Updated: August 9, 2022 by Kristen Chapple
While most of us are prone to think that cats and dogs always fight each other, that’s not entirely true. Sure that may happen, as the phrase ‘Fighting like cats and dogs’ must have sprang from somewhere, but it doesn’t mean it happens all the time. So how do cats and dogs get along whenever they’re not fighting?
The simple answer to this question can be “just fine”, but let’s find out the intricate one. Studies show that what cartoons like Tom & Jerry taught us might not apply to every situation out there.
Can Cats and Dogs Get Along?
While the popular myth is that cats and dogs are sworn enemies, that’s not always the case. Sure, they are hardwired by nature to not get along since they’re both carnivores and predators and have different ways of interacting with the world around but most likely they will avoid each other more often than not.
Problems arise when they’re forced to cohabit, and that’s when we’re taking both home with us. Sure, cats and dogs may fight occasionally, but it doesn’t mean they can’t be trained to love and appreciate one another.
While it’s hard to give a clear answer to the general dilemma, we can tell you that in most households, cats get along with dogs just as well as with other cats. The studies we mentioned analyzed a particular situation and that’s when both the cat and the dog were pets living together in the same house.
How Do You Make Them Get Along?
There are some tips out there on how to actually make cats and dogs get along with each other when that doesn’t come naturally.
The first and most important part of a cat-dog relationship is the introduction. They need to be introduced to each other and that seems to work even better when the cat has less than six months old and the dog is under a year. Afterward, they’ll be like two best friends. It doesn’t guarantee there won’t be occasional chasing around the house, but they’ll be pals.
Another important thing to do is to teach self-control to the dog so that when he’s spotting the cat, he won’t chase her like crazy throughout the house.
What matters here a lot is both the cat’s and the dog’s personality. If for example, the dog is too playful – as they sometimes are – and the cat is too fearful or reserved, she might interpret the dog’s behavior as aggressive and act accordingly.
If you manage to get both of them to match their personalities a little bit more, that works wonders in the long term. With enough training, the studies show, these two animals can learn to understand each other’s body language and match their actions even when that language means the opposite thing to the other.