Pugs and Cats: Can They Be BFFs? A Step-by-Step Guide to Harmonious Coexistence


If you’re thinking about bringing a Pug into a home that already has a cat, you may be wondering if they will get along. We often imagine cats and dogs as archenemies, but it doesn’t have to be that way. As someone who has successfully introduced a dog into a cat-inhabited home, I want to share my experience and provide you with essential tips on how to introduce a Pug to a cat. So, let’s start with the burning question:

Are Pugs Good with Cats?

Pugs can live harmoniously with cats, but how they get along depends on various factors, such as the introduction process and the individual temperaments of both animals. By introducing them during the puppy stage, you can increase the chances of a successful relationship between your furry buddies. While Pugs are generally considered one of the most cat-friendly dog breeds, each animal has its unique personality, just like us!

Pugs and Cats: A Perfect Match?

In my experience, Pugs do get along with cats. Their friendly nature and love for being part of a pack make them naturally accepting of a cat’s presence. Many Pug owners believe that this breed happily embraces cats as part of their family. Additionally, Pugs’ playful and easygoing demeanor contributes to their compatibility with feline companions. Though a Pug may playfully chase a cat outdoors, they often want to cuddle and befriend them once they’re back inside.

However, it’s crucial to exercise caution and never let your cat interact with a new dog unsupervised. While Pugs generally have a higher chance of getting along with cats, individual temperament, genetics, training, and upbringing play significant roles in their behavior towards other household members.

Pug Puppies vs. Adult Pugs: Understanding Temperament

Understanding the differences between Pug puppies and adult Pugs is vital to ensure a smooth integration into your cat-filled home. The puppy stage offers advantages and disadvantages, depending on your preferences and lifestyle.

Pug Puppies and Cats

Pug puppies can be great companions for cats, especially when introduced to an existing feline environment early on. Puppies are highly adaptable, and with proper training and care, they can blend seamlessly into your family dynamic. During this critical stage, your cat has an opportunity to establish a hierarchy and assert dominance over the puppy if needed. Over time, the Pug puppy learns to respect the cat’s boundaries. In my home, our cat firmly believes she’s the boss, and our Pug respects her authority.

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However, it’s important to note that training a Pug puppy requires time and commitment. Without proper training, even the most amicable Pug can develop unwanted behaviors. Additionally, consider the energy levels of both the puppy and your cat. If your cat is older and has low energy, a lively Pug puppy might be overwhelming. Designating a dog-free zone within your home can provide your cat with a safe space when needed.

Adult Pugs and Cats

Adopting an adult Pug offers the advantage of understanding their established temperament and habits. What you see is what you get, and as long as you ask the right questions, there should be no surprises. When adopting a Pug from a rescue, you have the opportunity to observe the dog’s behavior and compatibility with cats. So, keep an eye out for rescue ads that mention a Pug’s compatibility with cats. By adopting a well-trained adult dog, you can ensure a smoother integration into your cat-friendly household.

Nevertheless, it’s crucial to gather as much information as possible about the dog’s background to assess potential behavioral issues. If you notice persistent aggression towards cats, especially among rescue dogs, seeking guidance from a dog behaviorist is advisable. Overall, adult Pugs offer a fantastic option for those who prefer not to train a puppy or have limited experience.

How to Introduce a Pug to a Cat: A Step-by-Step Guide

Pugs can live happily with cats, but successful integration requires a slow and gradual introduction process. By allowing both animals to adjust at their own pace, you improve the chances of a harmonious relationship. Remember to never leave the cat and Pug alone during the initial stages, especially when adopting an older dog. Follow these steps for a smoother introduction:

Step 1: Prepare the House

Before bringing your Pug home, create a safe space for your cat that is inaccessible to the dog. This area can be a separate room or a sectioned-off portion of a larger room. Use baby gates, cat gates, or foldable dog pens to establish boundaries. Ensure that all of your cat’s essentials, such as bed, food, water, litter tray, and scratching post, are in this designated area. Placing the cat’s food at an elevated position reduces potential conflicts during mealtime.

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It’s also essential to create safe spaces for your cat throughout the house. Sturdy cat trees or bookshelves can offer escape routes when your cat needs a break from the Pug’s presence. Consider using a cat pheromone diffuser to reduce your cat’s anxiety during this transition period.

Step 2: Initial Introduction

During the first few days, keep your Pug separated from the cat. Start by swapping their bedding to gradually familiarize them with each other’s scents. Pet both animals without washing your hands in between to mix their scents further. This process helps them become more comfortable with the idea of the other’s presence.

Once your Pug has settled in, allow him to explore the house while your cat stays in her safe space. This allows your Pug to become familiar with the cat’s scent. Take your Pug for walks to expend energy and give your cat a chance to explore freely while you’re away. Repeat these steps for a few days until your Pug is comfortable in his surroundings.

Step 3: First Interactions

When your Pug is acclimated and both animals are accustomed to each other’s scents, it’s time for the first interaction. Keep your cat behind a cat gate to provide a safe barrier during this initial encounter. Allow your cat to observe and assess the new addition to the family. Keep your Pug on a leash to maintain control and prevent overexcitement.

Encourage calm behavior in your Pug by distracting him with treats or food while he is near the cat gate. If your Pug displays aggression or excessive excitement, separate them and try again later. Reward your Pug for calm behavior during these initial interactions.

Repeat these short and frequent interactions, gradually increasing their duration, as you observe positive signs of tolerance and relaxation from both animals.

Step 4: Closer Contact

Once your Pug is more settled and your cat shows signs of increased confidence, it’s time to remove the barrier and allow closer interaction. Continue to keep your Pug on a leash for added control. Observe their behavior closely during this stage and intervene at the first sign of fear or aggression. Stay consistent with training techniques to discourage any unwanted behaviors.

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During this phase, maintain the hierarchy by showing your Pug that the cat is higher in the pecking order. Praise your Pug for calm behavior and correct any signs of aggression promptly but calmly. If necessary, provide your Pug with a timeout in a quiet room for a few minutes to reinforce boundaries.

With patience and persistence, you should begin to see a positive relationship forming between your Pug and cat. Increase their interaction time gradually and ensure your cat has spaces where she can escape from the Pug if needed.

Step 5: Peaceful Coexistence

Once you’re confident in their positive interactions, you can begin leaving your Pug and cat alone together. However, make sure your cat still has a designated space that the Pug cannot access. This separation ensures a peaceful coexistence, as your cat can retreat to her safe space when necessary. Supervision is still recommended during this phase to monitor their behavior.

Remember, building a strong bond takes time, so be patient and enjoy witnessing the growing friendship between your cat and Pug.


With the right approach and a gradual introduction, there’s no reason why your cat and Pug can’t live in harmony together. Each animal is unique, so it’s essential to tailor the integration process to their individual needs. By following the step-by-step guide above, you increase the chances of a successful bond between your feline and canine companions.

Remember, Pugs are renowned for their friendly nature, and while chasing may occur, it’s often their playful way of engaging with cats. With consistent training and plenty of patience, your Pug and cat can coexist peacefully. So, create a home where feline and canine love thrive!

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If you found this guide helpful, check out these additional resources to assist you with your new Pug puppy:

Chihuahuas and Cats: Can They Be Besties? A 5-Step Introduction Guide


(Pug image in header via Pixabay)

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