The truth about cats and dogs

The truth about cats and dogs

A recent study looked at the relationship between cats and dogs living in the same household, and the results might surprise you!

It’s a common misconception that canines and felines aren’t able to co-exist in the same household without conflict. Phrases such as “fight like cats and dogs” might be to blame for this. But the truth is, they actually tend to live together without more than an occasional hiss!

A new study published in the Journal of Veterinary Behavior assessed the feline-canine relationship by surveying pet parents, and discovered that most dogs and cats have a “friendly, mutual bond, which is recognizable through the use of affiliative behaviours, maintaining proximity and effective, non-aggressive communication between individuals.”

The study also revealed that:

  • Dogs and cats rarely share personal items such as toys and beds
  • They rarely groom each other
  • They tend to get along better when they’re exposed to the other species at an early age
  • Kitties are more likely to threaten dogs; observations of dogs threatening cats in the study were rare
  • Cats typically call the shots; a feline’s feelings toward the dog are a greater predictor of how well they’ll get along.

Since the number of cats and dogs kept together is increasing in many parts of the industrialized world, the authors recommend paying particular attention to the cat’s behaviour, along with the age of introduction, to encourage the best cat-dog relationships.