Can Cats and Dogs Get Along?

June 7, 2011 | By | Comments (7)

Age-old question, but one that has particular resonance for me right now. You see, my brother’s back in town with his cat, and that’s added some complexity to family time given my Portuguese water dog and his attitude towards felines. Let’s just say that we had one near-crisis — or rather, standoff — when the two animals found themselves face-to-face a mere three feet apart. They were frozen in position. Before either one could blink, I grabbed the one with the leash and made him sit down.

Yesterday morning, we spotted not one but two cats over the course of our walk. I had only to feel the tension through the leash to suspect what Mr. Monkey had in mind.

dog sees cat in driveway

Monkey is transfixed by the unexpected sight of a cat down a long driveway

dog sees cat at corner store

Monkey realizes he's on the wrong side of the corner store's door

But does it have to be this way? As my cousin Karen would tell it, no. Her cat, who got there first, tolerated and even played with the new canine arrival, Cinnamon. As you can see from her amazing cat and dog video, taken on day 5 of the feline-canine cohabitation, this 6 pound reigning “Alpha Queen” thought nothing of taking on someone 4 times her size. She showed the newbie who was boss.

Occasionally, she would offer a kiss, and they would hang out together on the couch (note that she is in the superior position).

cat and dog on couch

Cat and Dog Couch Potatoes

Interestingly, the feline-canine cohabitation changed the feline-human interaction more than anything. Before Cinnamon arrived, Penny the cat was very affectionate, seeking and getting attention, snuggling with her peeps. When Cinnamon was around, Penny became aloof, which was attributed to her becoming more mature. But once Penny had the house and her peeps to herself, she reverted to her old affectionate ways.

What about you? Do you find that cats and dogs can get along?