavior and personality so well that you are 100% sure it will not be an issue.

On the flip side, bringing a new Jack Russell puppy around a cat, I do not see any potential issues and believe they will get along just fine, assuming the cat’s personality can handle being around a dog as well.

Would A Jack Russell Kill A Cat?

In theory, yes, a Jack Russell could kill a cat.

A Jack Russell that would kill a cat would have to be an aggressive dog that is not socialized.

Jack Russells do have a natural prey drive, and they are naturally protective of their space and an aggressive dog in general, it may be possible for a Jack Russell to harm and potentially kill a cat.

However, it should be stated I do not believe this to be a common issue and have honestly never heard of it happening outside of random forums or information that is tough to verify its credibility.

If you follow what I have laid out for you this far into this post, I know for a fact Jack Russells can co-exist in the same household as other animals, which includes cats.

They need discipline and to be socialized at a young age and you will be good to go.

Jack Russell Terrier’s and Cats Can Certainly Co-Habitat

Hopefully, this post has helped convince you that it is entirely possible to have a Jack Russell and a cat living together depending on the scenario.

Jack Russells are a loving and affectionate dog.

However, a non-socialized Jack Russel being around a cat may cause issues.

Ensure you take the time to let the animals break into one another slowly and begin socializing right away with supervision.

Overall, both Jack Russells and cats make excellent pets, and you should not have to be forced to choose one or the other.

Luna and I wish you the best of luck with your Jack Russells and successfully introducing them to a cat in the future.


Share Your Thoughts

Do you have any further advice you can provide the Terrier Owner Community about allowing a Jack Russell Terrier and a cat to live in the same home?

Do you currently do this successfully, and what further information can you share?

Be sure to share those thoughts, stories, and concerns by dropping a comment below.

As always, Luna and I appreciate you stopping by and reading today.

Thanks again, and we will see you next time.

Also Read:

Josh Martin- Founder and Creator of Terrier Owner

Josh Martin is the proud owner of a female Jack Russell Terrier Named Luna. Josh founded to share the stories of owning a Terrier and to help all terrier owners with the struggles, excitement and common questions that come with being a new terrier parent.

Recent Posts