Can a Dog Live with a Cat?

Owners of a cat or a dog sometimes face a difficult situation, when irreconcilable by common standards enemies appear in the house. What to do and how help the pets live in peace and, in general, could cats and dogs get along in the same apartment?

Traditionally, it is believed that these two species of animals cannot live together peacefully. Basically, they hate each other. The most striking example is how a dog furiously chases a cat outdoors or a cat immediately strains when it notices a dog. This happens in natural conditions, but the naturally irreconcilable enemies have other problems when they have one home.

Many dogs and cats can coexist happily, even developing tight bonds that allow them to even sleep together and groom one another. But not all dogs and cats can live together; this is not always the case.

Dogs may make some cats extremely anxious, and even a calm dog may worry your cat to the point that their well-being is jeopardized. Similar to how certain dogs, because of their extreme predatory instinct, cannot be left around cats at all.

It is probably not a good idea for your dog and the cat to live together if your dog constantly displays indications of being over-excited about cats and cannot be calmed down. 

Maintain constant separation between your dog and cat and get guidance from an experienced behaviorist if you find yourself sharing your home with a dog and a cat that is having trouble getting along. 

Main Stumbling Blocks

Struggle for the Owner’s Attention

A cat walks by itself, many people heard this expression. It is true that a cat very seldom seeks a human attention preferring to be busy with its own affairs. This behavior is kept until the moment when a dog appears in the house. The fierce struggle begins for the attention of all family members. This is a kind of competition called “who will run to the door faster and meet the owner”. If the master strokes one pet, the other will immediately show aggression.

Those who are going to have a cat and a dog in the same house should remember how jealous animals are. Try to give the same amount of attention to both pets. You will prevent hostilities between them in this way.


You know how a cat eats. If the cat is not hungry, it will not eat all food and leave it for later to return to the bowl during the day. The dog has exactly the opposite attitude to the food. It will eat everything in the bowl and ask for a supplement.

When coexisting in one space with the dog, the cat will have to rebuild its gourmet habits. The constant return to the bowl during the day will not have the desired result, since the dog, after eating its food, will also take the cat’s portion. Remember that overeating is harmful for the dogs. Bearing in mind that a certain amount of cat’s food will be eaten by the dog, make sure that both pets are full without overeating.

Fight for the Place

It is unlikely that you will be able to avoid the action among the pets named “who is master of the house”. The fight will be for any place in the house, even for the place on your knees. Therefore, be ready to the fact that while your pets get along together, there is no peace in your house.

If you do not yet have any pets but you want to have both, then it’s worth taking a kitten and a puppy and not grown-up pets. In this way, it will be easier for them to get used to each other and none of them will feel that someone else has taken its place in the house.

Grown-Up Pets

A grown-up dog can easily accept a small kitten. But if you have a hunting dog, it will consider the kitty as a prey. The mature cat will react positively to the puppy. It may awake the mother’s instinct. A dog raised by cats is a known situation, but when you got 2 dogs and a cat and if they are grown-up, it is a big problem.

As soon as pets understand that they cannot be afraid of each other, there will be no reasons for quarrels. After all, the cats get accustomed to the territory and the dogs get used to the owner. Just leave for the cat a piece of its personal space where it can hide from the dog’s society.

If you already have a grown-up cat or dog, most likely it will dislike the newcomer. Think twice before getting a new pet to avoid aggression. When the situation is it is, scrutinize a couple of books about dogs and cats, be patient, and do not stay away. Raising cats and dogs together, you have to become a leader of your pack.

Cat and a dog living together

Preparing to meet

Introductions between new and existing pets should be managed and gradual if you are bringing a new dog or cat into your home. Before attempting to introduce your animals to one another, consider the following excellent advice.

Scent swapping

Both dogs and cats rely heavily on scent as a means of communication. Before you bring your new family member home, use it to socialize your dogs with one another. Here is how.

  • Request a blanket or toy that has the scent of your new pet on it. Put it in the center of the floor so that your house pet may explore it at their leisure.
  • Give a blanket or toy that has the scent of your precious pet to the person caring for your new animal so they may do the same. 
  • After that, you may continue to “swap scents” by switching out different bedding items for the first week or two after bringing your new pet home. Continue until there are no indications that your animals are offended by one another’s odors, such as the cat avoiding the objects.

Create individual areas

For each pet, create a core area where they can feel safe eating, drinking, sleeping, and using the restroom. Ensure that neither can use any of their resources without interacting with the other. Before bringing your new pet home, make sure your current cat or dog is at ease spending time in their favorite spot.

Use physical barriers

Make a strategy to keep your dogs apart, at least temporarily, using physical barriers like baby gates or closed doors. Dogs must be prevented from engaging in the behavior of chasing cats since chasing is tremendously gratifying for dogs. Never put your dog and cat in the same room together. If they do feel endangered, they should also have access to escape routes. 

Safe introductions

The introduction of your dog and cat may now begin gradually, but there are two crucial considerations to make.

Keep your pets separate 

If you are not there to supervise them and praise excellent behavior, your cat and dog should be kept apart. Even though, keeping a physical barrier between your dogs is a smart idea. Alternatively, until you are certain that they are at ease and calm around one another, you may keep your dog on a leash (or, better, a house-training line).

Always go at your cat’s pace

Because your cat is smaller and more fragile than you are, introductions should always be made at their rate. If they feel the necessity, they should always be allowed to leave without difficulty. Never put your cat in a restrain only to meet your dog. Keep direct control of your dog and praise him or her for being calm around your cat if your cat decides to approach your dog. With practice, both your cat and your dog should be able to remain composed and focused on you when they are around each other. Do not reprimand your dog if they try to pursue your cat or becomes overly enthusiastic in their company. Simply move them farther away or out of your line of sight, then establish contact more slowly. If your cat shows threatening behavior to your dog, even if the dog is quiet and you have successfully switched fragrances, keep them apart. Consult a certified behaviorist for advice.

No alone time

 A dog and cat should not be left alone together unless you are certain that they get along. You could regret it if you leave when they are still getting to know one another. The dog or cat could get scratched, bit, or experience other harm. Unsupervised interactions like that might cause an animal such severe stress that he is forever scared of other animals, even if there are no obvious scars.

Raise them together

Simply raising them together is one of the greatest methods to encourage cat and dog coexistence. Because puppies are less self-assured and easier to teach than dogs, they are more inclined to let their feline friends take the lead in the home. This is not always doable, so continue reading if you have to cope with introducing mature cats and dogs.

Keeping the peace

There are many things you can do to make your cat and dog’s lives as joyful as possible and to aid in their interplay once you have successfully introduced the two animals. Maintain a central location for your cat where they can feed, rest, drink, play, and relieve themselves away from your dog.

For your cat to wander about without having to pass your dog at ground level, you need to provide them with a lot of vertical space. It works well to have things like empty shelves or ledges to leap out of. Reward your dog whenever it behaves calmly near your cat. 

Do not reprimand your dog for acting improperly near your cat. This will simply confuse them and could cause them to associate with the cat negatively, which might worsen their behavior. Keep them apart if you cannot yet trust them to be near your cat or put your dog on a lead to stop chasing. Keep working on teaching your dog to behave calmly around your cat and ask for help if necessary.  Keep your dog intellectually and physically active since a tired dog is more likely to be calm around your cat.