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Can True Friendship Develop Between Pets?

August 7, 2018


The old notion that dogs and cats can't live together in peace and harmony is simply bogus. Truth is most can. However, there may be some preparation and time needed for them to get acquainted. Dogs and cats both have complex emotional make ups, which means they can become anxious when exposed to a new situation. Since animals socialize more easily when things are relaxed, it is important that you remain calm during the initial introduction. Moreover, don't expect them to suddenly start playing like litter mates. Familiarity will encourage them to explore forming a closer bond in time.

Dogs have been known to establish a relationship with other animals that is often dramatic and poignant.  You may have seen a popular YouTube video where a dog pulls another dog that was struck by car to safety. In the thousands of years since humans first domesticated dogs, they have been genetically manipulated to socialize easily and show friendliness almost indiscriminately. Canine companions that have been properly socialized will approach virtually anything that is alive, regardless of its species, and unless they receive hostile signals, will attempt to establish a relationship. But, don't be surprised when your dog is more ready to strike up friendship than your cat, or vice versa.

There is no secret formula that will magically have your cat and dog snuggling on the sofa or playfully enjoying a game of hide and seek. Age and health can be barriers even between pets of the same species, plus each animal has his or her own personality. Generally speaking, dogs have a strong "chase instinct", which can make some cats wary of their intentions. Nonetheless, the more comfortable environment you create, the more likely one animal will strike up a friendship that includes games and situations that both enjoy. If you currently have a dog and cat that can't seem to find common ground, seek a veterinarian's advice. It might be as simple as arranging a visit from an animal trainer.

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