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Apart from the druid that uses the standard rules for animals companions, most other classes that grant an animal companion of some kind give a few special benefits and drawbacks. Examples with two classes that interest me : the cavalier and the mammoth rider :

  • The cavalier has a very limited choice of bonded mounts : camel or horse for a Medium PC, pony or wolf for a Small PC. A cavalier can get only one bonded mount, it's always combat-trained and has Light Armor Proficiency as a bonus feat, and the cavalier can replace a dead mount only after one week of mourning, and the new one doesn't get all animal companion special abilities until the cavalier levels up.

  • The mammoth rider gains one steed among a small list of animal companions that are typically Large at level 7 (this class requires a level 6 animal companion to qualify), except the steed becomes Huge, gaining the standard benefits and drawbacks of this new size as well as ability score adjustments and a natural armor bonus that keep progressing with mammoth rider levels.

If a halfling cavalier who chooses a wolf as a mount wants to become a mammoth rider, does the current bonded mount (the wolf is in the list of mammoth rider steeds) get every special benefit and drawback from both classes ? Or does the mammoth rider steed rules override some of the cavalier bomded mount rules ?

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Luckily, both classes are on http://www.d20pfsrd.com/

Steed (Ex)

A mammoth rider can choose from among the following animal companions to serve as her loyal steed:

Arsinoitherium, aurochs, baluchitherium, camel, cat (big), elk, horse, mastodon (elephant), megaloceros, rhinoceros, triceratops, wolf, or woolly mammoth (use stats for a mastodon).

A GM might expand this list to include other possible steeds. This steed functions as a druid's animal companion, replacing any animal companion or mount gained from another class. The mammoth rider's class levels stack with other classes that grant an animal companion to determine her effective druid level.

Emphasis mine.

So in your specific example, your Cavalier looses his wolf, and gets it replaced with a mount of his chose, for example really really similar wolf. This new wolf would be treated as animal companion of a druid with effective druid level of mammoth rider's class levels + cavalier levels because you use cavalier levels as druid levels for this purpose, and mammoth rider's levels stack. So, by the rules, it is different wolf with almost the same stats and bonuses...

Sadly, because by the RAW it is not the same mount, Cavalier's special bonuses like free armor proficiency for mount, or lack of armor check penalty, would no longer apply. If I were DM, I would consider house ruling them to work, but that's not what rules says.

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The mammoth rider is very special in this, as it replaces your former companion. And as such RAW only rules for the mammoth rider's mount apply.

But, answering your headline more than your question, normally there are two options:

  • Your companion or mount appears on both lists: The levels stack and both classes' benefits and drawbacks apply
  • Your companion or mount does not appear on both lists: You get a second companion or mount, one for both of your classes.²

Paizo FAQ Cavalier: Do animal companion levels from the druid class stack with cavalier mount levels? If the animal is on the cavalier mount list and on the list of animal companions for your other class, your cavalier and druid levels stack to determine the animal's abilities. If the animal is not on the cavalier mount list, the druid levels do not stack and you must have different animals (one an animal companion, one a cavalier mount). (...)

²This can lead to a pc with two full level companions, something that might be unwanted.

A cavalier 4/Druid 2+x with boon companion on his druid companion and expert trainer + horsemaster for his mount will have a full level mount and a full level animal companion, as long as the companion is of a kind that does not appear on the cavalier mount list.

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