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How To Make Cats and Dogs Get Along? [8 Tips]

Updated by Sheryl on Oct 28, 2021

Cats and dogs are natural rivals. Making these furry creatures live under a single roof can be disastrous as both our cat and dog friends see each other as potential competitors. But that doesn't mean your fluffy pets have to act like sworn enemies all the time. Many felines and canines get along very well and become lifelong friends. (Yes, it's possible!)

In today's article, we will share some tips by experienced pet owners to help you get rid of the never-ending war between your fido and fluffy. But first, let's have a look at why do cats and dogs fight.

cat and dog
  • Why do cats and dogs fight
  • 8 Tips for getting cats and dogs living together happily
  • Final Thought

Most cats and dogs seem to hate each other. And the reason is pretty simple. Dogs are predators, while cats are prey. It is embedded in their mind that one species is food while the other is a threat. Your fluff buddies don't choose this behavior. It is a natural relationship between a predator and prey. That's why when you try to house these different species together, they wrestle with each other for food, personal space, and sometimes human attention. 

Although the conflict between a puppy and a kitten is natural, proper and timely strategies can help you improve the relationship between your pets.

Obedience training

Whenever there is a conflict between dogs and cats, the culprit is usually the dog. We are not saying that cats are not fussy, but generally, the canine's higher prey instincts cause troubles. Your dog may like to chase its fluffy feline sibling, considering it a game of dog and cat. But cats view this act as a threat to their safety, and so they fight back.

The best way to get rid of this unwanted behavior is obedience training. Your dog needs to learn that chasing a kitty even in a playful manner is unacceptable.

Teaching some basic commands like sit, down, and stay from the start will help handle your dog more easily during its interaction with a cat. Plus, obedience training is excellent for developing a bond of trust between the owner and the dog.

cat fights with dog

Take personality into account

Despite popular belief, some cat and dog breeds don't get along well. Therefore, it's essential to consider both pets' personalities and energy levels before making them live together. If you have an aggressive pup, it wouldn't be wise to bring a skittish cat home. On the other hand, an aging dog may not appreciate your decision to share his space with a noisy kitten.

If your pets don't end up being good friends, consider keeping them separated for a while. Also, if you are about to adopt a pet, complete your research and ask the previous owners about the pet's temperament.

Swap scents

Alright. This may seem a bit weird to some of you. But cats and dogs use their sense of smell and vision to navigate their surroundings. Letting your four-legged friends recognize each other's scent is a vital process that helps them accept each other.

You can follow our tips to make your pets get used to each other's scents.

  • Simply start with swapping their beds.
  • Rub a towel on your feline friend and placing it next to your pup.
  • Let both species trust their noses.

Use these tricks, and hopefully, your cats and dogs will get used to each other's scent in no time.

cat and dog

Prepare a separate spot for the cat

Cats use hideouts to be safe when they feel threatened. So, prepare multiple safe spots where your feline can hide from any approaching danger. Just make sure these "safe spots" are at higher places that are off-limits to the pooch.


Desensitization uses continuous exposure to reduce the reaction of your pup towards the new family member. Many fidos get too excited when they see a small fluffy cat. Their over-excitement may cause the cat to feel uncomfortable and scared. Such reactions make it difficult for owners to create and maintain a peaceful environment.

A baby gate is a widely accepted way to achieve desensitization. It separates your dog from the cat, but pets can see and sniff each other, which is great to make both species familiar with each other's presence.

separate cat from dog

Give your cat some freedom

Most cats get scared during their first interaction with the dog. If your cat tries to run away during the initial interaction, let it go. Do not force interaction on either of your pets, as it could lead to adverse outcomes. Just don't hurry, and things will sort out.

Keep the interactions positive

One of the biggest mistakes you can make is to scold your dog during its interaction with the kitty. Scolding a pup is unacceptable in all situations. But when you scold a dog in a cat's presents, the dog thinks that the cat is the reason behind your rude behavior. This gives rise to enmity between your feline and canine friends. Try to avoid such behaviors at all costs.

If your pets are friendly towards their new siblings, praise them and offer them some delicious treats. It will encourage your pets to show a more positive attitude towards the new family member.

Go slow

If you are lucky enough, your fuzzballs can befriend each other right after the first interaction. However, in most cases, pets require some time to adapt to the other animals. Give your pets their personal space and wait for their moves with patience. 

cat gets along with dog

If introduced properly, cats and dogs can get along. They are not mortal enemies, but they belong to different species. Canines are hunters. They like to hunt and chase everything that moves, including felines. This natural tendency can cause some problems, but with special training and socialization, both your pets can live in harmony. Just consider our suggestions. And soon, your cats and dogs will become the best pals ever.

Sheryl is an editor from iPetor, owns extensive pet care experience. As a professional writer, she can provide useful pet care tips for all "parents".
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