The expression „to fight like cat and dog“ is well-known and it describes two animals or people that bear animosity to one another. However, good relationships between cats and dogs are possible, depending on their personality, patience, and owner’s understanding of their needs. Although their initial meeting could be tough, this unique bond can be rewarding not only for the cat and the dog, but for the owner, too.
Dogs are predators by nature and they often chase anything smaller than them, including cats. However, that doesn’t mean that dogs and cats can’t live in harmony. As the two most common pets, the way dogs and cats communicate is associated with their temperament and whether they’ve experienced an encounter with another animal species before.
For instance, a dog raising its paw at a cat usually just wants to play, but the cat could perceive that as an attack. Likewise, a cat that rubs against a dog just wants to cuddle, but the dog could perceive that as a threat, especially if the cat is too close to the dog’s toys or food, so it can react aggressively by barking or growling.
Still, the solution might be to get a puppy and a kitten at the same time. That way, neither will have any previous fears, nor will they develop them, except in case one of the animals is too aggressive or domineering.
Whether you’re getting puppies and kittens, or introducing fully grown cats and dogs, be aware of the following: you should monitor them when they are together for at least a couple of weeks so that you make sure they are well-behaved and they don’t attack each other. Be sure to separate them during feeding time.
When you go out and leave them home alone, leave them in separate rooms until you are sure that they know each other well and get along. Provide fresh water, beds, toys and a litter box. Train the dog so it understands at least some basic commands, such as “sit“ or “stay“.
As with humans, it takes time for a friendship to grow in the animal world, too. What you should do to support a friendship like this is devote equal amounts of attention to them so that no one feels left out.