Can cats and dogs live in purrfect harmony?

02 November 2022
3 mins read
Volume 13 · Issue 9
Figure 2. Cohabiting pets, Eddie and Hank.
Figure 2. Cohabiting pets, Eddie and Hank.


Researchers from Dogs Trust have published new findings on how dog owners introduce their new puppies to their existing household cats, and what factors were associated with desirable behaviour from the puppies.

Cats and dogs are extremely popular pets, and some households own both species. Although they can live amicably together, understanding their relationship is highly important because the quality of the relationship can impact both animals' welfare and potentially the owners' wellbeing too.

Dog owners with new puppies often seek advice on how to introduce their new family member to their existing household cats, but when it comes down to it, what do owners actually do and how do the puppies behave? Researchers from Dogs Trust decided to explore these questions using data from Generation Pup which is a cohort study of canine health, behaviour, and welfare. They found that 26.7% of puppies (n=1248/4678) joined a house-hold with at least one cat. Owners introduced their puppy to their existing household cats at different speeds — 40.2% were introduced gradually (i.e. over a period of more than 1 day) (n=487/1211), and the remaining were introduced during the puppy's first day in the household (n=724).

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