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Do Dogs And Cats Get Along? Is fighting like cats and dogs a real thing?

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When we think about dogs and cats living together in perfect harmony, we more times than not say NO WAY!   What is the real scoop with the two species . Is it a hate / hate relationship?  Or are we just completely uninformed.do dogs and cats get along

The question we ask ourselves is do dogs and cats get along at all?  Is the saying fighting like cats and dogs something that we just say, or is it real?

In the past 30 years I have had the pleasure of owning both dogs and cats at the same time.   This experience certainly has come in handy along the way.

History of cats and dogs.

Looking into the history of cats and dogs we find that cats didn’t become household pets until the nineteenth and early twentieth century.

Before that time frame cats were used typically for mousing the rodents away or sadly being used in testing for medical studies.

Once cats did become household pets, they were more often with the woman of the house than with the man.  Women were in the home all day, so it only makes sense that they had a more prominent role in the connection with cats.

Dogs have been man’s best friend for thousands of years.  The exact time frame is widely disputed as to when dogs actually became domesticated.  Whether it was 40,000 years ago or 20,000 years ago, dogs have been with man in history for a very long time.  One thing that is known is that man found dogs to be extremely useful in hunting, trapping and for companionship.

The history of when both species became pets was certainly at different times in history.   Once they both became domestic pets, it was only a matter of time before they would be living together in the home.

Factors to a successful friendship.

What are the factors that determine if our cats and dogs can live together in harmony?  Are their things that we can do to make this a happy and peaceful household?

The answer is yes!

The ideal scenario for having a dog and cat live together harmoniously is to get them together as babies.  Anytime you can have them grow up together as little ones, certainly makes things much easier.

When they grow up together, in my experience, it allows them to go through all the growing pains of their development at the same time.  As we all know, kittens are super high energy and a bit crazy at times.  Puppies also have high energy in short bursts.  Having them learn to play together in those high energy times seems to really go a long way in them developing a much stronger bond.

I can say this, as I have had puppies and kittens at the same time and in my experience this was truly the case.

With that being said, nothing is fool proof.  The breed of a dog, can and does play a part in whether the two get along.

Certain dog breeds are easier to adapt to having a cat as a sibling than others. Size and temperament will also play a factor in how well that relationship goes.

In my case, I had a brother and sister kittens with a German Shepherd puppy at the same time.  That relationship was really quite good.  They all could be free in my home to roam around without many incidents.

Obviously nothing is perfect all the time, but overall they all lived together as a family.

Amos

Jump ahead many years to my current dog BOO.  When we got him as a puppy, we had 2 cats that were brothers AMOS and ANDY who were around 8 years old or so.

Well AMOS thought BOO was A OKAY!   Andy, not so much.

He was a real jerk to BOO from day one.  That relationship never really worked.  The second you would turn your back ANDY would take a swipe at little BOO.

BOO of course just wanted ANDY to like him. Sadly that relationship did exist but not without issues all along the way.

What makes this scenario different from my previous experience?  Well the truthful answer is ….my cat’s personality.
ANDY was always the dominate male cat that was kind of obessive about getting my full attention.

Yes dog breed plays a role with some dogs, but let’s not forget that your cats personality also will determine what that relationship looks can be.

In my case ANDY was super jealous of BOO and that caused that relationship to always be a bit strained.  Overall they did find a way to co-exist,  but it wasn’t the dream perfect relationship, but it did manage to work.

Body language.

A humans body language plays a huge role in how new people interpret your personality, even at a first impression.  A first impression between two people can go along way in determining how that relationship develops.

Cats and dogs body language also can be interpreted negatively or positively right from the first impression.  The two species body cues are not the same.

With a dog, when he is on guard or uneasy, they can put their ears back, they growl, and the hair on the back of their neck stands up.   They are super cautious about the interaction.  Dogs like to sniff the other animal to see how they smell.  This practice of determining their scent, can definitely put our cats on edge.cuddling pets

Cats on the other hand have a completely different body language.  Normally they put their back up, there is usually hissing and a stiff fluffy tail.  They are more apt to use their paws to bat or swipe at the new family member in a type of aggression.  I have also seen many cats that do that side walk with their back up and moving towards the new family member.  Just to show that they are unsure.

The theory between the two species is that they don’t understand the other’s body language, and for this reason there is a big miscommunication.  This certainly can be the reason that the initial interactiion is negative reaction towards each other.

Time together always helps.

Like anything that is good in the world, time can always make things sweeter. LOL!

Being able to co-exist together in the beginning of a new relationship, even though we may not know each other yet, time passing can dramatically change what that relationship looks like.

We have made it passed the first impressions now and are in our everyday routine.  Like most relationships, the longer that you know someone, the more you can warm up to them.

The same goes for dogs and cats.  From day one to day 365, that relationship is different.  Our pets are now more settled and into their own routines.

Time can allow our pets to feel each other out and realize that neither one is a threat to the other.  They realize that there is no cause to be on guard or act aggressively towards the other one.

With passing time, also comes some big time growing up.  A kitten grows up to be a much more laid back adult cat just like a puppy grows into an adult dog who certainly has more patience.

Adult dogs and cats both change so much, having them grow up and change together is pretty amazing to watch.

dogs with cats

Fighting like cats and dogs!

The typical saying of fighting like cats and dogs, in my personal experience there can be a bit of truth to it, but really that depends on many factors.

Not every example of dogs and cats together is going to be the same.

Yes I have seen some pretty good relationship between both species and some that are a little strained forever.  Keeping calm and bringing them together slowly, is always the right decision.  No quick introductions and hoping for a magical reaction.

In my experience that is not the best way to approach that situation.  I did say that trying to get them to meet as little ones, can make that transition of them living together in happiness easier, but we don’t always have that option.

Whether it’s getting that puppy with and adult cat or getting a kitten with an adult dog, it can absolutely work.

We can certainly compare this type of situation when you have a second baby with one already at home.  There is always jealousy at the beginning.  Being aware that is what is about to happen, you can do things to include the other somehow in a helping fashion.  Making them part of the new exciting change goes a long way to having them feel included.

This can be a similar situation with dogs and cats which helps to answer the question “do dogs and cats get along”?

I believe yes they can.  Please please make sure to give an equal amount of love and affection to both.  We all know that a puppy or kitten requires more time than an adult, so be conscious of that.  Treat both equally and you will have success.

Best of luck in blending your family together.

 

THE MORE THE MERRIER!!

10 Comments

  1. I agree, dogs and cats can get along. I have dogs and cats, and most of my dogs were raised with my cats when they were puppies and kittens. Years later two adult rescue dogs were added to the household and they accepted the cats, they never chased them. While I know that some dogs chase cats, I have often seen that it is possible for them to be together. My dog Tommeeh, a 2-year-old Pit Bull, and my cat Loki are best friends and they love to cuddle together, they truly love each other. 

    It can of course take a while to teach adult dogs and cats to live together, and I agree, it is so much easier and more fun when they are in the puppy/kitty stage. 

    • Hi Christine,

      I love Pitbulls, so I have to say I am a bit jealous. That is so exciting to here that Tommeeh and your cat Loki are good friends. I think it is so sweet to see when dogs and cats cuddle together. 

      It really does show that everyone just wants to have a companion and to feel love.

      Thank you so much for telling me your story and for sharing it with me.  Your comments were great. 

      Coralie 

  2. Hi, your post is unique and full of observation, actually I have not being able to have both pet in my family, I only have cat but when I was small I used to watch cartoon tom and jerry which is similar to the topic of cat and dog not doing fine but your post have change my orientation towards cat and dog, because you have done it successfully I will also want to try it out, this is a topic I will like to share and tag some friends on my social media.

    • Hello,

      I loved that show too “Tom & Jerry”, I think that’s is the first time I remember any cartoon or show that had a dog and cat in adventures together.  

      I am lucky to have had both live together in harmony and some not so easy.  The journey is always an adventure when you have dogs and cats with such different temperaments.  It can be a bit of a crap shoot in the beginning, but usually they find a way to work it out. 

      Thank you for sharing your comments on my post. 

      Coralie 

  3. So cats and dogs CAN live together, who would have known! My cat really bugs the heck out of my dog Alexa, it’s fun sometimes to watch. But my other cat lives in harmony with Alexa as if they weren’t even a different species. What you said about a cat’s personality really does impact the relationship it will have with dogs.

    Well made article!

    • Hi Jose,

      Your story certainly tells us again that nothing is guaranteed. Sounds like your cat’s personality is definitely the cause or need to bug poor Alexa.  I agree, that it can be fun to watch at times, but yet somedays you just want a peaceful household.

      Thank you for sharing your dog and cat stories with me.  Hearing from other people about these stories always makes me smile.

      Coralie 

  4. Well what an interesting subject. Yeah it makes sense that the phrase that we always hear about fighting like cats and dogs could actually be one of those sayings that we don’t think about its true meaning. Thanks for clarifying that and I think what you are saying makes sense, that cats and dogs could get along.

    Maybe the saying could be revised to be they are fighting like humans and humans LOL because maybe humans play each other the most. But of course sayings are not usually that literal.

    I agree that it is sad that animals would be used for medical testing. Do you have other stuff on here about animal rights and that kind of thing? I think that is such an important subject to raise awareness about. I feel very strongly in favor of animal rights and treating animals very well.

    Thanks for putting all those great links on the sidebar. I clicked through each of them and one of them even had a chat window available for help. You have a very nice website and a nice perspective on animals. Thank you!

    • Hi Charles,

      Everytime I hear that saying about cats and dogs, it made me wonder why we say that.  Funny hey!

      I haven’t covered anymore on animals rights up to this point, but I am also interested in how animals are treated.  It is something I have a huge place in my heart for.  I will look into covering more.  Thank you for enjoying my post and website, it is a labour of love for sure.

      I will keep posting as much information and good stuff dedicated to pets as I can. I appreciate your comments.

      Thank you.

      Coralie 

  5. Greetings, Coralie and thanks for this “bring back some memories” post.

    Yes, for sure dogs and cats can live together.  We had two dogs and one cat living together for the better part of ten years and, yes, at the beginning of each relationship we had to put down some ground rules.  The #1 rule was  “NO, your not allowed to eat the cat!”.

    Now that would not have happened but it was different than what our furbaby was used to so we knew there would be an adjustment period.  At that time we had an Airdale and lasso cross.  It didn’t take long before they were getting along and the Airdale and the cat actually became pretty close as did the Lasso cross.  However, they both came to know who was actually in charge.

    When we lost the Airdale we got another small dog and the cat soon had him towing the line as well.  they still all got along for the most part but the relationship was better between the Lasso and cat.

    It only takes a few days to a couple of weeks for them to get used to each other and their routines and life goes on.

    As I said,  I really enjoyed reading this and relish the memories.

    Wayne

    • Hi Wayne,

      I am so glad that you enjoyed reading my post and that it brought back such good memories for you. 

      Anytime you have dogs and cats together can certainly be an adventure. Sounds like your story is similar.  Eventually they figure out that the cat is always the boss. LOl! 

      Thank you so much for sharing your past stories with me and for commenting on my post. 

      Coralie 

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