The majority of Buddies staff are proud dog parents; however, team members Carl and Clare are in the minority with their cats Dora and Merlin. As a dog friendly office, it’s often asked if we should stop the cat discrimination and allow our office cats to join the rota. With at least one office dog in the building each day, we figured it may not be the best idea to have Dora and Merlin strutting around the place.
This did however get us talking about the possibility of cats and dogs living together and if harmony among the species is possible.
Although usually portrayed as bitter enemies, the truth is, if introduced carefully and given the right environment, cats and dogs can form a close bond.
We asked a few owners of dogs and cats to share their thoughts and experiences with us over on our Facebook page. Here’s what one owner had to say.
Joanne E –
‘Dax, our German Shepherd was here first and he is now seven years old. Our cat Phoenix joined us when Dax was 3. He is a really laid back dog and when I brought Phoenix home on the first day I allowed him to sniff and lick her, of course she spat and hissed to begin with.
We have an extension in our house and that was where Phoenix spent the first few weeks, with Dax having supervised visits. Although it wasn’t long before she could climb out and decided she would go to Dax herself, there was also plenty of places she could get away if she wanted. Dax has groomed her as a young kitten and I have never once experienced her putting her claws out to tell him off.
Ruby our cockapoo joined the family when Phoenix was around a year old. Phoenix wasn’t impressed. She spent a whole month just coming in for feeds and wasn’t interested in fuss, which came as quite a surprise as she is a really loving cat. Then, one day, she came in on her own and decided that this is where she wanted to stay.
I finally knew everything would be fine when Phoenix started to go behind the sofa and jump out at Ruby to play, in the garden they would chase each other around and Phoenix even started to come on our evening walks together.
I honestly believe that the way to successfully have dogs and cats living together, and getting on, is to know your breeds. Phoenix is very relaxed with our dogs and very often will lay on the floor with her tummy exposed or will cuddle up together on the sofa with Ruby, I feel all three of my pets have a very happy life together.’ Says Joanne.
Animal charity Blue Cross, shared some useful tips for introducing a dog to your resident cat, or vice versa. They say the key is to take your time and ensure the cat has a safe place that the dog can not access. You can read more of their advice here.