Do cats like dogs? Some of us do. Try these tips for bringing an outside cat in and introducing him to your dog.
Do cats like dogs, Thomasina? A cat has been living on my deck for months, and I’d like to invite him to come in. I don’t want him to hate living with my dog though.
— Maybe Future Cat Mom
Hey Future Cat Mom…
I’m so glad you asked before you brought the cat in! Yes, some cats like dogs. And some dogs like cats. It all depends on the personalities.
Before I answer your question, I have some questions for you though. Do you know where the cat came from? Are you sure someone’s not looking for him? Check out this article on what to do when you find a stray cat. Our human wrote it!
I’m wondering, too, if the cat will be able to go out once he comes in. Most cats who have lived outside are not happy living strictly indoors.
I’m assuming the cat and dog already know each other since the cat has been living on your deck. So here are some ways to help cats like dogs when they live together indoors.
Before The Cat Comes In
- Your dog should know and be willing to obey such basic commands as “sit,” “stay” and “leave it.”
- Create a dog-free zone (not the basement!) for the cat. Plan on putting his food up high where the dog can’t get to it. Remember, cats and dogs have different eating styles. Dogs gulp their food and finish it in a few bites. Cats graze and like to eat several small meals every day. The cat’s litter box should also be someplace where the dog can’t get to it. A walk-through pet gate is a good way to create a separate space for the cat. Also plan on some high places for cat beds.
- The cat needs a separate water bowl. Cats taste their water, and many of us don’t like water that tastes like dog!
When The Cat Comes In
Put a leash on the dog before the cat comes inside. Cats like dogs, but not when they’re in our faces or jumping all over us!
When the cat ventures inside, reward both him and the dog with treats.
Friends For Life
Cats and dogs who live together can become friends for life if their personalities are compatible and their home is set up properly. Just make sure the cat has high places and his dog-free zone so he can get away from the dog when he wants to. And train the dog to not chase the cat.
Breeds that may require additional training to live successfully with cats are terriers that were originally bred to hunt vermin, sight hounds with a strong desire to chase and herding dogs. That said, I have a cat friend who loves her greyhound and sleeps with her all the time.
Bringing An Outside Cat In
I can tell you this from personal experience because I lived outside in an alley until I was almost three years old.
If your deck cat wants to continue living outside, let that be his choice. Give him a warm shelter so he can get out of the rain and cold, and he’ll be a happy cat.
When he does come in, let him leave the minute he wants to. Don’t force him to stay inside if he doesn’t want to.
I hope this helps, Future Cat Mom. If you’ll excuse me, I’m going to get going now. I want to see if my friend Smoky is outside. He loves to go for walks with his dog, and sometimes Muffitt and I tag along.