Written by Jennifer Evans, DVM

We ™ve all heard the saying ˜fighting like cats and dogs ™ but sometimes cats and dogs can be the best of friends!!  If raised together, dogs and cats are often great buddies; playing, sleeping and even eating together.  There is something quite profound about seeing a large pit bull snuggled up with a cat, they should be enemies yet they aren ™t.  Kind of makes you wonder what we should be capable of as a ˜more intelligent ™ species!

Baldwin (cat) and Bean (dog)

While it ™s true that some dogs just simply can ™t safely be around cats, many can be taught appropriate ˜cat manners. ™  The easiest way to start integrating the two species is either with a youngster of each or with an adult dog or cat that is used to the other species and a youngster who doesn ™t know they should be afraid.  An adult cat that runs unfortunately becomes a really fun game for a puppy and can actually become ˜prey ™ for adult dogs that don ™t know better.   Whenever introducing the two, always have the dog under control with a leash and have the cat ™s nails trimmed.  See how they do and progress from there.  Keeping the cat in a crate for short training periods and rewarding the dog when he ignores the cat or possibly squirting him with water if he ™s too fixated will sometimes help an adult dog learn how to peacefully co-exist with a cat.  Always be cautious when introducing new critters to each other and never leave them alone unsupervised until they have proven they can get along safely.   Sometimes it takes a while for them to become friends.

Rocky (cat) and Petey (dog)

Our office manager Lavella adopted her œchiweenie  from the shelter months ago and it took a while for her cat ˜Rocky ™ to accept the new addition, but in time he realized the benefits of having another four-legged buddy in the house.  The rewards of having a dog and cat that love each other are quite numerous, not the least of which includes really awesome photo ops!