By Julia Williams
I read a lot of pet blogs and online pet magazines, and whenever I see a photo of a dog and cat snuggling, I have mixed emotions. One the one hand, it makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. I just love seeing these photos because they seem to support what many pet owners have said – that dogs and cats can be best friends.
On the other hand, seeing these heartwarming examples of interspecies friendships often makes me feel a little wistful. You see, I am a diehard cat fan but I also like dogs and have wanted to add a woofie to my furry family for some time. One of the things that stops me – not the only thing, mind you – is my fear that it will upset my three cats and damage the extremely close relationship I have with each of them.
I say this because I know that while many cats and dogs can be great friends, not all dogs and cats will get along, and some may even be arch enemies. It really depends on several factors, including the individual dog, the individual cat, their interaction, and your household dynamics.
By Langley Cornwell
In the past, I’ve only shared my home with dogs – and those dogs had little to no interaction with cats. On those unfortunate occasions when they did interact with cats, it usually turned out poorly for me. It would invariably happen when I was walking both dogs at once and a cat would saunter across our path, glancing slyly at us with a gleam in its eye. My big dogs would take off on cue, lunging on the leashes like sled dogs, and it would take every ounce of my might not to do a face plant right on the pavement.
Experiences like these made me marvel at dogs that got along with cats. I thought that “those dogs” were rare and wondrous, that their humans must have worked long and hard to get them comfortable with “the opposite” species. At that time, in my mind dogs and cats were like day and night or black and white – they were opposites. Then I met my husband, a Real Man Who Loves Cats. When we decided it was time to add to our family, we went to the shelter and came back with a dog and a cat.
Our dog and cat have formed a tight interspecies bond; they are good friends. With appropriate socialization, most dogs and cats can live together harmoniously. Some breeds seem to be more accepting of feline friends than others, however. Here are five dog breeds that are recognized as being cat-friendly:
Golden and Labrador Retrievers
Big, happy and athletic, retrievers love everybody. Known for their devoted and obedient nature, retrievers are easy to socialize with other dogs and with cats. Many households that have retrievers also have cats, proving that size doesn’t matter.