Want to Keep Other Animals with Your Cat? Tips and Warnings for Cohabitation

Want to Keep Other Animals with Your Cat? Tips and Warnings for Cohabitation

Seeing posts on YouTube and social media of cats getting along with dogs and other animals might make you think, \"How cute! I want to try that too!\"

However, keeping a cat together with other animals is not always easy.

This article will explain what animals you can keep with cats and what you should be careful about when doing so.



1. Can Cats Be Kept with Other Animals?
∟1-1. Solitary Behavior
∟1-2. Strong Territorial Instinct
∟1-3. Predatory Nature
2. Compatibility Between Cats and Other Animals
∟2-1. Dogs
∟2-2. Rabbits
∟2-3. Hamsters, Small Birds
∟2-4. Ferrets, Otters
∟2-5. Fish, etc.
3. Tips for Keeping Cats with Other Animals
∟3-1. Keep Them Together from a Young Age
∟3-2. Let Them Slowly Get Used to Each Other
∟3-3. Create a Cat-Only Space
∟3-4. Never Leave Them Unsupervised
∟3-5. Don't Force Them to Get Along
∟3-6. Be Careful with Feeding
∟3-7. Pay Attention to the Indoor Environment


1. Can Cats Be Kept with Other Animals?

It's not impossible to keep a cat with other animals, but there are difficulties due to their nature.

First, let's understand the characteristics of cats that you need to know when keeping them with other animals.


1-1. Solitary Behavior

Cats are solitary animals.

Unlike dogs, which form packs and exhibit collective behavior, cats are not highly social.

Therefore, they may not show interest in other animals, including other cats, and may even find them bothersome.


1-2. Strong Territorial Instinct

Cats also have a strong sense of territory.

Any entity that invades their territory is considered an \"enemy\" by the cat.

While some cats accept other cats and animals, others may see them as intruders and try to drive them away.


1-3. Predatory Nature

Although small and cute, cats are hunters by nature and live by hunting prey in the wild.

Small animals like mice, birds, small reptiles, and fish are common prey, so caution is needed when keeping these animals with cats.


2. Compatibility Between Cats and Other Animals

As mentioned earlier, there can be difficulties in keeping a cat with other animals.

However, there are animals with which cats have good compatibility. With careful handling, cohabitation is not impossible.

Let's look at the compatibility between cats and other animals.


2-1. Dogs

Dogs, along with cats, are popular pets and often kept together, showing that their compatibility is not bad.

However, keeping cats and dogs together can be challenging.

Cats prefer to act alone, while dogs are pack animals that follow a leader.

Living with cats and dogs is like living with a foreigner whose social rules are entirely different.

Moreover, since both cats and dogs have strong territorial instincts, it can be even more challenging.

Especially since cats often find the presence of dogs stressful, it may be necessary to start keeping them together from when they are kittens and puppies and create a comfortable space for the cat.

If the owner takes proper care and the animals have a good compatibility, cats and dogs can become \"good companions\".


2-2. Rabbits

Cats and rabbits can also be relatively easy to keep together.

Since both are solitary animals, they have the advantage of not interfering with each other's space.

However, cats are predators, and rabbits are prey animals.

To prevent cats from attacking rabbits or rabbits from feeling stressed by cats, gradually get them used to each other.


2-3. Hamsters, Small Birds

Small creatures like hamsters and birds are not compatible with cats.

After all, cats are predatory animals. Small animals and birds are considered \"prey\" by cats.

Of course, if they are raised together from when the cat is a kitten, there's a chance they can get along.

However, there have been cases where cats attempted to attack new hamsters or birds, so it's not safe.

Even if you place cages or bird cages out of reach of cats, the mere presence of a cat can be stressful for hamsters and birds.

Unless absolutely necessary, it's better not to keep them together.


2-4. Ferrets, Otters

Ferrets, which have gained popularity as pets over the past 25 years, are relatively easy to keep with other animals due to their friendly nature.

Cats and ferrets share several common traits, such as being nocturnal and having long sleep hours, being carnivores, etc., making them compatible for cohabitation.

However, since both cats and ferrets have sharp claws and teeth, there's a risk of hurting each other during play. Be sure to supervise them when they're playing together.

Also, cats and ferrets have different ideal temperatures. Cats prefer 27-28°C, while ferrets, being susceptible to heat, prefer around 23-25°C. Take proper measures for heat and cold.

Recently popular otters, which belong to the same family as ferrets, are also difficult animals to keep due to their short history as pets and the lack of established care methods.

Otters, which eat crustaceans, have strong jaw strength, comparable to large dogs. Although friendly, they can be temperamental and may bite cats during play, potentially causing serious injuries.

Keeping cats and otters together requires the owner's knowledge, experience, and commitment.


2-5. Aquarium Pets

When keeping aquarium pets (fish, reptiles, amphibians) with cats, there are risks of accidents, such as:

  •  ・Cats attacking the creatures in the aquarium or taking them out
  •  ・In the case of sharp-toothed creatures like turtles or large lizards, biting the cat when it pokes around
  •  ・Cats playing with or biting the cords attached to the aquarium
  •  ・Cats jumping onto the shelf where the aquarium is placed and overturning it

To prevent such accidents, it's ideal to separate their living spaces.


If that's difficult, consider the following measures:

  •  ・Cover the aquarium to prevent cats from touching it
  •  ・Use cord covers for the cords attached to the aquarium
  •  ・Place the aquarium out of the cat's reach
  •  ・Place the aquarium on a flat, safe surface and use anti-tip gel mats
  •  ・Use partitions to separate the aquarium from the rest of the room

Cats and fish or reptiles fundamentally cannot get along, but with the owner's ingenuity, they can coexist without accidents or stress.

Anticipate various troubles and prepare countermeasures in advance.


3. Tips for Keeping Cats with Other Animals

Whether keeping animals with good or bad compatibility with cats, the owner must take care to ensure their safety and comfort.

Here are some points to consider when keeping cats with other animals.


3-1. Keep Them Together from a Young Age

The period from 2 to 9 weeks of age in a cat's life is known as the \"socialization period,\" when they learn how to interact with other cats and people through relationships with their parents and siblings.

During the socialization period, they are more receptive to new presences and experiences, making it more likely for them to get along with other animals.

Dogs have their socialization period from about 3 to 16 weeks of age.

If you plan to keep a cat and a dog together, it's best to start during their respective socialization periods.


3-2. Let Them Slowly Get Used to Each Other

Suddenly introducing a cat to another animal can lead to them getting startled, leading to aggression or fights.

A bad first impression can linger and prevent them from ever getting along.

Start by keeping them in separate rooms, allowing them to get used to each other's scent, sound, and presence. Once they're accustomed to each other, gradually introduce them, such as through cage meetings, taking steps to familiarize them with each other.


3-3. Create a Cat-Only Space

Cats are territorial and prefer solitary activities. Even if they get along with another animal, being together all the time can be exhausting.

Especially with friendly animals like dogs or ferrets, they may constantly bother the cat, causing stress.

When keeping a cat with a dog, provide a cat tower or other areas where the dog cannot reach, creating a safe space for the cat.

Additionally, setting specific times for them to play together and keeping them separate at other times can be a good approach.


3-4. Never Leave Them Unsupervised

Even if the animals get along well, a small incident can lead to a fight, injuring each other.

When keeping a cat with another animal, ensure you never leave them unsupervised.

Especially when leaving them alone, separate their rooms or keep them in cages to prevent any interactions.


3-5. Don't Force Them to Get Along

Even if raised together from a young age and with all precautions taken, it's possible they simply cannot accept each other.

In that case, accept the reality and keep the cat and the other animal in separate spaces.

When keeping a cat with another animal, it's important to prepare an environment where they can live separately, anticipating that they might not get along.


3-6. Be Careful with Feeding

When keeping multiple types of animals together, be mindful of feeding mistakes.

This is especially important when keeping dogs and cats together.

Cats tend to eat slowly, leaving leftovers that dogs may eat, leading to health issues due to the higher salt content in cat food, causing kidney disease or obesity in dogs.

Separate their feeding times and places, and promptly clean up after feeding to prevent them from eating each other's food.


3-7. Pay Attention to the Indoor Environment

When keeping multiple types of animals, also pay attention to the indoor environment.

For example, as mentioned earlier, cats and ferrets have different ideal temperatures.

Especially during summer or winter, if you cannot separate their rooms, take thorough measures for heat and cold.

Be mindful of the room layout and the placement of beds and toilets to prevent accidents and ensure they don't use each other's items.



Cats prefer solitary activities but are surprisingly adaptable and can live with other animals.

However, cats and other animals have different natures, patterns of life, and suitable environments.

To ensure both can live comfortably and safely, it's important to adjust their living arrangements and the indoor environment.

Even with animals considered compatible, there might be cases where they simply cannot live together peacefully.

In such cases, don't force them to live together; instead, separate their living spaces.

Also, even if they live together peacefully, sudden changes can lead to fights.

Don't become complacent just because they get along; as the owner, it's important to always supervise them.

Living with cats and other animals is not easy, but the happiness it brings can be doubled or tripled. Take the necessary precautions and enjoy your life with these adorable animals.

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