Can Cats and Dogs Coexist: How to Introduce to each other?

Can cats and dogs coexist? Dogs and cats are pets that many families have at home. However, for many years it was believed that they could not be partners in the same household. A belief that, in reality, is false. Do How to present a dog and a cat?

Although these little life partners are not best friends by nature, it is not impossible to create a solid friendship between them.

Can Cats and Dogs Coexist?

Creating a friendship process between a dog and a cat should be done little by little. In these times, socialization is critical. Socialization will take care of adapting a dog or a cat to have a better coexistence under the same roof.

Socialization is a technique used for all pets established within the same household, but the most common is to practice this practice among animals known for years as “not very friendly,”; Like the dog and the cat.

Working with the stimuli and environments of a dog or cat can be a long process.

For this reason, starting at an early age is recommended. That is when they are puppies.

Educating a dog not to attack a cat or vice versa means managing the impulsive behaviors it may have in the presence of other species, hence the importance of socialization.

There are cases in which the dog’s education has not been possible since it is a puppy, so it is essential to follow a series of guidelines to help avoid home incidents.

Can Cats and Dogs Coexist

The Adopter must know the following:

  • The dog may not expectedly adapt to the cat. If this happens, a specialist should be consulted. These experts are the ethologists. They are intermediaries in introductions, adaptations and mediators in the arrival of new members in families.
  • Coexistence will not always be possible within a home where a dog and a cat live. On many occasions, the adopter’s good deeds may not be enough to create a family bond for the two animals. However, we should not lose hope, be patient and trust that a happy coexistence will be achieved in the end.

Note: It is common to hear people explain that a dog and a cat cannot have a stable relationship in a household.

Although the two species are different and their reactions vary depending on their actions, dogs can have a healthy coexistence with a cat.

The big key is that their adopters learn how to introduce them properly to become best friends.

The important thing is to follow the proper guidelines from the start of the relationship and introduction, as this will be what marks a prosperous future between pets.

Observation Period During Socialization

During the socialization process between the dog and the cat, it is necessary to observe them. This observation aims to study the behavior between them.

Situations of mistrust between the two may arise, and episodes of rivalry may arise, but there is no need to be afraid or to give up.

In these difficult times, although socializing may seem like an impossible challenge, the important thing is to stop the bad behavior and foster a positive approach again.

Note: A dog’s or cat’s instinct to chase an animal is a natural and expected behavior due to poor socialization.

However, it is not just that: it is perhaps a more typical dog instinct. Hence the great importance of maintaining observation throughout the socialization.

Moment of Presentation Between a Dog and a Cat

Presentation is the foundation of a successful relationship between a dog and a cat.

Set a Space for Each:

In the moments preceding the introduction between the dog and the cat, the adopter must establish the spaces each will use inside the house.

The spaces must be respected during the adaptation process.

Sometimes it can be a speedy process, but in other cases, it is essential to have much patience. To each his own space, with:

  • Bed.
  • Manger.
  • Drinker.
  • Toys.

The dog’s or cat’s utensils must be in their usual place before the new animal arrives. In this way, sudden changes in the animal will be avoided.

For example: If a dog is at home and he is used to looking for his toys in a specific place, they must be kept the same way.

Thus, the dog will not feel invaded in its usual space and adaptation with the cat is easier.

Space for the first meeting between the two:

The place where the presentation will be made is significant. It should be a safe space for both of you. If a cat is the family’s newest member, ideally, he should have a place where he can take refuge in case the dog chases him.

It would be a great help for the cat to have unique shelves at home for him to climb on. It is also advisable to have scratchers to make it feel better and more comfortable.

The first meeting could be difficult or the best for both animals.

In any case, it is advisable to make the presentation with the dog attached to its chain. This will ensure that he will not attack the cat just by looking at it.

The dog’s reaction may be most brutal upon the first encounter, but both can be alert and frightened or upset and aggressive. Remember that the leash should not be tight because it can hurt the dog. The recommendation to tie it is only as a precaution.

Dogs and Cats should never be left alone in a room:

When the process begins, where the two get to know each other, they should not be left alone at any time, especially in the same space.

The adopter must always be present to avoid any possible aggression.

Reward Good Behavior:

Although they may have unpleasant encounters with their adopters, there will surely be situations where the two animals can live together very well.

When this happens, it will be essential to reward them for their excellent behavior.

Both Animals must be Calm

Before the first contact, the two animals must be calm and serene.

Likewise, it is necessary to try that the animals are accompanied by a person (each of them) so that it is easier to control the situation in the event of a problem.

Voluntary Approach:

Forcing physical proximity between dog and cat can be detrimental to their coexistence. A big mistake is to force a link closer together. Acting this way will only hurt each other.

The most responsible thing on the part of the adopter is to let the two decide when making a move.

Some Steps to Follow in the Presentation

  1. Before the cat comes home, put the dog in a room where he feels comfortable and safe.
  2. Once the cat is home, let the dog out and smell every corner carefully. It will be easier for you to pick up the cat’s scent and not be surprised when you find it later.
  3. Once a reasonable amount of time has elapsed, about an hour, it will be time for the presentation. The adopter must take the cat in his arms and let the dog sniff it. If you notice the dog attacking, growling and trying to attack the cat, you should firmly say “NO.”

Note: This process is recommended if the dog is a new family member.

Take into account:

  • If the cat is alert, that is normal. However, if you notice that he is starting to have a threatening posture, putting his ears back and his hair on end, it is best to get the dog out of the room.
  • When the dog looks intently at the cat, stands still, and from time to time begins to growl and show its teeth, it gives a signal that it is about to attack.

Important: Before a cat or a dog arrives at home, it is essential to remember that they are different individuals. Likewise, if possible, the adaptation will be much better if both are puppies, so the socialization process is less complex.

can cats and dogs coexist

If I have a Dog, Can I Adopt a Cat?

Before adopting a cat, it is essential to consider certain factors.

Adopting a kitten seems like a perfect thing. However, if the family has a dog, the cat might not fit in. Usually, the cat adapts, but in certain situations, it does not. 

It is not recommended to adopt a cat if:

  • The cat is over 3 years old.
  • At home, there is a hunting dog or Nordic breed.
  • There is a pregnant dog at home.
  • It is an aggressive or destructive feline.

If all the mentioned situations are excluded, the possibility of a successful coexistence and relationship between the two animals will be very high.

Reasons why a cat might attack a dog

The presence of a cat in a home where a dog already lives does not necessarily have to create a feeling of discomfort or aggressive behavior in the dog.

It is also not surprising that this can happen since cats are animals that can be easily upset when they suddenly change their environment.

The cat’s character will also depend significantly on its difficulties in adapting.

A cat that enters the house can attack the dog for several reasons:

Lack of socialization with dogs:

Adopting an adult cat could be the reason for their aggressive behavior towards a dog. Indeed when he was a baby cat, he never had contact with one.

Had a bad experience with a dog:

When the cat is rescued from the streets, it is highly likely to have had negative encounters with stray dogs. This makes a living with one can be very difficult.

The dog at home does not respect the limits of the feline:

If the dog is very playful, he will not be able to recognize the warnings that the cat sends him to stop bothering him or to leave. The cat’s defense mechanism will be scratching and biting.

Adopters need to take into account that cats show aggression when they are going through situations that are traumatic or stressful for them.

This widespread reality could trigger aggressive behavior towards the dog.

In these cases, it is essential to have the advice of an expert.

Behavioral specialists will be able to determine why the cat is aggressive towards the dog and what the solutions to the problem may be.


Integrating the new family member is undoubtedly a new experience for everyone in the house. The problem arises when an introduction has to be made to an animal already living in the home.

This could be a problem with a quick fix due to adaptation, but it is usually not that simple when these animals are dogs and cats in some cases.

The friendship between a dog and a cat does not have to be as many people define it. Although it can be a more complex process of adaptation than with another pet, a dog and a cat can be excellent companions at home and good friends for life.

An example of a good encounter is that, uh, a half-breed dog born in a home surrounded by cats, who met an amiable stray cat at one year, without lousy experience with dogs.

Dogs and cats can be life partners, and they can also have some differences, but in the end, the important thing is to achieve good cohabitation for the whole family’s good.

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