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Why Can’t We Be Friends? Tips for Cats & Dogs Living Together

April 20, 2018

It’s an age-old conflict, and one that’s been seen across the globe in movies, cartoons, and real-life; cats and dogs don’t always get along! This animosity between the two animals can make welcoming a new pet into your family a particularly difficult task, especially when your other pet has become accustomed to a life of their own. There are a few fundamental differences between the two animals that can make interactions with each other tense at the best of times. Don’t worry though, we’ve gathered a list of tips and solutions for helping your pets get along with one another, and that maybe one day they’ll become friends.


Denzel the Catahula

If possible, socialize them together at a young age.

At a young age, kittens and puppies have not had the chance to fully develop an understanding of the other animal, which makes pairing them together with a much easier task. Do keep in mind that a puppy’s idea of playing differs greatly from a kitten, so be sure to direct the pups interest towards playing with toys, and not rough-housing with the much smaller kitten. Doing so properly will ensure that both animals grow up with a respect for one another.


Seattle Meowtropolitan

Do your research when adopting.

If you’re looking into adopting a cat from a shelter, consider looking for one that has experience living with other dogs. As mentioned prior, adopting a cat that has grown up alongside a dog ensures that they have a developed understanding of how to interact with dogs, and what to expect. While there can still be some initial confusion between the two parties, adopting a pet that has experience living with the other animal, can significantly improve the chance of them getting along.



Do some prep-work before their first meeting.

Like any meeting you might have at work or with the in-laws, there’s always a few things you can do to help prevent conflicts. Make sure that your cat’s claws are properly trimmed before they meet the dog, your cat may use it’s claws should the cat feel threatened or anxious around the dog.  Ensure that the dog has worked off any excess energy before the first meeting. This will help to ensure both animals meet with each other in a more relaxed manner.


Seattle Meowtropolitan

They don’t need to meet on even terms.

Cats and dogs have different needs and rituals they partake in when introducing themselves to a new animal, so try your best to accommodate for these unique formalities. It’s important to allow the cat the freedom of roaming around during their first meeting, but adversely keep your dog on a leash. As the more playful of the two, your dog’s excitement may be misinterpreted by your cat, so being able to keep a handle on the dog will allow for a more relaxed meeting.


Murphie and Friends

Patience is key.

Odds are, it’s going to take some time for the two animals to get along. Let things take their natural course, and don’t rush anything in hopes of a faster friendship. Patience is a must, to ensure that your pets will be able to happily tolerate one another. In the meantime, you can ensure that both pets are happy and taken care of. Setting up individual feeding stations is one idea to help ensure your pets live together peacefully. Apart from preventing them from snacking on each other’s meals, it’s especially important if one of your pets has specific dietary restrictions.


At the end of the day, it’s important to be realistic. Your pets might not end up being the best of friends, but they will eventually come to accept one another. Then again who knows; they might just end up spending nights cozied up together on the couch, snoring peacefully.

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