Tips On How To Make A Dog And Cat Become Friends

Are dogs and cats natural enemies? Yes, they are. Dogs and cats are two very different species and they see each other as potential prey. But this doesn’t mean that they can’t get along. In fact, many households have proven that dogs and cats can become best friends. Here are some tips on how to make a dog and a cat become acquainted.

Obedience training

When there is a problem between cats and dogs, it is usually caused by the dogs. This is because dogs have a higher prey instict. They will instinctively go chase after small and fluffy animals like rabbits and cats. This causes cats to fear dogs. One way to curb this unwanted behaviour is through obedience training. Your dog must to be taught that chasing cats is an unacceptable behaviour.

Teach your dog basic commands like ‘sit’, ‘stay’ and ‘down’. These commands will help you to handle your dog more easily during the interaction between your dog and your new pet cat. Moreover, obedience training also improves your communication with your dog and develop a trust bond between the two of you.


Allow interaction only under your supervision

You should allow interaction only under your supervision especially the first few weeks after your cat and dog have just met. This is to protect both your cat and dog. Your cat and dog may become aggressive and end up hurting one another when they are left alone.

‘Safe spot’ for cat

Prepare ‘safe spots’ where your cat can run to and hide from your dog whenever it feels threatened. Remember that your dog should not have access to these ‘safe spots’.

Typically, these ‘safe spots’ are usually on higher places such as on top of the refrigerator, book shelf and window perch. Apart from a ‘safe spot’, you also need to prepare different eating and resting spot for each of your pet. You should let them have their own territories because both dogs and cats are territorial animals.

cat shelf

Swap scents

While humans depend primarily on vision, animals like cats and dogs use both its smell and sight to assess their surroundings. Letting your cat and dog recognise and accept each others scents is an important process that they have to go through before they can get along.

There are some tricks to get them to get used to each others scents quickly. You can swap their bedding, or simply rub a towel on your cat and place it next to your dog, and vice versa. Hopefully, your cat and dog are able to get used each other scent in no time using these and cat bedding


The goal of desensitization is to reduce the reaction of your dog towards your cat through continuous exposure. Many dogs tend to get too excited when they first see a cat. Their overreaction could cause the cat to feel uneasy and make it difficult for your dog and cat to interact. A baby gate is one of the ways to archive desensitization.

A baby gate allows you to separate your dog and cat, but they still can view and sniff each other through the gate. If you notice your dog being too fixated on the cat, divert its attention by using toys or practice cues. Through desensitization, your dog will eventually lose its interest in the cat and probably won’t overreact when it sees the cat because it is already familiar with the cat’s presence.

dog meet cat thru baby gate

Let your cat go

If your cat tends to run away during the meeting with your dog, let it be. This means you cat is not ready for an interaction between a new dog. Give your cat more time. Do not try to force an interaction between your cat and dog as this could lead to a negative outcome.

Keep the situation positive

You should avoid scolding your dog in all circumstances. Imagine if you scold your dog every time it interacts with the cat, your dog might think that it’s the cat’s fault as to why it is getting scolded. This will increase the tension between your cat and dog. If your dog is being friendly towards the cat, reward and praise him. This will encourage your dog to continue to show a more positive behaviour towards the cat.

Go slow

If you are lucky, your cat and dog can become friends within a couple hours. But that won’t usually happen. It takes time for cats to adapt to the dogs and similarly for the dogs to learn how to behave around cats. Be patient and your cat and dog will get along eventually. It’s just a matter of time.

Dog Cat Playing