Most of the time, cats can and will happily coexist with dogs if you let them have the time to adjust to each other. When a kitten and puppy are brought up together, they easily learn right away that they must tolerate each other, some of them even become very close almost like siblings and will play together, sleep together and even come to one another’s defense in a threatening situation. On the other hand, if you have an established pet already in the home and try to introduce a new puppy or kitten to the household, you may need to take certain precautions.
Introducing them for the first time
The first time that a dog and cat are introduced, you will want to make sure the cat is at the dog’s eye level. Keeping a firm grip on both animals will give them a sense of security and make them both more comfortable with the situation. If either of them seems to be becoming frightened or even aggressive, then immediately separate them and try at a later time. Forcing the situation can be counterproductive, but in taking a few moments several time a day for a few days to give them supervised time to spend together, they will soon become more used to one another and relax.
You should never leave your new animals alone and unsupervised together, unless and until you are absolutely sure that they have become comfortable with one another. Walking away while they are still checking each other out and are experiencing the stress of that situation is a bad idea which you may end up regretting. The cat or even the dog could end up being bitten or scratched or more seriously injured. Even without visible wounds or a physical fight occurring, unsupervised interactions can be very stressful and hold the possibility of traumatizing one or both animals to the extent that they no longer desire to be around animals of any kind.
Cats have will of their own
While a cat may not show an adverse reaction to all dogs, and may not even mind seeing one from a distance on occasion, they may still develop an intense dislike for one that lives in their own home. Like a person who could easily live with a variety of people, but one specific person makes them insane, some cats are the same way. They may just have a dislike for one dog. This could as well be occurring if you have done your best to ensure a comfortable stress free introduction, implemented supervised controlled interactions over a period of time, but the scratching and hissing continue without any visible indications as to why.
When you decide that you are ready for a new cat or kitten to become a part of your family, then you should be willing to help your dog to become accustomed to this idea as well. With the strictly supervised interactions, let them sniff and play to their hearts content. This should enable them to become accustomed to one another in no time at all. However is they seem incapable you may need to reevaluate the new addition.