Cats and Dogs

Cats and dogs have different views on life. Can the two species live together peacefully?

By Tom Schreck | Posted: Fri Jun 1 00:00:00 PDT 2001

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"Try not to transfer your anxiety to the animals. They can easily pick it up," Wilbourn says.

There are plenty of circumstances when a new dog walks into a room and immediately becomes chums with the cat. Not something to bet on, but it does happen.

The two can reap wonderful benefits from sharing the same house without being best buddies.

The introduction of a cat can ease separation anxiety for a dog that doesn't like to be left alone. Both animals are certain to get more aerobic activity and stimulation as they bound about throughout the day. Their coordination and dexterity skills are honed. And, they won't be bored.

Maintaining a cat-dog household benefits you and, in a broader sense, your community, Johnson-Bennett says. Both animals will make better neighbors with other cats and dogs. "Cats and dogs are really good at compromise. A cat will make concessions to play with a dog, taking into consideration what dogs like to do," she says. "The dog, at the same time, learns to respect a cat's needs, such as territory. They really compromise a whole lot better than people do."

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Reader Comments

Jody    Phoenix, AZ

5/25/2012 12:27:08 AM

An excellent article. The experience I have with this topic comes from childhood. I had been given a black cat. He was about 8 months old when we acquired a German Shepherd pup. The two of them walked around each other for a while, but then they bonded and became the best of friends. My cat, Midnight, would ride on Gretchen's back even. I know cats and dogs can live harmoniously.

CatChannelEditor    Irvine, CA

4/6/2012 7:40:30 AM

Betty -- Did you click through the rest of this article? It offers good tips on introducing cats and dogs. Also, you say you just brought home your cat. Give your cat some time to adjust to the new home. This can take a while. For more information on cat behavior, click on the landing page for cat behaviorist Marilyn Krieger's articles: LINK

Betty    Woobine, MD

4/5/2012 6:06:08 PM

I just adopted a one year old Norweigan Forest Cat and have a two year old dog. The cat has stayed under the bed for a week now and the dog is going crazy and wants to play. Please help me adjust the two.

Jo    Fort Walton Beach, FL

1/11/2012 4:51:54 PM

I adopted a feral cat several years ago when I had a Lab. They bonded and got along well. After the Lab died, I adopted one, then 2 retired racing greyhounds, and I also foster greyhounds one at a time. My cat loves all of them! He goes for walks with us and when the dogs stop to sniff the ground, he gets right up into their faces and rubs all over them and purrs like crazy! He accepts each new dog as a member of the family. I just wonder what goes on in his little kitty mind? Is he a part of the pack, or allowing them to be a part of his family? He even puffed up and hissed violently when a strange dog ran up to my dogs on the street!

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