The adage “fight like cats and dogs” is a saying for a reason; the canine and feline species can be mortal enemies. However, they can also be the best of friends. But to have this species rivalry come to an end, there are some hints that you will want to know. So if you ever wondered, can dogs and gets get along? Read on for the surprising facts.
Do You Have the Right Dog?
If you already have a dog and are wanting to add a feline, you will need to assess your pooch by answering these questions;
- How old is my dog? Puppies under the age of 12 weeks old are more likely to get along with a cat because they are still socially developing.
- Does my dog have a predatory nature? Certain breeds of dogs (like those in the Terrier family) tend to have a genetic predisposition to chase smaller animals. Have you observed your dog chasing after squirrels, birds, or cats in your yard or the park? If the answer is “yes,” you will most likely have a problem with this behavior in your home.
- Does my dog have “bulgy” eyes? Pugs, Pekinese, and those mixed with these breeds are at a higher risk of an injury to the eye if Kitty should decide to take a swipe at them.
- Is my dog already afraid of cats? Does your pooch shrink back or run away when he spots a cat? If so, this kind of stress is not fair to your family pooch.
- Do I have more than one dog? Two or more dogs living under the same roof may “feed off each other,” meaning if one chases after the cat, the other(s) may join.
Cat-Friendly Dog Breeds
If you are starting and want to find a genetically cat-friendly dog, these dog breeds may find it more tolerable to have a feline roommate. According to Barkpost, these dogs may be your best chance at a peaceful two-species home:
- Golden Retriever and Labrador Retriever
- Bichon Frise
- Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
- Basset Hound
- Pug (but make sure your cat is friendly enough for this breed)
- Shetland Sheepdog
Finding the Right Cat
Okay, so we know what to watch out for in a dog, but what about the right cat? Just like the canine species, introducing a kitten under 12 weeks of age may have a higher success rate for living happily with a dog.
If you don’t know the cat’s history, you will want to look for one that shows confidence, is calm, and, ideally one with a mellow disposition and a low flight response. The more fearful the cat is, the more likely it will be to run if something scares her, which will elicit a chase response from your dog.
Dog-Friendly Cat Breeds
If you want to start on the right “paw,” here are some dog-friendly cat breeds; according to Nationwide Pet Insurance:
- American Shorthair
- Japanese Bobtail
- Maine Coon
- Norwegian Forest
First Impressions Count
When you bring your carefully chosen pets home, it’s best to have a gradual, supervised introduction. First impressions count, so if Fido lunges at Kitty or Kitty decides to take a swipe at Fido, the process is going to be strained and filled with fear and mistrust.
Ensure your new cat has a “safe zone” in your home where the dog is not allowed. Provide this area by blocking them with baby gates. You will also want to provide high-rise areas in the house to which your cat can safely retreat as needed.
When you leave your home for any length of time, the safest solution for both pets is to separate them, either in different rooms or crates.
Your Dog and Cat as BFFs
Ask yourself some important questions about your dog, look for both dog-friendly cats and feline-friendly dog breeds, then make the introductions slowly to ensure each animal is feeling safe and secure.
It may take some time (and every cat/dog relationship will be different), but it’s not impossible to have the canine and feline species become the best of friends—or at least learn to tolerate each other.