Furry family members share more than just the love of their pet parents, they experience a place of play, nourishment, and sanctuary under one roof. But do they tolerate one another?
Often in our culture we place cats and dogs opposite one another - a myth of natural-born enemies which has passed down generation to generation. Though as species of domesticated pets commonly and historically kept within the same vicinity of each other, conflicts are bound to occur. Dogs are relatively larger than cats, and have a tendency called a prey drive that leads them to chase smaller animals - especially if these smaller animals are running away from them. In turn, many cats will respond to a large, unfamiliar dog by choosing a flight response.
A friendly match-up depends on the individuality of each pet, along with shared social habits such as grooming and playing. Knowing your pets' personalities best will assure the right decisions when allowing them to interact. Cats enjoy high spaces and some time to themselves, so the use of cat perches in their environment allows them the chance to relax, observe, and feel secure instead of overly defensive. Certain breeds of dogs also have less of a prey drive and are therefore less likely to chase cats in their home. Just like with people, different personalities and circumstances will cause your pets to feel either like miserable roommates, or a happy family.
While many cats and dogs prefer to amicably respect the other, certainly there exists closely bonded friendships as well. So whether your cat and dog are well acquainted, or coming together for the first time, know that the potential for a furever friendship awaits!
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