Cats and Dogs Living Together: Can We All Just Get Along?

cats and dogs living together

My little Yorkie Poo, Bolt, loves people. He draws the line at other dogs and puts a bigger wedge between himself and cats. Bolt and cats don’t get along. This begs the proverbial question:  Can cats and dogs living together work? Will that cat become a snack for the dog? Will the dog be on the receiving end of some vicious kitty claws?

Sure, there are known “dog people” and “cat people,” but what if you like both cats and dogs? Can you successfully integrate these two within your home?

According to, a study was completed that involved observation of cats and dogs living in the same home. Observing just one cat and one dog in these multiple pet homes, they classified behaviors that included friendly, indifferent and aggressive.

Does It Automatically Mean War With Cats and Dogs Living Together?

In roughly 66% of the cases, the cats and dogs showed amicable tendencies towards the other animal. In about 25% of the cases, indifference ruled; and in the remaining 9%, aggression between the dog and the cat was observed.

Contributing factors included at what age the cats and the dogs were introduced. Those introduced at a young age were more likely to get along. For cats, this meant less than six months and for the dogs, less than a year.

How To Increase Chances For Success With Cats and Dogs Living Together

For a home with cats and dogs, or at least one of each, get the cat first. Conversely, if you obtain a dog from a rescue, try to find one that has previously lived with cats or at least find out if he is friendly towards cats.

Interestingly enough, this study revealed that cats and dogs do have a way of communicating with each other, but the signals between the two have mixed messages.  A wagging tail on a dog is indicative of friendship, but signals nervousness or impending aggression in a cat.

Cats and dogs can learn to read each other’s body language. Dogs in the study were observed learning to use nose-to-nose greetings with cats. This was more common if the dog and the cat were introduced at a young age.


Bolt is too set in his ways to make room for a cat in the household. He is King of his castle and will forever protect it from any other beings in the animal kingdom. However, the neighbor cat still creeps by on a regular basis. Bolt is just too short to see her through the windows!

Do you have cats and dogs living together?  What’s been your experience?  Please leave a comment and let us know, we’d love to hear from you!




Written by Ann Butenas

Ann Butenas

An internationally-recognized author and writer, Ann began her professional writing career at age 12 and began speaking while in college. She has been published thousands of times over the past three decades in all media forms, was former editor and publisher of KC Metro Woman magazine, and has also hosted three talk radio shows in the Kansas City area.