What Animals Are Compatible Together As Pets

A few things to consider if you are tying to keep pets of different types together in the same home. Can cats, dogs, rabbits, ferrets, and chickens live together? Can cats and dogs be kept together? Can cats and birds be trained to get along? What pet

Many people, especially kids, want a house full of pets, however it is sometimes difficult to know which pets can be kept with which. Sometimes it is an issue with food; some pets cannot eat other pets food. Sometimes it's an issue of nature, some pets will want to eat other pets!

Cats and Dogs

Cats and dogs can get along famously well, many people keep both. There are some things to consider if you want to keep both as pets.

Cats need cat food, it contains taurine which is important for their eyes, as well they are true carnivores and need a good meat source. Dogs, on the other hand, can eat more vegetable matter and would get fat very quickly from eating too much cat food. As well, cat food costs more money, so an owner might not want their dog to eat it.

Some breeds of dogs are notorious for killing cats, Huskies being well known for this (unless raised with cats from a young age). Terriers, being bred to hunt and kill, are apt to chase cats, but might not know what to do if they catch one. Border Collies, and other herding dogs, might herd the cat if they are otherwise bored.

cat on dog

photo source

Cats and Birds

Cats are natural hunters, it is their natural instinct to hunt and kill prey type animals, such as birds. While keeping both can be done it needs to be done under certain circumstances only. This is to say, either get a big bird, or a young cat that you can train to resist its natural urges, and put the bird in a solid, safe, cage.

Birds who will be allowed out of their cages should never have their wings clipped. Even though an owner “thinks” the cat is okay, the temptation might be too much and many owners have watched helpless as their cat attacks their bird, often in one pounce.

Some larger birds are fine with cats; it is usually the small, flighty ones, that attract the cats attention most.  If you get a kitten you might be able to train it to get along with birds.

cat and free range hens

photo by author, my own cat and hens

Cats and Rodents

As with birds the temptation for a cat to go after a small rodent is almost uncontrollable. While the rodent might be safe in its cage, or when out under close supervision, they are not so safe if the owner steps away.

Cats and Rabbits

Generally speaking because rabbits move around a lot less than smaller rodents, and move in a strange way, mature ones are not threatened by cats. You might want to watch a baby rabbit with a cat in the house though.

Cats and Fish

Cats will have a strong interest in catching fish, be they in an aquarium, or in a pond.  Tanks should be kept high enough cats cannot get in them, and should have a proper cover.  If a person has fish in an outdoor pond, the cat should be kept indoors only.

Dogs and Birds

Most dogs are fine with birds, but some go absolutely nuts, barking at them, and causing a ruckus. Certain breeds of dogs, such as those bred for hunting, might have more issues with birds than others, such as Shih Tzus who were bred to be pets.

Dogs and Small Animals

A dog, especially a terrier, could be a risk to a small animal, such as rabbit, or hamster. Those who were bred to hunt will be driven insane by the presence of a small critter in the home.  Other breeds of dogs, and those raised with small animals, may be just fine, but should not be trusted together without supervis1on.

dog and rabbit

photo source

Ferrets and Other Animals

Ferrets might be smaller than rabbits, but they are carnivores who have been used for generations to hunt, and kill, rabbits, and other small animals. It is not a good idea to keep a ferret as a pet when any other small animals (including birds, and fish) are present.

When it comes to feeding there is also a concern because ferrets require proper ferret food but can get by on top quality cat food. They should not have dog food but will eat it if an owner has a dog and leaves food lying around. As well poor quality cat food (all the foods sold in grocery stores) is not something any ferret should be allowed to eat.

Ducks and Chickens

Ducks and chickens are not good together for several reasons. First of all ducks need a place to swim, even a small tub, but this will drown a chicken. As well, if you have chicks, there is penicillin added to chick starter which is deadly for ducks.   Roosters and Drakes may become territorial. 

Related Reading

What Livestock Animals can be Kept Together

How Many Pets is Too Many?

A Comparison of 14 Different Exotic Pets

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