Fluffy and Fido are the most popular pets here in the U.S., respectively. Many people are all-in for one or the other, and are dog people or cat people. There are also many households that have a mix of both. While dogs and cats have had a rather rocky relationship over the years, they can cohabitate peacefully. They often reach a truce, and mostly ignore each other. In some cases, they even become best buddies! However, that isn’t guaranteed. Sometimes cats and dogs fight like, well, cats and dogs. A local Dawsonville, GA veterinarian offers some tips on keeping the peace in this article.


Is It Okay To Have Both A Dog And A Cat? 

That really depends on the dog and the cat. Fido’s breed, age, size, and temperament are all significant here. Some dogs have a very strong natural prey drive. This doesn’t only make for unhappy roommates: it can actually be dangerous. Remember that, in the wild, dogs survive by hunting small animals. Cats can sometimes trigger that predatory instinct. 

Sometimes cats are indeed the bullies here. However, while Fluffy’s sharp claws and teeth can definitely inflict some damage, the cat is generally at much greater risk. 

Will My Dog And My Dog Eventually Get Along?


This varies, depending on the ages, temperaments, sizes, and histories of both pets. Fido and Fluffy may be wary and uneasy about each other at first but eventually learn to get along.


What Can I Do To Stop My Dog And Cat From Fighting?


There is no single foolproof step you can take. However, there are some things you definitely don’t want to do. The main one? Never yell at or strike your dog if he’s gone after your cat. You can—and should—reprimand him verbally, but don’t punish him or do anything that will scare or anger him. That may make matters worse. Fido may start associating the cat with being punished, which won’t make him any more fond of her. 


If your pets are fighting, immediately separate them. Then, go back to square one and reintroduce them. 

make sure both (or all) of your pets are getting enough exercise and play time. keep Fluffy’s toys in a spot Fido can’t reach: many cat toys can be choking hazards for dogs.

How Long Does It Take Dogs And Cats To Be Friends?


Cats are very much creatures of habit, and tend to adapt to major changes very slowly. It could take Fluffy as much as a year to get accustomed to having a canine roommate. This time frame will somewhat vary: if your feline buddy is already used to being around dogs, it may not take very long at all.


How Do I Protect My Cat From My Dog? 

This starts with choosing the right dog. We can’t stress that enough!

Aside from that, give Fluffy a few places to retreat to, where Fido can’t reach her. Ideally, your kitty should have a safe space in every room. A spot under a bed or behind a couch may also work. Kitty condos are another option. Vertical space is helpful here. Cat shelves or a cat tower with an enclosed upper level are both good choices. Your feline pal should be able to get to food, water, and a litterbox without having to come in contact with Fido. 

Keep in mind that, while Fido is usually the greater threat, he isn’t always the instigator. Fluffy can—and does—pick fights with her furry roommate. 

How Do I Introduce Dogs And Cats? 

Go slowly here: trying to reverse or undo the damage of a bad first meeting can be quite challenging! 

You really can’t throw dogs and cats into a room together and hope for the best. You need to ease them into things. 

Put your pets in separate areas at first. The newer pet should be kept in a separate area at first. Provide all of the necessities—food, water, toys, bedding—and visit frequently, but give them a few days to settle in. This will also help them adjust to their new environment.

Over the next few days, your pets will probably start sniffing around the door. This will help them get used to each other’s scents. Feed them on opposite sides of the door to help build positive associations. 

When both pets seem to have accepted each other’s presence, you can let them meet. Take this slowly. One thing you can do is bring your cat out in a carrier. Or, let them meet through a baby gate. 

When you feel ready, let them meet face-to-face. Keep Fido leashed for this interaction. Pay close attention to how they act. It’s normal for them to be a little excitable at this point, but that should taper off steadily. If they fight, separate them and start over.

How Can You Tell If A Dog And Cat Will Get Along? 

This should be determined before you bring your new pet home. If you’re adopting a shelter dog, choose one that has been evaluated as good with cats. Adopting a puppy? Do some breed research, and avoid breeds that have a strong prey drive. 

It’s also important to pick pets with matching personalities. You’ll likely have a better chance of success if both of your pets are couch potatoes. It may help if they are both young. However, age won’t override prey drive in many dogs.

Age also factors in. Dogs are often more tolerant of kittens. It’s always cute seeing a pup patiently letting a tiny furball pounce on his tail, or acting as a giant mattress for a sleepy kitten. 

Always prioritize safety. If you know or suspect that your dog may attack or harm your cat, don’t proceed. 

Here are a few tips:

Make Sure Your Dog Is Trained

Training is also key. Make sure your canine buddy knows and obeys basic commands, such as Sit, Stay, Come, and Lay Down. Ask your Dawsonville, GA veterinarian for advice on how to incorporate ‘Leave The Kitty Alone’ into Fido’s pal’s training regimen.

Use Good Feeding Practices

Tussles over food are a common source of tension. You may need to take a few steps to help things go smoothly. Feeding Fluffy in an area Fido can’t reach is one option. 

Get A Professional Opinion

You may want to reach out for some professional advice. Ask your Dawsonville, GA vet for advice on this.

What If Your Dog And Cat Don’t Get Along?


There are cases where you can do everything right, from selecting the right match to carefully introducing your pets to providing everything they need, but still end up with a war on your hands. Your furry friends’ safety should always be paramount. In some cases, the only safe option is to rehome one of the pets. This should always be a last resort, but it’s definitely a better option than having one of your animal friends injured. 

Conclusion: While dogs and cats may not always become best buddies, they often do learn to cohabitate peacefully. Choosing the right match and using proper safety measures can help reduce the chances of friction. 

Do you have questions about your cat’s health or care? Contact us, your Dawsonville, GA pet hospital, today!