Cats and Dogs Can Be Best Friends #FoodShelterLove


cat and dog portrait

Photo from Deposit photos

This post is sponsored by Hill’s. I am being compensated for helping spread the word about Hill’s® Food, Shelter, & Love Program, but The Tiniest Tiger only shares information we feel is relevant to our readers. Hill’s Pet Nutrition, Inc. is not responsible for the content of this article.

Cats and Dogs Can Be Best Friends

Have you ever thought of adopting a puppy or dog but were afraid your cats wouldn’t accept a new family member?  Or you might be reading this from a dog only household and thinking about adopting a cat but wondering if they will get along.

With a little planning, patience and advice from experienced pet parents of both cats and dogs, you will be able to bring home a new family member and after a bit of time, you will see that cats and dogs can be best friends.

Hill’s Food, Shelter & Love®

With so many cats and dogs waiting at shelters for their forever homes, creating homes with both cats and dogs helps to increase adoption rates and can add more happy to your home too. Hill’s Food, Shelter & Love® program has provided over $240 million worth of food to nearly 1,000 shelters helping over 8 million pets find new homes. Hill’s is helping  keep pets nourished and healthy while they wait for you to adopt them.

Food Shelter Love

Slow and Steady Introduction

The introduction process isn’t all that different than when you bring home a new kitten or cat into a cat household.

Create a Safe Space in a Separate Room

Before you bring home your new dog or cat, create a safe space in a separate room with all the amenities your new pet will need. Make sure you provide food, water and a litter box for cats. Toys and a cat tower will help keep the new family member content during the adjustment period.

Share Blankets or Towels to Introduce New Scent

With your new cat or dog safely inside the separate room, your cats and dogs will get used to hearing and smelling each other without the risk of an unpleasant confrontation.  Place a blanket or towel with the scent of the new pet where your cats and dogs can smell and place a blanket with your dog and cat’s scent in with the new pet.  This will help everyone become familiar.

Love and Attention for Everyone

Make sure you spend time with each dog and cat and when you think all are comfortable with their rooms, switch positions.  Place your dog or cat in with the safe space room and allow your new pet to explore the outside area.  They will be able to smell and hear each other through the door and this will help to further familiarize them to each other.

First Face-to-Face Introduction

When you feel the time is right and all pets are relaxed you can try the first face-t0-face introduction.  This first time place the pet in an open-sided carrier or use a baby gate the cats can’t climb over and the dogs can’t get through.  Keep your dogs on a leash for added safety.

Reward Dogs For Remaining Calm Near Your Cat

Reward with treats for good behavior around each other.  You want your dog and cat to realize that good things happen when they are together. Feed your cat and dog on their respective sides of the baby gate to keep everyone comfortable through the introduction process.

When all animals seem ready, you can allow limited supervised meetings with the dogs and cats in the same space.  Dogs should remain on a leash and not permitted to chase the cat.  Provide your cats with escape routes by creating elevated platforms for them to get away from the dogs when desired.

In most cases, your cats and dogs will accept one another and live in harmony, perhaps even become best friends. The key is to not rush the introduction and to make sure everyone is comfortable before you allow them to occupy the same space.

Cats and Dogs Have Different Nutritional Needs

good for cats  good for dogs

Image from Deposit Photos

Cats and dogs have their own unique nutritional needs, and each need their own food for their current life and health state.  When you are introducing a new pet to the family, this is a stressful event for the new cat. Hill’s® Science Diet® Adult Sensitive Stomach & Skin was created to help reduce digestive disorder that can even affect your cat’s skin and coat.

Cats might share a bowl of water with a dog, but prefer really fresh flowing water.  Cats also get much of the liquid they need in order to stay healthy from the food they eat.

Cats and dogs both need exercise. While dogs seem more rambunctious and go out for long walks, cats can go for walks outside on a harness, enjoy climbing on cat trees, love to play hide and seek and those of us who share our homes with cats know that they love to race around the house sometimes….especially at night.

The ultimate goal of the Food Shelter & Love® program is to bring some love home. We can increase the love in our homes by increasing the number of homes with both cats and dogs.

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  1. When we added a cat to our family, the introduction process was pretty slow. They got along really well. Later when we added puppies to the family and then another adult dog, they also made the adjustment quite well.

  2. My cat didn’t like my dog at all at first. Now they get along very well!