Considering that dog and cat adoption in Australia is among the highest in the world, many are opting to enjoy the best of both worlds by keeping both family cat and dog.

But how can we give our dogs the best chance of coexistence? Follow our helpful guide below to help your cat coexist happily with dogs.

Do Dogs And Cats Really Get Along

A vast number of cats can coexist peacefully with a dog if they are provided time to get to know each other. If you raise your dogs and cats together, they will usually learn to tolerate each other right away, and some cats and dogs grow to be true friends, even playing and napping together. In cases where a dog already lives in the house and a new puppy or kitten is being introduced, extra care must be taken.

Things to Consider Before Having Family Cat And Dog

Before you bring a new furry friend into your home, there are a few things you should think about.

a) Age

Puppy and kitten: Puppy and kitten who grow up together are more likely to have a close bond. If you have a kitten and wish to acquire a dog as a new friend, consider getting a puppy rather than an older dog, and vice versa.

cats and dogs

Puppy with adult cat: A well-socialised adult cat should have no problems with a puppy. On the other hand, a lively and playful puppy may bother the adult cat.

Kitten and adult dog: Kittens, like puppies, are fearless and lively. As a result, they get along well with adult dogs. The issue is that kittens are more vulnerable than adult cats. During the encounter, adult dogs may inadvertently injure the kitten. It is recommended that the tiny kitten be kept isolated from the adult dog and that they only interact after the kitten is fully grown. If you allow them to interact, ensure that all of their interactions are under your watch.

Adult cat and dog: There is a potential that two sound civilised adult cats and dogs can become buddies quickly. All you have to do is correctly introduce them to each other.

cats and dogs

b) Who was the first one?

When introducing new fluffy family members to your pets, make sure your cat or dog is ready to meet the new family member who is not of the same species as it is. It makes no difference whether pets came first; what matters is that they are at ease.

cats and dogs

c) Compatibility

The problem with compatibility is that either the dog or the cat is too lively. As a result, the most crucial factor in selecting a new pet cat or dog is matching personalities with the existing pet. For example, if you have an active and playful dog, you might consider obtaining a cat with similar characteristics.

Want Dogs And Cats Together? Plan Your Budget First

In addition to purchasing food, litter boxes, leashes, toys, and other necessities, you must pay for expected (and unexpected) veterinarian expenditures.

According to the Australian Veterinary Association (AVA), on average, dog owners spend more than $25,000 throughout their pet's life. In comparison, cat owners will spend around $880 per year, in addition to the initial costs during their first year, although this is highly dependent on their age and breed.

While these figures include all expenditures connected with owning and caring for a cat and do not include vet visits, owners should budget several hundred dollars each year for regular checkups and vaccines.

cats and dogs

An average dog or cat medical checkup could cost between $50 and $100, depending on your pet's age and whether they have any health issues. Then there's the matter of the cost of routine vaccines. According to an AVA study, the average price of vaccines for an adult animal will be roughly $80–$90 yearly. Vaccinations for pups cost approximately $170–$250, and immunizations for kittens cost roughly $170–$200 because the initial course of doses given to a puppy or kitten comprises many vaccinations to protect them effectively.

While pet insurance can help cover a percentage of the costs of injuries and illnesses, not all policies cover routine health checkups and immunisation sessions. Make sure to read the policy document thoroughly to understand all of the coverage and exclusions.

Keeping this in mind, it's a good idea to create a separate budget for each animal's care bills to ensure you're financially prepared to meet both demands.

Change Home Arrangements Before Introducing Dogs And Cats Together

Family cats and dogs are great stress busters. You may need to make physical alterations to your living environment to assist your cat or dog in acclimating to their new roommate.

In some circumstances, you may want to designate specific play spaces for your pets. For example, even the most oblivious pets might be thrown off by the arrival of a new family member.

Consider any changes you'll need to make to accommodate your new pet, such as shifting the litter box or food dish or adding more hiding spots and making them before bringing your new [pet] home.

cats and dogs

Cats enjoy routines, so prepare them ahead of time for any changes that occur with bringing a dog home, such as a new feeding schedule or rearranged furnishings.

Both dogs and cats require their area to unwind. Most cats and dogs, like people, enjoy a combination of socialising and alone time... make sure to provide each animal with a private room to rest and enjoy quiet time. A helpful trick is using baby gates to separate each pet, giving the new pet solitude and space to settle in.

They must be fed in different regions. The bowls of your pets should not be placed too close together. Many dogs can become quite protective of their food, which is thought to be instinctual because animals in the wild compete for food to survive. As a result, if another animal approaches them while eating, some dogs may hide their food or get hostile. You can avoid this by providing separate feeding areas for each pet.

Dog Breeds That Go Along WIth Cats

It's important to note, however, that the dispositions of these dog breed groupings are generalisations; there are many breeds within each category that can make terrific furry siblings! Examine these eleven canine breeds that get along exceptionally well with cats. Remember that the dog and cat's personalities have a role in the connection.

Golden Retriever

Golden Retrievers are one of the most fantastic dogs for cats, and the epithet "golden" describes this traditional breed well. Golden Retrievers are gentle and sensitive, and they willingly accept cats as family members. However, this dog breed should be trained early on not to chase after the feline. Once completed, the cheerful Golden Retriever and cat will be a fantastic match. Furthermore, this dog breed is naturally friendly to other people and pets!

cats and dogs together

Labrador Retriever

The vivacious Labrador Retriever, or "Lab," is a lover, not a fighter. They will gladly accept a cat into their group of friends. In addition to befriending your cat, the Lab is a gentle giant who will make an excellent companion for your youngsters. Though Labs are not jealous and happy to share their space with the cat, the cat must be willing to share its space with the dog.


The friendly Beagle loves feline company, possibly because it was bred to hunt in groups. As a result, it considers a cat sibling to be a group member. Stick to one Beagle; when these dogs are together, they may develop a "pack mentality" and are more inclined to team up on the cat, according to BeaglePro. The friendly qualities of beagles make them a joy to the family and other people and animals.


A Pug is a friendly breed and another dog that gets along well with cats. They often become fast friends if a cat allows a Pug to join their realm. Because Pugs enjoy being the centre of attention, the kitten and Pug can bond and play while the humans are away. Furthermore, because this dog breed enjoys resting, you won't have to worry about them chasing your cat. Pugs have a gentle temperament and are usually safe around small animals such as guinea pigs.

cats & dogs

Bichon Frise

Bichon Frises have a cheerful and engaging disposition, making them excellent siblings and playmates for cats. However, the outgoing personality of the Bichon Frise may be too much for a cat who prefers to be left alone. As a result, any cat that tolerates (or participates in) its endearing antics will be accepted and befriended by this sweet dog breed!

Shetland Sheepdog

Despite being a member of the Herding Group, the Shetland Sheepdog, or "Sheltie," is cat friendly. Shetland Sheepdogs are a fantastic choice for cat parents because of their gentle temperament, high trainability, and friendly demeanour. Furthermore, Shelties tend to bark when bored, so having a kitten sibling might help keep them company and reduce this tendency!

Basset Hound

Although the Basset Hound is a natural hunter, it prefers to hunt for food rather than the cat. While training, Basset Hounds can be stubborn, but their overall laid-back attitude makes them friendly to other animals, even cats. Not to mention that the Basset Hound's relaxed demeanour often invites the cat to cuddle up next to their fuzzy sibling!


All three Poodle sizes make ideal feline companions. Toy Poodles enjoy playing with cats, Miniatures tolerate them, and Standards ignore them. This dog breed is loyal to its family, and its protective instinct also extends to the cat! The lively Poodle behaves best when it has enough activity; thus, the bond between the Poodle and cat can develop with daily walks and plays.

cats and dogs


The Maltese are bound to be kind to the cat, primarily as this laid-back dog breed is often focused on laying on the couch rather than interfering with the cat's business. On the other hand, the cat can take advantage of the Maltese's sweet and loving attitude. These two can coexist if the cat agrees not to tease the Maltese by messing with its long hair. As a result, keep a close eye on your kitty when introducing it to your Maltese, and they will get along just fine!

Boston Terrier

The Boston Terrier, or "Boston," is an exception to the rule regarding terriers and cats. Although Bostons may chase the cat, it is mainly for amusement rather than prey drive. The Boston Terrier is kind to cats as well as other animals.

Along with the list above, additional examples of the best dogs for cats include:  

  • Boxers 
  • Bernese Mountain Dogs 
  • Cavalier King Charles Spaniels 
  • Irish Setters
  • Newfoundlands
  • Pekingese
  • Pomeranians
  • Cocker Spaniels

Cat Breeds That Go Along With Dogs

Cat breeds, like dogs, have distinct personality qualities that may make them more inclined to tolerate a dog housemate. Here are several dog-friendly cat breeds and their distinguishing characteristics: 

American Shorthair — Playful, easygoing, and self-assured

Japanese Bobtail — Intelligent, lively, and sweet

Maine Coon — Gentle, gregarious, and affectionate

British Shorthair — Easygoing, loyal, and self-sufficient

Abyssinian — Inquisitive, energetic, and caring

cats and dogs

Instead of having pets that fight, such as cats and dogs, it is possible to have fuzzy siblings who coexist happily or even become pals. It all comes down to proper introductions, understanding dog and cat peacemaking dos and don'ts, and determining which dog, and cat breeds are likely to be nice to each other and fit into your lifestyle. You may soon notice your puppy and cat bonding and become the proud pet parent of two lovely best fuzzy buddies. After all, who can resist a dog and cat team?

When You First Bring Your New Dog or Puppy Home

Your cat should be in their preferred room with their bedding, drink, food, and litter when you welcome your dog home. Then, confine your dog to a room with soft bedding, fresh water, and a tasty treat after they've had a chance to wander the house. Next, allow your cat to roam the house and grow acquainted with your dog's scent while your dog settles down. Repeat this process over the next few days, giving each animal a turn to access the entire house without ever facing one another. While waiting, begin basic training with your dog or puppy to provide some leverage when it comes time to meet your cat with the new pet.

cats and dogs

Crate training your dog or puppy has many advantages, but especially in this circumstance, it will make the introductions easier and safer. If feasible, place the crate (or your dog's specific location if there is no crate) away from your cat's usual feeding/drinking/toileting/sleeping quarters and your cat's access to their enclosure or the outside (e.g., their cat flap).

Introducing Your New Dog or Puppy to Your Cat

When you're ready, introduce your dog and cat when your dog is at their most relaxed. You might want to take them for a long walk first. Use a room where your cat may easily escape to a safe location for the first introduction.

If your dog or puppy is in a crate, you can distract them with a toy before bringing your cat into the room. Never push interactions; instead, while your dog/puppy is in the same room, lavish your cat with attention and positive experiences such as brushing, playing, and rewards. Allow the cat to become accustomed to the dog's presence and vice versa.

cats and dogs together

Once your cat and dog appear at ease in the same room, you can take your dog or puppy out of the crate on a leash. If you cannot use a crate for the introductions, begin with this step. While the cat is in the room, keep your dog on a leash next to you and promote calm behaviour with praise and food. If feasible, have another person accompany you during this time so that each animal can be complimented and rewarded simultaneously. If your dog becomes very excited during the introduction, remove them from the room. Do this several times a day, keeping meetings brief to reduce stress.

Allow the cat to choose whether or not to approach the dog/puppy. They may hiss or growl, but if they are not forced to interact, they are unlikely to advance, and if they do, you may defend your dog or puppy from any violent advances. Just ensure you have an inert, safe item (like a large cushion) between you and the dog, puppy, and cat in case the worst happens!

Be patient; it will most likely take a few weeks of having your dog or puppy on leash with the cat around before everyone is comfortable enough to attempt the dog/puppy off-leash. These interactions should be continuously monitored. There may be some hissing and tail swishing initially, but this should subside after a few days. Keep an eye on both animals and never reprimand either of them for aggressive behaviour because this will create a negative experience connected with the presence of the other animal and will be counter-productive.

cats & dogs

When you're ready to let your dog off the leash, make sure your cat has an accessible escape path — choose a room with elevated platforms, such as a multi-tiered scratching post tower, high window sills, or bookcases. Never leave your pets unattended, and take things gently, allowing your pets to become acquainted with each other at their speed.

When introducing the dog/puppy, make sure your cat receives a lot of particular attention from you. Do not leave your animals alone unless you are convinced that they tolerate each other, that the dog/puppy is not chasing the cat, and that they are all safe. If you're not sure, keep an eye on them when you're at home and physically separate them when you're not. Even if you feel comfortable leaving the two unsupervised, the cat should ALWAYS have a secure place to return to (an area the dog cannot get, such as elevated platforms).

Please keep in mind that introducing a dog to a cat that has never been around dogs can be a stressful experience, and many cats (if they are allowed full access outside and have the option to) may leave home for a while. This is quite alarming, so do everything you can to ensure that the introductions are done as gently and cautiously as possible and that the cat always has safe and secure locations in the house away from the dog.

cats & Dogs

Remember that your dogs could never be best buddies. Hopefully, they will learn to tolerate one another and live peacefully in the same house. Even if cats do not enjoy the pet dog, in the long run, they may be able to coexist in relative peace by searching out their territory and spending most of their time apart. Pets are generally able to strike a balance and share their area. Access to different places where they can go alone can help both animals feel secure and happy. Feeding the cat and dog separately is also crucial, ensuring that your cat has a discrete potty place and a safe sleeping spot.

If your attempts at introduction fail, or if either animal appears nervous or disturbed, it may be prudent to seek expert assistance from a skilled behaviourist.

Dry Paws Products That Can Make It Easy for You

Find all the top puppy training supplies, accident prevention supplies, and accessories your pet requires to live a happy and healthy life. From puppies to seniors, we have a lovely selection of high-quality dog goods for every size, age, and breed.

Pet Mesh Gate

When your dog and cat are friendly but not yet officially introduced, you can use a mesh gate to keep them apart. They can see and smell each other through the barrier. Look no further than Dry Paws for a long-lasting and dependable Mesh Gate.

dog mesh gate

Our No Drill Mesh Gate comprises high-quality mesh that can withstand small hands, offering you better peace of mind. It is also UV coated to avoid fading in the sun and keep its flawless appearance for a more extended period.

Pet Air Purifier

There will be many unpleasant odours if you have dogs and cats together. Don't worry; we've got you covered.

pet air purifier

Dry Paws Pet Air Purifier is now available. You can rely on our True HEPA Filter to collect the hidden dog dander polluting your home, improving air quality without releasing negative ions or creating a heavy atmosphere. Our strong air purifiers are available to restore your home's fresh-air feeling in the most natural way possible!

Water Fountain

Give your cat or dog a steady clean water supply with Dry Paws Automatic Cat & Dog Water Fountain.

pet water fountain

Unlike traditional water bowls, the Dry Paws Cat Water Fountain only pushes filtered water to the surface, keeping your cat's bowl clean. Circulation has also been shown to keep your cat's water 1-2 degrees colder than a standard water bowl, providing a refreshing premium taste for your cat.


Animals that have had previous experience with a new pet frequently acclimate nicely and fast. However, if the introductions do not go well, seek the assistance of a professional dog trainer or behaviour expert. Never use punishment: it will not assist and may make situations worse.

July 12, 2022 — Inamul haque