Cats and dogs often have a difficult relationship. Choosing the right dog and breed is essential to having a harmonious multi-species home. As cats are territorial, the canine must be laid-back and even-tempered.
Pugs are among the most cat-compatible dog breeds. Pugs are lazy and have no real hunting instinct. Your dog will not chase your cat. Pugs are docile, so they will allow a cat to take its place at the top of the hierarchy. The small size of a pug will not physically intimidate cats.
Breed alone will not ensure that two pets are compatible. The unique personalities of the cat and dog are critical. Some cats will reject any dog, and even a pug can be aggressive if provoked.
Can Pugs and Cats Live Together?
Dogs and cats can live together peacefully. According to Applied Animal Behavior Science, almost two-third of homes with both pets are harmonious. Pugs will typically push up this average further.
Pugs are among the most feline-friendly of all dog breeds. There are a number of reasons for this, including:
- Docile nature
- No hunting instinct
- Limited energy
- Small size
You will still need to follow safety protocols. Chemistry is a unique thing. Pugs and cats are likely to get along, but personality clashes can occur.
What are the Characteristics of a Pug?
Pugs are most well known for their physical characteristics. These dogs also have a range of common characteristics. The following words can be used to describe the average pug’s personality:
It’s rare for a pug to display aggressive or territorial behaviors. Most pugs will want to make friends with a cat, but will the cat reciprocate?
Why a Pug-Cat Combination Could Work
Most pugs are small. They are considered toy breeds by dog associations. This means a cat is unlikely to be frightened of a pug. If anything, the cat will scare the dog.
Pugs have a docile, laid-back temperament. This is essential when living with a cat. Your pug will just want to make friends. He will be tolerant of your cat’s moods and behaviors.
Pugs have little interest in hunting and stalking. Your dog will not chase your cat. In fact, pugs need little exercise due to their breathing difficulties. Most pugs spend the day relaxing on the sofa. This will appeal to a cat, who will also spend much of the day napping.
Pugs are comparatively easy to train. This makes life with a cat easier. Your cat will only respond to commands if she wants to. Your pug will be eager to please. You can use this to manage the relationship between your pets.
Multi-Pet Ownership Concerns
Pugs may be too docile to get along with cats. It depends on your cat’s persona. The animals could forge a happy union, both recognizing the cat as the alpha pet. If your cat is aggressive, though, she may bully your pug.
Food will be a challenge when pairing a pug with a cat. All dogs are food-focused, but pugs are especially greedy. Your pug may attempt to eat your cat’s food. This will inevitably lead to conflict or fights.
Separate feeding is the best way to avoid this issue. Feed your pets in different rooms. If possible, elevate your cat’s food. Cats enjoy climbing; pugs do not. Your dog is unlikely to reach food on a shelf or cabinet.
Pugs are curious by nature. Your dog will love exploring. This will invariably bring him into your cat’s territory. Your pug may approach your cat uninvited, or at inopportune moments. The cat will likely strike your pug in such instances.
Your two pets may battle for your attention. Pugs can be clingy. This may upset your cat. Ensure that both pets receive an equal amount of one-on-one time. Cats and dogs both relish routine, so make this a regular timed occurrence.
Introducing Cats and Pugs
Arranging for cats and pugs to live together is not simple. Do not just introduce the animals and expect them to co-exist.
If you wish to live with a pug and a cat, it’s easier to adopt both animals while young. When puppies and kittens grow up together, they are likelier to bond. Just be mindful of the boisterous nature of both animals. Pug puppies, in particular, can be energetic and want to play rough.
If possible, bring the pug into your home first. Allow the dog to settle, then introduce the cat. Your pug is likelier to willfully share territory than a resident feline. If the cat comes first, the introductions will be more challenging. She will have claimed the house. To manage the introduction, following these instructions:
- Set up a baby gate or a similar dividing barrier
- Put both animals on a leash, on either side of the barrier
- Let the animals sniff each other
- Take the pets away
Repeat this process two or three times a day, in short bursts. After a day or two, feed both animals on their respective sides of the barrier. This ‘dinner date’ forges a positive association.
While the pets are separate, let them sniff each other’s beds and toys. This enables them to grow used to the scent of the other animal. Both pets need to learn that they are sharing the same house.
Eventually, allow the pets to meet face to face. Keeping this meeting short, and gradually increase the time they spend together. After a while, your pets will reach an understanding. Mutually agreeing to ignore each other is perfectly fine. That is the first stepping stone to animal friendship.
Are Pugs Scared of Cats?
It is common for dogs to be afraid of cats. Felines carry themselves with confidence and authority. As pack animals, dogs recognize and respect this.
How a dog reacts depends on breed and persona. Some dogs will respond in kind. A larger, confident dog will chase a cat to mask his fear. This response is unlikely in pugs due to a low prey drive. A pug is likelier to be cowed and bullied by a cat.
Dogs sometimes mask their fear by growling and barking. Pugs are rarely aggressive. If your own dog behaves this way, it’s reasonable to assume he is frightened. Separate your pug and cat until both animals cool down.
It should otherwise be easy to tell if your pug is anxious. He will behave out of sorts. Pugs are driven by human affection and food. If your pug avoids you and loses his appetite, stress is likely to blame. Wide eyes and a stiff tail are also warning signs.
If your pug is afraid of your cat, manage their relationship. Do not allow your cat to become a bully. Ensure the pug can walk freely around the home without being attacked. Do not allow the cat to steal the pug’s toys, bed or food.
Can Pugs be Allergic to Cats?
Any dog can be allergic to a cat. It’s the dander from cat fur that causes allergic reactions. Common symptoms of a cat allergy in your dog include:
- Constant scratching and licking of fur
- Skin hives and sores
- Dry sneezing
- Ocular discharge
If you suspect that your pug is allergic to your cat, see a vet for tests. A professional can offer treatments to build your pug’s tolerance to feline dander. This can take up to 12 months to become effective.
Due to their distinctive facial features, pugs are susceptive to breathing difficulties. The same applies to flat-faced cats. This can be fatal if left untreated. Topics in Companion Animal Medicine discusses the dangers of Brachycephalic Airway Syndrome.
If there are questions about the safety of your pug, separate your pets. You may need to consider re-homing one of them. This will obviously not be an easy decision. The health of the animal must be a priority though.
What Games Can My Pug and Cat Play Together?
Pugs and cats are largely incompatible in their play styles. Cats enjoy play that simulates hunting, but pugs have a low prey drive. This makes both pets unlikely to enjoy the same games.
If you wish to entertain both animals, consider mental stimulation. Pugs are smart dogs. They enjoy problem-solving. Create some treasure hunts around your home and yard. Hide treats that both animals will enjoy, such as fresh chicken. Your pug and cat will work together to gain rewards.
You may find that your cat stalks your pug. She will hunt the dog and leap upon him. Most pugs are docile and will tolerate this. As long as your cat is not hurting the pug, allow the game to continue.
Bonding between pugs and cats is likelier to revolve around napping together. Both pets will enjoy spending much of the day dozing. Do not be surprised if friendly pets sleep side by side. The animals are offering each other protection.
My Pug and My Cat Keep Fighting
Pugs and cats are capable of getting along. They are still different species though. Cats and dogs will always have the potential to fight.
If your pets cannot get along, investigate why. Watch both animals closely and check for triggers. Pugs can be curious. Does your dog approach your cat too much? Does your dog eat your cat’s food? Is your cat just cantankerous? Undertake these techniques to improve inter-species relationships:
- Feed the cat and dog separately, in different locations
- Ensure each pet has their own distinct toys
- Schedule daily one-on-one attention for each pet
- Reward both pets when they ignore each other
- Give your cat a private area to herself, inaccessible to your dog
- Exercise the dog regularly to keep him calm
There may still be an occasional misunderstanding. Cats have limited patience with dogs. Your pug may be swiped once or twice. This is how animals learn each other’s limits. Unless an outright fight breaks out, treat it as a learning opportunity.
Over time, your cat and dog will learn how to communicate. This, in turn, will lead to a happier environment. If they become friends, this is a bonus. If they tolerate each other, accept this as a win.
My Cat is Jealous of My Pug
Ensure your pug and cat receive equal attention. Cats can become jealous of other pets. She will wonder why you keep going outside with your pug and not taking her.
Even if your cat dislikes petting, she can still become jealous. Your cat wants the opportunity to spurn your affection. She may take out her jealousy on your pug.
Schedule one-on-one attention for both your pets. Ensure that your cat gets a minimum of twenty minutes alone with you each day.
Keep your pug in a separate room during this period. Your cat needs quality time, and your undivided attention. If possible, ask somebody to take the dog for a walk. This will help your cat to relax.