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Can dogs and cats get along under the same roof? | Pet Project

How to help cats and dogs get along under the same roof | Pet Project
How to help cats and dogs get along under the same roof | Pet Project 04:07

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- When you're walking outside on a beautiful spring day, it can feel like everybody you see out and about is paired with a pet. 

If you think you're seeing more pet owners playing in the park or walking their furry friends than you have in the past, it's because there are. 

Within the last 35 years, pet ownership has spiked quite a bit. Pennsylvania SPCA animal advocate Carol Erickson said in 1988, only about 56% of homes in the U.S. had a household pet. Now in 2024, the pet owner percentage has jumped to 70%, Erickson said. 

While some people are strictly cat or dog people, others are simply pet people and have both dogs and cats living under the same roof. 

Erickson has a couple of tips you'll want to keep in mind if you're considering adding a furry friend to your family and you already have a dog or a cat at home.

It's not a bad idea to have pets of the same size with similar levels of play. Both dogs and cats will always feel more comfortable in their home territory but they need to build up the confidence and trust with each other that they can coexist under the same roof. 

A good way to first introduce both of your pets would be to let the cat enter the room on their own terms while keeping the dog on a leash. This way the cat knows they are free to be as cautious as they need and can leave if they need to. The dog is then held back with a leash to prevent them from getting overexcited and the urge to chase. 

Erickson said dogs and cats can work very well together. Just remember to take it slow and ensure that both animals are comfortable in front of each other by taking the necessary precautions while they get acquainted. 

Pennsylvania SPCA dogs for adoption

Meet Riker! 


Riker is a 5-year-old pup with a brown and white chest. He's very well-behaved and was brought to the shelter by the animal law enforcement team. Riker is eager to meet you and your older children.

Meet Romeo!


Romeo is about 2 years old and came into the shelter with his five puppies and the puppies' mother. Romeo is friendly and sweet and loves to learn tricks.

Meet Frappuccino!


Frappuccino is a white and grey 2-year-old pup brought in by the animal law enforcement team. She was previously adopted but had to be returned because her family lost their home. She's ready to mingle with you and your dogs and play ball. 

If you're interested in learning more about these pawfect friends up for adoption contact the PSPCA at or call 215-426-6300. 

You can also watch this week's full Pet Project interview with Erickson in the video player above. Stay tuned until the end to meet Riker, Romeo and Frappuccino.  

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