Cats and dogs need time to acclimate to one another, and a forced introduction only heightens adversarial urges. Because cats and dogs possess different comfort levels when it comes to friend-making, the introduction process needs to be a gradual one. Make sure the cat has an easy escape if he decides to exit the situation. Many kitties enjoy elevated resting places like cat trees, which provide the perfect getaway from often overzealous canines.

Bring both animals into the room at the same time, and keep the dog on a leash at your side. If the dog tries to lunge forward, lead him a few steps backwards until he demonstrates a calm demeanor. Gradually inch back toward the cat, and reward the dog with treats for each relaxed forward movement. At the same time, the cat learns he can share a room with a dog without being attacked.

After the initial introduction, separating the dog and cat with a baby gate is an easy way to put distance between them while they get to know one another. Donít ever place a cat in a dogís face as a form of introduction. This could not only escalate into a dangerous situation, it could be a backward move in the onset of a peaceful relationship.

The age theyíre introduced plays a part.

Cats and dogs get along better when theyíre introduced as kittens and puppies. Theyíre just learning about the great big world, and are more open to developing new friendships.

Different dog breeds may be better at getting along with cats.
As mentioned, personality and a few other factors play a part, but there are some dog breeds that are known to live more harmoniously with cats.

Do a background check if youíre adding a dog to your family.
If you have a kitty and youíre adopting a dog, always ask the shelter about the animalís background. Make sure he doesnít have a history of aggression toward other animals.

Prepare your home well in advance to ensure your cat and dog get along.
Try to slowly create the atmosphere that the existing pet will experience before the new pet comes on the scene so the change isnít as drastic:

Install a baby gate a week or so ahead of the homecoming to keep the cat and dog separated.
If you plan to close certain doors, go ahead and do that as well.
Move food or litter boxes so the changes wonít come at the same time as the addition of the new family member.
Are the food dishes far enough apart so meals are less stressful?
If your pets arenít spayed or neutered, schedule that procedure so hormonal aggression is at bay.
Exercise the dog so he has a chance to release some of that enthusiastic energy before the big meet-up.
In truth, you never know if a cat and dog will live together peacefully, but you can take steps to decrease the odds of cats hating dogs.