Greyt Inspirations Life

A little about our life, our business and our pets.

Dogs and cats can live together?

080908135916-largeI read the most interesting article today.  It seems that there was a study done last year by Tel Aviv University.  The study was about — are you ready for this? — how cats and dogs get along.  Finally!  A really important study!  LOL  I’m kidding but I do think this is important.  How many of us have had a cat and a dog and puzzled over the super complexity of their relationship?  Did your cat and dog get along or not?


Well, according to this study, about 2/3 of cats and dogs actually do get along when they share a home.  I found that amazing.  That was much higher than I would have guessed.  They said that about 25 percent of cats and dogs were indifferent to each other.  And 10 percent fought like (I love this) cats and dogs.


This study was even more interesting because it provided a possible reason why cats and dogs don’t get along.  The researchers said that it was because cats and dogs had problems reading each other’s body language!  Of course!  As they pointed out in the article:


One reason for the fighting might have been crossed inter-species signals. Cats and dogs may not have been able to read each other’s body cues. For instance, cats tend to lash their tails about when mad, while dogs growl and arch their backs. A cat purrs when happy, while a dog wags its tail. A cat’s averted head signals aggression, while in a dog the same head position signals submission.


In homes where cat/dog détente existed, Prof. Terkel observed a surprising behavior. “We found that cats and dogs are learning how to talk each other’s language. It was a surprise that cats can learn how to talk ‘Dog’ and vice versa.”


What’s especially interesting, Prof. Terkel remarks, is that both cats and dogs have appeared to evolve beyond their instincts. They can learn to read each other’s body signals, suggesting that the two species may have more in common than was previously suspected.


How ingenious is that?  Now we, as humans, seem to be able to read the body language of both cats and dogs.  But maybe your dog can’t figure you when the cat is mad and about to tear his face off?  Maybe the cat doesn’t know that the dog is being friendly when he wags his tail?  Well, maybe.  I don’t know if I really buy that theory.  Cats and dogs are pretty smart.  Afterall, they can both figure out human body language.  So, why wouldn’t they be able to figure out each other’s body language?  I don’t know.  I will have to ponder that theory some more.


But, whatever the case, the researchers said that cats and dogs get along best when both are introduced into the house, and to each other, when they’re young.  Cats when they’re less than six months old and dogs when they’re less than a year old.  It also works best if you have the cat first.  I think this is because it gives the cat an edge.  It lets the cat get the confidence and attitude they need to handle a sometimes bigger dog.


Thinking back on my successful cat-dog pets that’s just what we did, although we didn’t plan it.  I got Charlie my kitten one year and, less than a year later, we got Red, my dog.  They were great friends.  They used to cuddle up next to each other and sleep.  They never had any problems getting along even though Red must have weighed four or five times as much as Charlie.  I think Red always respected Charlie.  He never bothered him in any way.  Never harassed him.  Charlie would have put him in his place if he’d tried!  Tough cat.  You didn’t want to mess with him.


I have one friend now who has a couple of cats that she’s had forever.  She also breeds and shows Setters — noisy, rambunctious, nosy Setters.  A whole bunch of them that live in the house.  Nevertheless, those cats have been the boss of the house for so long that the dogs are completely afraid of them.  One flick of the claws and those dogs are cowering.  One puppy even grew up trying to act like the cats.  She would follow them around and try to ingratiate herself with them.  She would put her own paws on their paws and try to sleep in the same cat positions.  Funny.


I don’t think people ever get tired of comparing cats and dogs.  There’s just something about them that we love.



May 13, 2009 - Posted by | Cats, dogs, Pets

1 Comment »

  1. Very Interesting! I don’t have any cats anymore but we have had cats and dogs living successfully together in the past.

    Comment by greytinspirations | May 15, 2009 | Reply

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