A Fascinating Look At Why Pugs & Cats Get Along So Well

Are you a cat owner and weighing up the idea of adding a pug to your family? Perhaps you’re someone that already owns both and is looking for ways to ensure they co-exist amicably. While dogs and cats are played out at as sworn enemies, things are a little different with the pug breed.

So, are pugs good with cats? Absolutely, pugs have an adaptable personality that helps them get along with cats and other pets. Pugs are trainable, sociable, and accommodating. The best way for them to co-exist and avoid conflict, is to let the cat call the shots as the alpha pet.

Owners will need to be wary of potential conflicts in this dynamic household. They are bound to happen, so it’s crucial that you know how to handle it and prevent it. There’s no guarantee that your cat will get along with your pug, but with time and commitment, you can create a symbiotic relationship where they peacefully co-exist with one another.

The Personality Of A Pug

Pugs are companion dogs bred to do precisely that, bond with their owners. They are relatively delicate creatures that crave human affection, sitting on your lap and cuddling. Unlike cats, pugs are devoted creatures that can feel unhappy if their affection isn’t reciprocated. However, we’re not implying that this is all they’re good for.

Pugs love having fun, playing, and even going for walks. They are comical dogs that enjoy living it up and delighting their owners with trivial antics. Their temperament is often affected by several factors, including socialization, training, and heredity. Most, if not all, puppies have a great character. They are playful, curious, and friendly with people and other pets – just like kittens!

They are intelligent dogs that have a bundle of unique personality characteristics. They are known to be stubborn, a sign that often indicates cleverness. However, despite their stubborn nature, they are quite trainable and will often rise to the occasion. Apart from being persistent, their intelligence also makes them very attention but also quite mischievous.

They are also affectionate, loving, charming, docile, sociable, quiet, and calm. Their temperament plays a huge role in their ability to interact and bond with cats. That’s because their personalities tend to complement each other, making the pair great pet partners. There are ways in which you create a tighter bond between your pug and cat, and this will be helpful if it’s your first time owning both.

Do Cats Like Pugs?

Cats don’t precisely dislike pugs; plus, they generally aren’t scared of them like they can be with other dog breeds. This can be attributed to the pug’s docile temperament and size. Your cat won’t be as intimidated by your pet pug as they would be with a hyperactive cocker spaniel and, as such, will likely consider the pug harmless.

However, there is a possibility that your cat may lash out at your pug, especially if their relationship is new. You’ll want to prevent your pug from initiating play until they’re more familiar with each other. Your cat loves their privacy, space, catnip, and belongings; so they won’t hesitate to protect what they think is theirs, despite how curious a pug may be.

During the early stages of the relationship, try and always keep your guard up. You’ll have to be wary of your cat because, even if they look like their fondness for each other is growing, a harmless territorial fight can escalate into a much more serious situation. For instance, your cat may paw your pug away when it wants some space, but it can accidentally claw your pug’s eyes. Injuries in delicate areas can cause massive issues, and these scenarios can really put your pug in a lot of pain.

Additionally, not all cats are the same, and they will have their own unique personalities. How each cat will interact with a dog will vary greatly. Some cats don’t mind hanging out with dogs, and some don’t mind their presence but would rather keep the relationship at a distance. Meanwhile, there are cats that would prefer to avoid dogs altogether, and then there are those that are simply terrified of dogs.

Our general observations brought us to the conclusion that cats and pugs are capable of co-existing; however, whether or not they’ll be happy cannot be guaranteed. This all depends on a multitude of factors, which we will cover in detail shortly.

Why Do Pugs Make Great Companions For Your Cat?

Pugs have been known to get along with most pets, and that includes cats. They are the perfect size and have complimenting personality traits that makes them very compatible with their feline counterparts.

Pugs Are Adaptable

Pugs, believed to originate from China in the 200 BCs, were and are still bred for companionship. All pugs have ever known in their life is how to give and receive affection. And to add to that, they aren’t picky about who they give attention to, whether it be people, dogs, or other animals.

They have one rule that they tend to stick to regarding which person or animal they can be friendly with. And that is whether the animal or person is dangerous. So, in a scenario where a cat shows signs of interest, and aren’t perceived as a threat, then there is a high possibility for them to create a bond and get along.

As long as your pug is well trained and socialized, then they will have the tenacity and temperament to get along with a cat without many issues. With that said, their pending friendship will come down to your cat’s temperament. So, when you’re deciding on whether you should add a pug to the family, you’ll need to gauge how you think your cat will react, and whether they’ll be accepting enough.

Pugs Are The Perfect Size

Pugs are relatively small compared to other dogs, making it easier for them to get along with your cat. Their small stature helps boost the relationship’s dynamics since your cat is likely to feel less intimidated. This is good for your cat since it’ll be able to set its boundaries and dictate the rules that’ll govern their relationship.

Typically, cats have high self-esteem and their first instinct is to bully people and animals that they feel are smaller than they are. This superiority complex that cats have is even more prominent when a smaller dog invades its space. Pugs are big enough to prevent this, yet small enough for them not to be seen as a threat.

For instance, your cat may like a particular spot in the house, which your pug also loves. However, the fact that your pug is quite small will psychologically prevent them from bullying the cat. On the other hand, your cat will actively defend its territory if necessary. While this may not sound ideal for your pug, it’s up to them to decide on the hierarchical nature of their relationship.

Complimentary Personalities

The dynamics between cats and pugs work amazingly well because the two species tend to complement the other’s personality. You may notice that your cat and pug get along perfectly fine because pugs are affectionate creatures, whereas cats can be fairly selfish.

A pug’s playful nature works interestingly well with a cats’ curious nature. The two characteristics make it easier for the pair to bond. How? The cat’s inquisitive nature often leads them to investigate objects, surroundings, and animals, which leads them to try and figure out what your pug’s deal is.

However, while this may be seen as a threatening action by most other breeds, pugs often take it as a signal to play. In many situations, the relationship between the pair will involve a lot of give and take, which should make it a win-win situation for both. Your cat can have fun with you pug, which also benefits the pug’s need for attention. While it won’t be a perfect relationship, the best thing is that it works, and they both co-exist together peacefully.

Your Pug’s Instinct (Or Lack Thereof)

Dog’s are born with many natural behaviors and instincts that help guide them through life. For example, digging and protecting their food comes naturally to all canine. Some dogs were bred as guard dogs, while others were bred to be work dogs. Pugs on the other hand, were bred for companionship.

This means that pugs can simply lack a drive to go out of their way and dominate. They were bred to be more naturally dependent, since they will usually have most of their needs catered to them. Because they’re more sheltered and protected compared to other dog breeds, this renders them virtually harmless.

Pugs don’t feel the urge to dominate or harm other animals, making them the perfect dog breed for houses with other pets, especially cats. This works perfectly fine since the cat won’t see your pug as a threat. However, this doesn’t always come naturally, so it’s important that your pug is well-trained and properly socialized. It will go a long way in helping to prevent unnecessary incidents with your cat.

Pugs Are Incredibly Docile

Pugs are an incredibly docile breed that rarely show signs of aggression towards humans or other animals. This is a fantastic trait for a dog to have when you have a cat living alongside them. Cat’s, and children alike, may prod at your dog from time to time. Whether it’s due to play or curiosity, you can trust that your pug won’t lash out in response.

Not all dogs are capable of having such patience, and thankfully, this comes naturally to pugs. Rather than fighting, pugs prefer to cuddle and play with their family. However, every dog has their own personality, and if not raised correctly, they can certainly develop behavioral issues as they grow.

Assuming that you’ve had your pug socialized and trained; there are cases where you’ll notice your pug developing specific aggressive behaviors towards human companions, pets, and even children. If you see these changes, then the first step is to ensure that you take them to a veterinarian or animal behaviorist to help diagnose the root causes of these character changes.

Often, sudden changes in your pug’s character can be linked to environmental factors and changes in family dynamics within the household. Pugs that are harassed or bullied by other pets, owners, or even children often develop an aggressive tendency that makes it hard for them to co-exist peacefully. As a result, it’s crucial that your pets are treated and cared for lovingly if you want your pug and cat to get along.

How To Introduce Cats & Pugs To Each Other

You must take some precautions the first time you introduce two animals together. Regardless of how docile they may seem, things can easily go wrong. Here are some tricks and tips you can follow to make your new pet’s first meeting as smooth as possible.

Ask A Friend For Help

It would be wise to ensure that there’s another person around to help you make the introductions. Since, things can abruptly get out of hand, it may be more than enough for you to handle by yourself. Having one individual tend to each pet can restrict the amount of chaos that can ensue.

While this is a helpful tip, it’s not completely necessary. It can be done by yourself, since most cats won’t fly off the handle, unless their personal space is invaded. Therefore, try not to let your pug get too close to your cat during their initial interaction. Hold your pug and let your cat come forward to inspect.

If you let your pug loose, it will be very curious, and most likely lunge at your cat in an attempt to play. Your cat may lash out since they’re not yet comfortable, which may cause harm to your dog. Repeat this process if necessary until both animals are comfortable with each other.

Train Your Pets

It’s always good to ensure that whichever animal you introduce to your friends, children, or other pets, is adequately trained and can take commands. Following this rule will help prevent an unwanted response from a scared or undisciplined pet.

Ensure that your pug is comfortable with leashes and can follow essential commands like ‘down’ or ‘sit’ without any issues. A retractable leash can be helpful in controlling your pug and restricting their movements so they don’t get too close to the cat. Once your dog is calm and seems disinterested in bothering the cat, then you can looks at progressing to the next step by gradually letting them off their leash.

In addition to this, try fix any behavioral issues that your pets may have. Pugs can suffer from separation anxiety if they’re neglected or if they have been adopted from a shelter. Don’t even think about introducing your new pets with one another until this gets sorted.

Meet In An Enclosed Space

Making your introduction in a small location forces the two animals to notice the other’s presence, smells, and sounds. However, the smaller the first meeting place is, the higher the chances that there’ll be trouble; therefore, the size of the room should be determined by how comfortable you are.

If you feel like you aren’t too comfortable with would-be enemies in a small space, then use a bigger room with enough wiggle room. This is so you can pull them away from each other if necessary. Your cat will need sufficient space to retreat if they get spooked by the dog, so make sure there is an escape route available to them.

Tire Out Your Pug Beforehand

Burning some of your pug’s energy and tiring them out prior to meeting your cat can help reduce the chances of an accident. This is especially the case if your dog is a puppy, since they are highly energetic. You’ll need to take your pug out for a walk and play with them so that they are sufficiently tired and calm for the meeting. Also, by exposing them to places with different people and pets can get them used to different social interactions.

How About Introducing A Kitten To A Pug Puppy?

It’s harder to introduce kittens to puppies because they are more active and readier to show aggression when afraid. Small kittens tend to get scared quickly and, if you don’t do the introductions properly, they can attack your puppy as a first response.

On the other hand, your puppy is more likely to be openly curious about unusual sounds and smells, which makes them want to investigate. Pay extra attention in these situations by ensuring that one pet doesn’t get too close to other initially.

It is easier to introduce a grown cat to a pug since they are able to set their boundaries immediately. A kitten-puppy relationship will require more time and patience. But once you succeed in getting them to connect, you’re likely to create a lifelong bond between the two animals.

What If They Don’t Get Along?

Sometimes, it doesn’t matter how hard you try; the two animals simply won’t get along. You may have tried all possible steps to ensure that your cat and pug get along, but all you get are continuous conflicts. Sometimes, they may even resent each other if you keep trying to force the relationship.

While it may initially seem like the two animals weren’t ever meant to be, it can be turned around with enough time and commitment. Eventually, your pug should learn to play by your cat’s rules and learn where the boundaries lies. This may take a few swats from your cat, so you’ll need to be observant and determine when it’s time to separate them.

Let Your Cat Call The Shots

More often, it’s easier to introduce a new cat to your pug, than it is to introduce a new pug to your cat. The reasoning behind this idea is that cats are very territorial, and it’s harder for them to give up their space than dogs.

Additionally, cats tend to keep to themselves and don’t crave attention like dogs do. The best way for your dog to co-exist with your cat is if they understand that the cat is higher on your home’s hierarchical order. When your pug realizes that the cat calls the shots, they will learn to respect their space and boundaries.

There are techniques to instil the notion that the cat plays the alpha role in their relationship. For example, you can feed your cat first and limit access to their feeding area until it is the pug’s turn to eat. In your dog’s mind, it sets your cat up as an important figure and thus, they should not be disturbed.

How To Prevent Household Conflicts?

Conflicts between your pets are bound to happen from time-to-time, regardless of how close they are with each other. It can happen abruptly or situations can brew over a long period of time. Owners need to recognize signs of tension in order to prevent these conflicts from recurring and from becoming too serious.

Give Them Enough Space

Provide both pets enough space in your home if you want your pug and cat to co-exist peacefully. Your cat loves their private space to retreat to, so try and provide them with a secluded area that your dog can’t reach. This will help reduce the chances for conflict, since your cat will scurry away and hide in their safe space when tensions rise.

Share The Love

Whichever pet you adopt or buy first is bound to feel lonely and neglected when you get a second pet. That’s because you’re probably ensuring that the new pet is adapting well to their new home. While cats won’t get as affected as pugs would, it would still be good if you shared the love around equally.

If you don’t do this, you may notice your cat harassing your pug whenever you’re cuddling together. Alternatively, your pug may feel down and neglected when you shift your attention to your cat. What’s the best solution for such situations? The best solution is to ensure that you schedule some time aside to do fun activities with your cat and pug at different times of the day.

For instance, you could choose to play with or walk your pug during the day. Upon arriving home, your pug will likely be tired and decide to nap. While your dog is asleep, it creates a perfect opportunity for you to cuddle with your cat. Providing equal amounts of attention will help both pets feel loved, thus minimizing the chances for conflict.

Train Your Pug To Adapt

Cats are free species that don’t like taking commands from anyone. For this reason, they aren’t as easy to train compared to pugs, and dogs in general. This is why you must focus on teaching your pug how to adapt to living with a cat, since they are more receptive to commands.

It’s recommended that you train your pug so they know how to follow basic commands like stop, sit, and stay. This will help prevent your pug from getting too close to your cat when necessary. At the very least, it will distract your dog to focus on something else, so that you cat can retreat.

Exercise Your Pug

Dogs generally have more energy than cats do. Pugs are considered to be a low-medium energy level breed, so they only need about 30 minutes of exercise per day. If owners neglect to exercise their pug, they will have excess energy, in which they will likely transfer to your cat.

If you don’t walk or play with your pug, the chances are that they’ll seek a playmate to interact with. If that playmate happens to be your cat, then there’s a high possibility that they’ll end up fighting. If you don’t have the time to do this on certain days, you can look at providing your dog a smart toy or chew toy to keep them entertained.

Supervise Your Pets

If you sense that there’s some tension between your cat and your pug, then you’ll need to keep a keen eye on them. Supervise all interactions until things calm down, and until they start getting along cohesively. This will help prevent an unwarranted accident that can lead to either of your pets being physically harmed or injured.

What If Your Cat Is Stressed?

At times, stressed cats can make life extremely tough on pugs and even humans. Your cat may become withdrawn, over or under-eat, feel anxious, and even become less tolerant of other pets and people. Your stressed cat may find it hard to interact with your pug during these times, which can cause conflict.

To ensure that the two have a great relationship, you’ll need to provide your cat extra attention, and give them an occasional treat to cheer them up. If their behavior change is worrying or prolonged, then it’s even worth getting them checked out by a veterinarian. Rather than waiting for an accident to happen, you can take things into your own hands by getting your cat treated (if necessary).

Feeding Your Pets

Cats love food, regardless of how old or what breed they are. Pugs love to eat even more, so both of these pets will protect their food at all times. The best thing to do when feeding your cat and your pug is to use separate bowls. If you have some extra space, it would be more advisable to feed them separately.

All animals become extremely territorial when their survival instinct is provoked. After all, they don’t know when their next meal is, so it’s imperative that they feel sustained when the opportunity presents itself. If you can’t separate them and can only feed them in the same location, then you’ll just need to be there to supervise. Eventually, they will both learn how to eat together peacefully and without incident.

Related Questions

Which dog is best with cats? Golden Retriever, Labrador Retriever, Beagle, Pug, Bichon Frise, Shetland Sheepdog, Basset Hound, Poodle, Maltese, and Boston Terrier.

Are pugs good with kids? Yes, pugs are great with kids since they are loving and very tolerant. They’re a social breed that has high emotional intelligence. They are also docile, which means they will happily allow children to prod at them without lashing out. Pugs are also sturdy enough for rough play with kids.

Are pugs good with other dogs? Yes, pugs are very social and affectionate. They get along with most other dogs, and will see them as their playmate. Pugs are not aggressive, and make the perfect pet addition to a household that already has dogs.


Animal Humane Society, n.d. How to introduce a dog and cat.

Dogs Trust, n.d. Dogs and cats living together.

Parker, R., n.d. How To Stop Cats Fighting Over Territory [A Complete Guide].

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