Home » BFF Alert! A Lab Dog and a Bengal Cat that are Best of Friends

BFF Alert! A Lab Dog and a Bengal Cat that are Best of Friends

BFF Alert! A Lab Dog and a Bengal Cat that are Best of Friends

Did you know that it in 2018 it was is estimated that approximately 30.4% of households in the United States own cats (∼36 million) and 36.5% own dogs (∼43 million)?

And did you know it is a fact that both species are capable of expressing amicability to each other? Now, an amicable relationship can be defined as one with a friendly, mutual bond, which is recognizable through the use of affiliative behaviors, maintaining proximity and effective, nonaggressive communication between them (Site at end of blog). So…they just have to live in peace.

BUT….what about a Red Fox Lab & a Bengal Cat being Best of Friends??!!??

They Are The BEST of Friends!

In September 2018, we brought home an eight week old Bengal Cat named Simba. He’s a typical energetic, playful and intelligent Bengal who loves to play fetch, keep away and normally comes when we call him! Bengals, although thought to be very wild, are normally very good with dogs and Simba was no exception!

In January 2021 we put our names on a list to adopt a Red Fox Lab, and in November 2021 we brought our 9 week old puppy home, Nala.

Baby Nala
Baby Nala

Nala’s adoption day

Truth told… The first meeting didn’t go that well. We brought our new puppy in the door, and our curious cat came right up and sniffed this new intruder. Nala, one of the first of her litter to be adopted, proceeded to chase Simba around the kitchen and in a second, Simba was up the stairs and wanted nothing to do with this new home invader.

Simba & Nala

Simba meets Nala

We set up Nala’s crate in the kitchen and put a foot high barrier around the kitchen to give Nala a safe space to roam but also allowed our curious cat to easily hop over the barrier. Slowly, over the next few days, our brave cat realized the puppy was here to stay and spent many hours peeking over and under the barrier. Simba quickly figured out if he put his paw under the barrier, Nala would try to put her head under to see the cat. Then Simba would hop over and run through the kitchen and hop back over the wall, almost tormenting the puppy like a game between siblings. Simba slowly increased the length of time he would walk through the kitchen and allow Nala to chase him before hopping out again.

When Nala was about 3 months old, her sister Nyx stayed with us for a few days while Suzanne was away. I wasn’t sure how Simba would react, as he was just accepting one new puppy in the house. Without skipping a beat, Simba was in the kitchen, braving the two energic pups and playing along with them.

In less than two months, we found the two of them curled up together sharing the dog bed… as friends.

Simba and Nala spend every day together, playing chase or curled up for a nap. Simba normally gives a call, or walks over and gives Nala a bat with the paw, and the games are on. To this day, even when they play fight, Simba has never shown his claws to Nala.

I will admit, there have been a few unexpected minor challenges. We had to move all the cat toys downstairs, and away from Nala. The small cat nip mice and little balls that Simba loves to bat around are choking hazards for the dog, which we have found in her mouth a few times. We also had to change Simba’s food and water bowl to his cat tree, as Simba doesn’t like to share his water with a slobbering dog.

I’m very grateful my two fur babies have become best friends and great companions for each other.

Citation: Jessica E. Thomson, Sophie S. Hall, Daniel S. Mills, Evaluation of the relationship between cats and dogs living in the same home, Journal of Veterinary Behavior, Volume 27, 2018, Pages 35-40, ISSN 1558-7878, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jveb.2018.06.043 (https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1558787817302393)

Karen Callery
Karen Callery

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