Three expert tips to help your dog and cat live together in harmony

Bernese Mountain Dog and cat sat together outside
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Is it possible for dogs and cats to live together in harmony? Well, if you're the proud pet parent of a canine companion and feline friend then we have good news because the answer is yes!

There's no denying that dogs and cats living together has the potential to be challenging. But with time, patience, and extra safety precautions, it can be done.

According to Alexa Sessa, the head trainer and behavior expert at Peach on a Leash, not only can dogs and cats co-exist peacefully, they can even become friends — as long as relationship building is managed slowly and carefully.

To help you give your multi-fur friend family the best chance of success, read on to discover Sessa's top tips for calm cohabitation...

1. Ensure both animals have separate spaces away from each other: "One key to successful dog/cat relationships is ensuring that both animals have separate spaces away from each other. For cats especially, it can be incredibly stressful to have to share their environment with a dog at all times," explains Sessa.

"A baby gated area containing your cat’s food, litter box, and a quiet space to decompress can be the perfect spot to give your cat a break."

2. Consider the breed of your dog: "For the purposes of safety, it’s also important to take into account the breed of dog you have, and their original working purpose," Sessa advises.

"While there are always exceptions to breed tendencies, it’s important to be mindful that certain breeds were bred to stalk, chase, and even kill small, fast-moving prey. Watch for any indication that your dog is fixated on your cat, and always enlist the help of a professional if you have concerns."

3. Don't leave your dog and cat unsupervised: "Please don’t ever leave cats and dogs unattended together — even those that have a great relationship," Sessa stresses."By keeping them separated when you’re away, you set everyone up for success and ensure all of their interactions are safe and appropriate."

If you have any concerns about the way your cat and dog are interacting, or if your dog is overly fixated on your cat, we recommend enlisting the help of a professional.

Kathryn Williams
Freelance writer

Kathryn is a freelance writer who has been a member of the PetsRadar family since it launched in 2020. Highly experienced in her field, she's driven by a desire to provide pet parents with accurate, timely, and informative content that enables them to provide their fur friends with everything they need to thrive. Kathryn works closely with vets and trainers to ensure all articles offer the most up-to-date information across a range of pet-related fields, from insights into health and behavior issues to tips on products and training. When she’s not busy crafting the perfect sentence for her features, buying guides and news pieces, she can be found hanging out with her family (which includes one super sassy cat), drinking copious amounts of Jasmine tea and reading all the books.