Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Dogs And Cats Can Live In Perfect Harmony In The Home, If Introduced The Right Way

Date:
September 9, 2008
Source:
Tel Aviv University
Summary:
Thinking about adopting a perky little puppy as a friend for your fluffy cat, but worried that they'll fight -- well, like cats and dogs? Think again. New research has found a new recipe for success.

Want your pets to get along? If the cat is adopted before the dog and if they are introduced when still young there is a high probability that your two pets will get along great.
Credit: iStockphoto/Mehmet Salih Guler

Thinking about adopting a perky little puppy as a friend for your fluffy cat, but worried that they’ll fight -- well, like cats and dogs?

Think again. New research at Tel Aviv University, the first of its kind in the world, has found a new recipe for success. According to the study, if the cat is adopted before the dog and if they are introduced when still young (less than 6 months for kittens, a year for dogs), there is a high probability that your two pets will get along swimmingly.

Results from the research were recently reported in the journal Applied Animal Behaviour Science.

“This is the first time anyone has done scientific research on pets living in the same home,” says Prof. Joseph Terkel, from the Department of Zoology at Tel Aviv University.  “It’s especially relevant to the one-third of Americans who own a pet and are thinking about adopting a second one of the opposite species.”

Talk Like a Dog

After interviewing almost 200 pet owners who own both a cat and a dog, then videotaping and analyzing the animals’ behavior, TAU researchers concluded that cats and dogs can cohabitate happily if certain conditions are met. Prof. Terkel and his graduate student Neta-li Feuerstein found that two-thirds of the homes they surveyed reported a positive relationship between their cat and dog.

But it wasn’t all sweetness and light (or, for that matter, bones and catnip). There was a reported indifference between the cat and dog in 25% of the homes, while aggression and fighting were observed in 10% of the homes.

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 dιtente 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.

Peacemaking Pets Can Be a Model for People

Once familiar with each others’ presence and body language, cats and dogs can play together, greet each other nose-to-nose, and enjoy sleeping together on the couch. They can easily share the same water bowl and in some cases groom each other. The far-reaching implications of this Tel Aviv University research on cats and dogs may extend beyond pets -- to people who don’t get along, including neighbours, colleagues at work, and even world superpowers.

“If cats and dogs can learn to get along,” concludes Prof. Terkel, “surely people have a good chance.”


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Tel Aviv University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Tel Aviv University. "Dogs And Cats Can Live In Perfect Harmony In The Home, If Introduced The Right Way." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 9 September 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/09/080908135916.htm>.
Tel Aviv University. (2008, September 9). Dogs And Cats Can Live In Perfect Harmony In The Home, If Introduced The Right Way. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/09/080908135916.htm
Tel Aviv University. "Dogs And Cats Can Live In Perfect Harmony In The Home, If Introduced The Right Way." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/09/080908135916.htm (accessed April 18, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Friday, April 18, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Vermont Goat Meat Gives Refugees Taste of Home

Vermont Goat Meat Gives Refugees Taste of Home

AP (Apr. 18, 2014) — Dairy farmers and ethnic groups in Vermont are both benefiting from a unique collaborative effort that's feeding a growing need for fresh and affordable goat meat. (April 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
First Ever 'Female Penis' Discovered In Animal Kingdom

First Ever 'Female Penis' Discovered In Animal Kingdom

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) — Not only are these newly discovered bugs' sex organs reversed, but they also mate for up to 70 hours. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Great British Farmland Boom

The Great British Farmland Boom

Reuters - Business Video Online (Apr. 17, 2014) — Britain's troubled Co-operative Group is preparing to cash in on nearly 18,000 acres of farmland in one of the biggest UK land sales in decades. As Ivor Bennett reports, the market timing couldn't be better, with farmland prices soaring over 270 percent in the last 10 years. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Flamingo Frenzy Ahead of Zoo Construction

Flamingo Frenzy Ahead of Zoo Construction

AP (Apr. 17, 2014) — With plenty of honking, flapping, and fluttering, more than three dozen Caribbean flamingos at Zoo Miami were rounded up today as the iconic exhibit was closed for renovations. (April 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins