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Four Legs Good


Cats and dogs: a special relationship

Last updated 08:47 23/03/2012



How do cats and dogs get on together? Well, it can be a relationship of affection, or cool cohabitation, or suppressed malice, or even outright hostility. The relationship can have its ups and downs, just as in the diplomatic dealings between nations.

The relationship we most like to see is like the one between Kate the black Labrador and Kina the Burmese-Persian cross: mutual respect and affection, and gentleness of mouth and claw.

Kina and Kate

We like to see a dog and a cat able to relax together, cuddle up, chew the fat - like Layla and Reggie. In my experience, it's usually the dog that initiates the closeness and the cat that tolerates it. For a time.

Layla and Reggie

A protective arm, not necessarily wanted: Tess and Ollie have that Anzus-like relationship.


Tess and Ollie

Molly the kitten and her big friend Zeek show one of the characteristics of cat-dog diplomacy: the cat may be smaller, but it controls the negotiations due to its greater will and its claw-deterrence. Meanwhile Freddy and Missy are in full accord that now is the time to plonk and stretch.

Molly and Zeek

Freddy and Missy

Worf, G'Kar and Gracie share the bed. But borders will not be crossed, implies Gracie.

Gracie G'kar Worf

Close, cute, careful: Gucci and Cuba get on okay.

Gucci and Cuba

Mutually beneficial coexistence: scraggly Oscar and elegant Major (left); milky Bounty and chocolatey Coco (right).

Oscar and Major

Bounty and Coco

Tequila and Ducati are a well-matched pair.

Tequila and Ducati

The uniting power of a comfortable couch: Taz, Mello and Suki are at peace.

Taz, Mello and Suki

One flatmate has cats, the other has a dog. To start with, dog wishes to annex cats as a province of its tummy; in time, dog remains a little scared of cats. Thanks for the photo, Kristina.

Dot with cats

Scruff the cat usually colonises the dog bed for herself. On this day, Nell makes a nervous stand for her territorial rights.

Nell and Scruff

Skye the dog and Dipper the cat are of one mind. Sweet photo, Sarah.

Skye and Dipper

Vinnie the cat likes to come along in a supervisory role when her housemates Hugo and Minnie go for their walk.  The dogs had to sit and wait while Vinnie completed his dust-bath.

Hugo, Minnie, Vinnie

Lottie is a Dachshund-Jack Russell Cross, so there's little crawl space available. But Ninja the kitten has found it and thinks there's room for expansion. Just as well the two animals get along so well.

Lottie and the Ninja

When Ivy the Retriever joined the household, Annie the cat was convinced the big creature was a kitten requiring parental oversight. A motherly paw is all that's needed to correct any misbehaviour on the pup's part.

Ivy and Annie

Keeping a safe and respectful distance: Zip the dog visited the home of Toskin one day, and Toskin maintained oversight from a table.

Toskin and Zip

Couch and sun: two things that, together, can bind a dog and a cat in enduring unity. Here are Bella and Louie.

Bella and Louie

Buffy and Maddie share a moment on the deck. It's complicated.

Buffy and Maddie

And we're back to where we started, with trust, mutual advantage, and cuteness. These ginger kittens were fostered with dog Hugo and his owner Lisa. "I bottle-fed them from a few days old, Hugo 'toileted' them and developed a bond with them," says Lisa. "Hugo himself was a foster baby - he was found in a rubbish bin at one day old - so was really giving back to those who had a bad start in life like him. The kittens got adopted out to people wanting dog-friendly kittens."

Hugo with kittens

Thanks to all for posting your photos. Please email me your own photos, or go to the Four Legs Good Facebook page and use the Upload Photo button. While you're there, browse through the 2000 photos that readers have posted by clicking the Photos link.

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  Post a comment
ruby   #77   01:01 pm Sep 19 2012

i love dogs i have a dog of my own i would like to make a shout out to him hi stancyboy

Ashleighjoyk #1   #76   01:01 pm Sep 19 2012

Love these animals!!

ekin   #75   12:59 pm Sep 11 2012

i love these animals soo much

ruby-jay   #74   12:48 pm Aug 30 2012

heyy i love puppies

ruby   #73   12:55 pm Aug 29 2012

heyy i love these aoo much these are all mine pets kkk I LOVE ANIMALS SOOOO MUCH

Ruby-jay parish   #72   12:53 pm Aug 21 2012

heyy i love animals soo much

Ashleigh keech   #71   01:05 pm Jul 19 2012

helo these re soo cute i love them soo much all of these are my cats and dogs

ruby   #70   12:47 pm Jul 17 2012

these pics of cats and dogs are sooo cute LOL

rakaya   #69   12:56 pm Jul 16 2012

animals are cute

ruby   #68   12:53 pm Jul 16 2012

these are such cute pics of cats and dogs there so cute together

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