Finding The Perfect Pet

Over 1000 animals rehomed since 2019

Cats and Dogs as Best Pals

Considerations for Dog and Cat Companionship

One of the questions we often get asked is ‘will the cat for adoption be ‘dog friendly’, or is the dog for adoption ‘cat friendly’?   It’s completely possible for cats and dogs to live harmoniously together, and they can often become the best of friends.  But, it does depend on the breed and personality of each animal, how the animals are introduced, the environment they will share, and how they are nurtured, supported and socialised by their humans.

Breed and Personality

It's easy to assume that small dogs will relate better to cats than bigger dogs. But, that's not the case. Some dog breeds can have an inherent desire to hunt and chase (Basenji's, Huskies, Jack Russell etc). This prey drive can make them unsuitable as companions for small animals that are likely to run or make fast movements (eg. cats). Then, despite their size, dogs such as Golden Retrievers and Labradors, can have a strong nurturing instinct and might warmly welcome a cat into the fold. However, this doesn't mean that all Golden Retrievers are suited to cats, or that all Jack Russell dogs will chase cats. It just means that you need to be aware and cautious and conduct some research into the breed of your dog before considering a companion cat.

Pet Personalities

Just as humans like to choose who they hang out with, so do cats and dogs. You can never assume or force a friendship. A good indicator of how they might get along is to know your dogs (or the new dogs) personality, compliance to your commands, and energy levels. For example, an impulsive, boisterous dog might scare a new cat before they have a chance to formally 'meet'. And, a shy dog and a shy cat might not mash so well at first, because they might both be fearful of each other and neither will extend a paw of friendship. This is where humans can guide and support introductions, keeping in mind each pets boundaries and personality.

Routine and Consistency

The best cat / dog friendships happen when each pet feels safe and assured there is enough love, food and shelter for everyone. They need to feel confident that their relationship with you is not in jeopardy, and that their routine or lifestyle will not be negatively affected by the arrival of a 'sibling' pet. For example: If your dog goes for a 4pm walk every day, then that routine must continue. If you would normally cuddle your cat on the couch in front of the TV, then that has to continue.

Our Community Shared How Their Pets Live in Harmony
Here are just a few of the many wonderful moment our facebook community shared of their cats and dogs living in harmony.  Such beautiful examples of how pets can live in harmony.

Finding the Perfect Match

  1. Energy Levels
    Is the pet laid back, playful or energetic.  Does it prefer to nap most of the day, or does it require regular interaction (and in the case of a dog, how many times a day will it require walking?) Does this fit with your lifestyle and time availability?
  2. Personality and Temperament
    Is the pet shy, confident, adaptable, fearful, laid back, independent etc?  How would this pet’s personality fit with the dynamic in your household?
  3. Special Needs
    Does the pet have have any special needs (eg. fears, triggers, medical conditions) and how would you manage and accommodate these?
  4. Future Plans
    Cats and Dogs can live up to 20 years.  What are your future plans?  Are you planning to travel, relocate, expand your family etc.
  1. Housing and Council Regulations
    Will the pet live indoors our outdoors? Does it require specific bedding, fencing or enclosures? The regulations for pet ownership differ between councils.  Make sure you are aware of these.
  2. Do you have permission to have a pet?
    If you are renting, do you have landlord permission?
  3. Holidays
    Who will look after your pet when you go on holidays?
  4. Your existing pets?
    Do you have any existing pets and how would they respond to a new addition to the family?
  1. Adoption Fee
    All OAAT pets are vaccinated, desexed and microchipped prior to adoption.   They will also be up to date with all worming and flea treatments.  This is all covered in the adoption fees (which generally range from $200 – $400 depending on the type and age of the animal).

  2. Ongoing costs
    Cats and Dogs can live up to 20 years.  This is 20 years of feeding, vet care, council registration, toys, training, etc.  Does this fit with your budget and finances?

  3. Unexpected Medical Care
    Although we all hope it never happens, pets can get unexpectedly sick.  How would you financially manage a medical emergency?

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