When my family first introduced dogs into our cat-centric home, we experienced first hand the complexities of their friendships. These days, it’s no surprise to see our cats and dogs snuggled up in a pile or even engaging in gentle play. But it took a few months to a year for their friendship to truly blossom.
Though often painted as opposites, cats and dogs are more than capable of living in harmony.
While living together, cats and dogs learn through observation and experimentation. Body language and scent marking also play key roles. When given time to explore, both animals can learn how to respond to each other even if they don’t “speak the same language.” For instance, in cat language, a tail swishing from side to side might signal agitation, but to a dog, this may seem like happy wagging. With time, animals learn to decode these symbols to better understand their new friend.
Just the same as humans and animals must be patient while getting to know each other; animals must be patient with each other too.