Yes Cats And Dogs Can Play Nice
Despite the saying “fighting like cats and dogs” it is possible to have a cat and a dog that are best of friends. It helps if they are raised together, but it is not essential. Dogs generally take their code of conduct from humans, so if you like cats there is a good chance your dog can be educated to like them as well.
One of the problems to overcome between cats and dogs is the different language or cultural norm that exists in the different animal kingdoms. When a dog wags it’s tail it is indicating that it is happy and inviting a play, but the instincts of a cat suggest that a wagging tail signals anger or a ready to pounce attitude.
If a cat raises its paw it is time back off or be swatted, but to a dog that means play time. Equally, when a cat lays on its back it is in attack mode, where as to a dog this is a submissive pose. These differences can be overcome as they learn each others language, but can cause initial surprise reactions. And guidance is required during this time of getting acquainted.
Never leave your kitten alone with a dog unsupervised. Even with friendly play accidents can happen. Initially you will want to keep any dog on a leash when it is being introduced to your cat. It is best if the dog has had some obedience training and will respond to your commands. Always keep other safety measures, such as a water supply, on hand to distract an enthusiastic dog.
Where possible introduce dogs to cats as puppies. There is less risk of the cat being overpowered by a puppy and a puppy hasn’t yet learnt to chase cats. It is a good idea to introduce them with a barrier like a child’s gate, or fence between the two for the first meeting. A certain amount of freedom for self education would be preferable to the owner hovering ready to pounce at the slightest spit, as long as they both have an escape route.
It shouldn’t be long before they become friends and may even share a bed.