How to Prevent Dog and Cat Fighting

Dogs and cats can get along.
Dogs and cats can get along. (Image: The spitz-dog and cat on a neutral background image by Ulf from

Many households have both a cat and a dog but this can often turn into some serious fights between the two. Normally, when you think about cats and dogs fighting you may think of the dog attacking the cat but this is not always the case. Cats are quite capable of taking the offensive and have a tendency to attempt to warn dogs off by hissing, puffing up and even letting out a growl. Regardless of which one starts the fight, it can be very disruptive to the household but there are a few things that can be done to help prevent dogs and cats from fighting.

Things You'll Need

  • Safe haven for your pets
  • Treats

Provide both pets with a safe haven where the cat and dog can go to escape if he or she begins to feel threatened by the other. This could be their own pet bed or kennel or other area that is set aside for their use. Pets will normally be less aggressive if they have a safe haven where they can retreat.

Each pet should have their own toys with their personal food and water bowls so they are not forced to share.

Divide your attention between your dogs and cats equally because pets can experience jealousy towards each other and this encourages negative behavior.

Don’t try to force the pets to be around each other because this can encourage fighting. The cat and dog will eventually get used to each other on their own if neither of them are being pressured.

When bringing a new cat or dog into the home, allow the original pet to get the scent of the new pet before allowing them to meet. This can be done by placing anything with the new pet’s scent on it where the original pet can smell it. You can also keep them in separate rooms where they can smell each other’s scent but not see each other until you’re ready for them to actually meet. This will give them a chance to get used to the idea of another animal in the house.

Use treats to reward good behavior between the two and this will encourage positive behavior in the future.

Tips & Warnings

  • When a puppy and a kitten are both brought into the home when they are small and around the same time, they will grow to trust each other easier and get along better than if introduced to each other as adults.
  • Have plenty of patience. Dogs and cats are natural enemies and it takes time for them to learn how to coexist in the same home peacefully.
  • Some breeds of dogs are less adaptable to accepting cats than others, such as hunting or herding dogs or hounds and terriers. Siberian Huskies and Chow Chows are particularly intolerant of cats and may seek to harm them. Dogs bred as companion animals tend to do better in adapting to cats.

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