Some dog breeds are more likely to get along with cats and some cat breeds are more likely to get along with dogs, but even if you get the right breeds for your pet combinations, cross-species friendships can still take some getting used to. In this article, we’ll take a look at how, in the right environment, your cat and dog can learn to live together in relative harmony.
Cats and dogs are very different animals and their distinctive personalities don’t always blend well. This is where we get the common misconception that cats and dogs will never make good housemates. But many cats and dogs can actually get along perfectly well, if they’re provided with the right environment. The key is to begin with two animals whose breeds and personalities complement each other.
If they’re given time to comfortably get to know each other, most cats will be able to get along with a dog just fine. Playing and napping together, a puppy and a kitten who are raised together will generally learn right away to tolerate each other and can grow to be real friends. Certain precautions will need to be taken, however, if a household that already has a dog as an established member decides to take in a new cat or kitten. We can’t all have the world’s best-trained pup, but some behaviours can (and should) be addressed, whether we’re shooting for Crufts or not.
Your dog is more likely to be relaxed around cats in their adult life if they are exposed to cats during their primary socialisation period – from about two to nine weeks of age. Your cat may also be safer paired with a dog breed which has a lower occurrence of predatory behaviour, making them less likely to lay chase.