Legend has it that cats and dogs are natural enemies. Like water and fire, the two cannot exist together. While there may be some truth to this stereotype, it’s not always the case. Cats and dogs can easily get along and even be friendly with one another when they’re introduced properly.

The Relationship Between Cats and Dogs

Unfortunately, there is not much research that exists on the relationship between cats and dogs. However, the Journal of Veterinary Behavior that tried to provide an explanation in one study. The study found that, on average, dogs and cats live amicably, that is, in a relationship characterized by a bond and similar behaviors with little aggression. However, according to the study, amicable does not necessarily mean a close relationship.

Interestingly, the study also found that aggression is more likely to come from the cat. One of the theories for this behavior is that cats are the more likely to grow uncomfortable around dogs, especially if dogs threaten their comfort. Another theory is that dogs have been human pets longer than cats, which would mean that cats are more likely to grow uncomfortable around other species.

On another level, the whole research is most likely biased based on what the owner thinks about what entails a comfortable relationship. Most people probably deemed the relationship between cats and dogs as comfortable or uncomfortable depending on which animal initiated the confrontations. Oftentimes, a cat initiating a fight was seen as less aggressive as a cat is not able to do that much damage to a dog. If the dog, which is usually bigger than a cat, initiates a confrontation, it is seen as much more dangerous.

Tips on Helping Your Dog and Cat Get Along

  • Give proper training to your dog such that it does not make sudden movements every time something happens. Sudden movements around cats will most likely lead to a confrontation.
  • If you are adopting a new dog, go for a dog that is calm and collected even when stimuli changes suddenly.
  • Most people see success in the relationship between the two if both of them are raised together from an early age. While young, it is easier for them to accept something new compared to when they are adults.
  • If putting them together at a young age is not possible, then you should schedule their meeting at a happy time like mealtime while introducing them as adults.
  • Separate your cat and dog toys and make sure the cat gets its personal space.